Ohio Mutual's Bethany Foy, business lines services manager, takes INN through the multiline P&C insurer's selection, deployment, and customization of automated workflow software.
Why did Ohio Mutual need to look for a new workflow solution?
Our business case really started when we combined our service center units and brought in different business lines – personal and commercial -- to work together in that department. The underwriting part is still separate, but the servicing of our agents became one. When we did that, we recognized how different our workflow was with those groups coming together. That started the conversation about workflow and wanting to become more consistent. One area was still working with paper, we wanted to get away from that as much as possible, and the other area was using the Acrosoft workflow mechanism.
How did you kick off the process?
We decided to start exploring other options that existed, we started interviewing a few vendors, including Acrosoft. We wanted to do our due diligence. But through that analysis we came to find out that acrosoft had been acquired by Interactive Intelligence and had already launched Interaction Process Automation (IPA) as an option for workflow. We kind of re-engaged with that and said, is there a way we can improve our existing partnership. We had a demo of IPA and came to the realization that we could still use acrosoft for content management, which is why we had it to begin with, and not having to convert those digital files we felt made it the best option for cost savings.
You said one of your business lines had already been using Acrosoft for workflow. Which one was that?
We started with Acrosoft content management imaging on both lines, but then the commercial lines underwriting area came to realize that they had the workflow piece and jumped on it. They had been using it and bringing some awareness to our company about how we could use an automated workflow. It is important because if you’re striving to work paperless, you have that end result when you’re saving that work into a file that’s electronic.
That means that personal lines was still plugging along using spreadsheets. Why didn’t they jump on Acrosoft sooner?
The personal lines area is a lot more volume and handles a lot more transactions, so we wanted to make sure that the system that we officially adopted let us grow with it. We wanted to start with a system that was flexible and could meet our business needs.
How long have you been using IPA as your unified workflow platform? How has it improved the business results?
IPA has been in production since April of 2014 on the personal lines side, and then we introduced it to the business lines workflow in December of 2014. One of the most evident changes is our turnaround time. We have more insight to our workflow because we are look at it more globally rather than having to manage it by spreadsheet. That means for personal lines new business, it’s reduced our average cycle time from five days to three days. Endorsements are down from eight to five days. And in commercial lines, endorsement time dropped from 15 days to three and a half.
Has IPA delivered the customizable platform for growth you were seeking?
IPA really is a blank slate, it really is a true customization for any customer. We probably make changes on a quarterly basis, which means we have made four large enhancements to the processes over time to fit what we need going forward.
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