Jonathan Theders is the president and chief operating officer of Clark-Theders Insurance Agency Inc. and has extensive insurance experience. Theders joined the company in 1998 and was named president in 2004.
Q. What risks are companies facing in the present economy?
One of the biggest risks affecting businesses now is the commodity prices risk. This is a huge part of what corporate America and businesses are going through now. Everything comes down to the dollar and not the back-end resources a company provides. The way you focus on client relationships has to be part of the company culture. We have to ask, ‘What can we do that’s different from others in our field?’
Q. How will managing risk help a company’s bottom line?
Managing risk is one of the hardest things for businesses and one of the first things that are cut. You have the expense of risk management, but you don’t always see the effects right away on the bottom line, and it becomes almost a mystical feeling. You have a safety committee and you have implemented programs that have a cost, but if those measures prevent an accident, it’s hard to say what the cost of the accident would have been. You tend to only know when things are going wrong. But when things are going right and your production is running, how do you know what the cost could have been? You have to create a culture that feeds on the risk management safety aspect.
Q. How can you save money through risk management?
It’s important for a business to have a safety or risk management committee within the organization. One of the ways you can save money is by focusing on employee safety and the lack of business interruption. It’s a realization that comes over time, but it’s more about culture than one single thing you do.