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Red Barn Grocery's Year 2000 Readiness Checklist

Small Business-Owners Year 2000 Readiness Checklist

Red Barn Natural Grocery, Eugene, Oregon

Completed 24 June 1998 by Cynthia Beal

I've rated my own progress on a scale of 1-10, as follows:
___ 1. Myself and my employees are active in a local community preparedness group and we have all taken the minimum precautions to make sure the we will have water, food, necessary heat, etc., should delivery of these essentials be temporarily interrupted. (Needless to say, serious disruption of the lives of personnel will disrupt the business they work for.)

>Rating: 6-7; Group is starting, but slow. Began giving staff a monthly
>food credit that can only be used to buy full cases and bags of staples
>(they can teach customers this way)

___ 2. Similar precautions have been taken at my place of business.

>Rating: 6; Got out the WWGrainger catalog and am shopping for electrical
>protection equipment; getting the generator (propane) repaired; water
>filter supplies in stock; back-up lights, etc. So much of this stuff is
>just standard emergency prep - should have done it ALL a long time ago...

___ 3. All of our PCs have been tested for the year 2000 rollover and will function appropriately in year 2000 and beyond.

>Rating: 6 Office is Macintosh. Have dedicated an older computer to become a time
>machine; starting this Fall, we'll run every application through our time
>machine (rolled forward to 2000, then later rolled forward to 2005) and
>use our data and applications in "real time" and in 2000 and compare to
>make sure our accounting isn't screwed up. Back-up precautions will be
>taken every time a new item is loaded.

___ 4. All of my PC software applications have been checked for Y2K readiness, including any staff generated spreadsheets or databases.

>Rating: 6 - see above

___ 5. All embedded systems critical to the operation of my business and place of business have been tested for Y2K readiness.

>Rating: 5 - Not sure I can get past "5" on this one. Only embedded systems
>I am aware of in my business have been "passed" by vendors (i.e., ATT
>phone system, Sonitrol alarm, TEC cash registers & scale, HP fax, etc.).
>Embedded systems outside of my business are challenging: MAJOR soymilk manufacturing
>plant operations manager says "y2k? what's y2k? Oh, the programming thing?
>Look, our programmer comes in on Wednesday afternoons and you can talk to
>him then. Embedded systems? No, we don't have any of those." hmmmm...I
>wonder if the Board of Directors knows that the operations manager handling
>millions upon millions of dollars of highly automated tetrapak production
>doesn't know what they think she knows? I wonder if they'll even begin to
>understand that she probably CAN'T ever catch up, given the amount of time
>left? I wonder if they'll even get around to checking the farm supply
>line, the elevators for soybeans, the capital crunch for operating dollars
>for major farms, the railroad yards, the JIT [just-in-time] inventory systems of their
>wholesales and major buyers, etc...
>Stuck on 5...

___ 6. All critical computer data will be backed up and stored at a place separate from my place of business.

>Already do. Will do better.

___ 7. All computer equipment will be turned off prior to rollover and restored to operation after the 2000 rollover in a methodical manner.


___ 8. I have contacted all electric power, water, gas, sewage, food, heat, security, telecommunications providers and am convinced that they have robust Y2K remediation (fixing their Y2K computer bugs) and contingency planning underway and will be ready to support my employees at home and my place of business after 2000 rollover.

>Rating: 3 The chain looks bad. It's got links of copper, silver, titanium, and
>pasta. The pasta links are pasta because the links aren't listening.
>The sticks to "make the pasta listen" are 1) regulatory, requiring
>legislation, requiring legislators who aren't pasta and 2)
>social/peer/competitive pressure, again requiring Antipasta.
>I'm doing my best, but it just doesn't seem good enough yet....

___ 9. I have similarly contacted all my critical suppliers and am convinced that they are Y2K ready to provide critical supplies after rollover.

>Rating: 3 I'm going to keep taking responsibility in this area. It's not just my
>critical suppliers that are blowing it - it's me. I haven't yet figured
>out how to get them to listen. What I HAVE figured out is that their
>non-listening means I should probably just do something that includes not
>needing them as my critical suppliers.
>This is actually more interesting, when you get right down to it, because
>I'm remaking my business in a time when my business needs to re-invent
>itself, anyway. All these mega corporate mergers have been sinking my boat
>for the last 5 years. I'm going to keep rating myself as a "3" in this
>until I complete what I'm currently doing - finding new critical
>suppliers. Good-bye largest automated mega-food processing corporations
>who think they might have a payroll glitch...(Do I feel a breeze whistling
>in my hair? Sun Shine? A cloud with a silver lining?)

___ 10. I have contacted all critical customers and am convinced that they are Y2K ready to continue as customers after year 2000 rollover.

>Rating 7: My community probably thinks I'm a certifiable y2k nutcase by
>now. By late this fall I'll be well on my way to helping my customers deal
>with y2k, and never again will we have the Damocles sword of "oh my
>goodness, our way of life is about to be interrupted for a couple of days
>and because we're not ready we're going to have social turmoils rippling
>throughout the global economy for quite an indeterminate while, so cough
>up some more money to pay for protection from infrastructure blips...".
>Sorry. Been there, done that. Resilience and Flexibility, here we come!

___ 11. The viability of my business does not rely on the viability of foreign suppliers or customers nor communication or transportation between my company and such.

>Rating: 6 Sourcing practices of the last 9 years have been more and more
>local. I know the ones that I'm dependent upon; that, in and of itself,
>takes quite a bit of analysis. Strategies for this will become more clear
>in the next 14 months.

___ 12. All EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) interfaces with customers and suppliers (if any) have been remediated for Y2K readiness and tested.

>Rating: 5 My bank (great local bank; VP ducks when I come into the
>office; they've heard about y2k since November...)
>is about as ready as they can be - that means they'll be ready
>to participate in end-to-end tests with the Big Players as soon as they
>start. I guess that means I will, too.

___ 13. In the event of communications interruption or short term business interruption for whatever cause, I will be available to assist customers via the following backup communications paths ....

>Rating: 5 One of my favorite customers, Earl, has a ham set-up. I'm
>going to offer him some space in an extra office (he's partly on the
>street). I can see it now - packet radio shortwave've heard
>of short-order cooks; now you'll see short-order grocers!

___ 14. A business continuity contingency plan has been prepared and contingency preparations are in process.

>Rating: 6 We're working cash-flow issues right now, transitioning to a
>liquid condition and minimal payables. I'm addressing insurance - if my
>current insurer excludes y2k coverage, I'm going to legal minimum I have
>to buy and transferring all my remaining insurance budget to contingency
>and continuity. I'm also shifting advertising budgets, and R&D budgets, to
>accommodate the same thinking, and this is happening now.

>Cynthia Beal
>Red Barn Natural Grocery
>Eugene, Oregon
>*The Milliner's Millennium