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How Heinz have Become Experts at Data Collection

Heinz wanted a solution that would help them better manage their global property and casualty risk data. They selected RiskConsole due to its web-based architecture, multi-currency capabilities and its ability to be configured to match its specific needs.

HJ Heinz company is the most international US-based food company, with a world-class portfolio of powerful brands holding number-one and number-two market positions in over 50 countries. Heinz’ global annual sales are $8.6 billion with over 50 percent derived from outside the US. Heinz brands are cultural icons to consumers everywhere, representing quality, convenience and great taste.

Heinz employs over 36,000 people and has property assets of almost US$10 billion with over 800 manufacturing, warehouse and office facilities located around the world. Heinz needed to better manage its property inspections and recommendations, but the procedures and systems in place were manual and varied from year-to-year. Ed Aiello, vice president of global insurance for Heinz, wanted a solution that would help the company to better manage its global property and casualty risk data. He selected Aon RiskConsole due to its web-based architecture, multi-currency capabilities and its ability to be configured to match their specific needs.

Heinz Ketchup

“RiskConsole has helped Heinz affiliates take ownership of the values for the properties that they are responsible for. The values were not bad before in the aggregate, but they’re so much better now.”


Manager of Global Insurance

We spoke with Fleckenstein, manager of global insurance for Heinz, and Sherwin, the Heinz relationship manager at Ventiv Risk Services, to discuss how Heinz implemented RiskConsole to facilitate its risk data collection for property and casualty renewals and property recommendation tracking.

Prior to using RiskConsole Heinz approached property data collection as many companies do, spending countless man-hours purging and emailing spreadsheets, then assimilating the data back into a consolidated picture to present to its underwriters. Now, over 100 Heinz employees throughout the world have been given access to RiskConsole’s property module, changing the data collection process considerably.

Using RiskConsole’s security, each Heinz user has access to COPE (construction, occupancy, protection, exposure) information, along with specific hazard data related to windstorm, earthquake and flood for their locations. Values are captured in local currency and reported in US Dollars.

“RiskConsole has helped Heinz affiliates take ownership of the values for the properties that they are responsible for. The values were not bad before in the aggregate, but they’re so much better now.”

Fleckenstein comments, “RiskConsole has helped Heinz’ affiliates to take ownership of the values for the properties they are responsible for. The values were not bad before in the aggregate, but they’re so much better now. We’re also in a better position to provide our affiliates with guidance on how to report values in a way that is more efficient and clear.

“For example, we want to ensure we are properly reporting values to the underwriters. Our insurance contract provides for recovery on net cost of sales for damaged inventories. The subsidiaries were reporting inventory values are based on cost of production. To ensure we’re no longer underreporting our inventory values, we have provided our subsidiaries with instructions and the formula to calculate the values within RiskConsole.”

Heinz uses ACE for risk control services, property inspections and making recommendations based on its observations. The inspection reports are attached to the corresponding property record and recommendations are loaded via a data load from ACE into RiskConsole. An email is generated to the people at Heinz responsible for managing the recommendation, alerting them of the new entry.



Fleckenstein states, “By running a query or report in RiskConsole we can see what percentage of recommendations have been completed. We can actually break it down into a format where we can easily identify recommendations that need some capital appropriation. What we’re looking for is a high percentage of recommendations that generally don’t involve a lot of expense to be completed, but that have a significant impact. We have advised the affiliates that if a recommendation costs less than $10,000 they are required to do it.”

Fleckenstein continues, “ACE estimates what it will cost to comply with the recommendation. There’s also a field where the Heinz recommendation contacts can enter an estimate from a third party if they have obtained one. For some recommendations there is no cost to doing it. We are now able to capture information we could not gather in the past.”

Sherwin adds, “Property underwriters are drilling down to a level of detail that we really haven’t seen in the past. They are very interested in an insured’s attitude when it comes to underwriting a risk. And nothing speaks louder than spending money to correct situations that would reduce the effect of a loss.”

Similar to collecting property values, Heinz also needed to collect values for its casualty submission. Information that quantifies headcount, payroll, sales and vehicles for each business unit was required, with variations in requirements for locations outside the US.

One significant challenge faced by Heinz was the large number of users scattered across 36 countries. Of the 200 current users, some need to access the property modules, some the property recommendation module and the remainder are casualty users.

Initially, local training and web seminars were used, but the release of the My Console feature last year greatly helped. It allowed Heinz to implement content-related dashboards for its various user groups, while adding documentation and training materials to drive users directly to the functionality they needed to see in RiskConsole.

Talking about the ease of use, Fleckenstein highlights one particular success story of the company’s Chinese subsidiary, Long Fong. “They were a late addition to the user group but within days of receiving her ID, our user had logged on and inserted all of her company’s information by following the documentation and training materials on her documentation tab”.

Working with their foreign casualty insurance companies, Heinz intends to expand its use of RiskConsole in the future to include a uniform method for all affiliates to report claims. The company is also looking at using data within RiskConsole to perform premium allocations and invoicing.

As we closed, Fleckenstein commented on the success of the partnership between Heinz, ACE, the Aon brokerage team and Ventiv. He said, “Everyone has been very willing to help us to accomplish what we want. The team at eSolutions has been flexible and understands our requirements, meaning that RiskConsole has been configured to meet our specific needs. We couldn’t ask for more.”