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News - Why today’s news about Tesco is a prime example of the need for business continuity planning

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Why today’s news about Tesco is a prime example of the need for business continuity planning

22nd April 2015

People’s views on business continuity planning vary from: “Business…what?” to, “It’s just common sense, isn’t it?” to, “Oh no, where do we start?”

It’s all about building and improving the resilience of your business to continue its operations and recover quickly from any type of disruption.

It’s something you hope you’ll never need, yet something you really can’t afford to be without.

So with this in mind, let’s take a look at today’s news about Tesco: Britain’s biggest supermarket group has reported its biggest loss in its 96-year history following a slump in sales and an accounting scandal. According to an article in today’s Telegraph, ‘the loss reflects a year of turmoil at the FTSE 100 Company and is the worst financial performance in its 96-year history, as well as the worst ever recorded by a British retailer’.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, said that it was “clearly a very significant day” for the company and that he was now attempting to rebuild the retailer “piece by piece”.

Now I’m sure that Tesco does have a business continuity plan in place, but its recovery won’t be immediate. However, some City analysts are saying that Tesco’s sales are already showing signs of improvement. Simon Johnstone, senior analyst at Kantar Retail has said: “While Tesco looks like it’s on a downward spiral with another major dip in trading profits, its planned recovery strategy promises to steer the retailer back on course. A three-pronged attack to improve performance is centred on strengthening the balance sheet, repairing its reputation and rebuilding the brand.”

Here are 5 reasons why a well thought-out continuity plan will benefit a business and why Tesco is sure to have one in place to get back on track:-

  1. Survival

The harsh but simple fact is that there are a hundred and one things that can disrupt a business – any business. A well thought-out, practical plan can mean the difference between coping with a disaster and going bust, period.

  1. Reveal inefficiency

A business under threat can be viewed like a patient on an operating table. The priorities are clear: maintain the blood supply (cash flow), oxygen (communication links) and at all costs, protect the vital organs (the staff and premises).

Business continuity planning starts with a thorough analysis of the business to decide which parts are vital.

Is that product or service really essential to what we do? Do we need four of those, not two? When viewed like this, the non-critical parts reveal themselves – all the procedures and resources that have appeared over the years, but which aren’t really necessary.

  1. Gain the marketing edge

Having a business continuity plan can give you the edge over your competitors. It shows your commitment to deliver no matter what happens.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes: do you sign a contract with the business that has the business continuity plan? Or the one that doesn’t?

  1. Compliance

The requirement for business continuity plans is now trickling down from big business to their smaller suppliers. The large supermarket groups, just like Tesco, already vet their suppliers.

Added to this, legislation such as the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 now requires category one responders (local councils, health authorities, the police, fire etc.) to ensure business continuity arrangements of their suppliers.

  1. Communication

A business continuity plan relies upon communication – being able to give the right person (who can fix the problem) the right information at the right time.

It’s also the ability to keep talking to customers, suppliers and staff even if your office is a pile of rubble or just locked up with the key missing.

Normal day to day businesses can surely benefit from better communication. Whether that’s having a wider range of tools at your disposal, or becoming more disciplined at sending the right information to the right people.

To read more reasons why a business continuity plan will benefit companies, visit:-