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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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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Certificates of Insurance (COI) are an essential part of managing liability in an organization. Failing to properly obtain, inspect, and update these documents can lead to risk transfer from contractors and increased exposure to unforeseen liabilities. As George Page writes, “These certificates are an important part of doing business, and the more effectively you manage them, the less likely you are to run into problems.”
A manual process for COI management can easily become a resource draining nightmare. In Why You Should Be Concerned with Certificate Tracking Gibson highlights, “… properly managing certificates of insurance poses a significant administrative challenge. It is time intensive and complex.” It is this combination, time intensity, and complexity, that creates the administrative burden frequently associated with certificate management. A closer look reveals how each component contributes to this burden. … read more