Western Cape Business News

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RISK MANAGEMENT: Automated risk management arrives in Africa


Recent Western Cape Business News

When risk managers lie awake at night sweating both the small and the big stuff, many have fantasised about having an interactive dashboard of risks, reflecting all risks in real time, everywhere in the world as they evolve. 

Despite the sci-fi nature of these musing this is exactly what Marsh has produced. CS STARS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh, has evolved the STARS Enterprise platform from an automated claims handling system into a business-wide, predictive, risk intelligence management and delivery tool” says Louisa de Freitas Sales Director, CS STARS, EMEA, Marsh (Pty) Ltd.

In short, for risk managers the future has, literally, arrived.

Risk in any modern business is constantly shifting - with the business, with global events and across geographies. Risk is also varied, ranging from the very simple to the hugely sophisticated. Recognising this, the “STARS Enterprise risk, claims and compliance management system can have as few or as many functions as a business requires” explains de Freitas.

Since STARS Enterprise is modular and fully configurable it can be bought in pieces as and when a business requires – and then programmed to the specific needs, risks and deliverables of the business. That said having STARS Enterprise operate across the whole business allows business-wide comparison, data analysis and reporting. After all, “business-wide dashboards are the dream of all Risk managers” says de Freitas.

Remaining on the dream theme, reporting is probably STARS Enterprise’s biggest dream deliverable. Most businesses have mainframe systems - and then use business intelligence teams to mine data for different purposes. STARS Enterprise eliminates the needs for business intelligence teams.  Instead, “business intelligence tools are built into the system which allows users to generate reports by simply dragging and dropping data categories together. Standard reports are then generated and emailed to users automatically” explains de Freitas.

Advanced reporting capacity also allows the STARS Enterprise risk dashboard to publish different data profiles to different users. So, “when a user logs on, the security filter can be linked to the specific data that only that user needs to see – allowing individual users to produce specific to their area and deliverables, critical in timely decision making and effective risk management ” describes de Freitas.

Allied to the reporting function is the ability to “benchmark company claims data against other similar companies to check whether losses or any claims related data compares with industry or practice norms” says de Freitas.

For example, in the United States CS Stars currently have 14 million claims from 500 different organisations on its STARS Enterprise global claims system. Being able to benchmark yourself against a data base of this magnitude “is invaluable in rating and developing efficiencies in one’s own claims and settlement system” adds de Freitas.

A feature particularly attractive to global companies is STARS Enterprise Risk Goggles application. This is an interactive map of the globe, updated in real time as risk incidents occur.

In time de Freitas expects to be able to add specific country risks, be they political, legislative, infrastructural, health or other, making the tool even more useful to a wider range of businesses – and allowing preventative and pro-active planning “ahead of establishing operations, rather than reactive planning after a problem has been experienced” adds de Freitas.

For example, Stars Enterprise is currently working with property developers and real estate companies to add property values and property-specific risks to real estate by area or geography. This is invaluable in enabling STARS Enterprise to accurately identify and manage risks in the real estate industry.

Another application is the integration of hospital management data processes into CS STARS. Recording health and trauma incidents, staff responses and medical treatment details can produce reports that identify, predict and eliminate risks, drive rational planning and cuts costs – all at the push of a button. While each hospital will have different systems and hence different programmes for CS STARS the system is completely configurable regardless of the data it needs to capture, collate or report.

CS STARS adds huge value to insurers, risk managers, health and safety managers, environmental auditors, business planners or any other business function and will, in time, “become an indispensible tool to all ERM managers and the boards they report to” predicts de Freitas.


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