A life sciences company contracted MLC & Associates (MLC) to develop their comprehensive Business Continuity Program. A major driver was that a key customer of the Company is a part of the National Response Framework and requires its suppliers to have a Business Continuity Program in place.
The project included integrating and improving plans that were currently in place (IT Recovery and Emergency Response) as well as building the Business Resumption, Facility Disaster Recovery, and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) components of MLC’s proprietary 5 component model. The process also included training, a major simulation, and creating an overall management strategy for the program while ensuring that new and existing components were brought together to form a cohesive program.
- The scope of this project included processes that were performed in two facilities in different countries. Consequently, it was necessary for plans and training to be bi-lingual
- An extremely tight deadline was imposed on MLC at the project’s midpoint due to a customer’s demand that the program be implemented by a certain date
- Low management involvement and interest at the beginning of the project
In order to accommodate the two facility and country model, some departments were treated as one (such as Supply Chain and HR) while others were kept separate based on their degree of inter-dependence. To gain a thorough understanding of each department’s critical business processes, a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) was performed. This allowed MLC to understand the key dependencies between the two facilities as well as the different organizational and cultural needs required to support the program. Once these dependencies were exposed, recommendations were presented. Furthermore, a close collaboration with the IT department was implemented to ensure that IT functions truly met business needs. Where discontinuity arose, recommendations were created to quickly resolve conflicting objectives.
Management interest in the project increased substantially when Observations and Recommendations were provided that allowed the company to develop projects that would lead to a Best Practice Business Continuity Program. Awareness of the program as a whole increased when a Major Simulation was created and performed. It was the first time the two facilities had met together for such an exercise and proved to be an excellent team building experience. Furthermore, the comprehensive and tested program was fully implemented with complete management support to continue implementing MLC’s recommendations and provide for a process for ongoing improvement.
Subsequent to the implementation of the Business Continuity Program, the organization fully activated its EOC in response to the global H1N1 epidemic (swine flu) due to the risk to its operations outside of the U.S. The activation allowed the Senior Management Team to effectively monitor the situation and ensure that Corporate remained informed with timely and accurate information.