Is resilience just the latest business buzzword or term du jour that business and supply chain professionals are talking about — but doing very little about? What does a resilient organization look like?

These and other questions about building resilient companies and supply chains were tackled in an ISM2015 presentation “Resilience … Taking Continuity to the Next Level.” And Betty A. Kildow of Kildow Consulting says if business resilience, risk management and business continuity aren’t on your radar, they should be.

A resilient company is able to not only bounce back after a disruption, but to become a stronger, more robust organization that learns lessons after the disruption. The foundation of a resilient company and a resilient supply chain is a solid business continuity plan, Kildow says. Supply management practitioners play an important, often leading, role in building a business continuity plan, but Kildow says they can’t do it themselves.

“A business continuity plans must be an enterprisewide system that include all business units including end-to-end supply chains,” she explains. “It’s also no longer just about unplanned or catastrophic events, but about the small things that go on in your day-to-day business.”

How do you get there? Kildow suggests six steps:

Proactively identify and manage supply risks

Make resilience part of strategic supply chain planning

Have a detailed plan, but give permission to go off book

Consider the value of adopting a standard that addresses continuity and risk

Build continuity plans not just to recover or continue, but to advance and improve

Create a culture that promotes resilience.

Kildow admits it’s easy to convince upper management about the value of a continuity plan after there has been a major disruption, the challenge is making the case before there is a problem.

Are you up to the challenge?