Maybe I’m just getting old but have you noticed the price of stuff these days?

At this point you will be thinking I am going to ‘go off on one’ about how expensive certain items have become but actually I am going to look at the opposite extreme.

The important thing to remember about prices, certainly in the western world is that they are driven by factors such as market forces, market appetite and capacity. In other words price is a reflection of what the market can stand i.e. the maximum price that the seller can get away with and still sell sufficient volume.

Let’s consider a simple example. We went on a family holiday recently and in the course of preparing to depart I decided that given the ever increasing number of electronic devices we travel with, it would be a good idea to buy some more travel adapters. Whilst on holiday I do not relish the daily battle over who is using an adapter, who’s turn it is next and arguments about where the missing one has gone so off I went to buy some spares.

I was amazed that the price of a simple adapter ranged from £4.99 down to £1.50. Scale that up to a car and it’s the equivalent of finding the same model on sale for £50,000 in one place and £15,000 in another. Ironically the shop offering the item at £4.99 had sold out so I only discovered the lower priced item by accident whilst in a supermarket.

Furthermore the items look and feel exactly the same, identical, to the point where I am pretty convinced they came from the same source. The only difference is the retailer through whom the items were sold and perhaps their respective customer base.

It got me thinking. One of the concepts I encourage organisations to think about in their Business Continuity planning is what they stand to lose if a service or product can suddenly no longer be provided. Working with my example, a number of parties are involved in the process of manufacturing, supplying and selling my travel adapter. But the impacts to each of them can be very different depending on a range of factors, price, or rather profit margin, being one of them.

Organisations also need to consider the overall impact. What I mean is that if the only thing your organisation does is make travel adapters the impact of not being able to do so is completely different to the supermarket where not having travel adapters to sell is insignificant because it’s just one of ten thousands of product lines they offer.

Business Continuity Planning is therefore very personal to your organisation. Whilst practitioners can apply generic proven and tested techniques or methodology, the detail and outputs are unique to your organisation and should reflect the actual risks, impacts and situations faced.

If you need any help in deciding the impact of being without your ‘travel adapter’ just let me know.

September 5, 2013 at 12:47 pm
Return to All News
Category: Business Impact Analysis
Tags: ,