Delivering transformational change for an insurer spread across the USA

The challenge

The US network of a global insurance company needed help to change its reputation for late delivery and poor quality of service

The scope of the programme involved 29 sites spread across seven regions of the USA and the activity would involve both market facing teams and remote back office service centres.

However, there are several barriers to implementing a standard way of working across many wide spread locations. Each individual tends to believe their way of doing things is the best, which results in a strong reluctance to change, we therefore had to work hard to overcome these barriers.

How we helped

From our experience we know that the key to success will be creating high levels of employee engagement, which is why we started by working with the most experienced and able teams to identify best practice and seek areas of further improvement.

Our own experience has shown that a high level of employee engagement is the only way to sustain a new process. We began by engaging all employees, both front-line and management, in a detailed analysis of their current work processes. By using our methodology we helped them identify opportunities for improvement in areas ranging from new business and renewals to endorsements and cancellations.

We then worked with these pilot teams to codify this new way of working into a formal architecture creating one standardised end-to-end solution for the various underwriting processes. This focussed on delivering best possible quality and customer service by shortening lead times and reducing the number of transactional errors.

The new solution was supported by the introduction of rigorous, customer-focussed KPIs together with visual management that allowed workload to be prioritised. This gave all employees a clear view of current performance and the ability to identify and solve problems.

As a result a national roll-out went ahead with continued emphasis on engaging employees in understanding the need for change and training them in embedding, developing and sustaining the new solution.

The results

By the end of the 19-month project exceptional results and benefits had been achieved:

  • Issuing of policies on time improved from 45% to 90%, substantially increasing customer satisfaction
  • 90% of transactions are now right-first-time
  • Underwriters’ capacity for business development has doubled, evidenced by a similar increase in market-facing visits
  • 500 operational staff and management have been trained and supported through problem solving; ensuring teams have the on-going capability to solve operational problems that directly impact customer satisfaction.