The last time we blogged about industrial action was in November 2011, when a strike by public sector workers over pension rights impacted on a number of public services, most notably the UK Border Force. The last ten years have been free of any such major disruptions. But, with a series of rail strikes this week, and the potential for strikes in other sectors over the summer; industrial action is very much back on the agenda.
The impact on businesses of this week’s rail strikes is, as yet, unclear; but will probably include: some staff shortages; a general drop in demand for services; and additional stress on already disrupted supply chains. However, these are all impacts that businesses have had to deal with repeatedly over the last two difficult years. The key to effective business continuity management is therefore to focus on mitigating the impacts of events rather than obsessing about the specific form of disruption.
I was reminded of the importance of focusing on impacts today as I was preparing a presentation on resilience in aviation. The most obvious impact of pretty much any form of disruption at an airport if overcrowding in the terminal buildings: if you have effective procedures for managing congestion you are well on the way to dealing with any incident that comes your way.
The starting point for understanding the impacts on your organisation is a solid business impact analysis (BIA). By identifying you key products and services and the activities that underpin them, you gain a good understanding of how the unavailability of specific resources (eg people, raw materials, IT systems) will affect you and, more importantly, your customers.
Follow the link to find out more about how Cambridge Risk Solutions can assist with the BIA and other aspects of your business continuity programme.