Learning from the Best: Operational Excellence from a Model Insurer Viewpoint
I am privileged again this year to be part of the team that judged the Celent Model Insurer nominations. My focus is on the nominations in the Operational Excellence theme. In reality, every nomination demonstrates a high degree of operational excellence. It is a tough job to choose only three winners in the category.
You may wonder how Celent decides which nominations are the best of the best. We look at the disciples included in successful operational outcomes. Achieving operational excellence, requires transforming processes and systems into competitive advantages by making them leaner, faster, more flexible and of higher quality.
It’s not just what is done, but how it’s done. The project should have lasting effects and transform the organization in multiple aspects: Processes, Technology, Culture and Business Model.
This year’s operational excellence nominations run the gamut from project methodology to straight through processing to infrastructure outsourcing. Following are examples of a few of the nominations:
- A P&C insurer in the Cayman Islands moved to a virtual business. Instead of replacing their on premise infrastructure, they transitioned to a cloud environment for all systems including: core insurance operations, human resources, and call center. By moving to a third-party cloud provider, the insurer could go global to support local operations with consistent technology expertise to host and maintain the applications.
- One of India’s leading life insurance companies which had experienced tremendous growth of 380% in the last financial year required a simple, streamlined and cost effective system to service their growing customer base and extend the enterprise for continued growth and market penetration. The company implemented a document management solution for processing new business and claims. The solution is designed so that it requires no or minimal manual intervention for the end-to-end document life cycle process.
- An innovative testing solution created in collaboration between a North American P&C insurer and its vendor was implemented after it was found that the existing testing environment, approach and methodology was causing delays and quality assurance problems for the transformation program. The solution is a cloud based, open-source testing environment that has reduced both risk and cost by improving the quality of the testing.
- A North America supplemental benefits insurer adopted an Agile project methodology in response to its need of modernization and in recognition that it will undergo more change as the industry continues to capitalize on social, mobile, wearables, etc. The change brought about increased accountability, efficiency and organization that have allowed the company to be poised and ready for all opportunities, producing results at record speed.
- A reinsurer based in Europe implemented artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to allow automatic verification of clauses in contracts and matching of official comments stored in a large database. This allows experts to focus their attention on parts of the contract that have not been seen before and will allow back searching thought any collection of documents for clauses containing issues of interest as well as comparing contracts on a clause level with calculated accuracy scores.
As you can see from this sampling of nominations, choosing the winners was hard. However, it is easy for you to be on hand to network with and learn from the insurers and vendors who submitted the winning projects. Please join Celent in Boston on April 4 for Innovation and Insight Day where the winners of the 2017 Model Insurer awards will be announced. You can register here.