Q.9: If your key business partner or supplier suffered a catastrophe, how would you find out? How would you manage?

Talk with your partners – starting with those who could cause you the most harm – and discuss your mutual dependence.  How does your day-to-day business drive their operations – and vice versa?  What would happen if something disrupted their operations?  How would they manage through that event?  At what point, and how, would they inform you of a potential problem?  Does that plan make sense from your end?

Find out what plans they have to manage through potential crises and how those plans may impact your operations.  Make sure you’re not both expecting the other to do something that neither is planning to do.  Agree on an appropriate notification policy and a process that works for both parties.  Identify ways you can collaborate to help both organizations manage the crisis effectively.

Where necessary, look for alternate suppliers or partners that ay be better prepared or more aligned with your interests – or look for potential replacement partners that you could switch to in a crisis.

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