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In today’s IT world of elevated connectivity, inefficiencies and downtime can be major hurdles for manufacturing companies. An outage can affect every part of your business, endangering operations, incurring high costs, degrading customer experiences, and even endangering your company’s reputation. This is true whether an outage is caused by a natural disaster or human error.

With an annual GDP contribution of over $2 trillion, the manufacturing industry is a key component of the American economy. Being caught off guard by a widespread event could mean disaster, given how much of the nation depends on the jobs, products, and services produced by this industry.

Although many company owners think insurance and other measures will be enough to help in terms of disaster recovery, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Why Manufacturers Need a Disaster Recovery Plan

As mentioned above, a disaster or unexpected event can, metaphorically speaking, pull the rug out from underneath your business. Because of this, it is in the best interest of manufacturing companies to have a disaster recovery plan in place to mitigate the effects.

An effective manufacturing disaster recovery plan should identify critical operations, such as production, warehousing, and shipping, that must be maintained during a disruption. It should also outline steps for handling emergencies, such as fire or power outages, that could affect the manufacturing process. A manufacturing disaster recovery plan can ensure that a company can continue to meet its customer needs and financial goals even in the face of an unforeseen event.

Disaster Recovery Checklist

Defines the Objectives of DRP

Having a disaster recovery plan for your manufacturing companies is a crucial step in ensuring the continuity of your business operations and customer satisfaction. Your plan should include measures such as backup power, data storage, and cooling systems. It should also include coordination with local emergency authorities regarding evacuation plans, and a public relations strategy.

Once baked, the plan shouldn’t be tucked away in a filing cabinet somewhere and forgotten – it should be reviewed regularly to ensure its effectiveness and adequacy. If a disaster occurs, your company should have a team in place that can smoothly and efficiently take over the operations. This team should have knowledge of all aspects of your business, including products, processes, and regulations, and should have access to all necessary resources.

Team Training and Coordination

Team training and coordination is a vital component in a manufacturing organization’s disaster recovery plan. It’s exactly what it sounds like –  you should train your team in the basics of safety, first aid, emergency procedures, and media relations. This will help them understand how to react in an emergency, be it a power outage or a natural disaster.

One of the most important aspects of team training is ensuring that everyone has a basic understanding of emergency procedures and safety protocols. In addition, regular updates on changes in regulations, new resources, or new technology can help keep your team informed and up-to-date.

Even if your business is unaffected by a disaster, training your team in emergency preparedness and response is still a good idea. This includes knowing where to go in an emergency, what resources are available to them, and what to do if they are stranded or unable to contact authorities.

Disaster may never strike, but you want your people to be prepared if it does.

Inventory Management

When you have an accurate and up-to-date inventory, you can make informed decisions about when to order new materials, how much to order, and when to sell or dispose of old materials. It also allows you to keep track of your financial expenses related to inventory. Managing your inventory in accordance with your disaster recovery plan is vital because it ensures that you are well-stocked with the necessary resources, such as raw materials and consumable parts, to continue functioning efficiently.

An accurate and up-to-date inventory helps you stay within critical resources and save money on excess stock. It also enables you to determine the best course of action if a disruption in your supply chain occurs, such as shipping delays or a supplier going out of business.

Managing inventory includes proper storage, tracking, and accountability. Here are some ways to manage your inventory during a disaster:

  • Ensure proper storage. Store your inventory in an environmentally-safe and secure location that is easy to access.
  • Track inventory. Keep track of your inventory to accurately report your stock at any given time.
  • Accountability. Hold individuals accountable for their inventory levels and ensure they are well-stocked.

Regular Data-Backup

Regularly backing up your critical data should be a no-brainer when it comes to disaster recovery. In the event of a natural or artificial disaster, you must be able to quickly and easily recover your data.

The most common form of regular data backup strategy is external storage devices, such as hard drives or USB flash drives. However, other methods, such as cloud storage and online backup services, can also be used. How do you choose the best method for your specific needs? Businesses must consider the main factors such as cost, speed, and security.

Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Plan, schedule, and perform backups at least twice monthly. Also, consider using automated backup tools which will vastly simplify the process.
  • Make sure that the backup media is protected from damage and moisture. Heat and humidity can damage backup media such as tapes, hard drives, and optical discs.
  • Ensure that all employees are adequately trained to use backup media and access procedures. This will ensure that they can recover their data in the case of a disaster or data loss.

The Bottom Line

Manufacturing organizations are always on the lookout for ways to improve their efficiency and performance. By taking steps to implement disaster recovery planning, your organization can ensure that they are prepared in the event of a disruption. This helps minimize the impact of an event on business operations, help protect critical data, and enable quick and efficient recovery.

New Charter’s Manufacturing IT Support can help manufacturing companies run smoothly and efficiently even in situations where there are disruptions in materials, personnel, or technology. With 24/7 IT support and expert Disaster Recovery Planning, you can safeguard your business from the unforeseen repercussions of disruption and ensure that it remains productive during challenging times.