Published August 22, 2014

According to today’s Wall Street Journal, the U.S.’s largest drugstore chain Walgreens had a database glitch and customers were unable to fill prescriptions. The database issue hit 8200 pharmacy locations. Some customers were inconvenienced while others might be waiting in excruciating pain for the system to be fixed. In this case, the culprit was a system upgrade; however, it could have been any number of potential causes. No matter how unlikely, in today’s business environment, customers expect high service levels and are less likely to stick by you when issues occur. Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law will occur somewhere down the road. Are you prepared?

One tip to implement this week: Think about what would happen if your system went down. What is most critical? Do you have a backup process in place? I found out the hard way that a simple backup can be a lifesaver! Don’t delay! Beyond that, think about your most critical files and functions of your system. How can you make sure they stay up? You don’t have to be a whiz yourself. I.T. service companies can help. Most importantly, make sure you and your teams are trained on how to perform manual processes. Understanding the processes enough to perform them manually can also be a win-win as ideas emerge for improvement. Go out and ask a few questions. Find out if your business would come to a standstill or if you’d be able to help your competitor’s customers if both of your systems were down.