We're all familiar to some extent with the payoff that can come with hedging financial risks in the industry. However, there are a lot of other risks out there for your company, so the question becomes 'how are you hedging that?'
I cannot say enough about our Safety Director, and the positive impact that our proactive Safety Program has had on everything from insurance costs to employee morale. A side effect we saw from really focusing on safety in all aspects of the job from drivers to office workers, was that documenting safe, proper procedures for everything from paperwork to offloading not only reduced errors and enhanced safety but ended up saving a lot of everyone's time.
In some ways, perhaps the underlying strategy for practical risk mitigation is efficiency.
Can your office handle several employees being out at once without losing days to "catch up" work? It can if you properly cross-train employees, and if you have documented, step-by-step process outlines for important tasks.
Can you streamline your inside teams - customer service, accounting, inside sales and save them time relaying customer information to your outside sales team? You can with proper networking and remote access. All our outside sales team members have server access as well as access to cloud based customer management systems and pricing modules, this allows them to find and use in-depth customer information without calling in or being stuck in the office. This lets them focus on their job, as well as reducing the time inside team members are taken away from their responsibilities.
Essentially, whether we are looking at spill prevention, bulk oil offloading, or preparing for the fiscal year ending coinciding with flu season (don't you love that?) we've found that focusing on mitigating potential risks ahead of time is a lot more effective than coming up with a crisis management plan after the fact - Just like it pays to watch the market and hedge your risks in case of price spikes, instead of hoping for the best and scrambling afterwards.
I wrote an article for O&E magazine on the topic of Operational Risk Management (ORM) - the steps involved in the approach, and some specific examples of where it has helped streamline our operations and mitigate our workplace risk. You can read the article in PDF form by clicking on the following link: Oil & Energy - Reduce Workplace Risk With A Proactive Approach