Article on Innovax Systems by SPRING
Recognising the need to guard against disruption, Innovax Systems embarked on a business continuity management process to identify potential threats and build up its capabilities for an effective response.
Companies often dismiss the need to prepare for the unexpected, citing rising costs and other priorities as reasons. Yet, threats such as terrorism, a flu pandemic or natural disasters can happen at any time and can seriously disrupt a company’s business operations, affect its reputation and result in lost revenue.
As a leading provider of end-to-end contact centre solutions, Innovax Systems has come to understand the need for disaster preparedness.
“We provide customised solutions to call centres where reliability is absolutely critical. As such, it is important that we are prepared for any crisis,” says Ms Coni Tan, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Innovax Systems.
Despite being established in 1998, it was not until last year that Innovax Systems realised the importance of having a business continuity management (BCM) plan, when its customers started asking about it.
To address this, the company decided to apply for the SS540 – Singapore Standard for Business Continuity Management under the National BCM Programme, which is supported by SPRING Singapore. The grant from SPRING helped to defray costs, which included consultancy and expenses to meet the required standards.
Developing Contingency Plans
For six months, external consultants helped Innovax Systems identify potential risks to its business operations and develop strategies to minimise disruptions and resume operations in the shortest possible time.
These measures include flexible work arrangements to ensure that operations can continue when a crisis strikes. Employees can now work from home or a temporary office during a crisis. Innovax Systems has also relocated its in-house servers to a third-party hosting site and moved its email to a cloud-based system to ensure zero downtime.
While it may seem costly to undergo the BCM programme – as much as $100,000 without government support – the benefits far outweigh the costs. According to Ms Tan, Innovax Systems has seen a 20 per cent increase in sales since it received the SS540 certification. “The certification assures our clients that we are a strong company that can be relied on even in times of crises,” says Ms Tan.
Making BCM a Culture
Ms Tan, however, admits that convincing her staff to embark on BCM was the most challenging part of the certification process.
“They were reluctant at first, because having a BCM plan meant everyone had to take on more responsibilities,” explains Ms Tan. Besides managing day-to-day operations, the employees also had to learn how to handle unexpected incidents. Regular meetings were also held to ensure that all employees were aware of the procedures and their roles if the plan had to be effected.
However, they recognised the value of BCM after the senior management shared its vision about how it safeguards the company’s business and reputation.
“While a risk might seem small, there is always the possibility that it could cause a business to lose its customers forever and eventually be wiped out totally. BCM may take some time, but it gives your customers the assurance that you are prepared for any disruption,” says Ms Tan.