Delivering acute personal service worldwide

13 August 2014
If News 6/2014 Personnel. SOS International is a global outsourcing partner that provides services, which are designed to help companies prepare, plan and care for people who require acute personal assistance because of a crisis. Many large organisations have employees travelling around the world and SOS International works closely together with many stakeholders to help make the journey safe for everyone.

​The importance of the right service partner

Nearly 99 % of all insurance cases can be dealt with the insurance company itself, but what about the remaining 1 %? Who will handle the cases within security evacuations or kidnapping? Cases like this can be very unpredictable and have a big impact on a single employee or an entire organisation. Therefore it is important to collaborate with a service partner who has tried these situations before in real life.

SOS International has more than 50 years of experience and knows how important it is to provide the right expertise at the right time in every situation.

Monitoring risks as well as handling on-going crises require a professional and efficient system, with pre-established logistics, and resources backed up by extensive local knowledge and a wide range of local partners. Therefore SOS International is proud to be collaborating closely with If Insurance regarding the last 1 %.

Having the right competences

The increasing issue of kidnapping or extortion is forcing companies to be more proactive when trying to prevent incidents, as well as being able to react effectively, should an incident occur. SOS International provides preventive consultancy on a daily basis for organisations that have expatriates, or personnel on single assignments abroad.

Together with local partners, SOS International provides expertise within staff training, site inspections, crisis handling and country-specific reports. The services are designed to protect and assist managers, as well as staff and families, who are exposed to a hazardous situation somewhere in the world. There are several advantages to using only one service partner that can manage all areas within crisis and risk. An advantage is that all the information comes from the same place, so you only have one phone number to call if you need assistance.

Avoiding a culture clash

Knowing the local culture and being aware of all possible dangers can be decisive when you are doing business internationally. This type of knowledge is invaluable, not just in relation to what cultural challenges the journey has to offer, but also in terms of health and safety.

Finding the right information from the right sources is a big part of what SOS International does, and an online portal provides end-users with essential travel information regarding health, security and business culture. These factors can vary significantly even though, geographically, the distance might not be great. Therefore, organisations have a responsibility to prepare their employees in the best possible way, and take the best security measures when sending them abroad on missions, in order to avoid a potential culture clash.

In that regard, SOS international works closely with several professional companies and can offer customers information on anything from risk of natural disasters and riots to human rights and corruption. To illustrate how local knowledge, training and preparation can be valuable, please read our case story from real life.

Case story on riots in Africa

A European company, that had operations in an African country, was concerned about upcoming elections and needed a report on the situation on the ground, so it was equipped to prepare its people, should they have to carry out an evacuation. SOS International made an on-site inspection, submitted a report and trained the company’s employees accordingly.

Riots did take place in the country during elections and this was a cause of concern for the company, but due to on-site preparation and training, SOS International was able to advise the company and employees were able to remain onsite and carry out business operations as usual.

The company was well-prepared and could deal with the situation, which meant it saved considerable expenses, because it did not have to close down its operations, evacuate 24 people from the site and find them living accommodation for the time period. Also, SOS International took the advisory role and was in contact with the company throughout the entire process.

In the period around the election and the riots SOS International was on alert 24/7 from the control centre, ready to evacuate by plane from a predesignated and inspected airfield.

Charlotte Bjerregaard SOS International