HNI’s revenues soar with Risk Clarity Formula

In 2002, New Berlin-based HNI Risk Services Inc. drilled down its business operations, vision and values into a series of individual processes to become more efficient. Michael Natalizio, president and chief executive officer, also articulated and processed the holistic culture that HNI has been known for since his father co-founded the firm in 1963.

The result was a company-wide re-branding effort, including a name change from HNI Companies to HNI Risk Services Inc.

HNI Risk Services provides business and personal insurance to the transportation, construction and manufacturing industries.

Since streamlining business actions into what HNI calls the Risk Clarity Formula, the firm has been on track to quadrupling its revenue within 10 years.

In 2001, before the Risk Clarity Formula set the guidelines and processes for business operations, HNI reported $7.8 million in revenue. In 2006, after employees had embraced the formula for a few years and a minor acquisition occurred because of the model, HNI reported more than $17 million in revenue.

At the start of 2008, HNI will be about half way through its “Double Vision” campaign, and closer to its goal of exceeding $21 million in revenue by 2010. The Double Vision campaign was established in 2005, when HNI’s revenue was around $10 million, as a company effort to double revenue within five years, Natalizio said.

HNI’s growth is a direct result of the Risk Clarity Formula and the tools the company has established to support it, Natalizio said. HNI’s clients are growing their businesses, and HNI is growing along with them, he said. To reach its own short-term and long-term goals, HNI put itself through the Risk Clarity Formula process, Natalizio said.

“The Risk Clarity Formula is how we have always done business, but to systemize and be able to articulate it makes a difference,” Natalizio said. “Now, we can say here is the path, where we start, the beginning condition, the end condition and how we get there.”

The Risk Clarity Formula begins with an overall assessment of a company’s broad range of risks, Natalizio said. The risks are placed parallel to a company’s short- and long-term goals for growth.

HNI looks at companies holistically to determine every company asset and risk, including management succession, hiring processes, employee turnover rate and business partnerships.

HNI employees are trained in-house on skills including facilitation, coaching and strategic planning. As companies identify broad ranges of risks, HNI can offer solutions to specific exposures or refer the company to a local business that can deal with the issue specifically. Mitigating risk and achieving long term goals usually means a shift in company culture.

“We help grow businesses,” Natalizio said. “Sometimes, through the process, they are able to better identify who they should and shouldn’t do business with and they ultimately become more profitable.”

HNI currently has 90 employees and additional office locations in Appleton, Chicago and Pittsburgh.

Natalizio attributes the majority of HNI’s growth to the elimination of wasted time with clients by creating the Risk Clarity Formula and processes, and to training employees to offer a broader outlook on insurance and employee benefits.

“We fine-tuned the process HNI had reflected over the years to help clients look at their company more holistically and at insurance not as a transactional decision, but a strategic decision,” Natalizio said.

Industry: Insurance and employee benefits for transportation, manufacturing and construction companies

Location: 16805 W. Cleveland Ave., New Berlin

Founded: 1963 as Hansen-Natalizio Insurance

Leadership: Michael Natalizio, president and chief executive officer

Employees: 90

Additional locations: Appleton, Chicago, Pittsburgh

Web site:

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