Contingency Planning Strategies for Businesses

What can happen will happen. That’s why creating a contingency plan for your business is key. Whether it’s a strike, pandemic, work influx, or any type of disruption, it’s important to strategize solutions for every “what if.” With years of contingency planning experience, our team at Strom Engineering is here to give you some of the most useful contingency planning strategies for businesses we’ve encountered over the years. 

Why is Contingency Planning Important?

In a perfect world, a contingency plan would never need to be used. However, in today’s uncertain, turbulent labor market, no business can afford not to have a well-developed manufacturing staffing plan. In the (hopefully) unlikely scenario that something goes wrong, it’s imperative that you have a plan ready to implement.

By having a contingency plan in place, your company can benefit from:

  • Risk mitigation
  • Upholding safety  requirements
  • Company resilience
  • Operational continuity 
  • Security of personnel & facilities

When you create a contingency plan for your business, you’re creating a safeguard in case a large loss of workers happens. That way, your company can continue to thrive.

Do you need help creating your contingency plan? Read our blog, Planning for Crisis Staffing in 2024, to get more tips.

Best Strategies for Keeping Your Business Operating

With proper contingency planning, it’s possible to keep your business operating in full – even when an emergency happens. By following the steps we’ve laid out below, you can strategize appropriately and create a contingency plan for your ongoing business needs.

1. Review Your Resources

Before disaster strikes, it’s important to take stock of your current resources so you can make a plan. 

First, identify what your business can’t do without. This includes things like:

  • Essential employees/positions
  • Computer/software systems
  • Physical space
  • Tools (manufacturing, packaging, assembly, technology, etc.) 

Take the time to make a list of everything that’s critical to the daily operation of your business. Then, imagine that one or more of these items are removed. How would you respond to fix the situation? Having a worst-case scenario in your head helps you create plans of what to do if any of these elements are suddenly removed in real life.

Related Content: How to Create a Strike Staffing Plan

2. Create a Detailed Contingency Plan

There are two ways you can create a detailed contingency plan:

The longer route is to plan out every last detail on your own based on a composite of research findings and newly accrued knowledge. One positive of going in this direction is that it’s not an outside expense. On the other hand, it’s going to be a lengthy process that you’re new to, so it’s going to take a lot of time and people assigned to the task.

The shorter route is to partner with a staffing agency to help you with your contingency plan. We recommend partnering with a staffing agency because it offers you immediate resources for filling staffing positions if/when problems arise. The positives to this approach are that you won’t have to plan everything yourself, you’ll have a skilled contingency team at your disposal, and you’ll already be working with the team you plan to use if there’s a labor crisis.

3. Partner with a Staffing Agency

By partnering with a staffing agency, you’ll have all your contingency planning needs covered as well as a team to back you up if anything does happen. With our extensive time in the industry, our team at Strom Engineering provides clients with an unparalleled depth of experience and success. Strom’s overriding goal is to provide employers with powerful negotiating leverage at the bargaining table through proper labor continuity planning.

We help our clients create contingency plans in the following ways:

Business Continuity Planning and Playbooks

Strom is a leading developer of workforce BCPs designed to help train and prepare managers for possible labor disruptions. Playbooks provide a significant level of comfort as a tangible resource that answers questions, defines company policies, and offers reassurance that the company does indeed have a manufacturing staffing shift plan to keep operations running in the event of a labor disruption or crisis. Strom can develop a singular playbook for a client’s management team or varying levels of playbooks for each location or manager.

Business Continuity Planning and Process Documentation

Another service our team at Strom Engineering provides is technical writers and consultants for process documentation purposes. We work in tandem with you to provide:

  • Job safety analysis
  • Physical demand documentation
  • Review of existing documentation
  • Documentation of job steps
  • Updating existing documentation
  • Capturing tribal knowledge
  • Process analysis
  • Review and revision of training material
  • Documents for management system design and implementation
  • Drawing packages in physical and digital mediums

Our processes also highlight opportunities for process improvement and support organizational development.

NLRA T.I.P.S. Training and Picket Line Safety Training

Strom offers customized training that provides your salaried staff with knowledge and guidance on how to lawfully and effectively communicate with union membership to deliver a message consistent with company policy, strategy, and culture. Strom labor disruption consulting and training can reduce valid unfair labor practice charges and help to build positive relationships between salaried and hourly personnel while staying within NLRA guidelines.

Strom’s proactive salaried training program guides your company’s employees through situations that help them recognize and address labor union tactics and properly react to workplace disruptions. This training is designed to provide managers with (1) a basic understanding of the rights guaranteed to employees, managers, and employers under Section 7 & 8(a)(1)) of the National Labor Relations Act; (2) information necessary to identify when a manager might risk interfering with an employee’s rights; and (3) the information and tools they’ll need to feel safe coming to work should there be a Strike or Lockout. Strom’s training programs are custom-tailored to meet each client’s needs, including responding to union tactics, minimizing Unfair Labor Practice charges during labor negotiations, preparing for the return of the union workforce, and union avoidance training for non-represented sites.

Start-Ups, Shutdowns, and Relocations

Strom provides business continuity planning and project management associated with manpower services to meet your startup, shutdown, or relocation needs. Strom can provide personnel to assist with:

  • Responding to workforce attrition after closure announcements
  • Equipment/machinery moving, including disconnect, rigging, packaging, crating, and shipping
  • Equipment/machinery connections, setup, and testing
  • Facilities preparation/setup and facilities maintenance, mock, and initial production runs
  • Production and maintenance manpower, including supplemental or full workforce for production pre-shutdown or upon startup, bargaining unit mitigation in your new location

Where to Find a Contingency Plan Consultant

Preparation is critical for mitigating disaster. Planning for crises such as pandemics, natural disasters, labor disruptions, or other emergencies out of your control is one of Strom’s unique capabilities. Our expertise in business continuity plan development and execution comes from our years of developing plans and playbooks for multiple organizations in nearly every industry, and we can help you every step of the way – from contingency planning to taking action, we have you covered. Interested in our contingency planning services?

Learn more about how we plan for the unexpected today.


How to Create a Crisis Plan: Free Guide

cover of the how to prepare for strike and crisis staffing ebookLearn How To Create A Strike & Crisis Plan

Strikes and crises can happen, and when they do, preparations and planning are critical. Labor disputes can have a significant impact on operations, production, and overall business revenue, so it’s important to understand what to do and when to do it.

Strom Engineering is a complete solution provider and partner for businesses seeking to address the unfortunate possibility of a labor disruption.

Strom suggests a five-phase approach for mitigating the repercussions of a labor disruption. Download our free ebook to learn more! This guide includes:

  • We walk you through how to create a strike and staffing plan.
  • What are the benefits of working with a strike and crisis staffing agency?
  • What to look for when choosing a strike and staffing agency.
  • What it's like working with Strom as your strike and staffing agency.


Download the Guide

Strom Engineering is a national staffing and recruitment agency, with a particular focus on manufacturing, engineering, assembly, and other trade positions. We match skilled candidates to temporary or project staffing positions. Learn more about how it works and check out our case studies for more information.