Disaster Planning and Recovery
As your organization develops disaster recovery (business continuity) plans, consider making Commercial Cards part of the plan and include the card program manager in the planning process. See also the related blog posts:
Why Incorporate Cards?
Responding to a disaster usually requires non-typical purchases at all hours. Commercial Cards are a good fit, as you might not be able to complete a check or ACH payment process. Cards offer convenience, especially for the in-person purchases that often occur, and more flexibility than other payment methods. You can adjust card spend limits in real-time and the reporting tools related to card usage help you track purchasing activity.
Every department/business unit needs to be aware and informed of the plan. Someone should ensure no duplication of efforts between the organization's plan and any plans developed by individual business units. All cardholders need appropriate direction about who will be involved with purchases related to recovery efforts. As a best practice, require annual emergency preparedness training for management, cardholders and other key employees (procurement, AP, finance, etc.). Also, do not overlook the value of testing your plans and conducting drills.
What are Your Card Needs?
Conduct needs assessments for different types of disasters to determine:
- potential purchases (products and services, anticipated quantities, costs, suppliers)
- cardholders who will be making purchases, including any emergency cards that will be needed
- appropriate card profiles to accommodate the potential purchases; you will likely need to loosen velocity limits, spend limits, MCC restrictions, as well as consider allowing a cash withdrawal option
Working with Your Card Issuer
It's critical to work with your issuer now, before a disaster strikes.
- Communicate your needs for various disaster scenarios: who will need cards, what the card profiles should be, anticipated purchases, etc.
- Obtain their feedback, including who your organization should contact to implement emergency plans as quickly as possible
- Design and document the plan
Ongoing Plan Management
Once a disaster plan is complete, it should not be filed away to collect dust. Accessibility is important; employees should keep a copy at home. Your organization should also update it regularly to ensure the list of employees, cardholders, and suppliers (and their contact information) is current.