Enter Centric: A Multidisciplinary Team Delivers a Comprehensive Strategic Approach
The client initially reached out to Centric Consulting’s Operational Excellence (OE) team in 2019 to request help improving their processes. However, after reviewing the company’s processes with its team, OE realized the client needed to refine its scope first.
Company leaders wanted to overhaul processes for seven products, but each product included many other complex processes. They needed to determine which processes held the most value to begin their journey of employee engagement, training and tool selection that would allow them to pursue broader process improvement initiatives and, ultimately, business transformation.
Through multiple meetings and Agile coaching workshops, Centric identified the client’s “new business” process as the best starting place. Like all processes within insurance providers, the new business process was complex, including numerous interrelated processes and a variety of digital tools, interfaces, and data sources. Centric determined the best strategy would be to focus on improving four processes that were part of the new business process: applications, underwriting and suitability, funding and payments, and delivery and assurance.
In addition to OE, three other practices within Centric would bring their unique skill sets to aspects of these four processes for securing and onboarding new business:
- Strategic Alignment and Architecture (SAA): The SAA practice used Centric’s integrated business architecture and organization design approach, called StratAtecture, to translate the company’s strategy into the architecture and design of its operating model.
- Property and Casualty: Centric’s Property and Casualty team, part of its Insurance practice, used modern digital tools to improve communications with real-time information, speed processes, increase collaboration with peers and partners, and provide ubiquitous access to data and business intelligence as the client implemented its new processes.
- Enterprise Portfolio and Program Management (EPPM): Centric’s EPPM practice helped the company achieve the greatest impact with its process changes while ensuring that all process elements are aligned with business goals.
In addition, Centric identified automation as a key part of improving the company’s processes. Business process management solutions (BPMS), especially those that combine robotic process automation (RPA) and AI, have tremendous potential. But, without mapping and optimizing processes first, even the best BPMS will not achieve the best results.
These groups started doing the hard work to standardize and optimize the client’s processes so that BPMS could succeed. They first collaborated to develop the project’s vision, outcomes and KPIs to develop the business case for the process changes. They also created customer blueprints and conducted process mapping, all while refining the communications plan for the initiative and evaluating data and analytics integration requirements.
The stakeholders now had a complete, strategic view of the path ahead. Next, they identified the groups needed within Centric to address four workstreams: digital, workflow automation, data, and value proposition:
- Experience Design: Centric’s provided solutions required multiple decision points and digital interfaces. The company’s Experience Design team conducted design sprints, prototyping, and interaction design sessions to gather the data needed to build seamless digital experiences for employees.
- Salesforce: In its preliminary work, Centric realized the client had tried to adapt Salesforce, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, to act as a BPMS. Centric brought in its Salesforce team to help the company use its CRM better and ease the transition to more appropriate BPMS tools for workflow automation.
- Data & Analytics: Because the company’s processes rely on data—and because data is critical to BPMS—Centric tapped its Data & Analytics team to take a holistic view of the insurer’s data environment, analyze its internal and external data assets, prepare the data in those assets, and identify advanced analytics that would provide efficiencies.
- Insurance: Centric’s Insurance team provided industry oversight for the project, using its Insurance Analytics Platform and other accelerators to help provide governance and increase the value of the engagement.
Finally, Centric worked with the company’s existing service transformation vendor to ensure that its systems were supported and ready to drive the most important imperatives that aligned with the KPIs and outcomes stakeholders had identified.
Throughout Centric’s engagement, the company’s approach was “Think big, start small, act quickly.” Centric’s goal was to deliver a small but valuable win for the client that would establish the consistency and alignment to drive broader transformation throughout the organization.
Results: Better Processes Pave the Way for the Future
By the end of Centric’s three-year engagement, the company had decreased the number of manual steps in its new business processes by 87 percent, greatly reducing cycle time in new customers’ purchase journeys. In addition, the many new business rules Centric created have reduced employees’ reliance on memory to complete processes. The client now had a recommended model for prioritizing its channel partners and applications at multiple levels within its processes.
More importantly, Centric’s engagement sets the company up for further transformation. Internal and external stakeholders now have meaningful metrics that provide end-to-end visibility into the company’s processes. Meanwhile, clients and channel partners can better communicate and collaborate, further decreasing cycle times, increasing revenue, and creating more loyal, satisfied customers.
The insurance sector is driven by processes, but so are other industries. All can benefit from starting small but strategically so that smaller process-improvement victories ultimately lead to larger business transformations.
In today’s world, automation plays a large role in any process improvement initiative, but you must invest the time upfront to achieve the best results.