Business Continuity Storing Specialized Equipment and Supplies Offsite

This information is from my new book, The Ultimate Business Continuity Success Guide: How to Build Real-World Resilience and Unleash Exciting New Value Streams. Happily it is now Amazon’s #1 searched business continuity book. I hope you enjoy the chapter. and the book.

Business Continuity Tips, Techniques and Secrets

Business Continuity Storing Specialized Equipment and Supplies Offsite Tips, Techniques and Ideas

When you performed your BIA dependency analysis interviews with process owners, I know you asked them about any specialized equipment they will require during a disruptive event. In fact, we discussed probing for specialized equipment in the Chapter ‘Recipe for a Successful BIA’.

It is important to store these offsite, either at the recovery location or a central site that can send the equipment to multiple sites.

Remember, the disruptive event could be regional and equipment could be difficult to attain when other companies are competing with you for limited resources. It is critical to plan for this.

Examples of specialized equipment:

  • MICR printers (check printing)
  • Checks (blank)
  • Custom forms
  • High-speed scanners
  • Rubber stamps
  • Headphones
  • Mice
  • Extra batteries…

Tip – Do an inventory audit of the specialized equipment and supplies stored offsite. Do it on a regular basis. Requirements can change and certain supplies such as batteries will need to be replaced over time.

Tip – Sometimes processes require costly equipment be available, such as high-speed scanners. One strategy I use is to use recently retired high-speed scanners and store them at a 3rd third party recovery vendor. The equipment can then be leveraged for multiple sites in the event of a disruption.

If the specialized equipment requires a computer with special drivers it may make sense to store both the fully configured computer and the specialized equipment together and ready to be shipped at time of a disruption. I have ‘been there, done that’ with high speed scanners and fully configured computers, it works well.

If you will not be storing a computer, make sure you have a copy of the scanner drivers available or you can download and install them at the recovery site at time of disruption.

If you are storing equipment with a third-party vendor here are a few tips:

Tip – Test the request and delivery process to the recovery site(s) prior to a real disruption. A perfect time to do it is during a work area relocation exercise.

Tip – You may find issues the first few times you test recalling equipment from a vendor. Work on the issues and test delivery again until it is perfect.

Tip – Make sure you have the proper phone number to call to retrieve the equipment. Is it in your business continuity plan?

Tip – Make sure you are on the authorized list to recall equipment and that you have backup team members that understand the procedure to recall the equipment if you are not available.

Tip – Make sure you have your customer number and your password if it is required to initiate a request to have the equipment sent from storage to the recovery site.

I hope you enjoyed the information in this chapter. We go into a lot more detail in The Ultimate Continuity Success Guide. In fact, this is only one of 112 chapters packed with 1001 tips, techniques, ideas and those important lessons-learned. Have fun and please contact me with any questions!