We helped an insurance company make their business-critical data more consumable in Microsoft Azure to drive business decisions.
Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual (PLM) is a mutual insurance company dedicated to serving the wood products and building materials industries. Founded more than 125 years ago, it is the oldest and largest wood industry insurer, providing protection for some 5,000 wood-related businesses nationwide.
The company’s stated mission is “to be recognized by stakeholders as America’s premier property and casualty insurance company serving the lumber and building materials industries by establishing long-term relationships built on stability in the marketplace, superior service, industry-specific risk management, quality products, and the utmost professionalism as we consistently strive for profitable growth.”
However, PLM, like much of the insurance industry, had a data challenge. Summed up by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s line “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink,” PLM had a lot of data, yet it was not in a consumable form. In other words, it could not drive business decisions.
That’s why PLM embarked on a program to redesign its business intelligence and analytics capability. The company acquired new claims and policy management systems, and while they greatly improved the customer experience, the new systems fell short of meeting the organization’s analytics needs.
Disparate tables in a legacy COBOL system few people understood continued to drive reporting. Production staff spent their Saturday mornings preparing premium and loss details in Excel spreadsheets for their Monday morning meetings. The company didn’t realize the full potential of its data. PLM needed a system that would give them a sweeping view of how their business was functioning and the ability to dive into the factors most influential to their results.