Continuity Business Plan

High School ・Business ・MLA ・20 Sources

BCP is an acronym for Business Continuity Plan and it is a strategy to protect the continuous operations of a firm even after a disruptive event occurs (Baba et al., 210). The plan protects various aspects of the business including the customers and employees. Any of these events could be a fire, robbery explosion, cyber-attack, is then important for organizations to have a reasonable continuity plan that will serve if need be (Yoshida et al. 207). Apart from growth, business also need the absence interruptions to prevent regression. It is better to have a flexible firm that can adapt to the different situations. Due to uncertainties, it is crucial to develop a firm with the flexibility to allow prosperity in the midst of adversities. Therefore, it will be critical to developing a BCP for ABC Supply Company, one of the largest private organizations in the United States involved in supplying construction materials in the country. More specifically, the plan will occur two section: BCP itself (critical functions, recovery time objectives, recovery point objectives, resource requirements, vital records,relocation process, revision method, executive summary, decision process (including succession), how to communicate with stakeholders, mission critical systems, and testing and training plans) and analysis.

Critical Functions

There are varied areas that could cause disruptions ABC Supply Company which include a cyber attack on its network security, interruption of the databases, legal business requirement. Similarly, a power outage occurs in most parts where the company businesses are located. They are often caused by winter storms; construction equipment dug in wrong places and lightning. For various reasons, this is a major issue in metropolitan areas that can impact the operation of the company severely (Hatton et al., 88; Joffrey and Joannes 1). Therefore, the primary critical functions of the business include:

  1. Management of databases information and network security.
  2. Computer support,
  3. Business office function management and recruitment of HRs.
  4. Another critical function is protecting the organization from a fire. These are the major critical functions that could be interrupted for the one months or less without jeopardizing the mission of the organization significantly (Cannon 519; ABC Supply Inc. 1).

Recovery Time Objectives

Any disruptions encountered should be recovered within 72 hours. In particular, this BCP is based on the assumptions that any potential ABC Supply Company business could impact the business significantly after three days although this depends on the critical functionality of the system.The following list shows the various recovery time objectives for the various systems used in performing the business operation in ABC Company.

  1. Therefore, 40% of the business process should be recovered within this period, 65% and 85% in the first one week and month respectively (D&B Hoovers 1). However, there are specific critical business functions that should be given priority in case of disruption.
  2. For databases and network security related interruptions, recovery must be made within 12 hours because the ability to secure these assets is critical for the operation of the business. Specifically, this is because it is fundamental to regain customer and other business data store in this infrastructure.
  3. For business office function, it is imperative to recover within two days because of the system support purchasing, invoices, and management of the personnel (Law and Gary 15). Therefore, these functions must be working to support the business. Recruitment of human resource managers should be given the least priority.
  4. In the case of fire related disruptions, the plan is designed to ensure 50% recovery process is achieved with the first week and at least 80% within two weeks (Yang et al. 735). The firm ensures suspension of non-essential operations until normal, as well as full functions, have been restored. The processes should occur within three months. ABC Supply Company needs to ensure maintenance of skilled workforce to protect the organization reputation and continuation of the business operation. Most of the recovery time objectives for all the process in the company are within one and two weeks based on the nature of interruptions.

Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)

Recovery point objectives include the maximum acceptable amount of data loss measured in time. The following is the list of the recovery point objectives for ABC Supply Company.

  1. The databases and network related interruption recovery point objectives should be within 6 hours because of affected file servers that carry related customer related relationship data (ABC Supply Co. Inc. 1). These assets must be kept in working conditions to maintain ABC Supply business operation.
  2. Further, customer record should be recovered within this period because the organization is under strict legal regulations. Therefore, these constitute the baseline of the recovery point objectives.

Resource Requirements

This section summarizes the resources required by ABC Supply Company to execute recovery of its functions successfully within the prescribed time frame.

1. Communication means

It is imperative for the organization to ensure that personnel whose workstations or location are disrupted are provided with following resources: cell phones, laptops, office supplies and telephony communications to ensure their ability to continue working (Ravinder and Ram 257).

2. Relocation of Workspace

In cases where a return to the primary facilities is not possible due to the exhaustion of the contracted time, it is fundamental to locate workspace that will accommodate their full operation. Also, it will be imperative to ensure interoperable communication which calls for the need to avail telephony access to the employees through their work cell phones.

3. Accessibility of Database and Computer

Database and computers should be accessible from the alternative site or offices. There should be a minimum of ten computers that can access the network and check processing applications.

4. Assembly of Disaster Recovery Team

Most importantly, there will be crucial to assemble disaster recovery team to help in the entire database and network recovery operations. The teams will be composed of core members from all the company’s departments with representatives from top management (Ravinder and Ram 257). This will oversee business continuity as these resources will help in making sure the company’s assets and data are recovered as well as secured.

5. Other Resource Requirements

Also, the following minimum facilities will be required: mailroom for three employees to continue receiving an order from a customer, warehouses space for supplies which should be at least 500 so feet (May 291). Further, there will be a need to have four printers to create check stock in the warehouse.

Vital Records

1. Database and Network Records

The most vital records for the company that must be protected in cases of fire or databases and network interruptions include bill payments, cost accountings, purchasing and release records. Others encompass those related to sales such as shipping activities and inventory controls.

2. Administration Record

Similarly, it will be crucial to protecting general administration record, for example, tax, legal, personnel, and staff activities (Watters 255). These are crucial documents that can restrict ABC’s ability to restore some of its fundamental aspect of operations. For example, it will be vital to recovering the most recent customer account collections and account statement that show the outstanding balances at the time of the disaster happens.

3. Sales Records

Further, the organization will need to access copies of the recent reports of sales agents.

4. Other Crucial Records

Other important records are audit documentation, time and billing documents, and training records. All these documents should be stored on different network servers and their hard copies stored in three ABC’s branches (Sambo, and Felix Olu 246). The strategy calls for a regular update of the systems. Time and billing records can be preserved under the organization’s vendor serves. All the vital records should be handled by the human resource managers and IT managers. The location should be protected with extra surveillance and advanced technological applications.

Relocation Process

  • Step 1 – Contact BCP Response Team and arrange for a meeting.
  • Step 2 – BCP Response Team meets and reviews plan steps.
  • Step 3 – Assess damage to agency facility.
  • Step 4 – Alert alternate site location to begin setting up for incoming staff.
  • Step 6 – Contact utility services.
  • Step 7 – Meet with Alternate Site management to review operating procedure.
  • Step 8 – Contact Alternate site staff and IT staff with directions for deployment.
  • Step 9 – Contact IT and determine when computer services will be available.
  • Step 10 – Contact customers, vendors, etc. and inform them of possible delays.
  • Step 11 – Announce relocation to media outlets.
  • Step 12 – Establish communication with customers at Alternate Site.
  • Step 13 – Complete priority business processes at Alternate Site.
  • Step 14 – Relocate remaining staff as needed, as space and capability become available, to complete the CBF function at the Alternate Site.
  • Step 15 – Notify and update users as systems become available.
  • Step 16 – Resume normal operations

1. Mobilization of Resource

First, the process of relocation will involve mobilization of resource and equipment as well as personnel to the alternative facility.This will involve confirmation of the department staff procedure and schedule for relocation, preparing for transportation resources and activation of the alternative site, equipment and infrastructure resources (Wright 107). The following relocation plan will be followed to safeguard IT infrastructure making several copies of important data including servers, creating an emergency contract list as well as listing all the ABC’s fundamental business priorities.

2. Relocation

Relocation should involve providing an assessment to the BCP management team regarding the damage and impact that has occurred as well as estimated organizational recovery ability. If ABC Supply Company perceived considerable difficulty in affected facility recovery process, this would follow activation of the alternative locations, for personal work space and data center.Travel, procurement and time reporting as well as human resource coordination process will be supported by administration team together with a partner organization (Sahebjamnia, Ali and S. Afshin 263). Similarly, the teams will be presented with a report on procurement, time reporting, expenses and additional staff requirement.

3. Formation of relocation Team

Moreover, it will be imperative to form relocation team that will work in conjunction with administration group to acquire, identify and maintains inventories, tools, and the entire activity of moving to the alternative site. After assembly of teams and equipment to be transported, the next phase will be contacting the alternative facility operators to minimize challenges involved.

4. Communication to the Customers

The process will also ensure communication to the customer about relocation is achieved effectively. ABC Supply Company clients will be contacted through emails and personal cell phones to notify them about this and for possible service delays which will be done by the procurement and facility managers (Samson 56). Also, the communication director and organization’s HR will create a distribute press released details about relocations. The strategy will ensure the message reaches as many customers as possible which will oversee the almost immediate recovery of business operations. More specifically, the following steps will be followed:

Revision Method

ABC Supply Company BCP plan will be reviewed every six months. However, this will depend on the changes that have occurred. The revision will be made when one or any of the following four factors:

  • The organization’s business environment. These are components related to the firm’s IT. In particular, this is because the field of information technology is ever fluctuating leading to the emergence of new threats which will call for changing the disaster recovery plan accordingly.
  • How the plan will be exercised in the recovery time objective
  • Several external elements.The amendment of the document will be based on the external factors such as optional and mandatory legal aspects.It is also important to understand the plan will be changed whenever a situation requires irrespective of the semi-annual review method.

Decision Process (Including Succession)

1. Process of Succession

  • The decision and succession process will be maintained by all the managers reporting to all the directors to oversee efficient continuity of the important functions of the organization.
  • These will be provided to a depth of at least four staff and will involve directional and policy functions (Baba et al., 210).

2. Interim Executives

When the current CEO is not available or dies, the succession process will begin five days after, a period within which the managers will appoint an interim executive director according to the following line of succession:

  • The organization’s deputy director
  • Associate directors
  • External consultant

How to Communicate With Stakeholders

The organization will need to communicate to its various stakeholders: staff, customer, management, suppliers and other third parties. It will be imperative to ensure that information communicates to all the involved parties is accurate and timely as well. The aim of communication is to improve public response to future disasters and emergencies. More specifically, the primary goal of communication plan is to ensure estimated time of returning to normal operation is announced with care (Cannon 519; ABC Supply Inc. 1). First, it will be fundamental for ABC’s management to internally communicate the BCP changes made to make them understand if is safe to go back to work, whether they can report after the incidence has happened, when they are paid and if they will have their jobs after the crisis has been resolved. The notifications will be sent through emails and new letters.

1. Communication to the Customers

The communication director will develop an official statement for all the ABC Supply Company customers. Clients will need to be told when they can receive their order, when the organization will resume delivery and when the current orders will be shipped. However, this will depend on the severity and type of the event encountered. It will be issued in the following methods: local media, notice being posted on the affected facility, or scheduled can be emailed or called.

2. Communication to the Staff

Further, the communication director will develop a formal statement for all the managers who will then pass it to their employees in the different department. In the case occurred during the work hours, employees may be sent home (Samson 56). However, this will depend on the severity of the event. If it occurs after work hours, communication will be carried out through employee call trees: all division and communication directors, human resource managers, internal auditors and executive assistant. Further, information will be posted on the firm’s website or delivered through media. The division administrator will call their manager, and if the person is unavailable, the director will do the work. In return, the managers will call the staff members or leave voice mail message informing and instructing the employees where to report.

3. Communication to the Suppliers

Also, the procurement and contract managers will contact the suppliers as designated by the director of communication. They will be informed about any canceling of their orders, and when deliveries will resume among other things. In particular, after the event has occurred, the communication director will create an official public statement directed toward responding questions that will arise (Samson 56). The person will explain what happened and when the incident occurred as well as how much damage has been experienced.

4. Communication to the Public and Third Parties

Similarly, it will be imperative to determine of a public official or technical expert with important justification will be needed to provide clarification and disseminate the information although this will depend on the nature of the disaster. Finally, the communication director will be responsible for contacting with all third parties. The individuals will consult with the director and provide information to every staff members to help in responding to the situation.

Mission Critical Systems

Mission critical system refers to the equipment, personnel, procedures, process, and software among other things that when interrupted the business operation is affected significantly. The ABC Supply Company, the most mission critical system include:

  • The IT infrastructure because it contains the customer information related to orders, administration and sales data.
  • Most importantly, the organization’s customer ordering system is the crucial mission critical system that the company cannot afford to lose as this could considerably result in delays or cancellation of orders (Ravinder and Ram 257). Therefore, it would be imperative to have the strongest known IT system solutions for protecting the data against attack or interruptions.
  • Similarly, the firm has extensive communication system for passing information among its stakeholders: customer, employees, and distributors. The security of the company’s information system is fundamental for its continuity of its business operations.

Testing and Training Plans

It will be imperative for ABC Supply Company to familiarize its employees with the BCP responsibilities and roles. This will be followed by testing and exercising procedure will be used to validate the procedures and plans as well as improve strategy.

1. Objective of Testing and Training Plans

The testing and training method adopted will focus on team and individuals training of the organization’s personnel. Also, it is critical to comprehend that workers will be oriented a fresh on the perceived impact of the plan.

2. Method of Testing and Training Plan

Since the BCP will be reviewed semi-annually, it will be fundamental to train and test the plan when significant alterations are made (Ravinder and Ram 257).

3. Determining Effectiveness of the Testing and Training Plan

The effectiveness of the training and testing process will be documented in the Post-exercise assessment that will be prepared within two weeks and submitted to the management teams and coordinator of the plan. The list will encompass all the recommendation suggested for improvement.

Executive Summary

ABC Supply Company BCP is created to assist the organization to respond to significant business interruptions such as fire, loss of data from power outage and databases as well as its network. It also aims at securing the firm’s property and employees’ lives, make an operational assessment and ensure quick recovery and resume its mission-critical business activities. Similarly, the plan protects ABC Company vital records and allows customers to order material for their building work smoothly. Also, the report gives details of the recovery time and point objectives and period for which the systems and data should be restored back depending on the event encountered. Further, it provides the procedures to be followed when a significant damage has occurred, and the facility cannot continue to operate from its current location which means the need to move to an alternative site.

Works Cited

ABC Supply Co. Inc.“Corporate officers.” N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

ABC Supply Inc. “Make your supply chain the new profit center.” N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Baba, H., et al. "Area Business Continuity Management, a New Approach to Sustainable Local Economy." Journal ref: Journal of Disaster Research 10.2 (2015): 204-209.

Cannon, David L. "Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery." CISA®: Certified Information Systems Auditor Study Guide (2016): 517-570.

D&B Hoovers. “American builders and contractors supply co., inc company information.” N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Hatton, Tracy, et al. "Lessons from Disaster: Creating a business continuity plan that works." Journal of Business Continuity & Emergency Planning 10.1 (2016): 84-92.

Joffrey, Colligton and Joannes Vermorel. "ABC Analysis (Inventory) Definition - Inventory Optimization Software - Lokad." N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Law, Mark D., and Gary Robson. "A Case Study For Accounting Information Systems-A Business Continuity Plan For Protecting Critical Financial Information In The NYC Financial Services Industry." The Review of Business Information Systems (Online) 18.1 (2014): 15.

May, Benjamin. Applying ABC analysis to the Navy's inventory management system. Naval Postgraduate School Monterey Ca, 2014.

Ravinder, Handanhal, and Ram B. Misra. "ABC Analysis for Inventory Management: Bridging the gap between research and classroom." American Journal of Business Education (Online) 7.3 (2014): 257.

Research and Markets. ABC Supply Co. Inc. Strategic SWOT analysis review. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Sahebjamnia, Navid, S. Ali Torabi, and S. Afshin Mansouri. "Integrated business continuity and disaster recovery planning: Towards organizational resilience." European Journal of Operational Research 242.1 (2015): 261-273.

Sambo, Fadeel, and Felix Olu Bankole. "A Normative Process Model for ICT Business Continuity Plan for Disaster Event in Small, Medium and Large Enterprises." International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (IJECE) 6.5 (2016): 2425-2431.

Samson, Phil. "Beyond the first 48 hours: can the business continuity plan go the distance?." Financial Executive 29.5 (2013): 54-58.

Snedaker, Susan. Business continuity and disaster recovery planning for IT professionals. Newnes, 2013.

Watters, Jamie. "Basic Business Continuity Plan Template." Disaster Recovery, Crisis Response, and Business Continuity. Apress, 2014. 255-264.

Wisbusiness Press Releases. “ABC Supply Co. Inc accounting.” N.p., 2017. Web. 16 June 2017.

Wright, Lance. "Business Continuity Planning." People, Risk, and Security. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2017. 107-120.

Yang, Jae-Mo, et al. "A Method to Develop for Emergency Response Guidelines using Business Continuity Plan in Chemical Plant." Korean Chemical Engineering Research 52.6 (2014): 743-749.

Yoshida, Takuro, et al. "Consideration to the Positioning and the Role of Building in Business Continuity Plan." Proceedings of the 18th International Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014.

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