Everyone has their own strategy for surviving a winter storm. Many people brave long lines at the grocery and hardware stores. Homeowners fuel up their snow blowers and locate their shovels. And we all make sure we have TV shows to binge watch during long days stuck at home.
At Boston Financial, storm preparation looks a little bit different. This winter has brought a number of weather events and a record-breaking amount of snow to the Northeast. In the Boston area we have had heavy snow, hurricane-force winds, coastal flooding, travel bans and states of emergency to contend with on several occasions.
Leading up to each event, as well as during each event, our goal is to work closely with our clients and maintain business as usual. We provide them with timely, meaningful and proactive updates.
One component of our business contingency plan is performing critical work for clients on a daily basis in multiple sites. This prepares staff in one site to handle work if another site is not operating at full capacity. Our flex schedule model in the core processing operations areas provides us optimum flexibility in terms of resources planning and allocation. During one event this season, media outlets were predicting the imminent closing of the markets. We had already included that as a possible scenario in our planning, and were ready to act accordingly. The markets never closed; however, we were poised to mobilize our “playbook” if they had.
We have a tremendous pool of talented resources, always willing to ensure things get done for our clients, even in the face of adversity. At the same time, the safety of our associates is a primary concern for us. Based on job responsibilities, Boston Financial provides different options for them to work during weather events, while maintaining personal safety. Our alternate site procedures allow individuals to travel to a closer Boston Financial facility for a shorter commute. During travel bans, a group of critical associates is often asked to “shelter-in-place” or stay at a nearby hotel with transportation provided to and from the office. We also arrange with our cafeteria vendor to have food available for associates who have to spend extended time in the office.
Other associates, as appropriate, are able to work from home during weather events via secured system access that enables them to achieve the same level of productivity remotely as they would in the office. All this detailed, advanced coordination helps make things a little easier for associates despite the gravity of the storm.
As with any unplanned event, a level of uniqueness exists. At the same time, each event provides us an opportunity to improve. While we have all certainly had enough of winter already, the bright side is that this season has given us plenty of opportunities to fine-tune how we respond to storms and focus on enhancing our business contingency plans.