Choosing an electronics manufacturing services partner is never a straightforward decision. There are a number of different factors to consider first with cost, quality, location and the reputation of the partner all coming into play. But an often-overlooked factor is their Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) – which should provide a clear vision of how the manufacturer will continue business as normal if disaster should strike.
Disaster can be anything from a massive breach of your IT systems to a physical disaster such as flooding or a fire: in other words, anything which causes substantial business interruption or loss of revenue. When working with another company, it is imperative they fully understand the possible impacts a disaster on their end could have on your business – and that they have the right protocols and backup solutions in place to ensure their customers remain unaffected.
Just one question
The unnerving reality is that almost 50% of midmarket businesses do not have well-structured, robust DRPs in place to prepare them for the times when even the best-laid plans go awry. To make matters worse, over 40% of companies go out of business almost immediately following disaster if they do not have a DRP.
If you are relying on an electronics manufacturer to produce products for an upcoming launch, the last thing you need is for the provider to call you the week before explaining that it is unable to deliver the order following a factory fire. Not only will they be out of business for some time if they don’t have an appropriate plan in place to mitigate the fallout, but you will also be down a whole set of products with very little time to remedy the issue.
How do you respond to such a situation? Releasing a statement is all well and good but if you can’t meet your customers’ expectations in the time needed, chances are they’ll try to find their own solution – which could mean jumping ship to a competitor. Failure to meet expectations could also result in a poor review and if this happens on a larger scale, your business’ reputation could be in serious trouble.
The potential losses are not worth the risk, which is why it is crucial to always ask prospective service providers just one question: if a disaster does occur, what are you going to do to fix it?
What makes a good plan?
A well-structured DRP need not be a blueprint for every single eventuality; however, it should be robust, thorough and provide clear details on the steps a provider will take to rectify any unforeseen setbacks. DRPs should contain provisions for:
- An immediate emergency response plan, including scope for crisis management.
- A plan for product fulfilment so that customers’ orders are met with either replacement or alternative products where appropriate.
- Minimisation of damage and interruptions to normal service – thereby minimising the economic shortfall of these interruptions.
- Alternative means of operation, i.e. a systematic backup plan which compensates for the disruptions and losses sustained.
- Ensuring personnel are sufficiently trained for emergencies to ensure restoration of operations are smooth and swift.
It may also be worth asking your provider whether they have conducted any recovery tests to check the soundness of their plan. Any ambiguity should raise alarm bells!
A perfect example
EC Electronics has a practical, achievable plan in place which is based on the accurate assessment of risk. Structured in accordance with ISO 22301, the plan has been carefully drafted to provide our customers with maximum reassurance that they have chosen the right electronics manufacturing services partner.
Wherever possible, we have considered solutions to minimise commercial consequences and we have acknowledged that risk is a natural part of business. As such, we are comfortably able to mitigate risk and are confident that ample planning has been done in preparation for a disaster – no matter how unlikely it is.
Contact EC Electronics today to find out more about our offering, and how we can work with you to ensure continuous high-quality service, even if disaster strikes.