For risk professionals, the conclusion of a 2017 risk management survey will likely come as no surprise: “Risk Managers, regardless of experience level, are being asked to do more with less.”
Nearly one-third (31%) of respondents indicate that given “additional time”, they would focus on improving internal processes. “The survey results point to Risk Managers being mired in the day-to-day task of servicing their internal constituents, making it difficult to pivot to the strategic questions being raised by their CFOs.”
Why is the collection of values an ideal process for improvement?
While the survey doesn’t drill down to indicate the specific internal processes respondents thought were most in need of improvement, for risk managers looking to free up time, the best place to start are with processes that, as a recent article on process automation points out, meet the following criteria:
- Involve a high volume of transactions/activities
- Use multiple systems or dual-data entry
- Involve searching, collating or updating information
- Require the matching or comparing of data
For risk managers at organizations with multiple locations spread across a region, country, or the globe, this may mean taking a hard look at their values collection process.
In “Collecting Values from the Field”, Origami Risk’s Jeff Enzinger explains why. “The [annual] process for collecting values across the organization can span months in duration and can involve the participation of colleagues outside of Risk Management who happen to have other job responsibilities competing for attention in their day-to-day.”
Often complicating the process is the sending of spreadsheets back-and-forth through email to request, gather, and consolidate values data. The result is a manual process that increases the administrative burden on staff--requiring, for example, sending multiple, “one-off” emails to request values and follow up on status. Such a process also adds to the likelihood of values data being incomplete or inaccurate. Data collected from each location must then be aggregated, which usually means that it’s copied and pasted from individual spreadsheets into a master document or system that serves as the “single point of truth”.
Risk managers tasked with managing value and exposure data across multiple locations--including building replacement costs for offices, warehouses, and other facilities, along with those associated with fleet vehicles, machinery, equipment, and furnishings--often encounter additional challenges that must be accounted for in order to ensure that values data is accurate and complete. Challenges include:
- The fluidity of organization structures resulting from M&A activity, property transactions, and seasonal leasing of facilities or vehicles
- The impact of workforce changes on the values reporting process, along with differing functional or departmental priorities at different locations
- Variances that result from building improvements, equipment upgrades, inventory changes, and fleet reassignment
Streamlining the values collection process
A cloud-based RMIS like Origami Risk provides a number of improvements over the use of spreadsheets and email for collecting and managing values data. When looking to gain additional time, the use of RMIS technology that has been designed to handle the values collection process can help to reduce the amount of time risk management teams spend gathering data.
Take, for example, the case of one Washington state risk management pool that converted from a paper-intensive process that, historically, took at least two months to complete. Using Origami Risk to manage the process, values were collected in less than two weeks from the 92 members participating in their property program. Another user cites a three-week reduction in the time it takes to collect values for more than 200 locations spread across the globe.
Automating collection workflows and use of email templates eliminates the repetitive, time-consuming back-and-forth associated with property exposure values collection. In Origami Risk, reminders can be scheduled to alert users of upcoming due dates and incomplete assignments. Email templates can easily be created and reused for initial collection requests, follow up, and requests for modification to greatly reduce the amount of time spent typing and sending emails.
Improving ease of access and usability contributes to higher completion rates, as well as more accurate and timely data. Origami Risk makes it easier to complete forms, even when the values need to be entered by someone who is not a user of the system.
Users can access and enter data online via an online collection portal, or, for on-site entry, assigned mobile collection forms can be downloaded to a standalone app. Prior year’s data appears next to each input field, making it simple to benchmark new data and spot anomalies or errors. Users can also indicate whether they have completed the process or will need to come back and add more information, allowing for completing the process across several sessions if needed.
Simplifying status monitoring and tracking gives Risk Management team members the ability to quickly assess the progress of collection assignments, drives accountability, and ensures that collection campaigns stay on track.
Customized dashboards can be created in Origami Risk that provides a clear view of the progress of individual assignments, or the overall collection, at a glance. On location records, color-coded status indicators the ability to quickly glimpse collection status across locations. When required for reference, email exchanges are logged by location, making it easy to keep track of communications that would otherwise lay buried in email inboxes.
As mentioned, above, there are often additional challenges that must be accounted for in the values collection process.
- Multiple location hierarchies can be defined in Origami Risk to handle complex or changing organization structures that result from M&A activity, and property transactions.
- Location-specific assignment based on customizable time periods can handle seasonal leasing.
- Secure, automated feeds from virtually any HR system keep location-specific contact information in Origami Risk up-to-date. This allows for the assignment of collection responsibilities to the correct users and designated backups.
- Notifications that prompt for confirmation and the attachment of supporting documentation, can be triggered whenever thresholds for variances between prior year and current values are exceeded.
In addition to contributing to a more efficient process, using a cloud-based RMIS to collect exposure values brings the data together in a single system with location, insurance, and claims information. This provides risk managers with the ability to take full advantage of the data, using reporting and analysis make informed decisions that contribute to more accurate premium pricing and help ensure that properties are insured-to-value.
Spending too much time managing the collection of exposure data?