ICW Group Insurance Cos. is now in production with SAP’s ERP Financials, the solution provider reports. Building on its implementation of SAP BusinessObjects business intelligence (BI) and information management (IM) solutions, the ERP Financials technology is designed to drive enterprisewide efficiencies on a single, integrated system.

The insurer reports that it has already been able to glean real-time visibility of its cash flow, and reduced its general ledger accounts from 6,800 to 800. ICW Group will next implement insurance-specific solutions from SAP for claims, with “collections and disbursements” creating an end-to-end IT infrastructure to better meet customer needs and drive competitive advantage.

“When the financial crisis hit, we knew it was of utmost importance to continue our implementation of SAP to gain full cash flow transparency and create an edge over the competition,” said Michael Freet, SVP and CFO, ICW Group. “The success we achieved immediately after going live with SAP is a true testament to the power and user-friendly attributes of the solution. We now have an integrated and flexible IT roadmap in place that allows us to remain competitive during the recession and be prepared for growth opportunities during the recovery.”

Licensed in all 50 states, ICW Group offers a broad range of insurance products that include auto, workers’ compensation, catastrophe, commercial property and surety. Previously, ICW Group had a number of disparate legacy systems that were not scalable. As they began to grow and diversify, ICW Group needed one trusted version of their business data that could be easily disseminated to employees, regulators and agents. The company selected SAP BusinessObjects IM and BI solutions to consolidate and cleanse data, as well as deliver actionable reports to improve visibility across the organization. ICW Group relies on SAP BusinessObjects to replace gut-feel and spreadsheets with timely and reliable data for better decision-making, including support for predictive analytics, which enables precise pricing for insurance policies.

ICW Group selected HCL AXON as its implementation partner to replace its financial management software. HCL AXON team members worked closely with ICW over a four-month period, and together drove a smooth and efficient transition of the Group’s systems and data, as well as supporting employee communications and training.

With advanced technology from SAP, ICW Group employees now have more time to move up the curve, and focus as a true financial advisory resource for driving enterprise strategy and growth. Many manual and spreadsheet processes have been automated in SAP software, freeing valuable hours to conduct financial analysis, planning and monitoring. The new and more detailed information captured in SAP software provides both accounting and business leaders more timely access to information.

In addition, each ICW Group line-of-business also can work more efficiently by accessing real-time facts and figures to enhance departmental decision- making. All of this lays the foundation for more efficient financial operations, as it allows ICW Group’s CFO to focus on being a strategic advisor to the business, instead of allocating time against secondary tasks that ICW Group’s previous financial systems could not support.

The deployment of SAP software has already provided ICW with early benefits:

• Increased data granularity when compared to legacy systems. Operational data is now seamlessly integrated with the general ledger to a much greater degree of detail

• Elimination of database management activities by financial professionals

• Ability to rapidly analyze the financial and operational data

• Increased efficiency through access to—and analysis of—real-time financial data

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