Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Plan For Financial Year 2021/22

At SSGC we take every possible measure to avoid adverse scenarios. This includes avoiding the escalation of said scenarios, which is a very real risk unless a clear and exhaustive plan is in place. Our Business Continuity plan is designed to offer a clear and watertight roadmap that will lead SSGC through challenging periods, whilst allowing us to continue providing our clients with a seamless top-tier service. 

Plan Objectives

In this Business Continuity (BC) Plan we outline:

  • The constituent elements of the BC Plan
  • What is required for each element
  • An explicit standard we use to manage BC Planning Execution and measure Customer Complaints

Plan Structure

  • Company Structure
  • Resource Structure
  • Redundancy
  • Accountability
  • Resilience Test

Group Structure

SSGC’s BC Policy covers all Business operations and Service Centre Support to include the Corporate Function. 

Our current office infrastructure is as follows:

  • Head Office – Swindon
  • Control Room - Swindon
  • Remote working – Director
  • Remote working - Management

Resource Structure

Our BC plan covers the following resource structure:

  • Office Infrastructure
  • Management Structure
  • Systems and IT Infrastructure
  • Communications Infrastructure

Redundancy System

Our SSGC BC plan relies on redundant systems with rapid switch capability. The system is simple, robust, and is configured to provide two levels of redundancy. 

Office Infrastructure

We have developed a secure, cloud-based infrastructure for our critical systems. This allows encrypted access through remote systems, and also sets up the office infrastructure with lift-and-shift capability. In addition, vacant offices have been identified as support sites, and we have placed them on retainer to allow for immediate access. This designated vacant property will change as and when properties are occupied.

Therefore, in the event of a major incident in the head office, the following switch over will be carried out by our Production Manager:

  • Head Office – Move to vacant property
  • Control – Outsource to retained third party service provider
  • Directors – remote access – no action required
  • Management - remote access – no action required

Remote Management Infrastructure

A lynchpin of our BC plan is a precautionary system that allows our management team to continue their work from different locations. Each of our remote workers classified as Manager/Director carries spare devices to allow them access to business-critical systems in the event of a local emergency. The lift-and-shift capability of the systems infrastructure is simple but effective, requiring our Manager to simply move location. 

In the event that our local Manager is not able to move, operational responsibility passes to the nearest operation manager, and work priorities are set through discussions with the Board or production manager.

In the event of a wider emergency, The Board will direct portfolio take-on. In their absence, we empower the Production Manager to instruct transfer.

Systems and IT Infrastructure

Our primary systems are web based, and hosted off-site with further off-site backup. All our primary users are equipped with remote access.

The following systems are web based, with contingent back up (off-site) from the host location:

  • Accounting System
  • CRM System
  • Production System
  • Time and Attendance System
  • Quality review system
  • Customer satisfaction system
  • Satellite Tracking System

Where corrective action fails to meet our Client’s expectations, then amendments to the project are proposed, a new project plan developed, and upon completion we obtain sign-off from our Client.

Communications Infrastructure

Functional communications provide the backbone for any robust response to adverse situations. All our SSGC locations have fixed, web based and mobile telephone infrastructure and fax to email service. All telephones can be switched remotely to either of the other locations.

All our mobile staff are equipped with:

  • Mobile Telephones
  • Laptop with mobile data card
  • Reserve mini laptop

Telephone, push email, and laptops all use different suppliers. This allows individual users redundancy in communications. 

Escalation

Our escalation process aligns with line management accountabilities. Regional management is affected by the Director, who has primary sign off for the switch of infrastructure and systems.

In the event of a national emergency, centralised communication to all our staff will be conducted through our mass text system, and through email.

The head office switch is managed by our production manager.

Action Plan summary

Loss of major client – Timeframe 3 months

A significant reduction in portfolio size poses a risk to our company, but not an unmanageable one. We have taken the following preemptive steps to ensure survival in the event of a reduction up to 50%. This would be enacted over a three-month period.

  1. Office Infrastructure
  1. Rental agreements are in place that allow for partial vacation or sublet of our head office.
  2. Our critical systems are web based, and hosted off site. Remote access to these systems is promoted for all key staff.
  1. Staff
  1. Notice periods are restricted to three months maximum.
  2. Bonus payments are offered that relate to business performance.
  3. We are able to reduce resources immediately.
  4. We maintain a labour outsource agreement to allow for corrective upscale.
  1. Vehicles
  1. Company cars are minimised. Car allowances/mileage are paid.
  1. Financial Management
  1. We retain sufficient funds to allow for the completion of operation descaling.
  2. We have a funding agreement in place to allow for a three-month survival period.

Loss of Data – Timeframe 1hr

Data loss can be catastrophic for any modern business. That is why all our business-critical systems are cloud based and cloud hosted, and we have insurance cover in place for data loss. When it comes to data, however, you cannot be too careful. That is why we have put additional safeguards in place, including the following:

1. All critical data is backed up every 24hrs locally

2. Emails are backed up both centrally and locally

3. Archive folders are maintained

Financial Loss (Major Customer Not Paying) – Timeframe 3 months

In order to accommodate the unlikely event that a major customer should fail to pay, we have put the following safeguards in place:

1. The financial stability of all our clients is assessed periodically (at least biannually)

2. Account limits are restricted to balance sheet value

3. Our collection process is maintained to include T’s & C’s for all cost recovery

4. We have an escalation procedure and withdrawal of service policy in place

5. We maintain a relationship with a collection agency

6. We maintain funding levels sufficient to cover 90 days. 

Loss of Key Staff Due to Sudden Resignation & Long-Term Illness – Time Frame 48hrs

Many of our staff are particularly vital players in our business operations, and we are careful to support the key role they play with crucial back-up plans in case of their sudden withdrawal. We have the following in place to account for instances in which a key member of our team suddenly resigns or contracts long-term illness:

1. Contractual obligations are in place to allow for replacement during notice periods

2. We take out key personnel insurance for critical employees

3. Our key accounts are supported by a second tier manager

4. Key meetings are attended by two Managers/Directors with known activity plans

5. Our CRM is maintained with key notes and agreement

6. We have retained a Consultancy

Loss of Office Premises or Inability to Use Premises Due to Climatic Conditions – Timeframe 2 hrs

We are diligent in keeping on top of technological advances that help safeguard operations in case of emergency - increasingly, this involves establishing remote or online access capabilities. We have made the following provisions to allow for continuity of business in case our office should become inaccessible:

1. Our business critical systems are not tied to the office

2. Our Directors and Ops Managers are able to work remotely

3. We have a retained outsource agreement for control room function 

4.  We have retained a vacant property to which our scheduling, HR, and Financial

Management teams can move

Loss of Reputation – Timeframe 1 week

SSGC understands how crucial it is for a watertight BC plan to cover all contingencies. A vital facet of business operations under adverse circumstances is maintaining a strong reputation. This is in order both to alleviate the situational difficulties, and facilitate strong recovery. We have the following in place to counteract or mitigate any risk of reputational damage:

  1. Our critical staff maintain good references and endorsements on social media – particularly on LinkedIn
  2. We conduct business ethically and deliver quality services to minimise the risk of these events
  3. We maintain relationships with key industry personnel to act as good reference sources
  4. We maintain an annual awards focus with at least two ‘finalist’ endorsements, and an ACS score within the top 5%
  5. We maintain communication lines with industry press and social media
  6. In the event that loss of reputation should occur, we take the following action:
  1. We seek to isolate the event, and pacify the source where possible
  2. We use accreditations/awards to minimise the damage of the event
  3. We carry out social media campaigns to ensure a balanced view is being presented
  4. We consider possible reportage in industry press
  5. We leverage our key contacts to reinstate our reputation following the event

Business Continuity Strategy Summary

Our general strategy is to guarantee that all critical components can be easily shifted to remote locations. We have designed our strategy to ensure that, in the event of an emergency, SSGC should be able to continue providing a seamless service for our clients whilst our emergency coordinators resolve the issue.

Our strategic statement for each business-critical item is:

  • Systems – We use web-based solutions with remote access to relevant workers, and ensure mobile connectivity.
  • Office – Hot desk facilities are available, with an ERV available at a known vacant property.
  • Staff – We ensure contingency for upscaling and downscaling, and maintain parallel relationships with consultants to cover the most technical positions.
  • Equipment – We adhere to a ‘2 is 1’ policy, and ensure each critical operator has a redundant set of devices should their main system fail.

Approval For this Statement

This statement was approved by the Board of Directors on 27/10/2020 signed by Frano Lubura, Quality Manager/General Manager.

                                                                                                  SSGC Ltd, Registered in England and Wales
                                                                                Telephone: 0845643 6852; Registration Number 04494633, VAT
                                                             Registered Office: Unit 19 Ergo Business Park, Kelvin Road, Swindon,Wiltshire, SN3 3JW