How Disaster Impacts Manufacturing Production
Updated: Apr 9
What happens to plant production when disaster strikes? Who takes charge to get it back up and running? Whether the disaster is natural, human error, or invasive malware, it causes significant disruption to your product/service cycle. Every minute of downtime is money and customer satisfaction lost. It is the business’s responsibility to respond effectively to ensure that production is consistent and end-users receive their expected products.
IT is ingrained in manufacturing today; to store data, run automated machinery, track inventory, and support distribution. Think about how technology reliant your processes are and imagine a scenario where everything is suddenly unusable. The following sections highlight how disasters disrupt manufacturing’s ability to produce and distribute successfully and what strategies can be used to avoid it.
Inability to Produce
Complex automated equipment and just-in-time inventory tracking are just two processes that are severely influenced during a disaster. If the supply chain is interrupted, the entire production schedule is slowed or halted, leading to revenue loss. To calculate potential losses, look at the amount of time it will take to recover to normal operations and build a recovery plan for the worst-case scenario.
Productions logistics will be the most challenging area to recuperate, but having a strong backup and disaster recovery (BUDR) plan safeguards data and allows for immediate access to mission-critical applications. For example, your business has a power outage that shuts down productivity for several hours. All applications used to run the automated machinery do not work because the system cannot connect to the network. Depending on the size of your plant(s), you could be facing up to millions of dollars in lost revenue and customer reimbursement.
However, all is not lost. You worked with your senior management team and a BUDR expert to assess the possible vulnerabilities associated with an outage and constructed a plan to recover. During this interruption, the BUDR provider can access your data and apps to get your operations back up and running with the minimum amount of downtime.
Inability to Distribute
Distribution schedules must be strictly followed to satisfy delivery expectations, so downtime is not acceptable. Customers don’t care if your warehouse floods if they still receive their order on time. Logistics management utilizes computerized tracking and ERP systems to understand how many products are stored and where they are at any given time to enhance product readiness and customer fulfillment.
Imagine this scenario: you work as IT Director for a large pharmaceutical manufacturing company. Your network is more vulnerable to external hacker attempts simply due to the size of your business and the value of your product. Suddenly, your systems are corrupted with vicious malware and the entire database is inaccessible. To continue operations at your normal efficiency level and avoid downtime, your backup and recovery disaster plan kicks in to eliminate the malware and restore your plant data to the state just before the attack. Investing in a custom BUDR plan serves as disaster protection for your supply chain and increased plant optimization, ensuring your ability to move products from A to B.
The key to effective disaster recovery is planning ahead. Establishing appropriate levels of preparedness that build on the capabilities of your team create high tolerance and resilience. In addition, partnering with a BUDR professional to support your critical infrastructure and resources adds additional layers of security and communication. When unexpected disasters strike, your recovery strategy will be there to save the day by restoring your data and reducing your downtime.