Do your suppliers have disaster recovery plans?

6 April 2011
The catastrophe that has befallen Japan and ongoing problems in the Middle East are the two most recent reminders – if such a memory jogger was required – of the importance of risk strategies. As we discover in our latest readers poll, the majority of businesses (61 per cent) have a business continuity plan in place – although some are fortunate enough not to have had to test them for real. That’s all well and good, but what about the plans of your suppliers and their suppliers? Another survey out this week, this time from consultancy CityIQ, quizzed respondents about the business continuity plans in place at financial services firms. Some 70 per cent said they needed to look more closely at the effectiveness of the plans of their key suppliers and partners. Meanwhile, a quarter of organisations polled said they had not performed a crisis management test in the past 12 months. Although Paul Wiltshire of CityIQ admitted finding the time to check out your suppliers is often not possible, the survey did serve to highlight the issue. Speaking, as we have been, to buyers who have experienced supply problem as a result of the Japan earthquake, it’s clear that one of the main ways they are coping with resulting shortages is to have clear and regular communication with vendors. So if it’s not already on the list, perhaps a discussion with key suppliers about their continuity plans should be one of the points addressed in ongoing risk or SRM conversations.
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