Mandatory business continuity planning needed
The Caribbean’s vulnerability to natural hazards should dictate mandatory business continuity planning, an expert says.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday March 24, 2011 – The government of Barbados and its counterparts in the rest of the Caribbean should mandate every company, regardless of size, to have a business continuity plan in place, as this would build resilience in the supply chain upon which we so heavily depend.
This recommendation has come from Bob Turnbull, a business continuity management expert who has spent the last few years providing consulting and software solutions for companies in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean on this important issue.
Now, Turnbull is collaborating with the Barbados International Business Association (BIBA) to host a one-day workshop aimed at sensitising Barbadian businesses to the need to equip themselves with the tools to allow them to recover from any disasters, whether caused by natural or man-made hazards.
The April 6 “Business Continuity Management – Your Lifeline to Surviving workshop will equip participants with the tools to design and execute their own business continuity plans that Turnbull has described as being simple enough to implement without having to hire an outside expert, although it will take some effort and complete management buy-in to the process.
Turnbull recently had his work tested in the uprising in Egypt and was able to report that his clients had managed to recover and continue functioning despite the civil unrest that cost that North African economy billions of dollars. The certified business continuity professional is also monitoring the situation in Libya as clients there implement solutions he has supplied in the face of the turmoil unfolding there.
However, he has also been a consultant to firms in Barbados and Jamaica and he has expressed the wish to see more public and private sector entities recognise the value in business continuity management.
Turnbull added that not only should these entities all be compelled to have a business continuity plan, but those plans should be externally audited at least once per year.
And, given this region’s vulnerability to natural disasters in the form of yearly storm systems, while depending heavily on business from overseas in terms of tourism or investment to drive the island economies, the expert said it is even more imperative that the hotel, restaurants and ancillary services have a plan in place to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors and the continuity of business.
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