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Disaster Preparedness | Safeguarding Your Most Valuable Assets - Company Knowledge

by Anne Sych

Management Articles

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Published on this site: December 9th, 2010 - See more articles from this month

Nobody likes to have to think about disaster preparedness, and many do not give thought to safeguarding 'company knowledge', but among other tangible catastrophic losses, it can mean the difference between your business making it or going under when a disastrous event occurs.

We all ensure that we have adequate insurance to cover physical property loss - but what about safeguarding your company knowledge? Critical company knowledge must be retained and readily accessible to return your business to its 'normal' operating state as quickly as possible.

Some examples of critical company knowledge are:

  • Employee knowledge: In an emergency employees may not be able to get to work, leaving others to have to step in and perform their tasks. Documenting standard procedures and vital employee knowledge empowers others to quickly step in and do essential jobs.

  • Emergency procedures: Having 'easy to access' emergency procedures in place is critical to every business. Documenting emergency procedures for physical facilities, customer and employee care, financial, and organizational management may not only help reduce the level of crisis, but for some businesses may reduce injury and harm. Centralized documentation ensures that everyone instantly has access to the same protocol.

  • Legal Documentation: A knowledge base is an ideal place to store electronic copies of tax and legal documents, licenses, warranties, insurance documents, etc. Should an event occur and you lose paper documentation, you will have immediate access to electronic copies.

  • Business Recovery: It is also essential to document what is involved in restoring your business to normal conditions. This includes:

    • Employee Communications - informing employees of important and timely information.

    • Customer Communications - policies on 'what' to say to your customers 'when'.

    • Data Communications - protocol for setting up computers and servers (logins/passwords, etc) in the correct sequence.

When selecting a knowledge management solution, it is essential that your information is stored on a web-based platform, so that it is accessible everywhere with a web browser. In an emergency you may not be able to get to your physical building; anything stored there may be useless if you cannot access it. In addition, if you are well prepared you have more to offer the community, who may not be as prepared as you are. This is one way we can all support one another in difficult times.

So take the time to ensure your business is fully prepared for any unexpected disaster, whether it is something as ordinary as a snowstorm, or disastrous as a tornado. You have invested so much of your time and resources building your business.... ensure you are protecting your investment.

Anne Sych, Marketing Manager for Novo Solutions, Inc. Novo Solutions, Inc. is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) in Virginia Beach, Virginia specializing in Customer Support Software. Free trial versions of the Novo Help Desk Software, Knowledge Base Software and suite of web-based Customer Support Solutions are available. Contact: [email protected] for more information. http://www.novosolutions.com/

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