Companies urged to plan for business threats

Invest Northern Ireland is to assist local companies to reduce the risks of doing business in today’s volatile market conditions.

A free workshop on Business Continuity Planning is being held for companies in the food and drink sector by Invest NI at the Seagoe Hotel, Portadown on 16 September. Speaking at the breakfast event will be Allan Edwards, Director of Corporate Affairs and Corporate Responsibility with the Compass Group, who will speak about how one of the world’s largest foodservice organisations has prepared for a range of events such as swine flu.

The workshop will provide companies with advice and guidance about how to best cover the business risks of emergencies including an outbreak of swine flu within the workforce.

Outlining the objectives of the workshop, Maynard Mawhinney, Invest NI Food Director, said: “Risk planning is an essential business activity.  While swine flu has served to highlight the threat to business of an unforeseen emergency, companies should realise that there are other issues that can cause serious problems.

“Top managers ought to be considering how they will react to a disaster such as a collapse in sales, a fire in the premises, or an unexpected increase in costs.

“The workshop has been designed to help companies to overcome such setbacks by developing contingency and business continuity plans, thereby ensuring their business has survivability.

“The planning process involving a Business Impact Analysis, is fairly straight forward and easily mastered, and it could mean significant savings for companies prepared to invest the time and other resources in developing a contingency plan customised to their individual business.

“We hope that participating companies will gain essential information from the workshop that will enable them to create a disaster recovery plan with a simple task list to assign the roles and responsibilities of the management team facing a serious business setback.

“It is vitally important, for instance, that everyone in management should be fully aware of the steps that need to be taken to ensure the survival of the business,” Mr Mawhinney added.

For more information about the Business Continuity Workshop or to sign up to attend, please contact Keith Chalmers on 028 9069 8475.