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The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way companies in all sectors are operating. This brings new challenges and risks. Restrictions on the movement of people mean that risk engineers are unable to visit client sites to conduct surveys and make risk recommendations. Corinne Vitrac, CEO of AXA XL Risk Consulting, discusses how loss prevention efforts have adapted during this crisis and how risk engineers are standing side-by-side with clients as we all adapt to new ways of working.

How is Risk Consulting continuing to support clients during the current pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that businesses across the entire world, in all industries are operating. Restrictions on the movement of people and goods have changed demand for certain products, altered the way some companies are working to produce their goods and services, and have had an immediate effect on supply chains.

Above all, this is a very human crisis. Companies’ priority must be to focus on the safety, health and wellbeing of colleagues and customers. They must also work hard to ensure that security, crisis management, business continuity planning and communication are top of the agenda. And loss prevention never stops – even in times of crisis.

We are no longer able to make site visits to and carry out risk assessments in person. But before this crisis hit, we had already begun using digital techniques and artificial intelligence to assess risks and conduct surveys remotely, or to implement prevention and protection measures remotely.

Our mission is to stand side-by-side with our clients during this challenging period – and always. In recent weeks, as the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic have adapted to this to enable our engineers to make remote risk assessments using data gathered from video calls and other sources. We are offering a customised solution for re-surveys, whereby the last engineer to have visited the plant will have video contact. For new sites, we can offer online risk analysis using our risk scanning platform. We are also putting on a series of webinars for clients and operating telephone helplines in some countries.

Our risk engineers are in frequent communication with clients as they adapt to new ways of working and – in some cases – new risks.

The way we are all working has changed – but we want to assure our clients old and new that we are always at the end of the phone line.

Our mission is to stand side-by-side with our clients during this challenging period – and always.

What about companies that are changing their output in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Some companies are adapting to the current pandemic crisis by repurposing facilities or changing their production to meet needs created by the crisis – for example by making facemasks, hospital gowns, ventilators or hand sanitiser. These moves have, by necessity, happened quickly in response to a public need and changes in circumstances.

Risk managers brokers and underwriters need new insights on these changing risks and how to manage, mitigate and transfer them.

Our risk engineers have been communicating with clients about how their risks have changed during this challenging time.

Risk consultants can help companies like these to identify and understand the potential changes in risk profile using our Remote Risk Dialogue risk assessment service. Using a combination of web tools, telephone calls and existing reports, we can examine and interpret data and support our clients in understanding these new risks. We are proud to stand alongside our clients as they adapt and innovate in these challenging and unprecedented times.

How can companies adapt to the supply chain challenges posed by restrictions of the movement of people and goods?

The reaction of governments around the world to place restrictions on the movement of people and goods has – naturally – had a profound effect on supply chains.

There are various challenges for clients across industries. For example, perishable goods may be damaged or rendered unusable if they are stored for too long or in less-then-optimal conditions. Some warehouses and storage facilities have seen a dramatic increase in the volume of stock being stored – because it is not able to be moved as quickly as normal.

Transportation has been affected too; there have also been reductions in the number of flights and shipments, and longer-than-usual delays in land transport across borders.

Our marine cargo risk engineering experts are at hand to discuss these challenges with clients and assist them in monitoring, assessing and adapting to changes in their supply chains.

  • About The Author
  • Chief Executive, AXA XL Risk Consulting
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