Is your business resilient?

The word ‘resilience’ has become a hot topic for many business owners lately. Think of it as a combination of having strength to withstand a shock to the business, combined with flexibility to adapt to unexpected changes.

For any company that keeps important files on its premises overnight, or has a warehouse full of products, what does resilience mean in practice?

Think for a moment what would happen if thieves stole stock from your storage facility, or if a fire broke out in the office. How long would it take the business to recover? How much would the disruption cost?

That cost is added up not just in missing products but, in the case of theft, involves staff time needed to check what was stolen and report to the Gardaí. If a fire or robbery happens, the business needs to source replacement stock, contact customers who may be waiting on orders, and maybe even to convince them not to give their business to a competitor.

Do these factors add up to a delay that is longer than the business is prepared to accept before normal service resumes? If the answer to that question is yes, then you’re on your way to figuring out how resilient the business is today.

From there, business managers can start working out what they would like the future state to be.

In our experience, many thefts happen in places that do not have adequate measures to monitor and protect their perimeter. Without it, no intruder alarm is raised at the time of the break-in, which could deter criminals or at least disrupt the theft while it’s in progress.

With fire, the impact to the business can take many forms, and the level of fire prevention planning will vary from one company to another. But as a starting point, the business must have a way to detect fire early, contain it quickly, and alert staff to ensure their safety.

When is the last time you looked at your fire and security protection?

It is an unfortunate fact that some businesses don’t give much thought to protecting their property and valuable assets until they have had a break-in. But bringing resilience onto the agenda is the perfect opportunity for a business to think about the weak points in its security before an incident occurs.

We recommend working with a reputable independent fire and security partner who can carry out a site survey to quickly identify obvious weak points and suggest an order of priority, with a fully costed quote ready on the same day.

A combination of available budget and risk appetite will dictate what the business should address first.

For example, if a business decides to install a CCTV, intruder, or fire alarm system, a provider like Sharp Group can monitor the feed 24/7 from its central control station. This means it can see what is happening on the customer site from the moment a burglar alarm or fire alarm is triggered.

When there is a monitored solution, staff at the central monitoring station can quickly respond to the first alarm and, within seconds, check the CCTV feed to verify what’s happening on site. There should be a protocol that is unique to every company’s needs which starts working from the moment the alarm sounds. So, in the case of a fire, that might involve a plan of escalation to ensure the safety of staff, stock and premises, followed by a call to the fire brigade.

Taking a more proactive approach to fire and security detection gives a business the strongest possible protection against crime, theft, and fire and the ability to recover quickly from any setback. Monitoring all fire and security alarms ensures that actions happen immediately in response to an alert. The sooner a business can respond to an emergency event, the faster it can bounce back; and that is what resilience is all about.