- THE MAGAZINE
Technology has revolutionized our industry.
In the last 30 years since Troy Container Line was founded, there has been an evolution in day-to-day operations from manual documentation to round-the-clock logistics capabilities in the online sphere. While we are all heavily reliant on technology, we must realize that this also leaves us susceptible to set-backs when it comes to customer satisfaction, as a full-service approach is never without a human touch.
No matter how you oversee operations, anticipation and planning for the unexpected is of the utmost importance. In an age where super-storms and natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Yolanda are prevalent, having a disaster-recovery plan in place is essential, as it can save companies time and money, while ensuring customer expectations are met.
As a business located in the Northeast, being prepared for what nature throws out you has become business as usual. While we outlined several disaster-recovery plans prior to Hurricane Sandy to ensure our customer service would not be disrupted, my team was able to improve upon our internal processes in the weeks and months following the storm.
Identifying potential weaknesses in infrastructure and assessing operational necessities should be a company’s first step in disaster planning. From here, they can begin to develop a disaster-recovery plan that is rooted in their company culture and will allow for minimal interruptions in customer service. Involving your management team is essential to this process, as they should develop programs that include a reliable method of communication with employees, vendors and customers, and discuss the need for I.T. upgrades and equipment.
When planning for the unexpected, always keep the restoration of your network and operational systems in mind. For example, servers that run remotely and can be accessed from anywhere in the world should a physical location become compromised are integral to maintaining operations. In addition to network accessibility, designating an alternate work space should also be a part of a company’s planning, as prolonged limitations in office access should not negatively impact the day-to-day functions of management and staff.
Considerations like availability of electric are also essential. Prolonged loss of power was a major impediment for thousands of people in the days and weeks following Hurricane Sandy. We installed a natural-gas generator following the super-storm and think having a back-up generator for both a main office, as well as an alternate workspace is essential to overall planning.
No matter where you operate, in our business it is all about providing unwavering customer service to a global market. This is a core value we have operated under for nearly three decades. Despite our reliance on technology, we must always be planning for the unexpected. And, that requires a strong team that can execute under any circumstance.