In finance and healthcare, they have laws for business continuity. In manufacturing, they have OEM customers and it’s a moot point as to which, laws or customers, have the stronger influence.
True, governments and standards bodies encourage companies in general to implement business continuity management and planning.
There are standards and templates to help enterprises put BC in place, and promises of benefits if they do, or warnings of consequences if they don’t. But the manufacturing sector distinguishes itself in terms of “alternative” pressure to do it and do it right.
The pressure that OEM customers exert on manufacturers comes from the pressure the customers themselves are under to perform correctly. Lean supply chains with just in time operations means that customers may simply not be able to afford any interruption to operations for the manufacturers that supply them.
The more “top level” OEM companies for example try to squeeze efficiency out of the way they assemble products from parts manufactured for them, the harder components manufacturers have to strive to satisfy them. Jobs are at stake, jobs on which many depend for their livelihood.
Yet by pushing too hard and in the wrong way, customers may be doing themselves a disservice. Some business interruptions are impossible to avoid, as floods in Thailand affecting IT disk drives and the nuclear disaster in Japan affecting semiconductor supply a couple of years ago both showed.
Going too lean and trying to lay down the law accordingly leaves customers themselves open to unacceptable risk. Car vendors have adopted another solution, by mandating that manufacturing suppliers conform to ISO/TS 16949 for continuous improvement and defect prevention. Although the jury is still out as to the overall benefit of such a mandate, at least in this case, all suppliers are equal in the eyes of the “law”.