And now for a little second-hand news regarding the way that Hurricane Sandy affected companies in the northeast (specifically NYC). I'm your woman on the ground in NYC, and over the last couple weeks, I've seen a huge number of businesses be brought to their knees by the storm. Even companies that never lost power had their phone and point of sale systems go down, and only in the last couple of days have some of these systems been restored.
A close friend of mine works in a call center at a spa, taking calls and scheduling appointments in what she admits is a rather outdated salon management system. Even the management of the spa complains about their old scheduling and employee management technology. This is one of the biggest spas in NYC with one of the most prestigious pedigrees, but their point of sale system is majorly behind the times. There aren't any iPads running or remote salon management systems here.
After the storm, the whole system mysteriously shut down. No incoming or outgoing calls; no appointment setting. There was a massive backlog of voice messages from confused clients wondering whether the spa was operational. Internet service never went down in that area. Had they had a way to access the system remotely from outside business, perhaps they could have prevented the major loss of revenue caused not by power loss in the area but by the shutdown of their point of sale system.
It's food for thought - here's just one example in what I'm sure is a field of many businesses that were not even in the blackout or flood zones but who lost major revenue because their business management systems were overwhelmed and went out. Of course, perhaps a more streamlined solution could have prevented this issue, but nothing is certain when disasters like Sandy strikes.
What do you think? Have you thought about how a disaster would affect your business? Let us know in the comments.