Power Outages – What You Can Learn From A Total Shutdown

Times have been tough over the last few weeks for victims of Harvey and Irma. Much of the southeast has no power, plumbing and other basic utilities. Unfortunately, if you are in one of these zones, while you may be down, the world still turns and if you do not respond properly you could lose a massive amount of business.

Put Communication First

One of the first things you want to establish is communication from your business to the outside world. It is a no brainer that missed calls and unanswered emails will result in a lot of missed sales and you want to stem that tide as soon as you can. While phone systems may be down, most phone providers can forward your business line to a cell phone. By having your calls forwarded you can set up an emergency call center in a pinch. Even if you simply have to take names and numbers and get back to people, you will still dramatically lesson the amount of lost opportunities and have plenty of follow ups ready for your sales force when business is back to normal.

Prioritize the Order of Operation

Most manufacturing facilities are sectioned off into different departments. They each have their dedicated power, networking and personnel resources. Rather than focus all efforts on an all or nothing approach instead focus on what is most important. What areas of production are most important to you? Can you still perform work with a limited crew? What orders are most necessary to get out? Asking these questions and then executing a plan to get these areas functional can lessen the impact the shutdown has on your business long-term.

Have a Plan for the Future

While hurricanes like Irma and Harvey do not come every year, the havoc they bring can make for some unique learning opportunities. Document what action plans worked and what didn’t. How did different departments handle the shutdown? Write an action plan and set up resources so that the next outage won’t be so bad. Having a solid plan, the right equipment and a staff that is ready to face the challenge can make a big difference in the loses your company will take when disaster strikes.

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