It is hard to imagine that the riots that have been sweeping England could actually happen. So as individuals and businesses how can you plan for disasters like these, to ensure your retail business can have some continuity?
There are some basic steps that retailers can put in place to help them re-open as quickly as possible and keep their customers up to date. Arguably the information about the business that helps it function is as important as the stock. Such information will help them identify stock holding to help with insurance claims, back orders from customers, outstanding orders from suppliers, customer details, stock levels at central warehouses, ecommerce orders and much more. Such information is critical to any business continuity, lose that and it becomes incredibly difficult to move forward, therefore it must be a priority that this information is protected and safe.
Those retailers that have traditional EPoS systems in their business, where the software and data is loaded on the till hardware in store, should at the end of every day ensure all data is backed up. And that the back up is stored securely off site. They will also need to have a back office server or PC off site too, so if the worse happens, they can load the backed up data on to the back office server. This can be a little labouriuos and irksome, but once loaded, they should have most, if not all,of the information to hand.
Those retailers with cloud based EPoS systems are inherently more flexible, as their system and all data and records are hosted in the ‘cloud’ (the web) for them. So the software and data is not held locally in store, so it is immaterial if their hardware is destroyed as they can access the system from any location and device with internet access. So everything is to hand just as if they were looking at the information in store.
Of course we all hope that backed up data is never needed, but the recent riots in England have shown that retailers must plan for all eventualties.