Calculating and managing risk
An Eurostar case study

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Page 2: Business continuity

Eurostar exists solely for its customers. The culture of putting the customer first is embedded into everything it does. Therefore, Eurostar is very aware of the need to provide a safe, reliable, convenient and comfortable service.

In order to ensure that this is the case, the company has established a business and service continuity department. The department ‘sets the pace’ and the policy framework. However, the responsibility for implementing and maintaining actions designed to improve business continuity and service resilience are firmly the responsibility of line management. This ensures internal clarity and accountability.

What is business continuity?

eps2112.tifBusiness continuity can be described as the strategic and tactical ability of the organisation to plan for and respond to incidents and business interruptions, in order to continue business operations at an acceptable pre-determined level. It also involves managing the recovery itself or continuation of business activities in the event of a business disruption. This is achieved through training, exercises and reviews to ensure the plans stay up to date.

The principle of business continuity aligns perfectly with the company’s objectives and its key performance indicators. It implies and demands a proactive attitude to the management of risk to business continuity, particularly in the areas of customer service and the delivery of value for money.

Business continuity management is the process that identifies potential threats to an organisation and the impacts to business operations that those threats might cause. It also provides a framework for enabling the organisation to develop a resilience so that it can respond effectively in order to safeguard the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value-creating activities.

Eurostar objectives

Eurostar’s key message for business continuity is Semper Paratus (‘always prepared’). It is far better in managerial terms to be proactive. Being reactive is too late. Eurostar adopts an open culture that encourages colleagues to share knowledge and concerns. This helped it to put together a realistic set of risk factors that might impact its business.

It also helps identify what it can do to improve or alleviate these risks in a sustainable way. It ensures that the company has taken account of all the risks that could occur and that efforts to avoid them have been put into place, as far as reasonably practicable. It also ensures that, if they do, the consequences are managed well, safely and efficiently.

This is consistent with the Eurostar objectives of safety, customer service, value for money, reliability and punctuality that are the cornerstones of the way the business wishes to treat its customers. Such a policy enables Eurostar to thrive and grow to achieve its future goals.

The business continuity plan is a documented collection of procedures and information that is developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in disruption. It will enable the organisation to maintain its critical activities at an acceptable level. It should also be proactive to avoid risks becoming reality wherever possible.

Eurostar | Calculating and managing risk