5 Risk Management Tips for the Transportation & Distribution Industry
Jul 14, 2022
Risk management in the transportation and distribution industry has never been more challenging. Between huge shifts in demand, persistent labor shortages, blowout verdicts and pandemic-driven operational challenges, yesterday’s norms and practices are no longer sufficient. It’s time to reconsider how best to manage risk.
Here are five tips on how risk managers can respond to this difficult environment and reclaim a leadership position.
1. Expectations have ratcheted up, and that includes the expectations of insurance underwriters. Every insurance underwriter continuously decides whether their current or prospective insureds are a good risk and deserving of competitive pricing. Underwriters will be far more willing to suffer a shock loss on an account with exemplary loss prevention and state-of-the-art workflow management capabilities, whose record will stand up to post-event scrutiny, than one without those features.
Beware of outdated assumptions about what the competition is doing or what the carrier expects to see. Apart from its value in addressing carrier expectations, competitor benchmarking may also be an effective means of gaining internal support for new or fortified risk management initiatives.
2. Programs must be relevant to both fixed sites and mobile workforces. Things that are practical to deploy at permanent facilities may not make sense for workers without a fixed work site, such as people who work from home or are continuously on the road. In the new world of hybrid work arrangements, an effective risk management program must speak to all constituencies.
The program particulars might be quite different for each group but the greater the degree of commonality, such as the same operating principles, the same policies and the same technology foundation, the more effective and efficient a risk management program is likely to be.
3. Engaging the workforce is a must, and in the current labor market that means the entire workforce. We hear plenty about how difficult it is to find qualified workers. But of equal or even greater importance is the need to retain the quality worker in whom the company has invested substantial time and resources. Safety training stands as evidence of whether the employer truly cares about its people.
State-of-the-art training systems will be well-integrated with human resource information systems and with incident and workflow management systems. They provide content that is customized to the needs and circumstances of the workforce and the experience level of the recipient, and they include an extensive analytics component.
4. In the new reality of blowout verdicts, documentation must be better than ever. The plaintiff’s bar has finely honed its business tactics. Working in partnership with sympathetic politicians, it has succeeded in hardening people’s attitudes toward faceless corporations while desensitizing the public to the consequences of massive verdicts.
The risk manager needs every available tool to fight back. Preventive measures may be of little practical value when an accident nonetheless occurs, unless the company is able to fully document all the things it did. Technology needs to be part of both administration of loss mitigation and prevention, and of assembling post-incident documentation.
5. Vendors and suppliers need to be included. The exposure profile of an insured is markedly influenced by the actions or inactions of suppliers and vendors. This isn’t new: OSHA, for example, has always required companies to include temporary employees from staffing companies within a company’s safety program. But now the stakes are higher.
It is time for companies to include in their vendor selection criteria the degree to which prospective suppliers bring their own creative risk management capabilities to the table. For companies that supply to the transportation and logistics industry, this represents nothing less than a new way to compete for business.
Aclaimant’s insight-driven solutions can be the backbone of the cutting-edge risk manager’s technology toolkit in the transportation and logistics industry. We invite you to contact us to learn more about how Aclaimant can drive better outcomes, achieve new levels of efficiency and realize analytic possibilities heretofore considered unfeasible.