Food and Beverage Disaster Recovery Execution and Action Planning

Posted by Gerry Poe


Business continuity concerns more with business operations while the disaster recovery remains aligned toward the side of technology infrastructure issues. The important mechanism is that the plans in execution of business continuity is crucial for the life of the company in the future.

BC/DRP Food and Beverage Specific Concerns

  1. Spoilage Food Ingredients
  2. Lot Integrity Management
  3. Production Planning
  4. Delivery Schedules
  5. Supplier Deliveries
  6. Customer Order Due Dates Slipage
  7. Forecast Materials Planning
  8. Freight and Dock Scheduling
  9. Manpower Scheduling
  10. Financial Impact - Cash Flows


Business continuity is the tactical and strategic capability of a company to plan and respond to business disruptions in order for the operations of the business to continue operation at an acceptable level. This procedure is different from disaster recovery which is the processes and procedures applied, in this method, related to the preparation and maintenance of technology infrastructure in connection with a disaster. From the definition, it is clear that business continuity has a focus on the execution of the business, but, on the other hand, disaster recovery is more focused on the technology part of the problem. The important consequence of the plans made for business continuity is that those plans can be crucial for the company's long-term existence.

The majority of large organizations will already have disaster recovery and business continuity plans as part of their standard operating procedure. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many small and medium enterprises. What is more worrisome is that these business plans are even more important for the small and medium business because there are more at risk if a disaster were to strike. Most small businesses have only one income stream and probably one or two key personnel. So if anything happens to any of these key people, the business will be significantly affected. Business disasters can happen due to some unplanned events. However, it is not important as long as there is a plan prepared which are clearly documented and well-rehearsed.

The business continuity for a small or medium company is simple and small; it is different from the one which a large company prepares. However the same steps, details and procedures that make up the plan is likely to be the same. It is important to have such plans because it is the responsibility of the business owner to get operations back as quickly as possible so that the employees can retain their jobs and paycheck.


Over the years, researchers have found out more about the reasons why small businesses don't have such contingency plans. One major reason is lack of time. A small business is operated by small number of staff with an influential owner running of the company. Creating a business continuity plan is just not that important to them in respect to the daily task that they do to keep the operations running. This task is also unlikely to be delegated to the employees because they do not have the knowledge or access to fully craft the plan. Therefore, in the end, it always remains to be a neglected task in the middle of many urgent tasks.

Even if these business owners have a plan, it is unlikely that the plan remains current. Effective business continuity is one factor which may constantly be reviewed and updated due to some changes that happen year by year in the company. For example, within an organization it is possible to have a change of the executives’ roles, and the plans need to follow the changes also.


Most small and medium businesses may not realize the importance of having a business continuity plan. In a disastrous situation, the plan will reduce stress, save more time and money by helping to recover from the trouble quickly. Among the benefits that such a plan will give to small businesses are:

  1. Reduction in stress level: When you know that everything will be taken care of in the event of a disaster with a solid contingency plan, you can then spend your time implementing it when the disaster happens.
  2. Faster and more precise insurance claims - The inventory of assets that is part of a contingency plan will allow for a faster and more efficient insurance claims process.
  3. Short downtime - With a plan in place, the downtime caused by disasters will likely to be reduced significantly.

Communications with customers, suppliers, employees, and management is a key part of your planning strategy. Notifying all parties in your supply chain will enhance status reporting tied to the disaster. This system of updating and status reporting can help keep calm in the storm.


Food and Beverage industry requires a short-lived, well-planned, recovery period allowing expediting customer's in-process job-orders; ensuring supply chain operations are not heavily affected. While some customer orders may need to be shipped-short, as partials, due to potential spoilage concerns, those orders may be shipped fully when the disaster is managed.

Efficiencies in the recovery execution states is important to all participants in your supply chain. A well designed, tested and implemented plan will be your best ace-in-the-hole for disaster recovery. Enterprise software, such as SYSPRO ERP help this process by containing your company information under the guidance of an integrated repository.

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Tags: ERP Implementation, Food & Beverage, Disaster Recovery

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