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Location. Location. Location. It’s not only a critical consideration when determining where to invest in real estate, but it’s also an important consideration when managing risk and insurance for multi-national organizations with—you guessed it—multiple locations.

It’s hard enough to ensure one site is properly insured and protected from unpredictable adverse events. Throw in multiple sites in different countries with varying rules and regulations and it can become anyone’s guess as to how a site is performing from a risk and insurance perspective.

Pim van den Berg, an Amsterdam-based risk and insurance manager for Greif, a global leader in industrial packing, understands this all too well. The international manufacturer operates more than 200 sites all over the world.

He said keeping track of location-specific exposure values and claims data alongside policy and premium information is important for determining whether insurance coverage gaps or overlaps exist and for determining whether sites are insured-to-value—meaning premium pricing is correct based on property retentions. However, this is no easy task:

  • If location data is inaccurate or incomplete
  • If sorting and finding exposure value, claims or policy information is difficult
  • If follow-up tasks that hinge on such data get lost in the shuffle

Gauging risk and insurance performance at multiple facilities doesn’t have to be a guessing game, though. With the help of a risk management information system (RMIS), van den Berg said Greif’s values collection process has certainly improved.

“I can easily monitor so much more information about our policies and premiums, and how they are affected by what is occurring at the individual site level—whether it’s claims, divestures or capital expenditures,” he said. “I feel much more confident in the correctness of our values.”

Finding these correlations, though, hinges on having complete and correct data upfront. Collecting location data—in addition to exposure value, claims and policy data—should be simple in an RMIS, increasing the likelihood that data capture will be robust and accurate.

Further, location, policy and claims searches should be fast and easy. The data won’t be valuable if it’s hard to retrieve and analyze. Finally, while analysis is important, analysis that prompts action is perhaps the true power of an RMIS. It can automatically manage communications and trigger activity among stakeholders collecting values, streamlining the whole values collection process.

According to van den Berg, he shaved three weeks off his working year by using an RMIS to manage the values collection process with automatic workflow tools that assign related tasks to relevant individuals, remind those same individuals of any incomplete tasks, and ultimately highlight what needs to be done and what has already been done—all within one system.

“The system goes beyond capturing and reporting important risk and insurance information to actually initiating work that stems from that data,” he said. “Because of efficiencies that the system has created, I can now spend more time managing risk—not just managing tasks.”