I just read an article in the Disaster Recovery Journal entitled Business Continuity’s Role in Supply Chain Resilience. The article reminded me that, even when entire business processes are outsourced, the business continuity planners at your company are still responsible for oversight of the business continuity plan. The recent floods in Thailand, and the resulting supply-chain problems in the disk storage industry, are another great reminder.
Leading up to the year 2000, most forward thinking companies required their suppliers to certify Y2K compliance. As a result, the Y2K bug impacted companies’ operations very little. The risk was real, but managed. Now that companies are outsourcing more and more of their supply chain to contract manufacturers and more of their business processes to BPO specialists, they risk losing both visibility and control over business continuity.
Whether your supplier provides components, such as disk drives, or services, such as payroll and accounting, it’s critical to understand your suppliers’ capabilities to withstand and recover from disasters. So here are six questions to ask your suppliers:
- Who is responsible for disaster recovery planning?
- What disasters are you prepared to withstand from this location?
- When will the supply chain or service be restored, after a disaster strikes?
- Where is your disaster recovery site located?
- Why did you choose your particular approach to disaster recovery?
- How frequently do you test your disaster recovery plan?
This is in no way a complete list, but it is at least a start in helping to focus not only on the quality and price of outsourced goods and services, but also the reliability of the supply chain and how your suppliers think about and plan for business continuity.