Have you protected your business against natural or man-made disasters? Businesses can't predict disasters, but it's important to have a solid contingency plan in place so that you can protect your employees, assets, and information. This is also crucial for business continuity during and after the crisis.
According to Insurance Information Institute, the number of natural and man-made disasters in the United States was the highest in 2019, with economic losses of $ 232 billion. Natural disasters can damage or destroy tangible business assets such as buildings and equipment as well as human capital. Apart from that, supply chain disruptions are very common due to the deterioration of infrastructure. Besides physical damage, the majority of businesses are also at high risk of losing records of vital assets.
Why should you integrate asset tracking software into your emergency response plan?
A cloud-based system will allow you to store all sensitive information online without the risk of losing or misplacing it in an accident. Here are three steps you can take to protect your business from disasters and how asset tracking software can help:
1. make a team
The first step towards establishing an emergency response plan for your organization is to build a team. The team leader will be responsible for respecting deadlines and proposing the structure according to the company's budget.
Next is the size of the team. It mainly depends on the resources and location of the business. For example, if the business is located in the suburbs with no emergency services nearby, it needs to be self-sufficient with more trained staff on the team.
You can streamline and assign team roles through asset tracking software. Team members simply log in and see their status updates throughout the project. All workflows can be edited and viewed by the team leader at any time to keep track of progress on the go.
2 Perform a risk assessment
Perform a risk assessment for all buildings and equipment in your organization. This includes assessing each asset for weakness and the associated risks of collapse or failure. Minimize the risk of damage from poorly maintained equipment by automating maintenance through the asset tracking system. Keep track of maintenance history and remove assets that have passed their useful life.
A cloud-based asset tracking system allows you to save all equipment records online. You can easily access maintenance and amortization information for risk assessment at any time.
3. Keep accurate records and stay informed
Remove previous records from emergency plans, if available. If you have an emergency response plan, the team can review it and revisit it if changes need to be made. In doing so, it can be difficult to access all of the asset information if your business does not have a robust backup system.
A reliable plan for dealing with emergencies requires a detailed understanding of the environment where hazards can arise. After an internal risk assessment, organizations should refer to external elements with a high probability of danger.
A government approved checklist is the best resource for small and medium businesses working on an emergency response plan. In addition, organizations should also focus on business continuity policies as part of their readiness programs. Here are some key factors to focus on:
3.1 Operational and alternative strategies in the workplace
In the event of an unforeseeable emergency, say a forest fire, companies should review their jobsite policies to ensure a safe environment for employees. Even if the building is operational, the emergency response team must take into account issues such as accommodation, food and transportation of workers.
If site operations are difficult or impossible to manage, the team should compile a list of alternative options. This may include upgrading the installed technological structure so that all operations can be supervised remotely. A good option in such cases is cloud-hosted asset tracking software.
3.2 Communication plan
Even if your business is at a standstill, you need to communicate with your employees, suppliers and stakeholders. Ongoing communication means you'll be able to bounce back faster than you expect and your employees can stay on top of the entire recovery process. Another important reason for establishing a strong communication channel is to stay in touch with your suppliers. This way, you can efficiently manage inventory and stock remotely if needed.
Communicate easily and effectively with employees, suppliers and customers through your asset tracking system. You can also extract and attach relevant documentation from the system for clarity and perspective.
3.3 data security
Many businesses can opt for a traditional data backup method by setting up a remote disaster recovery site. This practice requires constant maintenance and support. Moreover, in such cases, data protection is manual and can take a lot of effort and time.
However, in emergency situations, businesses need a fast and reliable backup solution. For robust data security, cloud computing is the best option. You can easily add asset records by scanning barcodes instead of having to download huge amounts of data at the last minute. In addition, being hosted in the cloud protects all company data against any type of damage (fire, flood, etc.).
4. Train employees and review your emergency response plan
Hold training sessions to make sure everyone understands the steps in the recovery process, including the safety precautions needed to deal with high-risk items or toxic materials. It is also recommended to update and alert the teams involved in the event of an emergency forecast. For best execution, encourage your employees to review the emergency action plan every six months.
Use asset tracking software for a smooth transition from emergency response to disaster recovery
In times of emergency, many companies fail to make a clear link between recovery and response. It often happens that some teams have gone through the recovery phase while others are stuck in response. For minimal damage, it is important to coordinate the two events so that recovery is initiated while the intervention is still in progress.
A successful transition from emergency response to recovery is only possible with the help of the right tools. Fortunately, all of this is possible if companies invest in asset tracking software. Robust asset management software offers a wide range of features to track, update and recover all the equipment owned by a company. You can even assemble items into groups and bundles as needed for your emergency response plan.
In addition, the software provides access to real-time data of all assets so that risk assessment becomes easier at critical times. Team leaders can even perform a risk analysis by looking at previous maintenance events and the number of accidents that have occurred. With critical business information hosted in the cloud, you have a better chance of moving smoothly from emergency response to disaster recovery.
However, you need to understand that emergency preparedness is an ongoing process and teams need to keep up to date at all times. Internal and external factors change over time and need to be closely documented for a better long-term course of action.
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