High-Risk Insurance Company Reduces Risk Of Losing Documents
For many of Dade Behring's customers, next-day delivery is not good enough. The $1.3 billion laboratory instrument manufacturer often has to ensure same-day delivery. Integrating technologies with its new SAP system helps Dade Behring deliver the goods on time.
Founded in 1970, the Strickland Insurance Group is comprised of six subsidiary specialty insurers. With premium volume approaching $110 million and growing annually, the effort to maintain Strickland's paper files was becoming increasingly labor-intensive and costly.
While Strickland recognized company-wide potential for the benefits of imaging, the file room of the Policy Services Department was determined to be the optimal site for the pilot project. The "paper mill" of the company, the Department generated an average of 12 pages for every policy. It maintained over 153,000 files with a total of 2 million documents.
The Problems Of File Folders
Prior to the adoption of imaging, the task of organizing and managing Strickland's policy records was cumbersome. Folders consisting of new business applications, amendments, computer-generated printouts, financial agreements, correspondence, etc. were manually assembled. Twelve full-time employees were required for the initial manual indexing and storing of policy folders and all subsequent retrievals and refiling. Access to policy information was equally inefficient. Policy Service Representatives (PSRs), the company's front line for assistance, had to leave their desks to request a folder from a walk-up window at the file room. Clerks retrieved the folders from PSRs and returned them to the file room. Time spent printing 200,000 pages per month, copying and faxing documents and searching for misplaced files further impeded productivity and denigrated customer service.
Scalability Of Software Key To Vendor Choice
Strickland selected Optika and its integrated FilePower suite of software to resolve its dilemma. FileNet and IBM had been considered for the task, but Optika's functionality and scalability ideally complemented Strickland's plan to begin modestly and expand over time. Implementation was entrusted to Document Access Systems (DAS) of Goldsboro, North Carolina. The system was installed and operational within eight weeks.
To achieve Strickland's objectives of reducing paper and improving the accessibility and security of policy information, Optika's FPreport, FPtransact and FPmulti software were used to replace Strickland's hard-copy files with electronic file folders. FPreport, a computer report management software using COLD technology, working in tandem with FPtransact, an interface between Optika software and external systems, eliminates the printing of Strickland's computer-generated policy documents. Reports are instead downloaded in a batch process from the company's IBM AS400 as ASCII text and inserted into the appropriate electronic policy folders which are pre-built by Optika's FPtransact module. A folder is produced for each new client using information extracted from new business applications and keyed by PSRs into the AS400. File room personnel scan all remaining policy papers and index them to the electronic policy folders created the previous evening from the AS400 download. The scanned documents are immediately discarded.
System Expanded Three Times
The impact of imaging was immediate. Approximately 5,000 documents were processed daily via COLD. Another 3,000 pages were being scanned. Operational efficiency increased so significantly that after only 30 days, 75% of file room personnel were reassigned throughout the company. By the end of the first 18 months of operation, the system had been expanded twice to a total of 30 users. PSRs could now instantly access optically stored information from their desk workstations, enabling them to respond immediately to caller inquiries. Consequently, reductions were achieved in callbacks and trips to the file room. Enhancements in workstation functionality, including the capacity to direct faxes, further reduced paper consumption and PSR leg work.
Less than half a year later, a third expansion was completed which extended the system to 50 users. The quantity of paper documents and reports converted to electronic images continued to increase. In its second year of operation, Strickland scanned more than 800,000 pages and processed an additional 1 million via COLD.