A company or business in crises is just about normal. Everybody seems to pass through it, some fold-up while others survive. How one goes through the crises is the tale worth telling. Only those anchored on solid foundation can come out almost scratch-free from the crises.
Crises the test of strength
For almost everybody it is a test of strength and stability. Companies or organization that put in place crises management plans are prepared to respond accordingly. Crises management is the process that thwarts unforeseen events from threatening the stability of the organizations to harming its stakeholders or the general public as well. It was formulated shortly after the large scale industrial and environmental disasters of the 80€™s. This is actually a calibrated response that deals with threats even before, during and after the crises.
It is the study of the skills and techniques devised to precisely identify, assess or understand, and respond to any of the serious threats. It must cover the period before the crises happened up to the time recovery starts. There are six elements that a crises management plan must be able to provide (1) leadership, (2) the crises core group, (3) communication, (4) evaluation, (5) alternative action and (6) outside help.
- Leadership: A business in crises is like a sinking ship that needs a leader to instill order, correct procedural lapses to avoid loss of lives. Similarly the designated leader is bound to implement all the things found in the crises management plan to protect the employees, the stakeholders, the public and to keep the company afloat.
- The crises core group: A leader is not expected to work alone. A core group must be around to share in the burden of running the company. An alternate leader must also be selected to take over if the assigned head is incapacitated due to the crises.
- Communication: All addresses, phone numbers, e-mails of employees and customers must be at the disposal of the crises core group in case they will be needed to help stabilize and avert further damage to the company.
- Evaluation: A thorough assessment of the damage to the infrastructure of the company must be made so a unified course of action can be taken.
- Alternative action: When several heads are working for a common cause, a unified resolution can be expected. In particular, when the damage is extensive, the company can opt to move somewhere else or use the insurance as the source to fuel for the speedy recovery of the company.
- Outside help: As part of crises management, outside business consultants can come. They could be legal counsels, accountants all hired to help in the recovery process. But consultants are just hired help and must not be construed by the crises core group as out to wrest control of the company.
Preparing for crises management
Preparation for crises management calls for a thorough evaluation. Nobody knows what kind of emergency the organization is preparing for. Crises could be environmental (earthquake, hurricane, and floods) or man-inspired (acts of terrorism, bomb threats, sabotage, and power failures). Each can contribute extensive damage to the infrastructure of the company. Hence, whatever form of threat, the company must prepare. Part of the preparation is the production of back-up files sorely needed during emergencies. It should streamline its printing policies to accommodate in-house printing for back-up documents (contracts and legal documents) and other sensitive files to keep operating during the crises period.
Company crises affect everything not just printing expenses
Although printing of back-up files eats up a lot of office resources, it is necessary. It will be idiotic to still be thinking of printing jobs during an emergency when there are more pressing concerns. Not one will have the time as all personnel will be mandated by the company leadership to share in the burden of lessening the impact of the threat. Besides, the company finances will truly be affected and extra funds for trivial expenses like in-house document printing cannot be accommodated. Printing has to be executed long before as an integral part in the preparation of the crises management plan. Once the battle lines are drawn, printing will only be for incoming documents as it piles up.
Cost of printing commensurate to the size of the company
Printing costs for the back-up hard copy will truly be dependent on the size of the company. A huge company is expected to have voluminous documents, so a larger sum will have to be allocated for the printing need. In terms of proportion, printing expense will hover around 20% of the company budget. This is a lot of money for the preparation to counter a threat that may never happen, but a great consolation if the crises do come true.
Through it all, the prepared and printed back-up documents will ultimately save the day. It surely will be a factor to ease transition efforts to recover from the crises.
Photo by David Castillo Dominici