It is not that the businessmen and the entire province were not prepared. Days before the arrival of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, the government was already preparing fastidiously as recent typhoons have shown how a disaster could steal lives and shake the country’s economy.
Yet, the enormity of Yolanda’s aftereffect does not just mean that disaster preparedness and recovery plans are useless; it is just that the typhoon was too strong to handle, that even brick houses and modern structures succumbed to its wrath.
In the Philippines, most IT-based companies and large enterprises value their disaster planning and recovery highly, but there are still small businesses that seem to take such important matter for granted.
The good thing about it is that call centers in the Visayan region have invested so much in disaster planning and recovery that they remain unshaken. One testament of which is the Tampa, Florida-based outsourcing company Sykes Enterprises Inc, which saw the repercussions of the typhoon as “immaterial, given the company’s disaster recovery planning and built-in redundant support infrastructure.”
A year ago, Think tank Institute of Development and Econometric Analysis (IDEA) stated that almost half of the 18 metropolises in the Philippines where BPO operations are located are certified disaster-prone areas. This seems a pretty big number, but it also shows that there still a lot of room for improvement and work to do as stated by IDEAS on a study they conducted on the preparedness of Philippine-based business when it comes to disasters.
Philippine firms, especially those in the call center industry, are undoubtedly ready for any disaster, but this preparedness is not yet close to perfection. A little support from the government would make a big difference.
On disaster planning
Disaster planning is essential to any business operations as this signifies whether a business can still operate under circumstances of earthquake, typhoon, power outage, or any kind of unforeseen disruption. An appointed team and a portion of a company’s total budget should be dedicated to set substantial thought on disasters.
But planning should not just play around the constraints of company operations. It should involve the company’s partners, too. A company should ready itself if ever the outsource partner’s loss affects the main business’ operation, an occurrence that should be taken with gravity in the outsourcing business. It is the outsourcing company’s duty to protect its in-house employees and facilities to guarantee undisturbed operation of the outsourcer’s business.
It can be said that, at some degree, disaster preparedness—or having disaster plans, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans—serves as a lifeline of a company. It’s like an important vein in a body—cut it off and soon the entire body will falter.
Open Access BPO is a leading outsourcing firm in the Philippines that offers various outsourcing solutions for companies worldwide.