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Columns : Preventative Measure - Gamal Newry Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Reducing the Impact of Business Disruption on Operations – Improving Upon Organization Resilience (Part 1)
By Gamal Newry
Apr 23, 2013 - 8:45:29 PM

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From time to time organizations experience various events that disrupt business and their ability to give service, subsequently impeding revenue streams. The challenge is, knowing when these events will occur and which event is going to occur. Certainly if these variables were known then risk management would not be such a daunting task. These incident types can range from power outages to industrial action to prank bomb scares to air system contamination.

Whatever the event and whenever it occurs, best practice suggest that the business in the first instance, take steps to protect the assets, secondly prevent the occurrence, third prepare for the inevitable, then be in a position to respond to the incident and finally the ability to recover from the event. Protection prevention

The ability of your company to efficiently and effectively transition from one step to the other is called ‘Organization Resilience’ thus the question for your consideration is how resilient is your business. Is your organization ready to manage the diverse incidents and events that can disrupt your business? Let’s take a closer look at the criteria mentioned above.

1.       Asset Protection

From fortifying the location to surveillance systems to pass codes this speaks to both physical and electronic applications designed to safeguard the actual item of value.  Not just a glass window but hurricane impact windows. For our purpose this phase also speaks to organization policy regarding culture and behavior.

 2.       Steps to Prevent the Occurrence

How secure is your business, if you are a follower of my commentary then you will understand that we are speaking about the multilayered approach to protection concept. Not just the guard at the door, but what is the guard doing while at the door to the robustness of your firewall. The action of asset protection is to reduce, delay, deter, and eliminate where possible the opportunity for disruptive events.

 3.       Prepare for the Inevitable

The reality is that no matter how good your efforts are ‘Murphy’s Law’ will come about. Thus likelihood must be balanced against consequence and resulting impacts. Essentially how much is spent on fire suppression systems vs. training on how to use it vs. how long does it take to clean up residue.

 4.       Incident Response

This component is directly proportional to preparedness, with heavy emphasis placed on training and awareness. The respondents must know their role and what is required of them. During response it is important not to forget the role of the public, thus communications is key. An educated public leads to the next level.

 5.       Event Recovery

Availability of applicable resources to facilitate timely and realistic recovery of primary operations and services. The impact of the event will very likely determine your ability to recover critical functions. Recovery should not be confused with business resumption, as normalcy usually takes a longer period and may not be in the control of the organization.

What has been discussed thus far is management system that is intended to help the business to become resilient or improve upon their current status. Based on my experience fundamental in all systems are the operators. As I write this note the world is glued to the television watching the unfolding of the events surrounding the April 15, 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon.

Gamal Newry
is the president of Preventative Measures, loss prevention and asset protection training and consulting company, specializing in policy and procedure development, business security reviews and audits, and emergency and crisis management. Comments can be sent to PO Box N-3154 Nassau, Bahamas, or e-mail at 
gnewry@preventativemeasures. org  or visit us at www.preventativemeasures. org

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