Once you've tested your computers and talked to vendors and customers, what's left to do? According to Charlie Richardson, a member of the Year 2000 team at the Indianapolis law firm of Baker & Daniels, there's no substitute for going through a detailed self-analysis.
If you own a mail order company, for instance, you'd want to make a step-by-step list of every function, from the incoming order all the way to delivery of that order to the consumer. At every step along the way, look for areas vulnerable to Y2K problems. Phone systems, order processing software programs, purchasing procedures, inventory calculations and shipper availability are all examples of potential risks. Examine each step of the process, contacting equipment suppliers and software vendors, applying "fixes" where possible, and writing contingency plans just in case something does go wrong when the new year hits.
If the numbers turn over on January 1, 2000, and you still haven't noticed anything unusual, don't kick back and watch football just yet. You still need to scrutinize all your transactions carefully in order to catch any unusual data that may show up on invoices, purchase orders, inventories and the like. Be on the lookout for abnormally high or low figures caused by Y2K glitches.
Preparing for Y2K takes time and energy, but for the sake of your business (not to mention your sanity), it's worth it. Your investigation may reveal you have less to worry about than you thought . . . or that you have your work cut out for you. Either way, you'll be ahead of the game because you're prepared.