Navigating the flood of information to increase resilience

The growing threat of flooding and extreme weather in the UK has heightened the need for greater resilience particularly for those in the retail sector.

With the UK Government set to allow the retail sector to reopen in the run up to Christmas the pressure to recover lost sales is compounded by the need to ensure that premises are effectively risk managed.

When a leading retailer suffered combined losses in excess of £10 million to a large number of their properties across the UK when Storm Desmond struck in 2015, they began to look at ways in which they could better identify the risks they face.

However, identifying the risks was only part of the solution. In order to effectively manage the risks and increase their resilience it was vital that they understood the potential severity of those exposures.

In partnering with Balkerne and our SmartResilience platform the company was seeking a way to utilise the huge amount of information that is held in various data sets both internally and externally. They told us the data needed to be effectively analysed and the results presented in a way that provides the company with a clear dashboard that identifies the
risks to a degree of granularity that the most pressing issues to be
prioritised are apparent.

After their experience in 2015, it was clear the biggest concerns were the ability to withstand natural perils. Flooding does not necessarily confine itself to the country’s flood plains. While a number of properties were close to water courses and as such faced the risk of flood, the
design of many forecourts and parking facilities for retail business can often come with a flood threat when there is excessive rainfall.

Mindful that every parking space that is unable to be occupied comes with a cost to the retailer SmartResilience was able to create a clear map as to those areas of the individual sites which were subject to a heightened risk should there be excessive rainfall and provide the client with an understanding as to the areas of the site’s drainage system which
required more frequent maintenance.

The AI within the system enables SmartResilience to go beyond purely the passive identification of risk.

Its ability to constantly monitor over 30 data sources creates the capability to provide the risk manager with alerts when there is an increased threat to their properties.

This includes times when heavy rain or other conditions threaten to cause part or all of the site to flood. The ability to provide advanced warning enables flood defences to be implemented and goods to be moved from the affected areas.  Reducing the impact of the flood to both the property and the stock not only reduces the costs of damage but was also found to significantly increase the ability of the property to resume operations, delivering reductions to the cost of business interruption. The alerts are not confined to natural perils it will warn the company of a range of other threats including raising crime levels in the area
for example arson or criminal damage.

No two properties enjoy the same risk profile so our platform had to enable the company to clearly identify the differing individual threat levels their properties faced. It also had to give the risk management team the ability to add and remove property quickly and easily as the portfolio changed.

SmartResilience provided the risk manager with the ability they went beyond identifying core risks and delivering prior notice of rising risk levels.

In an environment where the need to deliver cost efficiencies and effectively manage expenditure SmartResilience enabled risk managers to provide clear and concise evidence for senior management of the risks which need to be addressed and a comprehensive overview of the steps that need to be taken.