Some events are etched in your memory forever, Events like Mrs Gandhi Assassination 1984, ( I was in college) 9/11 ( Lahore, Pakistan) where you would remember exactly where you were and what you were doing at that moment! 2nd Friday of March 2011, 11/3 was one such event. The Japanese Earthquake followed by tsunami and the Fukushima Daiichi disaster!!
The disaster proved that when such “BLACK SWAN”events happen, even the best prepared entities with good plans need a bit of luck to escape Fury. In our case, our entity was 110 miles away from scene of disaster so escaped by and large with no primary disruptions.”Comments: 14 Mar 11. Some employees would not reach the plant due to the fuel shortage of their car. Many gas stations are closed today”.
The 11/3 Incident put in to place organisation’s rededication to embrace Business Continuity Planning / Management (BCP/BCM) with Disaster Management component even further and see it as a value proportion to business. It is to be said that BCM program was in early stages of maturity in implementation as full understanding was felt during 9/11 as many companies were wiped out of business with even back up plans destroyed. The full alarm wake up call was when SARS epidemic hit hard many supply chain /travel disruptions to key geography/supplier locations causing delay/interruption in business.
As figure shows above (Courtesy BCM institute) in late 2000s, many organisations drove the implementation of BCP / BCM (Non IT/IS components in scope) through ESH functionas they could see the overlap of RISK Based approach to implementation. This was a great opportunity for ESH function to work the value add to business using Risk Assessment tool to find the key components which pose a threat to business beyond work place safety& health.
The BCM works not only on mitigating salvage disaster but also focuses on Recovery of business or alternate plans to resume business from a mirror site. (Physical or Virtual as required)
BCM/BCP gives an excellent opportunity to assess all vulnerabilities and work the recovery from Business interruption standpoint. So much so, post 11/3 Tsunami, it is mow mandatory to report Business interruption down the supply chain side forseeable for 3-6 months for US companies and report them in their regulatory filing to SEC.
Organisations have moved ahead in the curve over the last 6 years!A lot need to be done ahead. With more and more tools and enablers now linking BCP/BCM to Integrated Management Business system, it is an optimistic future for organisations to face disaster with better plans, tools, infrastructure in place. As with any program, “The proof of pudding is in eating” the BCM plans work well only when periodically tested through simulation and table top excercise.
10th March 2017 1530 Hrs.