Fires, floods and tornadoes are the natural disasters we often connect with contingency planning. But what would happen if your main supplier suddenly went bankrupt? What if your entire sales force became ill with food poisoning at your annual sales conference? What provisions do you have in place if your payroll clerk simply called in sick on payroll day? These disasters can all cause confusion and disorder if you haven’t prepared for them properly. Contingency planning is a key part of this preparation.
Contingency planning is not just about major disasters. Preparing adequately for events such as the loss of data, people, customers, and suppliers, and other disruptive unknowns is a necessary component of a successful business. That’s why it’s important to make contingency planning a normal part of your everyday business operations.
The need for contingency planning emerges from a thorough analysis of the risks that your organization faces. It’s also useful in thinking about new and ongoing projects: what happens when ‘Plan A’ doesn’t go as expected? Sometimes Plan A simply means ‘business as usual.’ Other times, with more sophisticated risk management plans, Plan A is your first response to deal with an identified risk – and when Plan A doesn’t work, you use your contingency plan. Use these principles in your risk assessment process:
Address all business-critical operations – No matter where your contingency planning starts, a good plan identifies critical business functions, and it outlines a way to minimize losses.
Identify risks – The first part of an effective risk analysis is to identify the various risks that your business may face. What has the potential to significantly disrupt or harm your project or business operations? The end result of a risk analysis is usually a huge list of potential threats. If you try to produce a contingency plan for each, you may be overwhelmed. This is why you must prioritize.
Prioritizing risks – One of the greatest challenges of contingency planning is making sure you don’t plan too much. You need a careful balance between over preparation for something that may never happen, and adequate preparation so that you can respond quickly and effectively to a crisis situation when necessary.
Risk Impact/Probability Charts help you find this balance. With these, you analyze the impact of each risk, and you assign a likelihood of it occurring. Then it’s easier to determine which risks require the expense and effort of risk mitigation. Business processes that are essential to long-term survival – like maintaining cash flow, staff support, and market share – are typically at the top of the list.
Note that contingency planning isn’t the only action that emerges as a result of risk analysis – you can manage risk by using existing assets more effectively or by investing in new resources or services that help you manage it (such as insurance). Also, if a risk is particularly unlikely to materialize, you may decide to do nothing about it, and manage around it if the situation arises.
WORKERS COMPENSATION & LOSS CONTROL
Loss Control is all about making your workplace safer, because fewer workplace injuries result in lower workers compensation insurance premiums. Our loss control department offers a number of resources to help policyholders improve job safety performance. Employer’s loss control department evaluates the safety potential of small businesses and assists them in identifying cost-effective methods for risk and asset management. These services are available at no additional cost to policyholders and can include:
- Hazard analysis and control using facility surveys to evaluate operations and make recommendations for hazard control
- Management and supervisory education programs to assist in reinforcing best health and safety practices
- Employee safety presentations and training
- Preliminary industrial hygiene services to assist in the recognition, evaluation and control of workplace hazards
The A&A Insurance loss control service is based on the principle that worksite accidents should not be considered a “cost of doing business.” We help our policyholders focus on solutions tailored to the individual needs of their business. The A&A Insurance Four-Step loss control service model includes:
- Evaluation: An evaluation establishes the foundation upon which policyholders’ injury and illness prevention efforts are based. The evaluation’s objective is to clearly identify opportunities to improve your safety programs.
- Action Planning & Problem Solving: Our safety professionals can help you develop action plans based on the initial evaluation described above.
- Implementation: Our safety resource materials can help policyholders implement an effective safety improvement plan.
- Measurement: Our loss analysis report can help demonstrate the effectiveness of our policyholders’ safety efforts.
WORK PLACE VIOLENCE PROGRAMS
Mr. Brad Estes has a long established relationship with insurance partners establishing Work Place Violence programs and procedures. Risk Control Strategies (RCS) is a recognized leader in workplace violence pre-incident and response work. We serve as best in practice service providers for American International Group (AIG), Inc. World Source division providing both pre-incident training and response for AIG’s clients covered under the workplace assurance policy. Our staff is comprised of the foremost experts in workplace violence avoidance and response. Their backgrounds are a rare blend of high-level law enforcement experience and behavioral analysis. Every expert is an experienced professional and has a proven history in death threat mitigation and “at risk” termination consulting. Our approach is unique and successful in avoiding workplace violence for those that have chosen to implement on a proactive basis.