Written by Jamie Rodgers, CEO of J.M. Rodgers Co., Inc.

When disaster strikes, what will your broker do? Very often there are no contingency plans in place, but at JM Rodgers we have had a comprehensive plan for disasters for many years. We were ready in 2012 when Sandy slammed the East Coast, and a vast majority of the companies in our industry were shut down for weeks.  JM Rodgers was open within 24 hours of the storm- ready and functional. JM Rodgers is always pushing our firm to better ourselves, as evidenced in our recent ISO 9001 approval.  As part of our continuous improvement program, we wanted to have a concrete plan that improves our ‘Natural Disaster Recovery’ plan to one that has us up and running within minutes of the disaster.  Our JM Rodgers Process Improvement Committee proposed that we create a Natural Disaster facility. We did this by creating a ‘bunker’ mentality at our current office complex in Sparta, NJ.  For this office, we purchased two state-of-the-art natural gas-powered generators capable of providing full power 24 x 7 without interruption. These generators installed a month ago, required the removal of large propane tanks on-site and considerable coordination with the local municipality to install dedicated gas lines. These investments are simply part of JMR’s dedication to our clients, and by October 4th the generators will be up and ready for any storm or disaster.

These buildings gave us the perfect location for even more reasons:

  • It’s critical that we remain close to Customs’, and Sparta is located within 50 miles of Customs in Newark.
  • Sparta is more than 50 miles from the coast, giving security as superstorms and flood zones that cause major damage hit hardest on the eastern seaboard.
  • The mountainous region of northwestern New Jersey offers key natural barriers to storms and disasters, making it an excellent location to maintain operations.
  • Finished basement space in both buildings has allowed us to add 66% additional space as needed. We are in the process of a reconfiguration project in the current workplace which will add 35% more space in the current usable area, nearly doubling our usable square footage.
  • We have installed workstations in each of the cubicles on the new space – making it a ‘turnkey’ office that could be up and running within one hour of a storm or immediate disaster.

JMR maintains dedicated servers that rely on separate infrastructures that keep JMR’s data secure and backed up. If the power goes out data is not lost, and we can immediately transfer operations to a new terminal in another office to continue urgent work. The redundancy also means that if one goes offline even temporarily, there won’t be an interruption of work. A major reason why JMR was able to survive through Sandy and subsequent weather events was the preparation with electric generators for our Elmont office and have repeatedly utilized them to power our office.  Those generators are still a very big part of our natural disaster recovery plan. We’re proud of the continuous improvement we make, whether it be in process management or investing in real, physical improvements to our facilities. If you’d like to discuss further how JMR’s commitment to excellence can help you in Customs brokerage or duty drawback matters, please contact our VP of Sales Andrew Galloway at 973-726-5340 or agalloway@jmrodgers.com.