It is a fact of life that bad things sometimes happen and anticipating them, as far as possible, is part of sensible business planning. Fire is a particular hazard, particularly for a business where a warehouse is an important part of the infrastructure. It can be caused by human action both accidental and intentional, or by a mechanical or electrical fault, none of which can necessarily be foreseen.
When there is a catastrophe which interferes with a business’s operations there is financial compensation from insurance, but money alone will not keep activity going. Customers are naturally sympathetic to their supplier’s difficulty but they have their own commercial concerns and will naturally have to look elsewhere if there is untoward delay in them getting their goods or materials. So what can be done to minimize the effect of a potential unfortunate event?
We have been supplying temporary warehouses for many years in response to an emergency requirement, and have seen at first hand the devastating effect that something like a warehouse fire can have. In our experience it is clear that customers who had a well thought out contingency plan recovered much more quickly from a disaster than those who were less prepared, so we have put together these tips to help you put your own plan together.
- The plan should be developed using the expertise of the management from all the operational areas that may be affected by a major incident
- As far as possible list the potential serious incidents that could affect operational capability
- Each possible incident should be given a rating of likelihood and severity to identify the most serious threat
- Deal with the most likely or serious threat first in the plan. Identify which business functions are the most critical and plan to deal with them first
- Write the plan in stages to establish a process for moving the organisation from a state of disruption to normal operation
- Identify a list of approved suppliers (including lead times) who can repair or replace the damaged equipment, buildings or other services such as IT
- Key personnel should be given the responsibility for specific actions within the plan
- Testing is a vital part of being prepared and the results should be logged in order that the process can be refined to its optimum effectiveness
- It is important that the plan is kept up to date and a responsible person should be appointed to ensure it is ready for action
How can temporary buildings help?
Finding warehouse space in an emergency, no matter how well prepared you are, can be problematic and if it is off site it presents significant operational difficulties. The nature of a temporary building means that it can be installed on site fast, which is vital in an emergency situation. At Aganto, we carry stocks of buildings which are suitable for hire in the short or long term. See thiscase study showing how Aganto helped a business recover from a fire.
Using a temporary warehouse as an interim measure enables the business to continue and buys time whilst considering the longer term options for the future. When creating the contingency plan be sure to include a reputable temporary building supplier, like Aganto, in the contingency plan, and hope you never have to use it.