"That is why it is critical to vet out the potential partner as much as possible during the discovery period as the overarching goal is to produce a mutually beneficial relationship," writes Michel Koopman in 10 Steps to Forming Long-Lasting Strategic Partnerships.
Assessing RMIS vendors in the following four areas can be pivotal in forming a picture of what you can expect:
- Client focus
- Reinvestment in technology
- Culture and people
- Client satisfaction and successful outcomes
Consistency in each of these areas serves as the best predictor of your success.
1. A consistent focus on the client
Beyond what's expressed on the “About us” pages of websites, what is it that demonstrably drives each of the vendors under consideration? To whom are they accountable? And where are they headed?
In recent years, getting accurate answers to these questions has proven difficult. This is due, at least in part, to CEO turnover and vendor acquisition within the RMIS market that have meant changes to goals, technology initiatives, and metrics. No matter how well intentioned, each change has, at least temporarily, shifted the focus of both leadership and employees to something other than the client.
In a 2013 interview, Origami Risk founder and CEO Bob Petrie explained how maintaining the independence of Origami has contributed to the ability to consistently deliver successful outcomes: “One of the great luxuries of private companies is that you can focus on your customers and the team who supports them for the long term, not for the next quarterly earnings report.”
A variation of legendary college football coach Lou Holtz's famous quote "Everyone wants to win on Saturday afternoon when the game is played — it's what you do the other six days that decides the outcome" applies to RMIS vendors. Everyone wants to focus on the client. But for how many years in a row can they show that they've done so?
2. A consistent investment in technology
Underinvestment in a RMIS platform’s technology is a common cost cutting approach. Among the approach's shortcomings is that this demands more human intervention to keep the platform performing. The approach can work for a short time, but when it becomes a long-term strategy, the result is employee burnout. Client service dips as a result. And the mistake is compounded when inexperienced replacements are brought up to speed on the client’s time, or support services are contracted out to offshore providers.
When interviewed by CIO Magazine for the article How to Choose the Right Software Vendor, Malcolm Cowley, CEO of the Performance Horizon Group, recommended that, as part of the evaluation process, buyers ask vendors about their “history for the delivery and implementation of patches, upgrades, and new versions.”
The answers provided by a RMIS vendor to questions like those that follow will likely be indicative of the platform's ability to meet your needs now and in the future.
- How many active versions of your software are in production?
- How frequent are your release cycles?
- Are claims, RMIS, and ERM integrated? Or are they each separate platforms?
With an understanding that technology should enable the people, not the other way around, Origami Risk’s founders built our software from the ground up, rather than license a third-party platform. They set out to build a RMIS that would allow them to concentrate investment in a single version of the system, rather than defraying efforts over dozens of unique versions. The goal? Providing cutting edge technology to all clients, simultaneously. No client left behind.
3. A consistent approach to implementation and ongoing support
Since its founding, Origami Risk has done things differently. Technical skill and industry knowledge are a given at any RMIS provider. But how those individuals are organized and supported make a direct impact on their ability to deliver for clients. The Origami service model is designed to be different — to build trust and establish long-term, successful partnerships.
The Origami team that implements your RMIS is the team that provides your ongoing service. No handoff. No helpdesk. And because Origami maintains a focus on hiring experts that we trust, your senior client executive has the authority to make the change you request. There's no need to escalate an issue or schedule a meeting with their team lead to get permission. Instead, they roll up their sleeves and get to work. As a result, people who are good at this kind of work, want to work here, and once they work here they stay — Origami has the lowest voluntary turnover in the industry at just 2%. This is underscored by the fact that, among other awards, we've consistently been voted one of Business Insurance’s Best Places to Work in Insurance.
This means that when you pick up the phone with a question or request, you’ll be talking to the person with whom you’ve worked for months or years — someone who not only knows the system, but understands your business objectives.
This isn't just another new initiative. It's the way Origami has been supporting clients since 2010.
4. Consistent results and client satisfaction
Ultimately, the critical factor that should influence your choice is the answer to the question, "Will partnering with this RMIS provider drive meaningful business results?"
The right RMIS partner must prove to you that their focus and direction, their culture and people, the development and delivery of their software, and the insight and support they’ll provide on a daily basis are what will contribute to your success.
When speaking to vendor representatives, do you get the sense that they have the experience to understand your complex business and needs? What do client references provided by vendors have to say about the service they receive? Do these references (or case studies) point to successful outcomes and measurable results?
Consistency matters when it comes to your success
Client success cannot be an abstract aspiration. It has to be something that is in the DNA of an organization, and one that should be demonstrable over the years. Consistency is critical when it comes to determining if a RMIS vendor’s focus, business model, and approach to the delivery of RMIS technology and service are capable of contributing to your success.
To begin a dialog about what the move to Origami Risk could mean for your organization's ability to more efficiently analyze risk and insurance data, prevent losses, control claim costs, streamline renewals, and reduce your organization’s total cost of risk, contact us.