Emergency Preparedness Planning in Manufacturing: 4 Tips for Success

Emergency Preparedness Planning in Manufacturing 4 Tips for Success.jpgIn many cases, the manufacturing industry is uniquely vulnerable to today’s diverse threat landscape. These organizations often comprise multiple facilities over large geographic distances, while utilizing complex machinery and technology and employing a large workforce. Plus, they rely heavily on an effective supply chain, which opens them up to another set of risks altogether.

And the threats facing manufacturers are very real.

A recent survey found that 74 percent of companies had suffered from a supply-chain disruption over the last year, with 14 percent of those respondents losing more than $1 million as a result. Clearly, disruption to a manufacturer can be costly—which is why emergency preparedness planning is such a necessity.

As you and your team cultivate an emergency preparedness strategy, it’s important to develop a plan that works for your unique organization. Here, we offer four tips for success:

1. Plan for a range of scenarios.

Manufacturing organizations face a wide variety of threats, some of which are unique to the specific industry. Risks to the manufacturing market include natural disasters, fire, violent incidents, data breaches and even employee scandals. Depending on the nature of your business, it may also face the possibility of chemical leaks or explosions, equipment malfunctions, vehicle accidents and more.

Download Now: Step-by-Step Guide to Reducing Work Interruptions

It’s vital to create emergency plans for each type of crisis that your business may encounter, and then distribute these plans to all affected stakeholders. By preparing for each type of threat that faces your organization, you will not only be better equipped to handle an emergency—you’ll also be well-positioned to meet relevant government regulations and stay in compliance with insurance mandates and guidelines.

2. Optimize access to your plans.

Rather than handing out paper copies or emailing your emergency preparedness plans, consider newer techniques that might benefit your organization. A crisis management application, installed on all stakeholders’ smartphones or tablets, provides a simple way to make your emergency preparedness plans more accessible to everyone who would be impacted by such an event.

During an emergency, each employee would have immediate access to all relevant emergency resources, such as crisis procedures, contact lists and best practices. No matter where a stakeholder is located during the event, he or she can submit incident reports through the app, so your emergency team knows exactly what is happening and where.

Finally, your team can also push notifications to all or select stakeholders, providing actionable information in real-time. This not only helps to keep stakeholders out of harm’s way; it also enables a faster, more streamlined emergency response overall.

3. Make the plan work for your business.

Of course, no single emergency plan will work for every manufacturer; these documents must be adapted to suit each unique business. Consider the unique challenges (and opportunities) at your own organization.

Your business will likely face such diverse threats that it requires multiple versions of an emergency plan—for example, your severe weather plan may include contingencies for flooding and fire. To avoid your team getting bogged down in multiple versions of multiple plans, choose an emergency preparedness solutions, such as an app or cloud-based software, that is flexible and user-friendly. Seek out a platform that allows for instant updates that can be provided to all stakeholders. That way, you can rest assured that all employees, partners, executives and others will always have access to the most up-to-date planning documents, no matter when a crisis hits.

4. Prioritize training.

Another unique trait of the manufacturing industry lies in its workforce. Unlike other businesses that must conduct emergency preparedness planning, such as corporate offices or retail locations, manufacturers often employ very large numbers of workers, many of which do very different jobs, work in far-flung locations and, in some cases, even speak different languages.

Your people are your company’s greatest asset, which is why it’s important to conduct regular training exercises to make sure they are prepared for potential emergencies. Depending on the size and nature of your organization, you might conduct training every year or multiple times a year. If you leverage a mobile crisis app, be sure to incorporate it into your training, as this helps all employees familiarize themselves with its capabilities, as well as their individual role in a crisis response.

By making emergency preparedness planning a priority, and by using new crisis management technologies, manufacturing companies like yours can be better equipped to respond to all manner of emergencies. As a result, your supply chain, assets, people—and bottom line—will be well protected and ready to bounce back.

Reducing Work Interruptions with Emergency Preparedness Methods