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MANAGING RISK: A Worst Case Scenario

However, the company backs up all of its data on a daily basis through several methods. While the hurricane didn’t wipe out the business, it wasn’t going to wipe out the data side of the business either. At the end of each business day, r.k. Miles backs up all of its info at two separate physical locations with the tapes taken offsite, according to company president Joe Miles.

“If we have an event that wipes out a building, we are still going to be okay,” Miles says. Additional backup tapes are stored in a fireproof safe. Finally, daily POS, accounts payable, general ledger info and additional data are backed up offsite via a cloud system provided by Epicor.

“We always maintain the last two days of business data on tape,” says Lisa Wessner, IT manager at r.k. Miles. So even if something happened to the tapes, the company would have a running database of info from the day prior. John Howell, IT manager at Shepley Wood Products says the Hyannis, Mass.- based dealer takes a similar approach to averting disaster.

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“At the end of the day we take an image of our database and send it to an offsite storage facility,” Howell explains. Meanwhile, Shepley Wood Products saves its general database including POS data to a tape while saving email and documents deemed important to the company to separate tape. The tapes are then transferred to a fireproof vault. Soon, all the info will be uploaded to an offsite facility, according to Howell who says the company has been embracing a failsafe procedure since the late 1990s.

“It’s the smoking hole scenario,” he says. “All it takes is one disaster—a pretty high percentage of businesses go out of business if they lose their data.” You can rebuild the buildings, but who owes you money from two or three months ago?

“The key is redundant backup both in location and medium,” Saunders says. “If you’re backing up to the cloud you should back up to the local hard drive arrangement too.”

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Economy Lumber backs up its data on site and to two different locations offsite. If disaster were to strike, Economy can run off a backup system in Seattle. In fact, when the company’s local Internet connection was disrupted when a construction accident severed fiber optic cables, the company was able to continue to run its business via two cell phones wired to hot spots.

As far as having data hosted to an offsite location is concerned, Saunders says it’s a no-brainer.

“It’s an all-in-one solution,” Saunders says. Economy still maintains five days of tapes from the previous five business days, however.

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“There’s no such thing as too much preparation,” Saunders notes. “The more you do, the less likely you are to get caught flat-footed.”

With the ever-growing range of tech options available to dealers, it makes sense to create an emergency data plan sooner than later.

“Businesses can put themselves in a good position where they can be back up in service within 24 hours,” Hartnup says.

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