Businesses are discovering that smartphones and tablet computers, besides being distractions for their employees, can also help them better manage their risks.
An increasing number of applications for these devices – matched with other technologies – can help businesses prevent losses, reduce the chances of workplace accidents and manage their risks.
Mobile devices can now connect to business security and utilities systems. Many security equipment vendors offer apps that give business owners instant information when they’re away from the premises.
For example, the system may send a text alert to a smartphone if a security camera picks up sudden movements. Other systems communicate via apps that will send alerts to you on your phone in similar situations.
Other systems may stream videos from multiple security cameras to a smartphone app, enabling the owner or personnel to keep an eye on the premises during off hours. This real-time information can help business owners limit the size of losses.
For example, a system might send a text alert when it detects a leak in the building’s plumbing system. Once alerted, the building owner can shut off the water remotely or in person, thus limiting the extent of the damage.
Video from cameras that monitor the premises can also be saved and used in helping businesses and police recover stolen property.
A coffee manufacturer in Portland, Oregon, implemented a system like this. Weeks after installation, it recorded video of a burglar stealing thousands of dollars in equipment. The owners downloaded the video, sent it to the local police, and posted it on social media channels. The video produced a full criminal investigation, arrest and conviction.
Companies that install security and utilities systems and accompanying apps can often get a reduction in their premiums.
This is particularly true for businesses that own or sell items attractive to thieves, such as jewelry, electronics, medicine, or certain building materials such as copper.
Businesses can also reduce losses and insurance premiums by using telematics technology with their vehicles. These devices transmit real-time information about how a vehicle is being used.
They capture information such as driving, speed, stopping speed, time and location. Businesses can use this data to monitor how their drivers are performing and identify training and incentive issues.
With this information, management might decide to reward drivers for a certain number of accident-free miles. This should reduce accident frequency and lower the businesss’s auto insurance premiums.
GPS technology can also help businesses track stolen vehicles and trailers, so an insurance claim will be either unnecessary or recoverable. Also, if a driver has an accident or medical event, GPS enables the business to locate the vehicle and driver immediately and dispatch emergency responders to the scene more quickly.
Some insurers offer discounts to businesses that implement GPS tracking.
Other risk management apps
Risk Reporter is for Android devices, iPhones and iPads. It is designed to help risk managers keep track of their organization’s potential risks. Users can record risk-related events as they occur and e-mail them to supervisors, all the while noting suggested risk-control measures and action plans
Citicus MOCA is for iPhones and iPads. It is a risk-management application that identifies the various effects that supply-chain disruption can have on a business. The app enables the user to list the company’s resources, exposures and probability of risk-event occurrence. It then generates a graph, which can be uploaded into a PDF, plotting the organization’s asset worth and maximum loss value over time.
Risk Assessor is for both Android and iPhones. It lets you create detailed safety reports from your phone or tablet. Brand up the reports with your company details and create a bespoke hazard and control list to suit your business.