Business disruptions happen at any and all times of year, but they seem to hit the headlines more during the holiday season. Here in the UK we have had the threat of postal, rail and airline strikes and in Germany this week we have the dreadful news about the terror attack on the Christmas market in Berlin.
There are a couple of very good reasons for this holiday season disruption activity and the high media profile it generates, both related to each other. The first reason is that any kind of disruption at this time of year is especially poignant. Families are travelling ahead of the holidays so that they can celebrate together. People are posting presents to each other. Religious communities are celebrating their faith through the festivals of Diwali, Hanukah and Christmas. At the same time the New Year is celebrated as a global festival.
This season of poignancy magnifies the impact of any disruption so that families kept apart by travel disruption or torn apart by terror attacks make bigger headlines than at any other time of year. And unfortunately this often suits the agenda of those who are responsible for the disruption, where the cause is human intervention.
Postal workers asked why they are striking in the run up to Christmas when postal services are most stretched reply that there would be no point in striking when no-one would notice it. Airline staff know that their employers are desperate to keep operations running smoothly at this time of year and will do anything to avoid disruption. And the terrorists will, as always, do whatever it takes to gain maximum publicity for their cause.
For retail and hospitality businesses, this time of year is often when they make much most of their profits. So they need to maximise their up time and minimise their downtime. A break in sales for a few days right now could ruin 2017 for them.
Business interruptions do happen all year round, not just during the holiday season, but this is the time of year when minds can be focused on the worst case scenario. Many companies close down over the holiday season for the only time during the year and need to ensure that if something does go wrong then they will be alerted to it, even if the office is empty.
Crises Control is made to help with all of these situations and will be especially useful if you need to keep your business running, or stay alert for any incident, over the holiday season. But it is also just as useful for minimising and responding to business disruptions at any other time of year. Which is why I like to say, Crises Control is for life, not just for Christmas.