Have you secured your business against natural or man made disasters? Businesses cannot forecast disasters, but it is important to have a robust emergency plan in place so you can protect your employees, business assets, and information. This is also crucial for business continuity both during and after the crisis.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of natural and man-made calamities in the United States were the highest in 2019 with economic losses reported to be at $232 billion. Natural disasters can damage or destroy tangible business assets such as buildings and equipment as well as human capital. Apart from this, supply chain disruptions are very common because of deteriorated infrastructure. Besides physical damage, the majority of businesses are at a high risk of losing vital asset records as well.
Why should you incorporate an asset tracking software as a part of your emergency response plan?
A cloud-based system will enable you to store all sensitive information online without the risk of it being lost or misplaced in an accident. Here are three steps you can take to protect your business from disaster and how asset tracking software can help:
1.Set up a team
The first step towards establishing an emergency response plan for your organization is to assemble a team. The team leader will be responsible for meeting deadlines and proposing the structure according to the budget of the company.
Then comes the size of the team. This primarily depends on the resources and location of the company. For instance if the company is located in the suburbs without any emergency services nearby, then it needs to be self reliant with a greater number of trained personnel on the team .
You can streamline and assign team roles via an asset tracking software. Team members simply log in and view their status updates throughout the project. All workflows can be edited and viewed by the team leader at any time to keep a record of progress on the go.
2.Carry out risk assessment
Conduct a risk assessment for all buildings and equipment within your organization. This includes evaluating every asset for weakness and associated dangers of collapsing or breaking down. Minimize risk of damage from badly maintained equipment by automating servicing via the asset tracking system. Keep track of maintenance history and retire assets that have outlasted their useful life.
A cloud based asset tracking system enables you to save all equipment records online. You can easily access maintenance and depreciation information anytime for hazard evaluation.
Read more: Small Business Inventory Software: Survive a Management Disaster
3. Maintain accurate records and stay informed
Pull out previous records of emergency plans if available. If you have an existing emergency response plan, then the team can review and revisit it if any changes need to be made. While doing this, it may be challenging to access all asset related information if your company does not have a robust backup system.
A reliable plan to tackle emergencies requires a detailed understanding of the surroundings where hazards may occur. After internal risk assessment, organizations should refer to external elements with a high probability of hazards.
A government approved checklist is the best resource for small and medium sized businesses working on an emergency response plan. Moreover, organizations should also focus on business continuity policies as a part of their preparedness programs. Here are some key factors to focus on:
3.1 Operational and alternative workplace strategies
In the event of an unpredictable emergency, say a wildfire, companies need to revisit their worksite policies to ensure a safe environment for employees. Even if the building is operational, the emergency response plan team needs to consider issues like lodging, food, and transportation for workers.
If worksite operations are difficult or impossible to manage, the team needs to compile a list of alternative options. This can include upgrading the technology structure installed so that all operations can be supervised remotely. A good option in such cases is an asset tracking software which is hosted in the cloud.
3.2 Communications plan
Even if your business comes at a standstill, you need to communicate with your employees, vendors and stakeholders. Continued communication means that you will be able to bounce back to business quicker than planned and your employees can stay updated about the whole recovery process. Another important reason for establishing a robust communication channel is to stay in touch with your suppliers. This way you can effectively manage inventory and stock remotely if need be.
Communicate easily and efficiently with employees, vendors, and customers via your asset tracking system. You can also pull up and attach relevant documentation from within the system for clarity and perspective.
3.3 Data Security
A lot of businesses may opt for a traditional data back-up method by building a remote disaster recovery site. This practice requires constant maintenance and support. Also, in such cases, data protection is manual and can take a lot of effort and time.
However during emergency situations, companies need a speedy and reliable backup solution. For robust data security, cloud computing is the best option. You can easily add asset records by barcode scanning instead of having to upload enormous amounts of data at the last minute. Moreover, being hosted in the cloud keeps all company data safe against any kind of damage (fire, flood etc).
4. Train employees and review your emergency response plan
Carry out training sessions to ensure everyone understands the steps of the recovery process including any safety measures required to deal with high risk items or poisonous materials. It is also a good practice to update and alert the teams involved in case there is a prediction of an emergency. For best execution encourage your employees to revisit the emergency plan of action every six months.
Read more: Why Use Asset Tracking Software for Disaster Management
Use Asset Tracking Software for a smooth transition from emergency response to disaster recovery
In times of emergencies, many businesses fail to establish a clear link between recovery and response. It often happens that some teams have moved to the recovery phase while others are stuck in response. For minimal damage, it is important to coordinate both the events so that recovery is initiated when the response is still underway.
Successful transition from emergency response to recovery is only possible with the help of right tools. Luckily, all this is possible if companies invest in an asset tracking software. A robust asset management software offers a wide range of features to track, update and recover all equipment owned by a business. You can even assemble items under groups and bundles as required for your emergency response plan.
In addition to this, the software provides access to real time data of all assets so that risk assessment becomes easier in crucial times. Team leaders can even pull up risk analysis by looking at previous maintenance events and the number of accidents occured. With the critical business information hosted in the cloud, you have a higher chance of a smooth transition from emergency response to disaster recovery.
However you must understand that emergency preparedness is a continuing process and the teams need to keep themselves updated at all times. Internal and external factors evolve over time and need to be documented closely for improved course of actions in the long term.
EZOfficeInventory is a leading asset tracking software. It allows you to track, maintain, and report on inventory from anywhere, at any time. We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!