Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

May 04, 2009 14:30 ET

Only 13% of Manufacturers and Exporters Prepared for Pandemic: CME Survey

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 4, 2009) - Despite the threat of Avian Flu in 2006, a majority of manufacturers and exporters across Canada are still not prepared for a possible pandemic, according to a membership survey by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

Approximately 87% of the 527 companies polled in the survey conducted over three days last week indicate their businesses do not have a continuity plan in place to deal with an emergency situation like a pandemic, while 90% are not sure what steps to take to safeguard their operations, including their supply chain.

"With the current threat of A/H1N1 virus, there is a risk of grinding an already-struggling economy to a halt," says Jayson Myers, CME president. "The first step in mitigating the impacts of any crisis like a possible pandemic is borrowing a lesson from the Boy Scouts - be prepared."

With an estimated reduction of up the 35% workforce due to the effects of a pandemic flu, business continuity planning is essential for the survival of businesses already hard hit by the recession and therefore to the economy as a whole.

"Businesses need to prepare to maintain operations in the wake of any crisis like a pandemic," Myers says. "Not many companies can weather a pandemic-type shock when economic conditions are good. In today's recession, any further jolt to the Canadian economy would be bad news for all Canadians." Already, 37% of respondents report their business is feeling the impact of the A/H1N1 virus.

"Successful continuity planning goes well beyond ensuring your employees wash their hands properly," adds Myers. "It's imperative to have a strategy from the boardroom to the shop floor that safeguards all operations of your business, including your supply chain."

Building on the success of its business continuity planning guide for the Avian Flu which was downloaded more than 400,000 times, CME has today released an updated version of the publication, aimed specifically at helping Canadian companies prepare for a potential crisis like a pandemic. The document equips companies with the tools and information required to minimize the impact of an influenza pandemic on the health and safety of employees, suppliers, customers and their bottom line.

"The best business strategy for any company is to act now," says Myers. "Failure to plan is a plan that will undoubtedly fail."

CME's guide can be found at www.cmememberservices.ca/pandemic for more information.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.

Contact Information

  • CME
    Jeff Brownlee
    613-238-8888 ext. 4233