In “Bad Decision Family,” a classic sketch from the 16th season of Saturday Night Live, guest host Tom Hanks, playing the father of the family, joins his wife (Jan Hooks) and children (Julia Sweeney, Mike Myers) at the kitchen table for “leftover night.” Hanks has just retrieved milk from the refrigerator. Upon taking a seat, he drinks directly from the carton. “Oh! Oh, geez!” he cries out in disgust. “How old is that milk? It is really bad!” Hooks asks to see for herself, and reacts similarly after taking a sip. To a mixture of laughter and moans from the live audience, Sweeney and Myers eagerly follow suit. As the sketch continues, each member of the family takes turns joining in on bad decision after bad decision: sniffing a plate of bad fish, sitting on a sharp nail, and testing out a broken staircase to the basement, to name just a few.
The sketch works because it illustrates our tendency as human beings to willingly opt-in for experiences that are guaranteed to be less than optimal. This phenomenon holds true when it comes to the performance of risk management information system (RMIS) software and support.
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Supply chain management has always come with a wide range of risks—from capacity issues to operational disruption to inheriting the risks of a supplier. Recently, raw material shortages, climate change, and trade wars have come to the forefront of concerns. Regardless of a company’s size or the proximity of its suppliers, it’s likely to feel the impact of global risks like these. Risk managers are taking note. In Lockton’s 2018 Risk Management Survey, supply risk was among the top issues risk managers wanted to discuss more within their organizations.
As supply chains become more complex, so does the management of related risks. Manual management techniques or legacy technology previously used in performing the job may not work for addressing today’s challenges. “To make the best decisions, managers need access to real-time data about their supply chain, but the limitations of legacy technologies can thwart the goal of end-to-end transparency,” states the Harvard Business Review article The Death of Supply Chain Management.
Using the right technology, risk management teams and supply chain teams can take control. A fully integrated risk management information system (RMIS) with built-in automation and data analytics can help eliminate manual labor, increase efficiency, and allow for more accurate predictions. Ultimately, this can save companies money, and aid in avoiding supply disruptions that could take a business under or severely damage its reputation. (Read more about the far-reaching consequences of reputational damage due to supply chain failures.)
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Increased rates of accident severity. Rising claim costs. Insurance coverage that is either more expensive or harder to secure. As risk managers grapple with these and other fleet management challenges, measures such as a renewed focus on training and driver safety, an improved understanding of the cause of accidents that lead to claims, and the ability to pull together a complete and accurate list of fleet exposure values are essential components in reducing fleet-related costs.
Given the range of departments and the number of people typically involved in the management of fleet vehicles, implementing and measuring the efficacy of such initiatives is easier said than done. By extension, the number of software systems, spreadsheets, and paper-based processes an organization uses to capture and store fleet-related data can make it difficult to monitor progress, identify trends, and report on successes. By consolidating this data in a central location that is linked to claims, policies, certifications, training records, and more, a RMIS can help better manage the risks associated with a commercial fleet.
#1 A RMIS can consolidate all fleet vehicle data
Data silos are an all-too-common issue for many organizations. This can hold especially true for those with an extensive fleet of vehicles, whether owned or leased, that directly employ or contract with drivers.
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CHICAGO—Origami Risk has been recognized as one of “Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®” by the National Association for Business Resources (NABR). The award marks the fourth consecutive year Origami Risk has been cited by NABR, including national honors and previous awards in Chicago and Atlanta. In gaining this recognition, Origami Risk now has earned over 20 workplace awards in recent years. The honors showcase its commitment to hire and retain the insurance industry’s top talent to provide the highest level of service to its customers.
“We’re honored to be recognized again by the National Association of Business Resources,” said Jon Nichols, chief operating officer, Origami Risk. “Our focus on delivering the highest quality of customer service has always depended on our ability to attract and retain the industry’s most talented people as well as to support them with the environment, tools and culture they need to be successful.”
According to NABR, only companies that distinguish themselves as having the most innovative and thoughtful human resources approach can be bestowed this honor. An independent research firm evaluates each company’s entry, based on key measures in various categories. They include: Compensation, Benefits and Employee Solutions; Employee Enrichment, Engagement and Retention; Employee Education and Development; Recruitment, Selection and Orientation; Employee Achievement and Recognition; Communication and Shared Vision; Diversity and Inclusion; Work-Life Balance; Community Initiatives; and Strategic Company Performance.
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Risk assessments and heat maps remain central components in most enterprise risk management (ERM) programs. Yet there is considerable debate about their effectiveness and both tools have no shortage of critics. In 2011 Howard Sklar, a Forbes contributor, outlined one of the most popular criticisms regarding companies that viewed risk assessments as a document instead of a risk management process. He noted, “Companies that fail in this way are often trying to check the risk-assessment box on their program. That’s fine, as far as it goes. At first glance, a risk assessment seems like a low-ROI effort. You put in time and potentially money, and you get back a piece of paper laying out what you already know.”
Similarly, others deride heat maps as nothing more than “colorful guesses.” Brian Priezkalns, in the not-too-subtly titled article, Why I hate Heat Maps, says “Heat maps are just a terrible terrible terrible way to understand, communicate about, and decide how to respond to risks. They either mess up what you already knew, or they hide the fact you are too ignorant to make a rational decision. Everything that can be done with heat maps would be done better with actual numbers.”
If the risk assessment and risk heat map have such fierce critics, then why are they still central to most ERM programs? In this article, we’ll examine what drives the limitations, and the key missing ingredient that turns them into powerful assets. … read more
Origami Risk has been named one of Inc. magazine’s Best Workplaces for 2019, the magazine’s fourth annual ranking in the fast-growing private company sector. In gaining this recognition for the second consecutive year, Origami Risk now has earned 19 workplace awards in recent years. The honors showcase its commitment to hire and retain the insurance industry’s top talent to provide the highest level of service to its customers.
Hitting newsstands in the June 2019 issue, and as part of a prominent Inc.com feature, the list is the result of a wide-ranging and comprehensive measurement of private American companies that have created exceptional workplaces through vibrant cultures, deep employee engagement, and stellar benefits. Collecting data on nearly 2,000 submissions, Inc. singled out 346 finalists.
Each nominated company took part in an employee survey, conducted by Omaha’s Quantum Workplace, on topics including trust, management effectiveness, perks, and confidence in the future. Inc. gathered, analyzed, and audited the data. They then ranked all the employers using a composite score of survey results. This year, 74.2 percent of surveyed employees were engaged by their work—besting last year’s 72.1 percent.
The strongest engagement scores came from companies that prioritize the most human elements of work. These companies are leading the way in employee recognition, performance management, and diversity. It’s a different playbook from a decade ago, when too many firms used the same template: free food, open work environments, and artifacts of “fun.”
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In April, a global network of telescopes/telescope arrays called the Event Horizon Telescope zoomed on the galaxy M87 to create this first-ever picture of a black hole. Further analysis of the image revealed neither the whereabouts nor status of your RMIS support ticket.
When changing business requirements call for adjustments to your risk management information system (RMIS), how does your service team respond? For too many risk managers, the process looks something like this:
- Submit a support ticket.
- Send a follow-up email.
- Call and leave a message.
- Send a follow-up email (cc’ing additional RMIS provider staffers in hopes of escalation).
Trapped in this RMIS service ticket black hole, even the most basic of changes can mean weeks of waiting. Beyond testing one’s patience, delays can negatively impact risk management objectives. If you’re reading this while waiting for a response from your service team, consider switching to technology and an approach to RMIS support that puts you in control by putting your needs first.
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It seems as if everywhere you turn, someone’s referencing AI. “Artificial intelligence is essential for business,” states a news article. “AI is the only way forward,” insists a colleague. And the scariest of all: “If you don’t implement AI quickly, you’ll be left in your competitors’ dust.” The constant refrain of AI, AI, AI can leave you feeling like your organization has lost the race before it has even entered it.
The truth is, AI is changing the world at a remarkable pace. And, eventually, nearly every industry and business will benefit from it. “Whether you work in retail, banking, transport or the public sector, AI will be an integral part of the way you do business in the future as it has huge potential to improve decision-making, increase efficiency and power new ways of working,” states the article How to Get Your Business AI-Ready.
But that doesn’t mean AI is the best solution for your organization right now. Implementing AI takes a massive commitment in the form of time, resources, and money. It requires a critical mass of data and properly trained staff. By prematurely jumping into a high-profile AI program, you risk ignoring the valuable tools already available and stalling other strategic projects underway. Instead, a more practical approach—one that uses software scaled to your operations—will move the most important metrics now, while developing an analytics culture that will make AI more feasible down the road.
AI has become a buzzword. What exactly does it mean?
In its prolific use, the meaning of artificial intelligence has become skewed. Some have come to view it as a magical solution capable of instantly transforming business all on its own. Others equate it with automation. Neither of these is true, however. AI requires much preparation and strategy (more on that later), and where automation follows pre-programmed rules, AI involves machine learning. AI is designed to mimic human thinking by making predictions and adjusting its processes based on new data insights. In this way, AI is quite different from many previous technological revolutions, during which technology took over specific, static roles within processes.
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Managing certificates of insurance (COIs) has always been a challenge. With increasing pressure on the budgets of state and local governments, dedicating the resources required to effectively manage this process can mean sacrificing time spent on other core functions. Relying on color-coded spreadsheets and a manual review process often leads to unsustainable procedures that fail to scale and adapt as an organization grows.
COI management is risk management
Although the process can be a time-draining administrative exercise, COI management is fundamental to managing risk transfer. The article Contractual Risk Transfer Issues: Reviewing Certificates of Insurance highlights the important role COIs play in risk management, noting, “Because many liability losses occur through the transfer of risk, it has become necessary for a Risk Control Consultant to assess the hazards and controls arising from contracts and agreements in a fashion similar to identifying other hazards, such as exposed wiring or missing guardrails.”
Most public entities are obligated to carefully monitor COI compliance in order to control unidentified risk transfer. Yet the administrative burden associated with endless cycles of hunting down updates and monitoring for expirations or deficiencies can easily exhaust any department. Given the mandate public entities have to stretch every resource to the furthest extent possible, the tension between the importance of an effective COI management process and the toll it takes on those managing it is difficult to resolve.
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Steve Schmutz is a successful entrepreneur with an extensive technical background and more than 20 years of experience in software design and implementation. He has founded and run two software companies, including Origami Compliance (formerly, ClaimWire, LLC), which integrates with any claims management system to provide automated workers’ compensation forms, compliance resources, and regulatory information.
Q: Why is the “build or buy” question important to consider?
A: The “build or buy” decision isn’t limited to software. It’s a question that has been around forever. Homeowners evaluate whether to pour their own patio or have a professional do it. Budding artists wonder if it would be best to create their own website or have a more experienced web designer do it. But when it comes to enterprise software, the stakes are much higher than many other situations. Making the wrong decision can cost millions of dollars and put your project years behind. We’re talking about the type of mistake that can, quite literally, take a company down.
Q: Where should an organization begin?
A: They should start by creating an exhaustive requirements list. Making the build-buy decision before knowing its requirements is like arriving at the airport before knowing where you’re going. The list should be as thorough as possible. Creating this is absolutely worth the effort. Doing so provides a true picture of the scope—breadth, depth, and length—of a project. Without an understanding of these details, it’s impossible to make an informed decision.
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