Digitalisation usually commences as a result of the organisation's evolution, the changing situation and growing demands of customers or affiliated companies.
Companies involved in insurance or handling claims follow a similar path to digitisation – the starting point is a situation where most of the processes are dealt with in an analogue manner. The transformation itself is not a simple process that can be carried out overnight, it requires time, preparation and a good technological partner. If you work for an insurance-related company, you might have already gone down this road. If you haven’t, let us show you the way.
When the number of your company employees is limited to a few or a dozen people, everything can be controlled manually. Everyone knows where the documents are and why the payment of particular insurance is past due. The processes are quite simple but almost always tailor-made. However, when the company begins to cross the border and can no longer handle everything “manually”, then the complications appear. There are some errors, omissions, while customers are forced to wait and begin to lose trust. In addition, you have some external disturbances such as a growing number of new regulations whose implementation is constantly postponed. After all, operability is more important!
Difficulties with serving current customers suggest a serious problem: the company will stop growing without introducing changes. Obviously, any organisation has some areas which you could optimise while keeping the processes in an analogue form. It helps, but usually just for a while. Afterwards, you start thinking about digitisation.
The digital revolution
Your company is growing and gaining new customers, while the number of employees has probably exceeded the limit of 15-20 people. This usually leads to one thing: you need to make compromises. Your organisation may not have the funds for carefully considered and tailor-made dedicated solutions at this stage. Therefore, you can always use the so-called off-the-shelf solution and, at most, adapt the company processes. You put your ideas into action and thus choose (usually several) solutions to address some company areas: Document Management Systems (DMS), workflows, integration with APIs of related systems and finally Customer Relationship Management (CRM) modules.
Your company undergoes the digital revolution and gets back on track. You have finally decreased the number of errors and the waiting time for carrying out services. Of course, there are some consequences. Since the systems are not unified, they cannot communicate with each other and require separate implementations. However, worst of all, they force you to introduce changes in the company processes to match the capabilities of the off-the-shelf solutions. It is not so bad at this stage!
The company has gone back to normal.
Changes and growth
The more you have, the more you want – your organisation is growing all the time, and you must keep up with the changing market and customer requirements. Additionally, legislative changes (e.g. introducing GDPR) force certain updates of processes and systems. But you might not always be able to modify those systems.
It turns out that if the existing systems could be connected, your work would be much easier and causing fewer errors. Connecting data from several systems allow you to perform the digitisation of subsequent processes and reduce the so-called “human factor”.
You begin to look for alternative solutions. Although your company has already undergone the digital revolution, you want to take another step forward. But are there any steps left? From our experience, there is one. We call it “the digital evolution”.
The digital evolution
It is good to enter this stage without operational difficulties. Since we are talking about building a dedicated solution, it should be based on well-thought-out strategies, both business and technological ones. Your organisation can once again go back to a situation in which you can map the processes one-to-one rather than bending them to match the off-the-shelf solution. The unification of interfaces, the ability (or even the need!) to connect systems that could not communicate before allows you to enter an entirely new area of growth.
In addition, you can finally deal with postponed regulations and safety aspects. The implementation of unified safety procedures and standards or teaching users to perform certain activities will help you fulfil a more holistic vision of a powerful system which the users themselves, as well as business partners and customers, can rely on.
This step often shows that unifying the systems makes introducing new people and scaling the business much easier. What is more, the functionalities resulting from connecting the previously uncorrelated data (e.g. reports and operational monitoring) can help you identify the company’s bottlenecks.
What’s the catch?
You probably think that a dedicated solution must be expensive. Actually, it is not always the case. Since we are experienced in the industry and work with back-office systems for large insurance companies, we notice many common elements between organisations. The details are always different. However, with a proper perspective and lessons learned from previous projects, we can easily find analogies as well as implement solutions in less time.
When we introduce a dedicated system, we are ready for growth again. We can also prevent specific consequences resulting from, for example, non-compliance with GDPR or incorrect safety procedures that may lead to loss of trust and penalties amounting to millions.
Author: Krzysztof Ryk