Has your organization made the decision to purchase a Risk Management Information System (RMIS)? If so, you are probably in the process of narrowing down potential vendors. An important step in this process is the valued, but often underutilized, RMIS demo day where vendors formally demonstrate their systems. You can see the software in action, meet potential service team members, and ask any and all questions that come to mind. This meeting is critical in understanding each vendor’s technology and key differentiators – and more importantly, a deciding factor to determine which vendor is the best fit for your organization. To ensure you make the most of the meeting, below are four key topics you should cover during your RMIS demo.

1. Data. Data is the backbone of operations, driving critical financial and non-financial decisions at every turn.  With so much at stake, having accurate data is paramount. Be sure to ask each vendor to demonstrate how data can be captured consistently and thoroughly with standard templates, intuitive forms, and auto-filled fields. You will also want to see any data validation capabilities such as flagging of data that is unexpected, missing, or inconsistent.

Equally as important as the accuracy of the data, is the security of your data. A cloud-based RMIS offers on-demand access whenever you have an Internet connection – but where and how your data is stored depends on whether the system uses a public or private cloud.

Here are a few questions you should ask during your RMIS demo:

  • Where will my data be stored? Is the data stored in a public or private cloud?
  • How is the data protected? Is there a sophisticated disaster-recovery protection in place?
  • Who can access my data? What are the security levels for users?
  • Can you demonstrate how I can improve the accuracy of my data and eliminate duplication?

2. Efficiency. Time is money. From values collection to reporting, ask to see examples of how the RMIS will create efficiencies in your day-to-day workflow that will optimize your time, and ultimately, lower your total cost of risk.

Ask the RMIS vendor to show you how you can:

  • Automate and streamline risk management processes such as values collection, policy management and incident management.
  • Collaborate with all stakeholders in your risk ecosystem.
  • Validate your data as it is entered.
  • Produce timely reports including regulatory compliance reporting.

3. Service. Technology is great, but people make the real difference. Ask what type of support is included and make sure you understand how the implementation process will work and any pain points you can expect to encounter along the way.

Ask each vendor the following during your RMIS demo:

  • Tell me about the implementation process. How long will it take and how will communication between all parties occur?
  • Once implemented, how long will it take to get my team up and running? What training is included and in what form?
  • What is your service model? What level of service is included? How is this different from what competitors provide?
  • Can the RMIS expand to accommodate future needs? How easily can it be customized?

4. Insights. Static reports are no longer sufficient to satisfy stakeholder demands. Seamless collaboration among business owners, outside vendors, and cross-functional teams is not only desired, it’s expected. Uncovering trends – both negative and positive – is part of any successful business model, and is becoming increasingly important to risk managers.

Several questions of particular importance are:

  • Does your solution have advanced reporting capabilities for deeper insights built in, or do custom reports need to be developed?
  • Show me how I can explore my data to uncover trends and discover insights.
  • What predictive analytic capabilities do you have that will help me understand what is likely to happen? Can you show me?

Remember: the demo is your best opportunity to view RMIS candidates on your terms to evaluate whether their system – and more importantly, the vendor – is a good fit. By covering the four key areas of data, efficiency, service, and insights, you should feel confident that you are walking away from the demo with a clear understanding of the vendor’s offerings and the technology solution. You will be even more equipped to make the critical decision of which vendor best fits your organization’s needs and will work with you as a trusted advisor to implement a solution that will help you optimize your insurance program and lower your total cost of risk.

For more information on how to maximize your RMIS demo, including a full list of questions to ask the vendor, please download our guide “How to Get The Most From Your RMIS Demo”.