Manufacturing Firms: Minimizing Risks & Preventing Loss

In order for a company to be successful in the long run, it must recognize the potential risks and challenges that it will inevitably face down the road. Regardless of the nature or size of a business, risk management policies are fundamental and equally important in all industries. Expecting the unexpected is the only way to prepare a business to rise above future problem situations. Even though each industry has its own set of inherent risks and particular things that they need to protect, there are several general vulnerabilities that all business need to be aware of and prepare for.

Stopping Issues Before They Can Happen

Fires, floods, theft, and other disasters are just a few examples of how a successful business can be turned upside down and pointed directly to failure if not properly prepared. Proactive installation of fire suppression equipment, fireproof containers, security monitoring systems, and crisis contingency plans have been protecting firms in the manufacturing industry from these risks for many years; however recently, there has been a greater awareness of loss prevention methods, which in turn, has lead to a surge of innovation in this type of service and equipment.

An example of this recent awareness is how the almost 100-year-old coffee, tea, and cocoa producer, Diedrich Manufacturing, located in Sandpoint, ID, updated its office one year ago by purchasing a 2-drawer FireKing fireproof filing cabinet to ensure preservation of their most important documents. Diedrich employee, Mac Miltz explains:

“We were completely vulnerable to losing all of the important customer documents, legal forms, tax information, and other sensitive material before buying our FireKing. A major consideration in assessing the path for our future was the new safety precautions that we needed to take, not only to ensure the safety of our employees, but also our most important records. When we run out of space in this one, I’m sure we’ll be buying another.”

Learning Through Loss

Not all companies have the foresight to properly protect themselves from disaster. A business that purchases a fireproof container or suppression equipment after a fire has made the right decision, just a little too late. For example, Coloradobased, Donek Ski & Snowboard Manufacturing, had the unfortunate luck to have experienced a devastating fire in their core and finishing facility. This event, in September of 2002, left owners Sean and Jennifer Martin hopeless when trying to recover anything important destroyed by the fire.

“We are a very small manufacturing firm and now know first hand the need for loss prevention equipment. Had we installed suppression systems and fireproof containers before the fire, most of the important items would have been protected. It has been nearly three years since the fire and we have rebuilt using the protective strategies that we previously lacked. We could not move forward as a business without considering the very real potential for another fire.”

Constant Improvement: Looking Towards the Future

Some firms have been using the vital record protection strategies for decades and still continue to develop and expand them. For example, Lindsay Manufacturing, a company located in Lindsay, NE, that specializes in making water and plant nutrient management systems, has used fireproof containers to house proprietary information such as day-to-day financial records and sensitive micro tapes for over 15 years. John Haynes, Director of Safety and Maintenance has been with the company for 32 years and has witnessed the evolution of Lindsay’s safety strategies.

“Today, we have over 20 FireKing products,” Haynes says. “We use both safes and filing cabinets in our office to protect us from loss. As we grow and need more storage capability, we purchase more FireKing containers. All of our vital business records are completely safe from loss because of our proactively purchased fireproof containers.”

Whether your business is at the forefront of risk management technology or slowly calculating what is needed to provide the best prevention, consider this – no business large or small is safe from unexpected disaster. The best thing to do is prepare for the worst. Risk management expert, Howard Levinson, President of Howard Services – Security and Prevention Consultants – feels that no matter what the risky situation is, there is a prevention solution.

“Depending on the scenario and specific business that you are in, there are several ways to protect yourself from losing vital records. Whether it’s a hand-written letter by Abraham Lincoln or stock certificate, these important items need to be stored in a fireproof container. Documents that are being protected from non-criminal events, such as fire or flood are much better off housed in a fully tested and functional fireproof filing cabinet than in a standard container.”

Many times, the solution for a problem is not as clear as the one presented in this study. In every business, not just those in the manufacturing industry, there is a real and present danger for fire, flood, theft, or other disasters. Protecting vital records and other important items is essential to the recuperation process immediately following a disaster. When evaluating internal risk and crisis management strategies, a FireKing fireproof filing cabinet or safe is a must to ensure success beyond disaster.