Elliot Consulting

Elliot Consulting, LLC
7853 Gunn Highway
Suite #326
Tampa, FL 33626

Phone: 813-792-8833

Press Releases

Act now to plan for unforeseen disasters

By Robert Pitts
Florida Real Estate Journal

Tampa , FL, May 23, 2007. Elliot Consulting President Steve Elliot said a $10 million per year business loses $40,000 a day when its operations are interrupted - regardless of the type of disaster

By the time you read this, Florida’s 2007 hurricane season will have begun, and it won’t officially end until Nov. 30. That gets the attention of Florida business people these days - now that we’ve gone through a few particularly active storm seasons.

And while hurricane preparedness is important, the storms have had the effect of focusing the state’s businesses on preparedness issues in general, according to Steve Elliot, president of Elliot Consulting Services, which provides help with business continuity and emergency preparedness planning.

Speaking to a recent meeting of CREW Tampa Bay, Elliot said a $10 million per year business loses $40,000 a day when its operations are interrupted - regardless of the type of disaster.

But there are other losses to consider in addition to revenue, he said, including loss of customers, key staff people, critical vendors, future sales and distribution channels.

In fact, some 40% of companies affected by major disasters never re-open, and only 20% recover within 24 hours or less, Elliot added.

The consultant said $1 in strategic planning to address the unforeseen is worth $15 spent on recovery and restoration, yet only 25% of all companies have contingency plans.

“Are you the kind of person who says, ‘It’ll never happen to me,’” Elliot asked.

The cornerstones to a business continuity plan, Elliot said, include:

The process of putting the plan together involves asking questions - and then more questions. For example, does your business have an emergency communications plan? Are backups to key people in place? Have you identified any special skill sets among employees that may be useful in an emergency?

In the information arena, is off-site data storage in place? Are vital records secured? Have communications alternatives been identified? Are teleworker systems in place?

Are plans in place to secure the physical property? What about inventories for insurance purposes? Have arrangements for goods and services been made in advance with critical vendors? Has an alternate work location been secured?

More questions: Have backups to critical vendors been identified to help maintain business processes? Have you assembled a “Grab N’ Go” kit containing the most vital equipment and information? Are vital supplies stockpiled? What about emergency money?

Have you put together a crisis management team? Have potential threats been assessed and responses determined? Is the plan flexible? Has a command center been selected? Have ID badges been issued to employees to allow for easy re-entry into the disaster area? Has a media spokesperson been identified, if needed?

Those questions, Elliot said, should result in plans and procedures that make the best out of the worst situations.

“We can’t stop the threats, but we can certainly find ways to keep our businesses functional,” he said.

About Elliot Consulting

Everything that we do as a consulting firm is focused on helping organizations protect their people, their property, their products and services, and their profits. We do this by assisting those organizations to author, administer, and audit their in-house business continuity, incident response, and disaster recovery programs.

Elliot Consulting is a group of trusted business advisors who are experts in the development of business resiliency solutions. The term “business resilience” is defined as a combination of enterprise risk management, business continuity planning, disaster recovery, and long-term business restoration. A resilient organization will be able to mitigate unforeseen risks and have contingency plans in place which will allow the continuation of business operations regardless of the specific incident.

Our expertise is helping companies mature their strategic plans and operational guidelines which are then used within a comprehensive business resiliency program to help sustain the organization’s business operations. Elliot Consulting facilitates the discussions and teams with our clients to collect and analyze the critical data which will help the organization protect their vital business resources and procedures.

The Elliot Consulting team members are professionally-certified business continuity planners, business resiliency specialists, and project managers with extensive experience leading preparedness, response, and recovery initiatives in Fortune 200 corporations and government agencies. With expertise in managing these complex requirements Elliot Consulting is able to support a wide variety of strategic planning and resiliency tactics designed around our clients’ needs. Elliot Consulting is a vendor-neutral organization and does not re-sell any products or services.