Due to hurricane damage, one trailer business in Vermont was forced to continue its operations without essential paperwork.

Business owners can recover from disasters with proper document management

No matter the industry, businesses need to ensure that their essential company records are preserved in the event of a natural disaster. As such, proper disaster recovery planning that incorporates document management can be essential to this process, one that can save businesses time and money while preserving the organization's reputation to customers and clients.

While some owners are quick to implement this kind of business continuity planning, others make mistakes that cause them to learn the hard way. For example, this summer Lucky's Trailers in Vermont lost most of its essential paperwork to Hurricane Irene, according to the news and information resource CMSWire.

Due to the need to rescue essential business vehicles and trailers, the owners decided that there was no time to try and save paperwork that was slowly being engulfed in rising water, the media outlet indicates. While the company had previously looked into electronic document management – such as the kind offered by cloud computing and other data alternatives – it failed to make the decision to act on this impulse before it was necessary.

"For two weeks we were out of business," John Van Vught, Lucky's financial and systems analyst said regarding the incident, according to the news source. "Documents were gone – we had to pry them out of file cabinets. There was a huge dumpster for all the paper, damaged equipment and sodden carpeting."

In the end, Lucky's management team decided to opt for a cloud communications solution after the disaster. However, the business continuity issues the company experienced could have been mitigated had they previously spoken with a consultant about their needs.

As a result, companies that are in a similar industry may want to consider incorporating cloud computing and other data management techniques into their overall disaster recovery strategies.