However well you take care of equipment and installations, it’s simply not possible to defend against all the events that might result in them becoming unusable.

While you’re sourcing solutions, productivity can take a hit, leading to delays or cancellations for customers and significant downtime for workers; so, on top of the expense of repairs or repurchasing, income could fall (possibly lasting well beyond the event if customers lose interest) and/or outgoings increase (e.g. due to hire charges) in an attempt to maintain 'business as usual'.

There are very few businesses that don’t have any dependency on machinery, plant, equipment, installations and/or vehicles. Besides the work equipment you might immediately think of, such as the oven in a bakery or a watch repairer’s lathe, there are systems needed to maintain health, safety, security and welfare in the workplace, including heating, air conditioning, ventilation, security shutters, lighting and washing facilities like showers.

Business impact assessments

Identify the key functions in your business and work out the damage that interruption could do.
 

Start preparing now

Key actions to prevent equipment-related interruptions

Pre-purchase

  • Consider how easy it will be to get replacement parts and have repairs made promptly during the selection process.
  • Ask or search for user reviews and testimonials.
  • Look into the warranty options available.
  • Consult your insurance broker before making any purchases (as they may be excluded or underinsured by your current policy).

Post-purchase

  • Make sure that you register the product with the manufacturer so that you can be informed of problems that arise with similar equipment.
  • Check for wear and tear on a regular basis and address it as soon as possible. In various situations, this may be required at specific intervals for compliance with health and safety law.
  • Have employees that are trained to complete repairs and maintenance, including cover for sickness and holidays; if this isn’t possible, make sure you have up-to-date contact details for reliable contractors who can respond quickly within agreed service levels and include them in your supply chain risk management programme.
  • Keep and maintain records of repairers, parts suppliers and hire companies that you could contact.
  • If appropriate, have your own stockpile of spare parts at the ready, instead of trusting that it will be easy and quick to get them from suppliers as and when they’re needed.

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to some common queries about managing risks to people, property and business continuity.

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