Streamlining your job starts with understanding where things are breaking down. People, technology – even the data itself – can inhibit your ability to get the information you need to manage risk effectively. Here are five steps to help unlock the flow of information throughout your risk ecosystem.
1. Map your risk ecosystem. Who are your stakeholders? How does information flow between them? Which links are holding things up? Once you know these answers, you can set your priorities and attack the biggest sticking points first.
2. Set clear expectations. All stakeholders need to understand their individual roles and how they fit within the context of the bigger picture. They need to know what information is available, where it is located, and who owns it – as well as what others need from them to do their own jobs. Getting data into the hands of everyone who could benefit, instead of limiting access to a select few, will build energy throughout the ecosystem.
Even the easiest-to-use online form, for instance, is probably not enough to singlehandedly convince the fleet manager to move up values collection on the priority list. What might do the trick, however, is if the fleet manager also understands what the information is being used for, why a quick response is needed, and how it will benefit him or her individually, as well as the company overall.
3. Create a risk culture. A strong risk culture characterized by a common purpose, shared vocabulary, and transparent communication can guide everyday behavior at all levels of the organization – and provide supporting framework in times of crisis. It also can encourage continuous improvement by making it acceptable to constructively challenge the status quo.
4. Think strategically about data. How easy is it to get the data you need to make forward-looking decisions? With easy access to real-time data, you can get in front of potential issues and make decisions from a strategic perspective.
5. Choose the right technology. Technology can eliminate delays caused by time-consuming manual labor, while delivering more accurate data and faster analytics. Data from all carriers, TPAs, internal departments, and other stakeholders can be automatically consolidated, validated, and formatted. Tailor-made tools can analyze incidents, claims, premiums, policies, and more. Easy-to-interpret reports are generally available with the click of a button. Technology does require an upfront investment. Ultimately, however, it almost always pays for itself.
It all comes down to getting complete, timely, and accurate data into the right hands. Only then will you have the strategic insight and ability to make better decisions and ultimately reduce costs.