Are you Prepared to Lose Everything?

Posted by Stéphane Trépanier, Hector Solutions d’Affaires 19-12-2019 10:50 AM

Friday, June 7, 2019 5:05am, my life changes forever. I receive a call from one of my associates. He informs me that there is a fire in the shopping center where our offices are located. Flames of more than a meter emerge from the door of our warehouse and a dense black smoke escapes from the roof covering more than half of the mall.

I arrive on site around 5:20 am! Three of my other associates arrive within minutes. We are all shaken and powerless in front of this horrible scene.

Doesn’t take long to notice how severely impacted the store and our offices are, and that we will no longer be able to provide our services from here. We set up a crisis center at the home of one of our employees who lives two minutes from our offices.

Even though the event is covered by Salut Bonjour, LCN and published on the Journal de Montréal website, we must first inform our clients so that they understand what is going on. We immediately publish on Facebook and LinkedIn. In addition, we modify the message on the phone, our personal cell phones and e-mails to inform everyone of the situation.

Then, it is important to ensure the continuity of our services. Some employees are responsible for providing the service on the road. Others take care of the support center by temporarily working from home by redirecting calls to their cell phones. Finally, some are already recovering our data and servers in order to temporarily rebuild our infrastructure in the cloud.

Next comes the relocation of our offices and the store. Normally, we would have taken the time to check the offices and spaces for rent in a close radius. But by happy coincidence, the second floor of the adjacent building is available.

We’ll need internet access, tables, chairs, computers, screens, keyboards, and mice for everyone. The purchaser is responsible for ordering everything we need to operate.

In short, thanks to a contingency plan and the work of everyone, Friday, June 7, 2019 7:00pm, we were in our temporary premises with an Internet connection, chairs and folding tables. The following Monday, June 10, we received shelves, computers, monitors and a small inventory of materials to resell for the store.

I dispense with some of the details and obstacles we faced, as the primary purpose of this article is to make you realize the importance of a contingency plan. We could never have been operational and functional so quickly without it. Do not make the mistake of thinking that this only happens to others. Every company, big and small, needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place for just such a incident. Being prepared will enable you to get back to work with a minimal amount of downtime. It could save the future of your business!

PS : Hector Business Solutions and STR Micro would like to acknowledge the effort and dedication of all our employees during this event. We also thank the contribution of our suppliers, partners and especially the understanding of our customers.