Innovation Nation
Innovation Nation

Episode · 1 year ago

Continuous Innovation Through Data Analysis w/ Jim Marsh


We’ve all had enough of grand, sweeping changes with COVID-19. 

What we would benefit most from right now is gradual, continuous, and client-focused innovation. 

In this episode, I interview Jim Marsh, President & CEO at TÜV SÜD, about best practices for continuous improvements. 

What we talked about:  

  • Hearing the voice of the client 
  • Kaizen focus groups 
  • How data & technology are only as good as the use to which they are put 

Innovation is all around us. In fact, everyone innovates, often unbeknowntes to themselves. Many mistakenly assume the innovation is either a big capital project, a figurative bolt of lightning that brings inspiration, or the province of some exceptionally gifted person. This is the myth of innovation. But you can innovate as well. You are listening to innovation nation, the podcast where top executives and industry experts are sharing their insights on harnessing the power of innovation. We're here to help you stay ahead of the curve by driving your own innovation. Here's your host, Jasmine Martyr Rosen. Hi, everybody, I am joined today by Jim Marsh, who is the president and CEO of to Su Garc, and we're going to talk innovation. Welcome, Jim Hi. Are you doing, jazmine? Good? Thank you. Nice to talk with you and you as well. So what are the trends in innovation that you're seeing in risk management? Well, the baseline, I guess, is the better management of data and how that data can help the clients manage their risk. You know, the oral profile of risk on the facility level as well as portfolio level and then how they can also use that information as they go out to the marketplace. So we have are online data platform, grec connect, that helps them in that process and, for my feedback has been very supportive. Going beyond that, what we see very much, specially in today's Times, is how do we help them in their world of verse management, when we're restricted on visitations by themselves at their facility level or on a government level of closing down borders, and so we've also developed virtual and remote surveys so we can have...

...project meetings and also more or less go through a facility on a remote virtual basis and, you know, do the normal process, as well as transmit that data to other sources that would like to, let's say, be there and see what we're seeing, but reduce the travel cost and also, you know, the any restrictions that may occur out there. And on the other hand, and of course that's recorded and available for people to go back to in the future. And on the other hand, when we can't go at all, just on a remote basis, through a variety of different technologies, we can have meetings with the client, have them go to risk issues, have them more or less go over it with us, you know, show us through the different technologies what they have done and we can review it and acknowledge that, yes, it's been done or still some more things to do, and they can use that for themselves and as they go to the insurance market for risk resolution. So that's you know, that's that's been a big thing these days and obviously, just like we're having now, virtual meetings are tremendous and, you know, just the ability to get together without leaving anything, leaving the house, leaving the the office and things like that, but still continue business on some new normal basis has been has been really good. And if I'm okay to go on, you know, the next thing that I see that has been in place but is growing and our involvement in it is growing, is, you know, the aspect of some remote sensor type availability on, let's sake, critical operating equipment and the review of that data, either on a facility level or on a remote level, to give a client a better idea gage of the health and maintenance of those critical assets is...

...invaluable to the client and we use our subject matter of experts to review and analyze and give expert device on that and that continues and that's certainly growing areas. So you know, there's a number of different areas we see innovation, but the whole thing is based very much around on hell, we help the plants manage the risk excellence. So in essence, what you're describing is that covid nineteen has been a catalyst for a lot of innovation. It's pushed yeah, it's definitely pushed some more forward and broken down a lot of the barriers. I think we're all a lot more skilled on technology today than we've ever been, being able to have logical and useful meetings through our phone, through our computer and things like that. Yeah, it's really escalated it and it's needed, I mean just to have some basic level of normalcy in business these days. We need to communicate and technology, as you know, at the forefront. Well, it's very impressive that you've responded so quickly to adjust to the market needs right to deliver services in novel ways. Do you see a lot of these innovations almost becoming standard post covid being a no, absolutely, yeah, you know, I don't think it'll ever replace the full aspect of a site survey because it's kind of like going in as a doctor and doing a medical health check. So you need a lot of experience and a lot of expertise. You need to go in and know what you're looking for. So I don't think it'll ever fully replace that. That will absolutely provide higher levels of useful data when reviewing a risk issue to better give an opinion on its status, the level of risk that it maybe exposes the business to and...

...opportunities for improvement. So yeah, technology is again only as useful as the data that it provides and then the use of that data. Yeah, amazing and you're absolutely correct. So clearly, to be able to stand up a service so quickly, you had to get your own people on board. What approaches have you taken to make sure that they're comfortable with the new approaches? Well, I mean very much so. We work with our people to make sure that they're current, obviously, with what's going on out there, not only from a technical capability but also from the innovation aspect. And you know, they also are ears and eyes when we go out and see what's going on and they bring that back and use the collective knowledge to see. You know, how we work with this, how we work with that how we look at the different, let's say, sensor data that's available and where it's being pulled from, and you know how to analyze it. But you know, it's it's always a challenge. I mean it's always a challenge stain more in tune with the different and technologies that are out there. But you know, we're out there every day and we're involved in a lot of society and peer groups and forums and you know, to stood in general is tremendous for the collective knowledge and sharing and resources that are available. So it's very fortunate to have it all around us and you're right, is only as good as bringing our people together to make sure that were, let's say, all on the same page and able to use it. So I hear that this is a hard insurance market and in that context, what special offerings they bring to the marketplace to help companies become more competitive? Well, I mean it's a good question. Thank you. In a hard insurance market it means that the insurance company and companies basically have a stronger position and can be more selective on...

...the risk that they write and the levels of areas that they play on our risk. The positions, whether they're at the attachment point or they play up higher or they reensure. But from our client standpoint and possibly per sent perspective clients, we provide them with a level of information to better understand and communicate and analyze and manage that risk, as opposed to a one size fits all solution here. Or we want you to spend, you know, tremendous amount of money for you to become a catillact even though the risk issue is only at a lower level. So what you're doing is spending money to make the risk that the insurance company insures better. But the thing is, you know, where do you really want to be? And that's where we play in the market. We have experts in every area of the industry and, you know, the client expertise and we can help them identify, understand, discuss and then manage what level. Yes, it's a risk issue, yes it has a certain impact on the operation, but where do you want to be as a client? You have to be above that baseline level, certainly, but where do you want to be as a client? And from that it then allows the client to approach the different insurance markets that will be able to write them to that level. Of let's say risk issue, which is really an issue anymore, but may not be as high as someone to be, but certainly is above the threshold of where a lot of the market is out there. So we will work with the client in that area because in the end it's the clients money in the client's risk issue and it's really where they want to be in the insurance markets that they want to approach. So in Aur since this is enabling clients to have more choice, more scalability and more options and what potential savings, absolutely which to think that that's really helpful.

So it's good for the marketplace to know that, you know, there is more out there, even in a hard insurance environment. Absolutely, so leadership is really important. Rights leaders we model behavior. How do you personally as a leader, to innovate to stay current? No, absolutely good question. I mean we look to work with our people and, you know, provide the framework as far as what's out there from an innovation standpoint. You know, whether it's within our peer groups, whether it's within our client base and our clients. You know, the voice of customer is huge to us. The clients are the ones are very much give us an understanding of what's happening out there, where they're at from a business standpoint, what they're changing from a technology standpoint. That could be of a related risk issue that we should be aware of and how to better manage that. A lot of times they actually do it ahead of time, which is perfect, so when they do make a change, the change is to a better risk level than if they have made it from a silo standpoint and we went in and said, well, it could be a little bit better. So having that partnership is tremendous. But, you know, we look to gain the collective knowledge of again, the colleagues, the organization, the clients, the peer groups, academic you know, environment, what's available from publications and everything, and we put that within a framework that we then get together and decide where the important issues are and how to better gage and disseminate the information for the, let's say, broader knowledge of our staff and from that we then communicate it, set up training forums, you know, things like that, peer to peer, train the trainer and things like that, just to make sure that, you know, we stay abreast as much as possible of the different activities, innovations...

...technologies that are out there. So we can again help the client on the more cutting edge aspects of how to manage and run the business, you know, again to give them better advice to make better decisions. Excellent. What I hear you describe is that you're building also an organization that continuously learners and drives. Kis On improvements. Right, continuous improvements in iterations. So absolutely interestingly enough, we just finished a Kuis on this week within one of our businesses and two weeks ago within another, and it's a great way to dig down to the, let's say, their bone, facts and details in data of an issue and to them build on it to come out with something that's much more collective and focused and in a team centric environment of how to move forward. So, yeah, Kais on events are very big to us. So not all of our listeners might be aware of Kaisons. Can shed a little bit more light without giving out any, you know, competitive information, anything confidential, but I mean a Kaison is a continuous improvement process and it's a way of identifying that there's an issue out there and there's most likely a better way to either resolve it or a better way to step up our game and participate in whatever that topic may be. So, you know, we need to identify the data that drives the aspect and, you know, benchmark where we've been and where we would like to go. And from that we put a team together that is very diverse, coming from a variety of different angles, and set up a one day event. Everybody has done a lot of homework and everything getting ready for it. We have a facilitator that it again, is outside the area, to make sure that they drive the process...

...and are not slanted towards the topic. And then we start off with gaining the target objectives. First, the issue of what the the overall focus of the Kaison is to be possibly to gain, you know, a bigger client base in, you know, different industries, different target areas, different geography, things like that. And you know, we put together our defining objectives on what we really want to get out of it and what's going to drive success. And then we put the KPIS together and then we develop action plans and then we develop bowlers, typically over a twelve month basis, on the different objectives and how, each month they need to be met in the different areas. Is Very, very detailed. It's very long, very exhausting but overall very rewarding. Well, JEM that's really impressive and thank you so much for sharing how innovation is well went in into the fabric of your organization. Really appreciate your time and in closing, is there a question that you wish I had asked and I did not touch upon? No, I mean probably one of the things that during this covid period it's good to share is obviously we're extremely focused on keeping our people safe and keeping the business running, making sure that, you know, there were jobs there for our staff and you know, communications is a big part of it and you know, I'm happy to say that you know the businesses that I manage operated at different levels based on availability of clients and governments, but in the end, you know, people were safe. Knock on would that we didn't have any serious issues from a health standpoint and that now we're balancing the return to work and work from home and you know, if we can keep people safe and we don't necessarily need to have them back in the office in that type of environment, which...

...will obviously change as time goes on, we don't, you know, we find that we don't need everybody in the same space as we use to technology has very much helped in people working remotely but still being more effective. It's been very good, very very good, and you know, I have to thank the organization and my staff for really really what a great job and balancing during this challenging period. But it's good that the business is still doing well and then people are still performing well in the various functions and you know, we're happy to to have a good home and have a good business and in this environment that's that's that's a plus. Excellent Jam. We really appreciate your joining us for this conversation and sharing your insights and time. Thank you so much. Thank you, Hav a good day. Thanks. You've been listening to innovation nation. For more subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast player or connect with us on linked in. Thanks for listening.

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