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Crisis management

What if Something Terrible Happens to Your CNC Shop?

June 18, 2019

No CNC shop or any other business is immune to crisis. Although we hope it never happens, when something goes terribly wrong a company’s very survival may hinge on how well it handles the aftermath. That’s why every CNC shop should have a crisis plan in place. Right now.                                                                            

As recent events in the automotive, aviation and energy industries illustrate, a company’s image, reputation and income can be severely impacted by unexpected events. Are CNC shops less vulnerable? Unfortunately a defective part might slip through and cause a catastrophic failure, an employee might be injured or worse on the job, a disgruntled worker or customer could launch a smear campaign on social media.

Even if the company is blameless, the injuries could be severe and even fatal. Especially if there is no set plan in place for dealing with a crisis. So, how do you go about putting together such a plan? It may well pay you to consult an experienced public relations company. They will likely create a plan that includes elements like these:

  • Designate spokespeople. Decide who is best suited to address any questions related to the incident and the company in general. Everyone else in the organization should be informed that they are not to comment in any way, other than to refer questions to the designated spokespeople. Otherwise speculation, half-truths and misinformation may compound the damage.
  • Own the situation. Generally, the sooner you get the facts out, the better off you will be. This gives you the opportunity to frame the situation the best way possible, rather than be at the mercy of rumors and innuendo. Be forthcoming and truthful. If you honestly don’t know all the facts, say so and explain what steps you are taking to understand what happened.
  • Accept responsibility. The people you do business with rely on your word and ethical practices. Any attempt to dodge accountability or to blame others raises questions about your integrity. This does not mean you must admit guilt, unless your legal counsel advises you to do so. In most cases acknowledging that it is your responsibility to determine the cause and that you are taking steps to see it doesn’t happen again is the proper course.
  • Make it right. If this incident harmed a person or another organization, do your best to make up for it. This may mean providing some form of compensation, taking a loss on a job, or contributing to a related non-profit.
  • Stay out of the mud. If someone wrongly maligns your company, don’t get into a sparring match. Your credibility will suffer. Rather, disperse the facts as widely as possible without taking shots at your adversary. Hitting back may feel therapeutic in the short term, but in the long run it will cause you more harm than good.

From time-to-time, Gosiger posts information like this that we hope helps our customers with the business side of their shops. On the production side, for more than 95 years Gosiger has provided machine shops with the most advanced machining technologiesunmatched engineering services, technical service, replacement parts, and customer support . Contact your local Gosiger facilit to learn more.