Input - Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

MailGuru

Well-known member
We are a small to medium-sized digital print, fulfillment, and bindery shop. 90% of our work consists of very complicated, regulary scheduled, daily and weekly jobs, which, required us to write home-grown software to accomplish. Internally, we have servers that are backed-up daily to other servers, weekly off-site removable disk storage, as well as a replicating server. If we lose a server, we're ok, because we can switch over to the replicating server, or, reload from the backup server, or, reload from the offsite backups.

None of that helps in a catastrophic situation where the entire plant is down due to a fire or natural disaster such as a hurricane. Ideally, and, what some of our customers are looking for us to accomplish, would be to have an "alternate processing site", that can be activated within 24 hours of such a catastrophic event, to insure that their processing continues virtually uninterrupted.

To actually construct an alternate processing site with the servers, operating systems, application software, our XMPie server, printers, and bindery equipment to continue operations would be way too cost prohibitive. We're not RR Donnelly. we're just a small to medium-sized business that has some very specialized applications (hence, why we have these accounts, instead of RR Donnelly).

So, surely, some of you out there have been confronted with the same challenge. How did you solve it? and what would it cost. Cloud? Reciprocating agreement with another printer that would be in a different geographical location?. If reciprocating agreement with another service provider in, another state, for example, what prevents that provider from going after your client, especially since they now have all the proprietary software needed to run their jobs?

Just looking for any input here from someone else who has gone through this.

Thanks,

-Best

MailGuru
 
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bean66

Well-known member
If you could find a good partner to share workloads back and forth that would be ideal. Be careful what you ask for though, one of our customers looked into the future and saw that two printers was the way to go and we lost half of the business.
 

seejay

Well-known member
I've been in a situation similar to the one described above.
As I see it, the software, applications etc. are reasonably straightforward to replicate/move. In a worst case situation, it would be relatively quick to set-up the back office channel in an alternative location. It seems that the main challenge to any competitor will be to replicate the application/software set-up, so this is your strength that needs to be protected.
Is the application such that you could send a 'printable' file to another manufacturing facility? if so then you're challenge is to find a similar set-up where you could drop the final files. Then, its a case of testing a couple of 'low-key' or dummy jobs to ensure that the set-up works.

From a security point of view, it may be possible to sign a confidentiality agreement with the competitor which should (in theory) prevent them from going after the work.

just my thoughts
 
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rich apollo

Well-known member
You gotta' find a buddy. Even having a second facility is not a good answer, unless you're ready to split the workload between the two. Equipment has to run.
 

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