An industry power outage never makes for a good story since there’s a lot at stake. From financial loss to delayed operations, things get chaotic in case of a power outage.
Today, we live in a world where electricity has become an essential part of our lives.
In such a driven world, even a momentary power loss can lead to tremendous revenue and productivity loss. The extent to which an industry is affected by a power outage depends on its vastness, range of operations, and nature of applications.
While some industries only bear monetary losses, in others, a power failure can lead to life-threatening effects. Let’s take a look at the businesses hampered or stalled by power cuts.
1. Manufacturing Industry
A power failure in a manufacturing industry leads to the halting of all operations. As a result, the business can lose a ton of money while facing machinery breakdown and loss of time. Additionally, it may disturb the supply chain, leading to bigger problems.
According to research, power outages in different geo-economic regions lead to a variable value of losses in sales. The value fluctuates depending on the number of power outages in a month and the duration of each power failure.
- Middle East and North Africa: 4.78% of total sales
- East Asia and the Pacific: 0.86% of total sales
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia: 1.39% of total sales
- Caribbean and Latin America: 1.28% of total sales
- South Asia: 5.98% of total sales
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 6.39% of total sales
- High-Income Countries: 0.22% to 0.33% of total sales
As evident, a power failure affects the manufacturing industry differently in each region. Since poorer and less developed countries have more incidents of power failures, and for longer durations, they lose more money.
2. Financial Corporations
Power failures also impact financial corporations, such as the stock market, negatively. It’s one of those industries where you can make millions of dollars in a second.
So, even a momentary power failure leads to potential losses since corporations cannot make essential transactions.
To date, there have been many instances in which the stock market has shut down for defined periods. Besides being detrimental to individual transactions and assets, shutting down financial corporations also has a ripple effect on the country’s economy.
3. IT and Consulting Services
Today, anyone will tell you that information technology is the future, and rightfully so. Therefore, it’s easy to see how a power failure will affect software development facilities and consulting firms.
An uninterrupted power supply leads to data loss, crashing computers, and halted communication with international and local clients.
Even worse, the aftereffects are seen for weeks since the data has to be recovered.
4. Data Centers
Speaking of data, data centers are crucial for the smooth functioning of many businesses, including IT firms, insurance companies, and financial services.
In case of a power failure, the industry may lose hundreds if not thousands of records that are difficult to recover.
Additionally, a power failure disrupts transactions and creates havoc.
According to a Ponemon Institute research, an unplanned outage in a data center could cost the facility up to $5,600 per minute. The figure rose to $7,900 in just a year, seeing a 41% increase.
The research also showed that the average downtime was 86 minutes, causing a data center to lose $690,200 in one incident of a power outage.
All of this is not merely limited to some statistics. In fact, the Data Center Knowledge has curated a list of the worst 2013 data center outages that paint a horrifying picture of the loss that is incurred during a power failure in this industry.
5. Control Centers
Control centers, such as transport systems and traffic signal operations, also suffer in instances of power failures. Besides railways and roadways, telecommunications also rely on a smooth power supply for proper functioning.
If there’s a disruption in the power supply, the industry experiences productivity loss. More importantly, a power failure in the control center puts human life at risk.
6. Perishable Items
Food plants and pharmaceutical industries depend heavily on a constant power supply to preserve the perishable items. If there’s a power outage, all these items go to waste, costing the industry millions of dollars.
Americans alone waste up to 80 billion pounds of food every year, and most of it is due to items perishing in a power outage.
7. Military Operations
In this technological age, the military also uses defense systems that need an uninterrupted power supply. If there’s a power outage, it can render the military base susceptible to the risk of attack.
8. Medical Facilities
Medical facilities, such as hospitals and research centers, need a constant supply of electricity to power the machinery that saves millions of human lives every year. In case of a discontinuity in power, these machines could shut down, putting many patients’ lives in danger.
According to a study, electricity failure increases the cost of operation and causes 3 to 5 deaths per 1000 patients in hospitals.
A power failure doesn’t only render the machinery useless but also makes it impossible for the healthcare staff to access electronic patient data.
Additionally, the medicines stored in the hospital’s pharmacies become susceptible to contaminations and may perish due to an extended power cut.
9. Safety Issues
On the whole, power failures impact almost all residential and commercial settings, causing a security threat in many cases. For instance, in the absence of electricity, the fire alarms, emergency services, elevators, and burglar alarms won’t go off.
In fact, the US has more power failures than any other developed nation in the world, costing the country $18 to $33 billion in loss every year.
10. Entertainment Facilities
A power failure in places of leisure, such as a casino, also results in financial loss while disturbing routine operations.
As obvious, a power failure is not just harmful for monetary reasons but also has a negative impact on productivity, time management, and supply chain.
Therefore, the aforementioned industries must invest in backup generators and UPS to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.