Moving Business - Continuity Planning
Moving your office or business, whether across town or across the country, requires a comprehensive plan to minimize or eliminate down time. After all, time is money –especially when your whole business may be closed unexpectedly!! A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) will help you organize the transition, whether it’s an office move, retail or industrial equipment relocation. A thorough BCP, as well as assisting your move, could very well serve as a Disaster Recovery Plan in the event of some catastrophe.
Jay’s Moving has over 50 years of experience helping businesses and families move, and you can rely on our professional expertise to help you with contingency planning for your relocation.
Begin with key personnel – People who fill critical positions in your business. Make a list of staff without whom your day to day business couldn’t continue, and replacements for these people in case they are away or incapacitated. Assemble contact information for these individuals, including business phone, home phone, cell phone, pager, business and personal e-mail, and any other means of contacting them during the move, or in an emergency.
Who can telecommute – Some of your employees may be able to work from their homes, at least on a short-term basis, to continue day to day business. It may even be feasible for you to assure all your critical staff are able to telecommute.
Record external contacts - Make a contact list of all essential vendors or contractors including a description of the company and key personnel contact info. Don’t overlook attorneys, bankers, IT consultants, utility companies, municipal and community offices (police, fire, water, hospitals, anyone whose assistance you might need).
Document essential equipment – Personal computers with crucial information (although you have these backed-up off site, right?). Printers, fax machines, and specialized software and all other equipment without which your business couldn’t operate.
Identify critical documents - You need everything that’s necessary to start your business over again; articles of incorporation and other legal papers, insurance policies, utility bills, banking information, critical HR documents, building lease papers, tax returns.... but you already keep a copy off-site, don’t you? J
Identify contingency equipment options - If your company depends on specific equipment, such as trucks (like us!), and it’s possible that they might be temporarily unavailable, where would you rent trucks? Where would you rent computers? For the duration of the move, is there a business service outlet you can use for copies, fax, printing, and other critical functions?
Identify your contingency location - Someplace where you can conduct business if your offices are temporarily unavailable. Perhaps a specially provisioned office environment, warehouse space or a hotel – many have very well equipped business facilities. Maybe telecommuting for everyone is a practical option. Wherever it is, ensure you have all the appropriate contact information (including people’s names, phone numbers and email). If you do have a specific interim location, include a map in your BCP.
Make a "How-to" list - With step-by-step instructions on what to do, who should do it, and how. Record each task, and the name of the person given it. Also, do the reverse: for each person, list the assignments. Then, if you need to know "who is supposed to call the electric company?" you can look up "electric company". And if you want to know what Mary Brown is doing, you can look under Mary for that information.
Assemble the information - A BCP is worthless if it’s scattered about all over the place. It’s a reference document – collect and keep it in a well marked binder. Provide copies to each of your key personnel and keep several extra copies at an off-site location, at home and/or in a safety-deposit box.
Communicate - Everyone in your company needs to know the BCP. Hold mandatory training classes for all employees. Each person needs to understand the BCP, whether they are on the critical list or not. If things go awry during the move, the critical staff may not be available to execute the plan.
Test your plan – Now that you’ve created a great plan to continue doing business during your move, think about how it would work as a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). Just a little tweaking and this plan could literally be a business-saver for you and your staff in the event of an earthquake, fire, or some other calamity. You’ve gathered all your information, identified contingency locations, put your personnel list in place, contacts and service companies. Be prepared, if disaster strikes, your plan needs to run smoothly…..so, run a test, then review and modify the plan as necessary. Even after you have a sound plan, you should test it annually.
Jay’s Moving has over 50 years of experience moving businesses, connect with our team today! Call 1(877) 715-7421.