Rapid growth. It's a "problem" most companies would welcome. Yet, along with accelerated growth comes a bevy of new challenges. At Geico and its affiliated companies, for example, when written premiums grew from $4.1 billion in 1998 to $4.9 billion in 1999, the company had to process twice as many agent licenses with state insurance departments-just to keep enough agents on the phones selling auto policies."In one year, we jumped from about 27,000 active licenses and 48,000 appointments to 55,000 licenses and 115,000 appointments," says Dan Corridon, director of licensing administration at Government Employees Insurance Co. (Geico), the Chevy Chase, Md.-based direct insurer. "We needed a system that was going to do more for us than what we were using."

That's not surprising, since Geico was using paper. In 10 regional offices, Geico staff manually completed and processed all the forms required by the various state insurance departments to license and appoint its "insurance counselors."

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