Weatherproof your business and protect your profitability
Weatherproof your Business and Protect your Profitability
New Business Consultant Gregg Pickard takes a timely look at how businesses can insulate themselves from the worst that the winter can bring, and build a more resilient business in the process.
In my work as a Datel Consultant, I’m on the road most days, visiting customers and helping them to either implement or customise their Sage software. One issue that regularly comes to the fore at this time of the year – especially if road conditions have made my journey difficult – is business continuity.
The business owners and managers I speak to are aware of just how vulnerable businesses can be in adverse weather and are right to be worried. Recent years have seen widescale disruption and, while most of the UK has got away lightly so far in 2015, many parts of the country have already been seriously affected by weather-induced chaos.
Even in relatively mild winters, it doesn’t take much to bring the transport networks grinding to a halt and many working days can be lost as staff struggle to reach the office or are forced to take time off because their children’s school is closed.
- We encourage all our customers to brainstorm worst-case scenarios and to develop an action plan, asking themselves:
- What would be the cost to the business of being closed for a day, a week…?
- Could staff still access critical systems and applications if their route to the office is impassable?
- Could they work just as effectively from an alternative location if the office is out of bounds?
In short, just how resilient is their business?
“It has been assessed that around half of all businesses experiencing a disaster and which have no effective plans for recovery fail within the following 12 months.”
Fortunately, as our customers use Sage systems for enterprise resource planning, the pillars to support business continuity are already in place:
High levels of automation keep processes moving
Greater automation within Sage ensures that tasks essential to the company’s cash flow, such as creating and sending out invoices, are carried out as normal, even if there’s no one in the office.
Share information securely
A Sage solution touches each aspect of your business and creates a pool of shared, accessible information. Team members can cover for colleagues affected by adverse weather or afflicted by winter bugs and deal efficiently with sales orders and other customer enquiries.
Teams are connected with remote and web access
With a Sage solution, our customers can be ‘open for business as usual’, even if the office is closed. Staff can connect to critical systems from home or from a temporary location over the internet or via a secure network.
Make business continuity an all-year-round priority
All these features, integral to a Sage system, support business continuity in the face of any natural or man-made crisis with the potential to damage your profitability and ability to provide good customer service: break-in, vandalism, fire, burst pipe, power cut, heating failure, volcanic ash...
In today’s competitive climate, having this flexibility gives you an immediate advantage whatever the weather and whatever the time of year. After all, who can forget the widespread flooding during the summer months just a few short years ago?