Manufacturing & Distribution

Business Continuity and IT Disaster Recovery for the Manufacturing & Distribution Industries

Avalution has helped some of the world's largest manufacturing and distribution companies successfully overcome their business continuity and IT disaster recovery challenges. If you’re looking for assistance with building or improving your business continuity program, contact us today.


For many manufacturing companies, Six Sigma, Lean and just-in-time manufacturing processes are strong drivers for configuring operations that lead to more efficient processes and better financial performance. However, these very same drivers often introduce great risks. Complex, one-of-a-kind equipment, long raw material lead times, single source suppliers, and low inventories (raw material and work-in-process) all pose risks to order fulfillment if a disruptive incident occurs anywhere along the supply chain. As such, a focus on risk mitigation strategy identification and implementation is crucial in this environment to protect critical single points of failure (as opposed to planning their recovery) because redundancy for unique equipment and tooling is typically extremely cost-prohibitive and often fails to make business sense. Our team can help you minimize the impact of a disaster without compromising the operational performance that your company has worked hard to build and optimize. Are you ready to get started? Let's connect!


Distribution companies operate in a highly competitive market and efficiency is a critical component of financial and operational success. Your customers rely on you to get their products to the right location at the right time, and more and more, customers are asking their distribution partners to develop, implement, and maintain a robust business continuity program to ensure the flow of products to the customer based on expectations. Many companies have invested in customized processes, systems, and personnel to ensure a flexible and efficient distribution system that aligns to customer needs – but these customized processes and solutions can lead to a complex and extended recovery following a disruptive incident.

Our team’s experience with third-party logistics (3PL), reverse logistics, cross-docking, and outsourced distribution center providers enables us to quickly identify risks, manage the likelihood of a disruptive incident occurring, and implement solutions to protect critical single points of failure to help ensure your organization can meet customer expectations even during difficult circumstances.


Manufacturing and distribution companies are seeing increased inquiries from customers during the sales process, requesting proof that they can meet minimum recovery requirements and service line agreements (SLAs). Influenced less by regulatory requirements, many manufacturing and distribution organizations are finding value in aligning to standards. This trend has only increased with the release of ISO 22301, the first international standard focused exclusively on business continuity. Many manufacturers and distribution companies are looking into pursuing certification so they have the ability to quickly demonstrate the existence of a robust business continuity capability when requested. We just received our ISO 22301 certification, so we can answer any questions you may have regarding the value and process associated with this type of effort.


  • Consumer Products Distribution and Health Services CompanyProvided long term governance and program management assistance in support of corporate service continuity efforts for a company serving the pharmaceutical and health services market. Developed a service catalog and established unique yet consistent methodologies to deliver analytic and planning projects across multiple business units. Developed business cases and assisted senior management in establishing appropriate recovery strategies for critical technology in a complex, multi-site environment. Result – An effective and visible service continuity organization consistent with ITIL principles with the ability to drive consistent program growth and maturity across a diverse portfolio of business units.
  • Industrial Manufacturing and Distribution CompanyEstablished a multi-tiered crisis management, infrastructure recovery, and business continuity program for an international manufacturer of industrial and consumer steel products. Developed manufacturing, logistics and business recovery plans to ensure continued delivery of critical products in the event of facility outages or supply interruptions. Advised on recovery strategy revisions during multiple acquisitions. Result – A comprehensive program providing flexible recovery strategies for multiple manufacturing and office facilities guided by a single crisis management capability.
  • Transportation and Logistics ProviderDeveloped a business case for implementing an Enterprise-wide business continuity program (inclusive of IT disaster recovery), which ensured all decentralized business units had appropriate levels of preparedness in place. This included creating and socializing the organization’s business continuity governance structure and documentation, integrating existing business continuity and IT disaster recovery processes and expectations, and identifying the organization’s business continuity priorities (which led to a focused enterprise-wide business impact analysis). Result – An integrated, comprehensive business continuity program that ensured consistency of execution throughout the organization and alignment with executive management’s expectations.
  • Global Outdoor Power Equipment ManufacturerEvaluated the current IT disaster recovery strategy’s effectiveness including determining high-level business unit requirements for IT systems, conducting a risk assessment and assessing the ability of current IT operations to recover from a potential disaster based on identified risks. Result – A complete assessment of the resilience of current IT disaster recovery and data center hardening efforts and the identification of business risks that were previously not documented.
  • Digital Display ManufacturerAssisted management in establishing business tolerances for technology downtime to form recovery objectives for a manufacturer of highly customized digital displays. Integrated proactive and reactive strategies into the crisis management process in line with recovery objectives and established team structures / communications strategies to best fit the organization. Validated the development of the program through a tabletop exercise focusing on the crisis management process. Result – A corporate wide business continuity program carefully tailored to address highly specific short-term technology recovery requirements and overall long-term business needs.


For additional information on this topic, we recommend checking out:

Risky Business (Part 1): Managing Third-Party and Supplier Risk

Risky Business (Part 2): Too Lean, Too Late

The Top Five Questions to Ask Your Critical Suppliers

Managing Expanding Supply Chain Risks

MoldMaking Technology Article: It Is Time to Think About Business Continuity Planning

Many businesses are taking time to reflect on the past year and look ahead. MoldMaking Technology talks to Avalution's Brian Zawada about the increasing importance of business continuity planning in manufacturing companies.

Medical Device Network Article: If You Want Peace, Prepare for War

Business continuity plans need to be honed to be effective. Nic Paton talks to Avalution's Brain Zawada to find out how device manufacturers can make sure their plan is not a disaster in the making.

Explore Business Continuity 101

Business Continuity 101 answers the most common questions we receive about business continuity and explores the key planning activities and outcomes that drive success.

Avalution Recognized as a Leader by Gartner

Avalution has again been positioned as a Leader for Catalyst in Gartner's July 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Continuity Management Program Solutions, Worldwide. View the Release.

We design business continuity and IT disaster recovery solutions that are tightly aligned to the strategic priorities of the organization.
If you’re looking for assistance with building or improving your program, contact us today!


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