Crisis Management Operations

I am continuously amazed at the number of retailers who do not have a crisis management plan in place. My experience has found that when the excrement hits the fan - it's too late. In today's business climate it's an absolute necessary to have a Crisis Management Plan in place and competent people to activate the plan when it becomes necessary.

It's crucial to have a written policy manual outlining the responses to be taken when a crisis strikes. Keep a copy of the Crisis Management Policy in each business location so it can be easily retrieved by store management in case of an emergency. If you have an internal audit program, place the crisis policy manual on the audit check list. Make sure you check for the latest updates. Every time a member of the Crisis Management Team, (CMT), changes, or any important contact information about them changes, make sure the policy manuals are brought up-to-date.

Every member of the CMT should have copies of the policy manual in their office, home(s) and car(s). Members of the crisis management team may include:
  - VP of Administration
  - VP of Operations
  - President-CEO
  - VP of Finance
  - VP of Marketing
  - VP of Loss Prevention/Security Driector

A senior member of the crisis management team should be designated as the team coordinator. There can only be one captain of the ship, and this principal applies here. All communications with the media, initial contacts with law enforcement, and crisis communication updates are the responsibility of the Crisis Management Team Coordinator.

Of course, there is much more to Crisis Management Operations than what I've written here. This short article is meant to get the thinking processes started. No matter how small or large your business is - just one crisis incident can drain your resources, and determine if your business venture continues to be viable.

Curtis Baillie - Security Consulting Strategies