Article

How to Digitise your Business Processes: 5 Key Areas of Focus

By: Ronny Reppe, 18. July 2021

Digital disruption, IoT, robotics. Analytics, big data, AI. Social media, cognitive computing, machine learning. There are so many trends and buzzwords at the moment that it’s almost impossible to follow and understand all of them. So, to help you successfully navigate the digital landscape, here are five key areas we think you should focus your efforts on.

1. THINK END TO END

Always think end to end when digitizing your business processes. Let the customer maintain their own data on a user-friendly self-service portal, and give them additional value by providing real-time data analysis within the same portal.

Keep in mind that thinking end to end not only include your work processes in-house. End to end is the entire communication flow to and from customers, as well as stakeholders further down the value chain. It encompasses the customers’ ability to visualize and maintain their own data and automate communication between brokers and insurers.

2. SINGLE DATA ENTRY

Data entry is one of the most time-consuming tasks performed on a daily basis. Take data entry within the customer on-boarding process as an example. From prospecting via sales to implementation, employees are likely to punch the same numbers several times into various documents and software systems. Additionally, they are likely to spend time searching for, aggregating, and selecting the correct data. A massive waste of time and a large source of human error.

To improve your efficiency, as well the quality of your data, you should not enter data into several systems. Instead, use one data source to maintain your customers’ policies, claims, and reinsurance. This will simplify government reporting, management reporting, and enhance the analysis of customer history.

3. AUTOMATE EVERYTHING!

If your business is like most insurance firms, you rely heavily on back-office operations and regularly spend time on repetitive business practices that prevent you from creating value. Ideally, you should use your time on and business knowledge on work that produces value, not punching numbers into a spreadsheet or manually setting up reports.

Examine your business processes and look for routine tasks that add little value and are prone to error. Do you have paper-based processes? Do you need to rework various tasks because of human error? Do you have bottlenecks, such as verification steps that lie unhandled for days? These are processes likely to benefit from automation.

Automation is indeed a popular trend within the IT and tech world, and the insurance industry are preparing for investments in robotic process automation (RPA) to improve existing business process applications. Although McKinsey predicts that up to 25 % of full-time positions may be consolidated or replaced over the next ten years as a consequence of automation, it will never replace the valuable competence of your employees. Automation will help your organization and your co-workers to utilize their resources in more efficient ways, not replace your workforce.

4. PERFORM BUSINESS SPECIFIC DATA ANALYSIS

The amount of data generated from IoT devices, social media, and other sources of data is massive, so massive and complex that traditional data processing tools are unable to handle them. Still, this data will be essential in the future of the insurance industry.

According to Marketforce’s “The Future of General Insurance Report 2016”, this data-rich world will force insurers to reboot their offers to offset a fall in premium income, finely calibrate pricing, improve claims handling, engage policy holders and cut fraud. A well-structured, coherent and comprehensive data storage will allow for advanced analytics that enables innovation of data-driven value-added services.

5. IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

As in any other industry, excellent customer service is vital to attract new prospects and reduce customer churn. Companies that consistently offer best-in-class customer service experiences tend to grow faster and more profitably, and this entails far more than developing a new mobile app or adding a new member to your call center.

Self-service portals for customer overview have been a central part of improving the customer experience for some time now, but lately, there have been developments such as providing ‘live’ management reports and statistics. Innovation in this area will be a critical success factor going forward.

Thinking end to end, increasing the quality of your data, automating your processes, and performing advanced analytics will eventually improve customer experience. However, valuable data analysis should not just be utilized to streamline and improve your in-house business processes. It should also provide added value for your customers. Visualize the value of your products for your customers within an automated and user-friendly interface, and you are likely to improve customer satisfaction, experience, and loyalty.

For more advise on how to meet the digitalisation of the insurance industry, you can read on in our e-book "The Insurance Industry 2025".