By CHRIS PRESTON, senior director, worldwide transactional content management marketing, content management & archiving division, EMC Corp.
The recent market turbulence has caused insurers to evaluate how to sustain their own competitive advantage going forward while identifying pockets of opportunity. To achieve competitive advantage, insurers are focused on decreasing the costs of doing business and responding to market and producer demands while minimizing risk and exposure. A key point of these objectives is that they are all dependent on how transactions are handled--whether that involves calculating risk of a new policy, processing a claim or answering a question about coverage.
Previously, the approach to managing transactions was built on either content management or process management technologies. While both technologies provide significant benefits on their own merits, each only addresses a part of the requirements needed by insurance organizations in managing transactions, ultimately exposing a business to risk.
A new and better approach has emerged, one that delivers a more cohesive and holistic solution through transactional content management. TCM is a platform approach that combines both content management and business process management--and adds compliance and customer communications management technologies--all within a single application environment.
This approach enables an organization to improve how it manages transactions, increases its visibility into various mission-critical processes, delivers personalized communications, and provides built-in compliance and audit measures.
Whether providing customer service or underwriting a new policy, transaction management has at its heart process. Process manages the workflow. It determines how work gets done, and it provides the ability to understand, automate and optimize the transaction.
By managing transactional processes from beginning to end with business process management, carriers can increase automation and rules-based decision-making and drive productivity, efficiency and the flexibility of their operations.
CLEAR TCM BENEFITS
A key benefit is visibility. Business performance dashboards (built on Web 2.0 technology) provide real-time visibility and give insurers the ability to monitor activities in a number of ways.
First, they can immediately reduce risk by helping expose issues before they become liabilities or result in claims leakage. Second, they can give an overview and insight into the data never before available, which can help people make more informed decisions. Third, this increased visibility and accelerated decision-making becomes the cornerstone for enabling business agility and reduced risk, giving organizations a distinct competitive edge to react to changing conditions as they occur.
In addition to managing processes, organizations must provide access to information and other content (in any format, including paper, electronic forms or data) and quickly incorporate that content into business processes.
Organizations must be able to quickly scan, classify, extract and validate critical documents and related data at a point where work is first introduced--the branch office, agent/broker location, etc.--with little or no human intervention. Once these electronic documents are incorporated into processes, organizations can route these transactions, ensure information accuracy up front and accelerate processing.
The reality, however, is that much of the information in insurance organizations is still in paper form, resulting in inefficiencies associated with the manual routing and management of work. Quickly converting paper to electronic business information makes it easier to access, route and retain transactions as an official record for auditing and compliance purposes.
It's clear, then, that organizations can benefit from a solution that combines both content management and business process management. But one of the most compelling of aspects of transactional content management systems is the inclusion of customer communications management as part of the business process.
Customer communications management delivers a rich, highly personalized customer experience that can build loyalty and help ensure customer retention. Transactional content can be quickly merged with customer data to produce personalized, relevant communications in any format (including statements, quotes, policies, correspondence and marketing materials) and distribute them through the channel that recipients prefer.
This multichannel delivery capability enables output to print, e-mail, the Web and mobile devices--automatically and in high-volume batch operations or on-demand--directly within your business processes.
By careful management of processes, content and communications, your organization can also adhere to good governance standards and policies to reduce the risk and costs of not complying with regulatory requirements. Managing your transactional content in this fashion allows you to automatically designate these transactions (documents, data information, communications, decision threads, etc.) as legal records (and to do so within your business processes), thus enforcing the proper retention policies and accessibility requirements.
Risk and organizational exposure is substantially reduced when you can protect the accessibility of transactions and account for how and why decisions were made.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The savings created through transactional content management can be substantial. One insurance company gained better visibility into their claims liabilities, processed claims in minutes rather than in days, and saved more than $5 million annually by adopting a transactional content management approach.
In addition to the savings, this organization gained performance improvement and substantially reduced their exposure to risk. TCM truly enables this insurance company to become a breed apart that delivers unrivaled levels of service and agility while dramatically reducing operational costs and organizational risk.
November 1, 2008
Copyright 2008© LRP Publications