Archive: May, 2009
A larger number of companies every year are automating their document processes. In fact, people are realizing that document automation can really make the difference when it comes to boosting efficiency and reducing cost and risk.
Insurance companies, which spend a lot of time and resources on writing and processing documents, don’t want to miss this opportunity and are willing to automate insurance forms, policies, slips contracts and other documents with reliable and cost-effective solutions.
With all of the different options the market offers, how should an insurance executive choose which solution is best tailored to their needs?
Teresa Beach, Head of Transformation at Catlin Group Ltd, says that when they decided to automate their underwriting documents, they were looking for a solution able to work to their aggressive timeline to develop multiple templates on behalf of their worldwide offices, and in multiple languages. Catlin, a leading global specialist insurer and reinsurer and the largest Lloyd’s Syndicate, recently chose Exari to achieve their reform agenda by automating a library of key documents such as quotes, policies and client letters.
Catlin is not the first insurance company to choose Exari to automate their documents. In fact, they join Exari’s roster of leading insurance entities which includes two of the world’s largest brokers, the world’s leading reinsurer and a number of Lloyd’s syndicates. To learn more about automating insurance documents, go to Exari for Insurance Brokers and Underwriters.
This post was guest authored by Federica Ionta.
As readers of this blog are aware, we’re always thinking about ways that document assembly can improve business, contracts and their related processes. As users of Salesforce.com ourselves, it occurred to us how useful it would be to have sales contracts and other documents related to the sales process integrated into our CRM where we are already managing our sales-related activities.
Since a non-disclosure agreement is often the first document in the sales process, we decided to start there. We are testing our theory with a free Exari NDA available on the appexchange. Please try it and tell us what you think. If you like it as much as we think you will, we’d appreciate a “glowing” review. And please remember what mom said about “if you don’t have something nice to say,” and let us know that by contacting us directly.
A recent McKinsey article entitled Document management: A hidden source of value [PDF] discusses how to improve certain simple document operations. However, it ignores the transformational opportunities afforded by addressing more complicated transactional document processes.
Document operations in financial services
McKinsey identifies financial services as one of the sectors for which managing “the flow of documents is an immense, complex, and critical task.” Exari’s banking and insurance customers would no doubt agree, given that documenting a deal often seems to involve mountains of paper. So, it’s no surprise McKinsey finds that a “typical global financial institution might spend 0.5 percent of its revenues on print and document services.”
The article discusses how, by adopting an integrated document services strategy, a large unnamed insurance company saved €150M over 3 years. Other benefits identified were:
- More effective branding – through standardized visual identity and language
- Increased regulatory compliance – as a result of better document processes
- Improved customer experience – from more individualized communications
Although the case study is equivocal, the €15M project apears to have focused on batch-produced documents; bills and marketing brochures were mentioned explicitly. And there is undoubtedly value in addressing batch production. However, in the financial services industry in particular, you can derive far greater and more enduring competitive advantage from fixing transactional document-based processes such as customer onboarding and renewals. For example:
- Signing up a banking customer for a loan requires the production of proposals, application forms, cover letters, term sheets, credit requests, approval documents, finance agreements, security documents and government forms.
- Underwriting a new insurance risk involves the production of quotes, slips, schedules, cover letters, policies, wordings, endorsements and renewals.
Using document assembly software to automate these high-labor, document-intensive processes, financial services companies are able to get more customers out of the market with faster turnaround times, better service and less risk. While not as easy as picking off invoice- and direct mail-related processes, this where the real value lies.
Telstra have just splurged on promoting how they improve enterprise productivity. They purchased ALL the ad space in the 32 page Budget liftoff in today’s Australian Financial Review. This follows on from the detailed productivity research they commissioned earlier in the year.
So, what are you doing to improve productivity?
Here’s a thought! Review your document-intensive processes and ask yourself: Could automation make them cheaper, faster or less risky? Would there be a business case for fixing the problem? Can it really be done? If you’re anything like our other customers, you’ll discover that the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.
“We’re a bank you can bank on.”
That’s Westpac’s new tagline. According to their press release, it “communicates Westpac’s message of security, stability and thinking things through”, and is part of a new “corporate strategegy to put customers at the heart of every thing it does.”
The Australian reports that Westpac RBB’s GM Marketing, Andrew Seager, admits this new strategy does little to differentiate Westpac from its rivals. “All banks would have a similar focus,” said Seager. “I think the critical thing is how you execute it.” (emphasis added)
It will be interesting to see whether Gail Kelly & Co can bring together the Three Ps – people, processes and platforms – to deliver on the promise.
If you’re involved in sales, you’ve most likely heard the phrase “Sales 2.0” and are aware how related strategies and technologies are changing the ways companies sell their products and find and nurture their prospects.
According to Anneke Seley and Brent Holloway in their new book Sales 2.0: Improve Business Results Using Innovative Sales Practices and Technology, “Sales 2.0 is the use of innovative sales practices focused on creating value for both the buyer and seller, enabled by Web 2.0 and next generation technology. Sales 2.0 practices combine the science of process-driven operations with the art of collaborative relationships, using the most profitable and expedient sales resources required to meet customer’s needs.”