Standing atop Mount Everest is an extraordinarily rare feat. Since the first reported ascent in 1953, only 5,000 people have reached the mountain’s 29,029-foot peak. Over the same span of time, nearly 300 have died attempting to do so. And while making it to the top of Everest is tough, having the fortitude to turn back when the summit is within reach can be even more difficult.
The costs of climbing Everest are significant. In addition to spending roughly $100,000 for a single attempt, the time climbers put into planning and training for the venture is typically measured in years. Given these investments of time, energy, and money, many climbers not surprisingly push on in the face of extreme weather, oxygen depletion, and increasingly bleak odds. Unfortunately, the drive to make the investment “pay off” costs some their lives.
In a season 1 episode of the podcast Choiceology with Dan Heath, Michael Roberto of the Harvard Business School refers to this phenomenon as a sunk cost trap. In a sunk cost trap, Roberto explains that the human mind obscures rational thought because of emotional attachments already ‘sunk’ into achieving a goal. We all experience sunk cost traps in our daily lives: holding on too long to a bad investment, staying in a bad relationship, or refusing to walk out of a bad movie on your first night out in months.
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Whether it’s boxes of paper forms that must be keyed into a system, pouring over spreadsheets to verify that critical requirements are met and up to date, or sending yet another email to request missing information, there’s almost always room for improvement when it comes to the management of vendor-related data and workflows.
From the submission of application forms through to the evaluation of vendor performance, businesses can add to the value of their risk management information system (RMIS) by using the system to transform their approach to vendor management. In this post, we look at four examples of how a cloud-based RMIS like Origami Risk can contribute to cost control, service excellence, and risk mitigation.
1. Streamline the vendor intake process
Simplifying the vendor application process reduces the amount of time staff spend engaged in time-consuming, repetitive activities like keying data and sending multiple emails to chase down missing details. This process can also be the first step in defining expectations and building a relationship with potential vendors. After all, as 6 essential steps for managing vendors makes clear, “A good vendor relationship starts well before you ever sign a contract with a vendor.”
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“A workers’ compensation adjuster is not a paper pusher.” That’s one of “60 Tips for Superior Claims Handling” issued as part of a panel discussion held at a past National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference. “Work comp claims are more difficult than general liability claims. If you think of them as a paper pusher, that’s the output you’ll receive.”
Numerous articles make clear the impact of adjusters’ experience, skills, and judgment on claims outcomes (For example, see “Good Adjusters Know When to Settle Your Workers Comp Claims.”) Nonetheless, as indicated by the fact that panelists felt it necessary to make the point that adjusters are far more than back-office clerks, the misperception persists.
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The enormous Mendocino Complex fire has burned more than 450,000 acres and still isn’t fully contained. Hurricane Lane unleashed historic levels of damage in Hawaii. Both of these natural disasters earned significant media coverage and mark the type of events typically considered when trying to manage the risk from natural disasters.
Assessing the most common threats
The largest disasters dominate media coverage. Yet when it comes to insurable losses, the factors most likely to cause damage to an organization may not always be the ones making headlines. To effectively manage these risks, risk managers must first focus on these events through the lens of preventing losses and preserving business continuity.
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Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job, totaling 4,500,000 injuries per year. Astounding statistics. The worst part? Many of these injuries are preventable.
Loss reduction efforts and improvements in safe workplace behavior require the cooperation of everyone in an organization. When incidents and near misses aren’t reported, injuries occur that might have been prevented—at a significant cost to injured employees, their families and communities, and their employers. An effective approach to incident management encourages an expansion in the reporting of incidents and near misses by both workers and their supervisors.
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As covered in more detail in a recent post, executives surveyed as part of a 2015 skills gap report published by Deloitte Consulting LLP and the Manufacturing Institute indicated that “maintaining or increasing production levels (in line with customer demand)” was at the top of their list of concerns related to the labor and skills gap in manufacturing.
Given studies showing that younger, less experienced workers are more likely to experience higher rates of injury than their longer-tenured counterparts, as well as those indicating that extended working hours and overtime schedules are often accompanied by a rise in injury hazard rates, manufacturers should also be aware of the potential impact the labor and skills gap can have on workplace safety.
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The well-documented skills gap in manufacturing, already critical, is poised to get much worse. In Deloitte Consulting LLP’s 2015 Skill Gap Study, 82% of respondents believe that the skills gap will impact their ability to meet customer demand. At the time, 6 out of 10 positions remained unfilled due to the skills gap. The authors note, “This clearly indicates there are not a sufficient number of workers in manufacturing to fill these positions.” Demographic trends are making this crisis exponentially more challenging.
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When it comes to the ability to manage risk and losses, risk managers often face the challenges that come with claims data that is spread across multiple systems and spreadsheets. At the same time, they’re being asked to do more with less. In a previous post, we looked at ways an integrated claims management solution—one that includes multiple integration and workflow automation options—can transform claims administration processes. But you don’t have to be a self-administered organization to benefit from claims management functionality in a RMIS. The following features are just a few examples how such a solution can help you consolidate all of your organization’s claims data in a single system, streamline workflow processes, and perform analysis that contributes to more informed decision making and improved claim outcomes. … read more
Workplace incidents are far more numerous and costly than most people realize. The National Safety Council estimates that the average cost of a medically consulted injury in 2015 was $31,000. The average cost of a fatality, $1 million. That year, on-the-job injuries numbered approximately 4.4 million. 4,190 on-the-job fatalities were reported.
In many cases, workplace incidents are also entirely preventable. As pointed out in the EHS Today article “Sustainable Safety Management: Incident Management as a Cornerstone for a Successful Safety Culture”, studies show that a significant number of workplace accidents occur “as the consequence of minor lapses, and usually of not just one lapse but the sequence of minor failures. A combination of minor lapses can create a safety gap that can lead to major accidents.”
An effective approach to incident management is one that encourages reporting of all workplace incidents. Risk managers and safety leaders can then draw from that information to identify, analyze, and correct hazards with the goal of preventing future occurrences. … read more
Our recent post Getting the most out of your RMIS demo highlighted things to keep in mind when setting up a RMIS demonstration. After the demo is complete, there are questions that can help in assessing how successful the process was. By asking these questions, you can use the demo process itself as one more evaluation tool in the procurement cycle. … read more