Origins of Saint-Gobain risk grading
Pierre Eliot launched the Saint-Gobain risk-grading program in 2007 with two key overall objectives:
- To foster ownership of risk prevention at the location level and promote a proactive culture of risk prevention.
- To trigger action and improvement in risk prevention, while avoiding the trap of reporting simply for the sake of reporting. Mr. Eliot is quick to note that reporting is of critical value, but more important is using the data generated to trigger action and create a virtuous circle of continuous improvement.
Mr. Eliot and the Saint-Gobain team aimed to carry out consistent comparisons and benchmarks across locations, lines of business, and countries. “We wanted to have our own measurement criteria to measure at both an individual location level and to consolidate on a multi-axis basis,” he states. “We wanted to be able to link this process and its results with allocation of PDBI premiums (in the form of rebates and penalties) across our numerous sites, businesses, and companies.”
The risk-grading program began with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets as the core technology. The risk management team distributed spreadsheet-based questionnaires to its 900 largest global locations. Then, as now, each location answered a core set of questions common to all facilities; from there, locations received specialized questions based on their operations. Each location received a score based on its answers (which are audited by Mr. Eliot and his team and by a loss-prevention engineering firm, which visits some 450 sites each year).
“Today, large locations will answer between 290 and 360 questions annually, based on what they do,” Mr. Eliot explains. “A glass-melting factory, for example, will have more questions than will a logistics facility, because there are usually more processes in a factory setting for which we want to collect data. Smaller locations and sales facilities will have a simplified questionnaire and answer fewer questions, because their operations are less complex.”