Can’t Have Downtime? Use this Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template

by | Dec 8, 2016

When disaster strikes a manufacturing operation, production comes screeching to a halt. And with every minute of downtime that goes by, you lose more money. To help you prepare for the unexpected, we’ve put together this Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template, which outlines the organizational steps you’ll need to take, both before and after an emergency occurs.

Keep in mind, this is only a basic template, and every business is unique. We recommend speaking to a business continuity professional who can help create a small business disaster recovery plan that is customized to your unique operations.

8-Point Manufacturing Disaster Recovery Plan Template

1) Mission-Critical Personnel & Responsibilities

Who’s in charge when things go bad? In a disaster, team members and managers may need to play multiple roles. This section of your plan should identify all the stakeholders, executives and other personnel who will need to make quick decisions in an emergency. Outline each person’s responsibilities and the critical steps they’ll need to take. In an IT disaster, for example, consider who will need to have access to your secure systems, or who will be able to authorize that access if existing IT managers are unavailable.

2) Urgent Medical Response

You won’t find this section in every manufacturing disaster recovery plan template. But if you believe in putting your employees first, then you need to plan for how you’d respond to a potentially life-threatening disaster. In a severe earthquake or tornado, for example, your workers could be seriously injured on the job. Consider what kind of care could be provided on-site, how you’ll obtain emergency medical supplies or where injured staff would be taken to receive the urgent care they need.

3) Contingency Operations & Locations

Your most frightening “what-if” scenarios go here, along with the appropriate actions. What if your entire manufacturing facility was suddenly unusable? Could production be resumed at another location? If so, where and how quickly? Be specific. To be truly prepared for a disaster, you need to outline exactly what will need to happen to restore operations in a variety of emergency scenarios.

4) IT Business Continuity

Today’s manufacturing industry is heavily reliant on data and technology, both internally and via a network of third parties. You must think beyond “traditional” natural disasters to consider how an IT threat could majorly disrupt your operations. This section should outline your backup processes and the technologies needed to swiftly restore data, networks and physical IT infrastructure.

5) Equipment Asset Management

This is a key component of any manufacturing disaster recovery plan template. Be sure that you have up-to-date inventories of the company’s equipment and assets. This can include everything from the machines that create your products to the chairs that your office employees sit on. In addition to these complete inventory lists, identify the assets that are essential to keep operations running, and how you’ll reproduce them if they are suddenly destroyed or inaccessible.

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6) Communication Methods

Imagine that traditional lines of communication are down. How will personnel connect with each other during these critical moments after a disaster when important decisions need to be made? Should certain staff have access to additional mobile phones? How will the workforce receive information from the company? In this section, you’ll outline how personnel will communicate in such an emergency and with whom.

7) Document Storage

Aside from digital data, you must plan for how you’ll protect and restore critical paper files. It’s not unusual for manufacturing companies to store old, yet important documents in boxes and file cabinets. But if those files are scorched in a fire, what then? Outline your document backup methods now to significantly limit the cost and damage of having to reproduce those files after a disaster.

8) Plan Reevaluation Schedule & Point Persons

Every business continuity plan must be periodically reviewed and expanded to ensure the information is accurate and up to date. Devote a section to identifying who will be tasked with writing and reevaluating the plan, and how often. Even if you have one person who primarily manages the plan, coordination with other teams is crucial. Consider assigning personnel from each department to help produce the required information and review it on a timely basis as outlined in the plan.

For more assistance with putting together a disaster recovery plan, contact us today.

Tracy Rock is the Director of Marketing at Invenio IT. Tracy is responsible for all media-related initiatives as well as external communications—including, branding, public relations, promotions, advertising and social media. She is one busy lady and we are lucky to have her!

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