Introduction: One of the world’s leading cheese manufacturers approached Fernao Business Resilience to ensure their operations remained resilient in the face of disruptions. This case study delves into the practical journey of developing an IT-Service Continuity Management (IT-SCM) system to meet this challenge.

The Challenge: Our client, a global cheese manufacturer, operates across Europe and in countries such as Australia and the United States. They rely on their IT department for critical functions, including production site management, laboratory quality control, internal IT support, SAP systems, and more.

Downtime, for them, wasn’t just a matter of inconvenience—it directly threatened production, revenue, and the brand’s reputation. They realized the need for a structured approach to resilience. Prior attempts to establish an IT-SCM in-house revealed resource limitations, the complexity of navigating technical aspects without a clear strategy, and limited internal expertise. With nearly 6000 employees globally, they sought a smooth, expert-guided path to fortify their IT-SCM.

Our approach:

  • Readiness Assessment: Our initial step involved a readiness assessment. We analyzed existing documents and conducted interviews with IT team leaders at the client’s headquarters. What we found was a wealth of undocumented, insular resilience activities. While they had effective practices, the absence of documentation and a concentration of knowledge in a few minds posed a challenge.
  • Policy and Preparedness Concept: The next phase focused on developing a group-wide policy and an emergency preparedness concept. These provided a foundation for identifying vulnerabilities and reducing the risk of potential disruptions. They also brought together the disparate resilience processes and made the existing expertise and knowledge more widely available.
  • Service Business Impact Analysis (BIA) and Risk Analysis: A customised BIA, using their IT service catalogue as a basis, was the next step. This led to the identification of high-level service risks and initial mitigation measures.


  • Establishment of their first IT-SCM, complete with a universally applicable policy.
  • A practical emergency preparedness concept for local IT teams in Germany, describing their IT-SCM processes and ensuring that the organisation has the tools to stay resilient in the future.
  • A crisis management handbook with practical guidelines for their IT service continuity management team, allowing them to respond to crisis and emergencies quickly and effectively.
  • A comprehensive, modular, and adaptable business continuity plan for their IT, designed to be a template for future implementations in other countries.

This successful implementation paved the way for future expansions and a more resilient future.

Conclusion: If your organisation faces similar challenges, struggling to initiate IT-SCM or BCM, getting lost in technical details without a clear strategy, or lacking internal resources for these critical areas, we can provide practical support and guidance to enhance resilience and continuity.