Storage: A Form of Disaster Insurance
As the first hurricane of the season begins threatening the coastline, it’s a reminder that natural disasters can strike our business enterprises in the most unexpected ways. Those of us who live and work on the West Coast are accustomed to disaster in many forms – fire, flood, earthquake, you name it – but as the Main Street business owners of Ellicott City, Maryland, can tell you, it can happen anywhere, out of the blue. A business continuity plan can be the difference between recovering from a disaster or closing your doors permanently.
A business continuity plan seems like an exercise in pessimism, focusing on every possible adverse outcome. Pessimism is not the usual mindset of business owners and managers; starting a business is itself an optimistic act of faith in the future. It’s not easy for the naturally optimistic to think about what could possibly go wrong.
“Realistic optimist” is an organizational psychology term referring to people who are aware of the realities of their business, and who act in an optimistic way while creating realistic plans designed to yield a positive outcome. This is the sweet spot between pessimism and over-optimism. Adopting a realistic-optimist view lets you make a sound real-world business continuity plan and its subset, the disaster recovery plan, without having to dwell in complete pessimism.
In creating a business continuity plan, storage may not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about disaster recovery, but in fact it can be a big part of the picture. Ask yourself these storage-related questions:
- How and where are my vital business records stored? Can they be easily retrieved and moved to safety?
- How will I maintain sufficient inventory in the event of supply chain disruption? Will space-efficient storage let me stockpile in advance?
- Are inventory records up to date and accurate for insurance claims? Are those records stored in a durable, retrievable form?
The answers will shape the decisions you make about your business storage, from high density shelving to multi-level rack systems and RFID inventory management. Catastrophes happen, but with well-planned storage, you can be realistically optimistic about keeping your doors open and continuing to serve your community in the face of disaster.
Photo © Rafael Ben-Ari / AdobeStock