We can work from home if necessary!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Managing procurement risk is our business.  It is essential that when advising clients sourcing suppliers/vendors and contractors that we identify if and how suppliers/vendors and contractors manage business continuity. Having asked the bidder for this information their reply amounted to:

“We can work from home if necessary”

This is a wholly inadequate and unprofessional response.

ISO 22301:2012 launched in May 2012 specifies requirements to plan, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and continually improve a documented management system to prepare for, respond to and recover from disruptive events when they arise.

Whilst this is long-winded it sets the tone for what business continuity management embraces.

It is important for client-side senior management ascertain what their strategic suppliers are doing to ensure the latter have robust systems in place.  The benefits to the client-side organisation include:

  • vital business records can be maintained and protected
  • alternative service provision/manufacturing capability can be mobilised quickly
  • IT system interfaces protected to ensure Just In Time requirements are honoured
  • Tracking goods in transit is maintained
  • Key personnel’s business contribution is not threatened
  • Continuity of supply is maintained enabling customer confidence
  • Operational resilience is guaranteed
  •  Supply chain problems do not threaten bottom line performance and service capability
  • The potential for customer legal (liability) action is dramatically reduced

Suggested next action: request your strategic suppliers to disclose their business continuity plans.  The feedback should become an essential feature of the procurement audit trail.

Surely we need more than:  “We can work from home if necessary”

To learn more about how we might be able to help you enhance business resilience, please contact Ray Gambell and we can have an informal chat to discuss your areas of interest. Alternatively you can call me on 01744 20698.