The client: AIA Auto Insurance, a multiple-location retail insurance agency specializing in high-risk automobile insurance.
The challenge: Operations were choked by a flood of paper, most of it not where it needed to be at any given time. AIA’s business strategy made it a requirement that customers be able to be serviced from any of the company’s offices, no matter where the policy was originally sold. At the same time, the nature of the AIA’s market segment and customer base made access to complete and current information about policy changes, payments and claims vital to not only prevent expensive error, but to protect against fraud. Unfortunately, AIA’s reliance on paper-based files made satisfaction of these business requirements very difficult. As a result, extraordinarily inefficient procedures had been implemented to attempt to satisfy both requirements. Certain paper documents were being photocopied and mailed or faxed to multiple locations, where “skeleton” files were maintained. And even with these skeleton files, countless hours were spent by Customer Service personnel on the telephone to the Home Office getting current information from the “master” client files.
The solution: A digital document management system that would make AIA’s files securely available at any location via the Internet was the obvious solution. A review of the commercially available insurance agency management software revealed that none met the client’s unique needs, and iData resources were employed to develop and implement a private-label agency management system that would feature secure, ubiquitous access by company personnel to any document in any client’s file. The system, dubbed eFiler, was developed and implemented, with the following procedures for paper documents:
Paper documents originating from any source are immediately associated with the applicable client and scanned into the eFiler system.
If the paper document is of a type required by statute or regulation to be maintained in paper form, it is filed in “dead” storage, by date. (Three years after implementation, it had not yet been necessary to access any of these documents in paper form). Otherwise, the paper document is destroyed one day after scanning.
After scanning, workflow management built into the eFiler system routes the client’s “electronic file” to employee’s “in-basket” for handling of the pending document.
Within eFiler, a document index is a part of each customer’s record, and shows an automatically maintained list of document on the file, with date added, description of the documents, and initials of the handling CSR. The document list includes not only scanned documents, but documents produced by the eFiler system such as form letters, receipts, premium finance contracts and countless others.
Clicking on any document in the list displays an image of the document.
In addition to client files, all company reference material (manuals, ratebooks, policy forms) were scanned and converted to searchable .pdf documents. They are available (and full-text searchable) from anywhere.
Because newer policies produce the most activity and because of the high turnover rate of the client’s customer base, it was decided that an immediate conversion of old documents was unnecessary, and that after two years of handling new policies by the new system, the remaining old active files could be converted with minimal effort. That turned out to be an accurate projection, and all active files are now on the new system.
The Results: Payback was immediate and dramatic.
Every document in every file is now immediately available to any employee with appropriate security in any office anywhere within the company.
Customer service has improved dramatically. The client file is immediately available, with no delay to “pull the file”, and elimination of the inevitable misfiles.
At three years following implementation, increased efficiency had allowed employee count to be reduced by 35%, with an increase in business.
30% of floor space in the primary location formerly occupied by file cabinets has been freed up.
Warehouse shelf space for “dead” storage of non-active files is being freed up as statutory time periods for document retention expire.
The new system permits tele commuting by telephone customer service personnel and others who do not need to have face-to-face access to customers, resulting in reduction in employee absences and greater employee satisfaction and retention.
Since all client files and all manuals, forms and reference materials are available online, a new office can be opened with just a location, an agent, a computer and a printer.
Nightly backups of eFiler data and documents are maintained in secure offsite storage. Disaster recovery, which was impossible with the paper files, is now assured.
Learn more about iData's Digital Asset Manager solution for document management or see a demo. To talk with iData about how we can help with your document management and disaster recovery needs, Contact Us.