This large provider of group insurance sought to reduce its contracts case backlog, embody its customer service philosophy, and create a greater capacity for future growth. The POWERS team opened channels of communication and equipped frontline managers with the tools to improve accountability and productivity. The results? A 60% jump in on-time completion, an 8% gain in efficiency, improved service, and newfound capacity to accommodate three years of growth.
Our client is the contracts organization within a national provider of group insurance. This group is responsible for ensuring that contracts are written properly to address the specific provisions for each new client. The insurer expected new accounts to be operational within 30 days of being sold. However, this process was taking much longer, with many of the delays attributed to the contracts group.
In addition, the insurer had just introduced new customer service standards. The department needed help translating the aspirational philosophy into operational metrics and strategies. POWERS was engaged to help the insurer reduce turnaround times, provide consistent quality when processing cases, and accommodate future growth.
The new customer philosophy promised, “We will work with a sense of urgency and integrity, and complete requests in a timely manner.” Unfortunately, this was nearly impossible in the absence of clear expectations or management controls. A “blame game” mentality across the departments undermined timely performance.
Employees often waited until the day before their deadline to open cases, only to discover problems or information missing from counterparts, creating missed deadlines.
Workers might identify a problem on Day 1 and email the person directly in front of them but never follow up. There was also no defined process with timeframes for escalating problems to a manager. Lack of regular interaction among the key departments that touched each case caused cases to bounce back and forth due to missing or incorrect data.
There was no ability to track the status of cases or issues because there were no management controls over the process flow. What’s more, the management environment was reactive instead of proactive. Managers only dealt with problems brought to them, rather than trying to anticipate and prevent problems in the first place.
Finally, the leadership team needed to plan for the future, but did not know how to predict how many people they would truly require. They knew their existing capacity model was incorrect but couldn’t assess their real capabilities to generate the right numbers for planning.