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Most Kiwi businesses not prepared for crisis

press release

For Immediate Release

Most Kiwi businesses not prepared for crisis

Auckland, 24 July 2006 – A survey by DHL Express, the world’s leading express and logistics company, found that most New Zealand businesses say maintaining business continuity in the event of a business interruption or emergency is essential. However, the majority do not have plans that have been tested and/or communicated to staff.

The DHL Business Continuity survey found that while 92 per cent of companies surveyed agree that business continuity is important, 41 per cent of businesses do not have a plan in place.

“The survey reveals that there is a gap between the perception of how important it is to protect business operations during a major interruption, and the actual reality of putting a plan in place,” said Derek Anderson, General Manager, DHL Express – New Zealand.

“This comes as a surprise given the number of recent scares, both on a local and global level, such as bird flu, tsunamis in Indonesia, and the recent spate of bad weather in New Zealand resulting in the Auckland power outage in June. These are compelling reasons for putting a robust plan in place,” he added.

The results show that smaller companies are less prepared for a crisis. Of the companies that do not have business continuity plans, the majority (92 per cent) are either small (between one and five employees) or medium (6-99 employees) sized. Companies with more than 100 employees are less likely (8 per cent) to be unprepared for a crisis.

For the 41 per cent of businesses that do not have business continuity plans, nearly a quarter (21 per cent) do not intend to create one. Another 37 per cent say that there are plans to do so, but they have no timeframe for action. On the other hand, 42 per cent intend to put a plan in place within the next year.

For those that do not have a plan, almost half (48 per cent) cite workload issues as the main hindrance. A quarter (24 per cent) say they are not sure where to start, and 20 per cent say that it is simply not a priority for the business.

Of the businesses that are have put in the groundwork and prepared a plan (59 per cent), nearly a-third (33 per cent) say they have not communicated and/or tested their plans with staff.

Mr. Anderson says this is alarming as the survey also reveals that events such as power outages, technical failures, telephone outages, staff industrial action or natural causes, are happening regularly and costing companies in terms of productivity downtime.

“62 per cent of those surveyed have experienced downtime of at least two to three days in the last year, and 26 per cent say they have experienced major downtime in the last quarter,” he said.

The Auckland power outage in June was the cause of downtime for 57 per cent of respondents, while technical failure was the second most common cause of downtime (35 per cent) in the last quarter. The biggest concern for businesses about the loss of productive time is the inconvenience to customers (39 per cent), followed by the financial cost (23 per cent).

“DHL has a comprehensive Business Continuity and Contingency Plan which covers 20 key crisis situations from earthquakes to chemical exposure and telecommunication failures. DHL also regularly communicates with relevant authorities including airport management, New Zealand Customs and the New Zealand Police regarding potential risks,” said Mr. Anderson.

“Our priority at DHL is to ensure that given any potential disruption thrown our way, we are ready and prepared, so that our customers’ freight and logistics requirements won't be disrupted,” he added.


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