Business Continuity Planning – There is an ISO Standard for that

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by | Nov 17, 2020

by | Nov 17, 2020

Does your manufacturing company have a business continuity plan (BCP)? Hint: we are not talking about a list of phone numbers taped to the wall.

Fictiv 2020 State of Manufacturing chart - importance of supply chain resilience

Source: Fictiv, 2020 State of Manufacturing Report

According to the global consulting firm Deloitte, greater than fifty percent of businesses without an effective business continuity plan will ultimately fail following a major disruption.

What defines a major disruption? Just to name a few:

  • Natural disasters
  • Cyber Attacks
  • Supply chain failures
  • Geopolitical events
  • Pandemics

Now let us look at some of the reasons we hear from Rhode Island manufacturers as to why they have not yet created a continuity plan:

  1. “It’ll never happen to us”
  2. Uncertain responsibility/authority
  3. Uncertain where to begin
  4. Too busy/no time

In this post we’ll debunk these myths that hold business back from continuity planning and offer resources to help your manufacturing company become more resilient.


Busting Myths of Business Continuity Planning

Let us look one at a time at the reasons manufacturers give for not creating continuity plans.

1. “It’ll never happen to us” is the classic denial response.

While you may not operate in a part of the world where natural disasters such as tornadoes or earthquakes are prevalent and while you may feel that your supply chain is robust, COVID-19 made it clear that the rules of the game have changed.

Once you add the growing number of cybersecurity attacks taking place it is evident that anyone can become a victim of disruption at any time.

TIP: Could you afford to lose between 5-7% of your workforce to COVID-19? Call our team today for a no-cost COVID safety assessment which could inform your BCP.


RACI diagram - manufacturing continuity planning2. “Whose responsibility is it anyway”? Many companies struggle with who is responsible for creating and maintaining the plan.

Is it the quality group? Engineering? Operations?

The truth is business continuity planning starts and ends with top management.

While different departments will be consulted for their part, top management must commit to the project and own it for it to be successful.

TIP: Try creating a RACI matrix when you begin. RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed and is a great way to manage communication in any project.


3. “Where do we begin”? A common question among companies is where to begin and how far in depth to go.

Fortunately, there’s an ISO standard that provides a framework you can follow: ISO 22301.

If you are currently ISO-certified, the format will look familiar to you. If you are new to the ISO community, it is not hard to follow.

TIP: ISO has made this standard free to read online for a limited time so check it out by clicking here.


4. “I’m too busy.” Many companies are caught up dealing with the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses and have not had time to commit to pursuing a business continuity plan.

The typical Rhode Island manufacturing company is a small- to medium-sized business. Our experience is that, for manufacturers of that size, creating a BCP takes between 40 and 60 hours. It will take far longer than that to fully recover from a cybersecurity attack or supply chain failure.

TIP: Do not wait any longer. Polaris MEP project managers are ready to help you identify critical areas and create a plan that suits your needs. We’re manufacturers ourselves, and our experience makes the process of identifying scenarios/responses more efficient.


Major changes are happening now impacting Rhode Island’s manufacturers and their supply chains. Reach out today and let Polaris MEP help you better prepare for whatever comes next.

P.S. A first step can be adding our number (401-270-8896) to that list taped on your wall.

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