Business continuity plan

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Freshman (College 1st year) ・Business ・MLA

Each agency is confronted with specific uncertainties, ranging from human accidents, natural disasters and cyber-attacks. It has become particularly important for companies to formulate a proposal to ensure that the enterprise continues to operate even during the existence of such uncertainties. Such a strategy would brace an organization for any eventuality and manage its response to such incidence, thereby reducing the likelihood of a costly outage. The stability policy protects the productivity, prestige and financial wellbeing of the company. As such, an entity’s business continuity schedule outlines the organization's crucial activities, identifies vital processes and systems that ought to be sustained as well as providing details of how such processes should be maintained. Therefore, this paper intends to identify Hibbett Sports’ crucial functions, systems, and processes that should be sustained throughout safeguarding the firm’s reputation.

Hibbett Sports Business Continuity Plan

Critical Functions

This section outlines crucial functions that are highly prioritized by Hibbett Sports. These are activities, which must be undertaken under all circumstances. They constitute the core purpose of corporation existence, thus failure to execute these vital tasks would lead to total collapse of the enterprise. As such, after identifying and prioritizing crucial functions, the company establishes sufficient resources, both human and financial those are required to execute these undertakings under all circumstances.
Hibbett Sports strives to ensure that it has a wide range of high-quality sportswear for children, women, and men at the most affordable price to all clients. The company’s critical functions revolve around catering for the welfare of consumers to adequately meet their needs and preferences. Sufficient customer satisfaction will lead to brand loyalty thereby enabling Hibbett to gain a competitive edge over its rivals. As such, it has identified following functions as the highly prioritized which should be carried out under all circumstances. They include;
• Receiving orders should be done within twelve hours.
• Updating customers’ information should be carried out after every five hours.

Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)

RTO is the time within which an entity can tolerate business interruption. Within this time-frame, full-scale operations of essential functions must be restored to avert a disastrous financial loss in case of an outage. RTO allows a business concern to re-organize its coordination during and after a disruption without causing major effects on essential functions. However, restoration of critical functions is always done within the shortest time possible in the most cost-effective manner.
It is paramount to consider various RTO strategies to determine the most cost-effective one. The longer RTO is, the lower the cost of its implementation. However, the longer Hibbett takes to initiate the recovery process, the higher the chances of it incurring a huge financial loss. Hibbett has developed RTO that will enable it to respond promptly in the event of any disruption with the most reasonable minimum resources and in a prioritized order. Hibbett Sports’ RTO is;

Functions

Recovery Time Objective

Comments

Receiving orders

Placement and reception of orders should be done within three days

Acceptance of orders, especially from large-scale clienteles ought to be finalized after a thorough assessment of the specifications of products needed.

Updating customers’ information

Statistics about buyers should be updated within one month

Statistics about purchasing trends and their feedback is very crucial to the marketing department, and it informs the decision-making process.

Recovery Point Objective (RPO)

RPO indicates the amount of data an entity can tolerate to lose without significantly impacting a process or function. RPO is the point at which information used by a certain task or procedure must be restored to enable the system to operate after resumption. Even though tolerance for data loss should be zero, reentry or reconstitution of records and processes after the business disruption has to start at some point. This fact is used to determine the form of backup strategy to be adopted. In RPO, there is also the time required in order to off-load any backlog brought up by an outage.
To safeguard its competitiveness through enhancing shopper experience even during an interruption, Hibbett Sports has strived to ensure that its recovery point objectives do not allow its customers to migrate. The firm has continually enhanced its RPO to improve its responsiveness to disruptions. Lowering recovery point objective to the most applicable point will minimize the amount of data loss and enable the company to restore the affected process or function promptly.

Function

Recovery Point Objective

Comments

B

R

K

F

Reception of orders

 

 

  •  

 

The last keystroke by customers is the specific timeline for responding to the restoration.

Updating customers’ information

  •  

 

 

 

Last-back up will provide the time when the back-up was conducted and is useful in re-entering the data.

 

Key

B

Last back-up (the previous close of business)

R

Replication (intraday)

K

Last keystroke (real-time)

Y

Functionality only (data backup not required)

Resource Requirement

An entity may develop an effective stability proposal but if it fails to provide right and sufficient resources, it will hinder implementation. Disruption of business activities will be accompanied by the substantial amount of backlog, both in terms of work that ought to be done during the disruption and to maintain systems and process. An organization is supposed to provide resources required to overcome business disruption. These resources include; human capital, financial resources as well as hardware and software resources. The number of each type of resource needed should be correctly matched with the timescale of recovery point objectives. If the continuity plan is adequately resourced, the recovery process will be enhanced and shortened. Essential functions will also resume fast, hence, preserving an entity’s reputation and competitiveness.
Hibbett Sports in its continuity plan, it has sufficiently availed the resources necessary to ensure rapid resumption and steadiness of its critical functions. Apart from availing and tasking particular individuals as well as providing necessary hardware and software required for restoring the essential functions, systems, and processes, Hibbett has maintained right channels of communication. Effective communication during managing a disaster will greatly facilitate the efficiency of restoration. Prompt exchange of information enables individuals either working remotely or in a new location to effectively undertake their responsibilities. Hibbett resources allocation is as follows;

Type of Resource

Normal requirement of resources

Requirement by timescale in case of disruption

Effects of resource unavailability on function

Contingency plan in case of loss of resource

1hr

3hrs

1dy

3dys

1wk

1mon

low

medium

high

Staff

55

12

25

35

40

49

55

 

 

  •  

Borrow staffs from our branches for a period of not less than 24hrs.

IT Specialist (Web analyst)

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

 

  •  

Collaborate with partners to assist with their specialist for 4hrs.

Internet access

400 (MB/s)

200

200

200

400

400

400

 

 

  •  

Engage with internet providers to provide internet services for the required period.

Networked PCs $ laptops

30

5

7

10

14

20

30

 

 

  •  

Use available laptops and PCs.

Landlines

20

20

20

20

20

20

20

 

 

  •  

Use the available mobile phones, online voice, and video calls.

Mobile phones

55

9

19

28

37

46

55

 

  •  

 

Only used if landlines are unavailable

Vital Records

The section deals with the company’s crucial databases, records and files which includes sensitive data and information that is important to performing critical activities and functions, as well as reconstituting normal operations after a disruption. These organizational elements are supposed to be positioned in advance and updated regularly in order to correspond to the prevailing conditions. Most of the vital documents are mainly stored in an entity’s complex and the most current backup copies are preserved in a secure off-site storage facility. In case of business interruption and the critical documents in the entity’s complex are inaccessible or destroyed; those in the backup medium are implemented to facilitate the resumption of business activities.
Receiving orders and updating customers’ information forms the majority of Hibbett’s vital records. As a result, the company safeguards this information so that in the occurrence of an event that threatens its operations, it will continue receiving and processing clients’ orders as it restores normal procedures. Hard disks, microfilm/microfiche, electronic media, tapes and hard copies in form of reports are the main storage media. The trends of order placement are stored in soft copies and hard disks in the main office, while updating shoppers’ data is stored in hard copies at the entity’s complex. The enterprise has a backup system in a secure location outside its main offices to ensure that continuity of its main business activities.

Relocation Process

When planning for uncertainties, identifying an alternative location to which an entity may temporary relocate is paramount. A company will transfer its activities to a pre-determined location if the main business premise is adversely affected by the occurrence of a particular peril interrupting normal operations. Changing premise will enable Hibbett to continue undertaking its critical functions. Such a premise should be spacious and have sufficient equipment, interoperable communications and have reliable supportive systems. Conducting risk evaluation and considering the operational risk involved will inform the management about which location adequately satisfies an entity’s requirements. It is prudent for an organization to pre-determine a number of alternate locations so that in case of the business disruption it can correctly choose suitable location depending on the scale of its urgent activities.
To avert the consequences of unforeseen events that adversely affect business operations, Hibbett has identified an alternative premise. The location will be used to ensure continuity of essential functions if the main premise experiences significant business disruption. The alternate location will provide a favorable environment for undertaking crucial function as the normal processes are being restored. The site is a branch of the Hibbett sports in the same area. The existence of the required systems and processes as well as the supportive equipment makes it the most suitable alternate location. Address of the premise;

Alternate location:

Hibbett Sports
1308 E Highland Ave
Selma, AL 36701
334-874-3225

Revision Method

The business environment is constantly changing as a result of technological advancement and intense competition. An organization may find that a strategy, which previously proved to be a success, it is not working in the current context since conditions are constantly changing. Hence, an entity should regularly keep on reviewing its strategies to ensure that they respond to the current setting. As well, business continuity plan needs to be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is in conformity with the prevailing conditions. The document is intended to enable an entity to respond effectively to certain conditions that affect its operations. As such, it also ought to be updated regularly to ensure that it reflects the conditions in the organisation as well as those prevailing in the business environment.
In Hibbett, business continuity coordinator is tasked by the management to maintain the strategy to ensure that the policy retains the adequacy and appropriateness. The impact of the plan on procedures, facilities, and equipment is regularly assessed in order to gauge whether the blueprint is achieving intended objectives. Since personnel in an entity keep on changing, it is vital to ensure that the recovery team staffs are updated constantly so as to facilitate an efficient response to restoration of crucial functions in event of business disruption. To ensure that the plan reflects the Hibbett’s internal changes as well as the changes in the business environment, the enterprise reviews the BCP on a monthly basis.

Decision Process

The segment outlines logical and appropriate steps involved when implementing and invoking a stability plan. Circumstances under which the strategy can be activated with or without warning and it states who has the authority to invoke the strategy are indicated as well. A responsive proposal allows instant activation without warning in case of an emergency disruption, enabling a company to align itself adequately to restore and allow continuousness of key activities. Continuity strategy with a long list of authorities, detailing who can activate the plan in hierarchical order eliminates the presence of authority vacuum. As such, in absence of a certain authority, there is always a pre-determined individual tasked with activation. However, during the existence of the blueprint, the coordinator is tasked with regular maintenance of the disposition to ensure it is up-to-date.
In many firms, the list of authorities usually reflects the order of succession identifying key positions within an entity set-up. The successional procedure with adequate depth ensures an entity’s capacity to manage and direct its critical functions and activities. In addition, any limitations including organisational, geographical as well as the mode of notification in which succession will take place should be noted. Hibbett has sufficiently arranged its order of succession in depth to avoid any instances of the existence of a vacuum. Hibbett’s order of succession is as follows;

Order of Succession

Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial & Accounting Officer
Head of Merchant department
Head of Store operations
Head of Legal Department
Business Continuity Coordinator

Communication with Stakeholders

Effective communication is necessary for any undertaking. Any organisation that is planning a strategy to reach out to its stakeholders promptly especially in a time of a disaster, it should develop an open communication system that will facilitate honest and timely feedback. That system should facilitate transmission of clear and detailed instructions to the recovery team in a time of the disaster in a manner that allows efficient execution of one’s responsibilities. Means of exchanging information should also enable such team to convey its feedback promptly. The system should also inform customers that their orders have been received and they have either been accepted or rejected to enable facilitate payment. The effective communication system will enable the company to engage with the suppliers and inform them about the interruption of business activities in order to downscale supplies to assonate with the current capacity.
Hibbett Sports has developed a communication system that facilitates the immediate resumption of business activities. The system allows the company to notify its key suppliers their raw material requirements needed during an incident to maintain the flow of essential functions and avert a major financial loss. As such, although certain delays are likely to be experienced, the needs of customers will continually be catered for.

Mission Critical Systems

This section deals with the Hibbett’s missions critical systems required to undertake crucial business activities and functions. These systems are defined and modes of replicating or transferring them to an alternative location in case of an incident are described. The systems comprise of the company’s core purpose of existence. Hibbett has primary obligation of instituting and sustaining business relations with its clients. This duty places the responsibility of ensuring reception, acceptance, and execution of orders from customers on the entity and production of high-quality goods.

Order Taking

Hibbett has established alternative modes of order placement from customers. Cognizant of relocation, the firm’s management understands that consumers may encounter certain challenges when accessing the firm to place their orders. As such, the Hibbett will notify its main clients to place their orders through their website, (www.hibbett.com), email, fax or telephone. Since it is impossible for the company to notify all clients, the buyers who will physically visit our head office during the disruption, their orders will be communicated to our alternate location by our support staff in the office.

Production Unit

Production has to be maintained to ensure customers’ orders are executed conveniently and avert catastrophic losses. However, Hibbett has installed a small-scale assembly unit at the alternate location due to the colossal cost of installing the full large-scale unit. This processing division will inform the company capacity to accept and execute orders as restoration is taking place at the main office.

Testing and Training

Workability of a continuity strategy depends on the abilities of key employees to acquire sufficient knowledge about its implementation during an incident. There is need to familiarize staff members with the stability plan through testing and training so as to enable the staffs to master their responsibilities and roles in case of activation of the strategy. The section also ensures that processes equipment and systems are retained in a constant mode of readiness. Hibbett management conducts numerous training and exercises especially when the continuity plan is reviewed. It also conducts preparedness drills to gauge the reaction of its staff to a mock incident. The responses from such drills are used to validate or enhance particular aspects of the overall policy.

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