Four Essential Elements of Branch Recovery
When it comes to disasters – whether natural or man-made – there's little a business can do to prevent them from happening. Restoring branch operations after a wildfire or a flood is an undertaking, but with a well-thought-through business continuity plan available, you’ll be able to resume essential operations, allowing the entire community to return to a normal state.
These four elements are the foundation of a safe, productive work environment and are necessary for continuing operations of critical business functions at a credit union.
By developing and testing a recovery plan covering each of these four elements, you ensure that your branch is prepared to recover from any interruption quickly and with minimal impact on your customers or members.
A single power outage can devastate a branch’s retail operations, productivity, capacity, and reputation. The best mitigation strategy to respond to power outages is to have a plan for your backup power.
Begin with creating a committee to identify potential risks and their impact on business operations. Implement best practices in case of an emergency with a decentralized backup power supply, strong relationships with vendors, and documentation processes to help mitigate risks. Update facilities and devices to include improvements such as smart grid technology, uninterruptible power supply devices, backup generators, emergency fuel, and microgrids.
An effective backup power solution should account for the following:
- Equipment (either assured access to generator rental, delivery, and connection or ongoing maintenance of on-site generators)
- Fuel for generators and other equipment as well as for employees, especially in a regional event where gasoline may be unavailable
- Connection and maintenance services, which may be challenging to source locally in the event of a major storm or widespread outage
- Annual testing of your backup power plan
Maintaining communications during a disaster is nuanced and shouldn't be approached as rolling out a single technology. The solution your branch uses needs to help employees and clients collaborate and communicate in a productive manner that enhances workflow in real time.
Think about the benefits of either on-premises recovery or as-a-service solutions to protect your communications during a disaster. On-premises offers you more control and can save on overhead, but as-a-service products can save money in the long run, and they usually offer better technology and faster updates.
Without connection to an active branch, customers and members are unable to access cash to buy food, water, tarps, and other essential supplies. Conversely, branches that can maintain operations become a beacon for those they serve and can extend support to new customers and members, as well.
Mobile branch units are a perfect solution for banks and credit unions experiencing workspace interruption. By offering all the conveniences of a brick-and-mortar branch, customers, members, and branch employees are provided a safe, functional environment that allows for continued service and meets FFIEC requirements.
We rely on technology more than ever before, making tech interruption a potentially critical event for financial institutions.
While there are some upsides to owning your own technology backups, maintenance, storage, and operational costs can present a major burden – especially for small or rural branches. Rapid technology deployment solutions that are readily available to distribute and maintain backup technology for your company will help you continue operations without delay.
Business continuity and recovery services exist to ensure you can respond quickly when branch operations are interrupted. Managing the risks in your organization can ease your fears of inevitable dangers and allow you to achieve your goals, but ultimately, nothing provides more assurance and resilience than having a flexible recovery solution secured before disaster strikes. To learn more about how Agility prepares banks and credit unions for a successful recovery, contact an Agility branch recovery expert for a complimentary review of your current BC/DR plan.
About Agility Recovery
Through its business continuity management platform, called Agility Central, Agility works to reduce the impact of business interruptions on credit unions and the communities they serve. They help businesses be prepared before, during, and after an incident happens. After decades of helping businesses recover from real disasters and streamline emergency preparedness and incident response, they bring the collective experiences of thousands of hours in the field.