You know the old saying – “What are the three most important things in real estate? Location! Location! Location!” Well, in critical communications recovery the three most important things for your business continuity plan are: Testing! Testing! Testing!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years in providing print-to-mail critical communications recovery, it’s that customers need to test their plan, all of it, and often. From a Proof-of-Concept test to ensure your critical documents can be produced at our facility, to full blown live production testing, we’ve seen it all and know what works.
Most customers test just once a year, as that may be all their continuity and recovery plans require. But more and more, we receive requests for multiple tests per year as well as live mailing tests (printing, inserting and mailing the completed packages through the postal system) to test the time frame for delivery from the recovery site. Other customers request load testing – which means sending a large volume of production to the recovery site to ensure we can meet the daily production volumes.
The biggest failure in testing, which has remained constant throughout the years, is print failures due to missing resources such as a font, signature or other document formatting detail. If resources cannot be imbedded in the data file, it is vital that all resources be provided with the data file. One missing resource can delay or even derail a print and insert test, wasting precious time, resources and money.
Remember that any changes to your print and mail environment (such as a hardware or software change) or modifications to your applications should be tested with your recovery vendor. You don’t want to suffer a business disruption only to find your new print or insert process cannot be duplicated. While testing each and every change as they occur may be an insurmountable task, future test plans should include a list of all recent changes to make sure all of your critical documents are tested and recoverable.
Having a recovery plan in place for your critical communications is imperative. Testing that plan is the key to success. No matter your testing requirements – Mail-Gard® is here to assist.
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