Business Continuity Management: A Business Case Simulation

Risk Institute Portraits Fisher Hall - Third Floor Feb-02-2016 Photo by Jay LaPrete ©2016 Jay LaPrete

By  Philip S. Renaud II, MS, CPCU
Executive Director, The Risk Institute
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business


Each and every day, businesses face the challenge of managing in the face of disruption. That disruption may be a result of a supply chain failure, natural catastrophe, cyber event, the list of disruptions goes on and on. With the volatility that businesses face, the need to structure proper business continuity / critical incident management plans has never been more important.

According to a recent study authored by Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, 58% of participants reported that Business Interruption (including supply chain disruption) was a key risk to their businesses.  The Aon Global Risk Management Survey 2015 also lists business interruption as one of the top ten risks facing companies.

To quote Tony Hayward following the gulf oil blast that killed 11 workers and caused one of the worst environmental disasters in US history:

BP’s contingency plans were inadequate. We were making it up day to day. What was going on was some extraordinary engineering. But when it was played out in the full glare of the media as it was, of course it looked like fumbling and incompetence.”

With this in mind, The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, held a business case simulation exercise for students on April 15th. The event was cosponsored by The Risk Management Association (a student-led organization) and The Risk Institute. Participating students were divided into teams and presented with a fact-based scenario.  Students were then asked to prepare action strategy against the following “4 R” components:

  • Response (Protect Life and Property, Manage the Incident)
  • Resumption (Resumption of Time Sensitive Operations)
  • Recovery (Recovery of Other Operations)
  • Restoration (Repair/Restore Facilities and Content)

Students worked diligently during the day exercise to think through options, respond to life and safety concerns, communication challenges, manage customer expectations, etc.

Judges for the event were:

  • Keely L. Croxton, Associate Professor of Logistics, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University
  • A. Michael Knemeyer, Assistant Professor of Logistics, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, and;
  • Daniel Oglevee, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Academic Director of The Fisher Executive MBA Program, The Ohio State University.

Business Coach for the event was Gregory Clark, a graduate of The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.  Greg is now Global Lead, Business Continuity DHL Supply Chain. Greg provided very meaningful coaching for the students as they worked through the simulation exercise.

Students were pleased to be able to participate in an exercise that provided the opportunity to exercise material presented in the classroom with a real world, hands-on scenario. The Risk Institute is pleased to have an opportunity to prepare our students for events that they will experience once in business. As has been said on numerous occasions, anyone can manage an organization when things are going well – it is when things become difficult that true leaders emerge.

The session proved thought-provoking for the students and demonstrated The Risk Institute’s unique role in uniting students, industry thought leaders, academics and highly respected practitioners in an ongoing dialog to advance the understanding and evolution of risk management. The Risk Institute’s conversation about risk management is open and collaborative with its relevance across all industries and its potential for competitiveness and growth.


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