Preparing Warehouse Operations for Potential Disasters
No one like to think about disasters, but warehouse operations includes preparing for “what if” and worst-case scenarios. Natural and manmade disasters can wreak havoc on your business if you aren’t prepared. Ignoring potential disasters and crossing your fingers hoping for the best doesn’t work to ward off problems.
Keep in mind that safety precautions and training are not the same things as disaster planning in warehouse operations. Safety precautions and training sessions aimed at improving workplace safety are both excellent activities to keep workers safe, but they cannot stand in lieu of disaster preparation.
Create a Warehouse Operations Response and Recovery Plan
A warehouse operations response and recovery plan is a written document that includes all of the information you will need to either continue operating in the event of a disaster or how to move operations elsewhere in the unlikely event that your plant must be closed for a while.
A written plan is essential. It should be stored in your company’s office as well as off-site. This ensures that no matter what happens on location, key managers can still access the plan and enact it in the event disaster strikes.
Build a Disaster Recovery Plan
To build your own disaster recovery plan, you’ll need to work on the following items.
- Planning: Set aside time to write the disaster recovery plan. If your company already has a plan, it’s time to dust it off and update it. Make sure that the contact information for all workers is correct and include backup phone numbers such as cell phones and house lines to get in touch with people.
- Implementation: Assess the resources that you will need to implement the disaster plan. Know which technology resources, employees, space, and other items are needed. Appoint someone on your staff responsible for organizing and obtaining whatever is needed for warehouse operations if you enact the plan.
- Testing: Testing is critical. Testing helps people understand what they need to do in the event of an emergency and also works out any problems in the plan itself. For example, if a step isn’t feasible, the testing phase will help you know what isn’t working and give you ideas on how to fix it. Like fire drills in schools and office buildings, testing and practicing the emergency plan is essential to making it work in the event it is needed.
- Program improvement: Disaster plans should be reviewed to adapt to changing technology, operations, and equipment. Be sure to regularly review your plan to make changes such as updating and verifying emergency contacts.
- Recovery: Recovering from a disaster is often a long-term process. But with the right advance preparation, you can reduce the time it takes to recover from a disaster and resume business as usual.
No one likes to image the worst-case scenario. But fires, floods, and bad weather, along with manmade disasters, threaten everyone. By taking steps now to create a plan and test it out, you’ll be one step ahead of problems when they appear.
ONE by Scanco and ACS
When it comes to warehouse automation, ONE by Scanco and ACS understands this field better than many others. Our many years of warehouse experience can help you with warehouse automation tasks such as barcoding, seamless ERP integration, and more. Visit our warehouse automation page to learn more.