Eliminating backlog and reducing record handling times at Optimco
Flemish insurance company Optimco works with over 1,200 independent insurance agents on a daily basis. It manages about 160,000 contracts for 115,000 customers, which means a lot of back and forth communication.
At Optimco, everyone is treated like a winner and friendly, personal communication is very important for both the company and its customers. But the company’s recent growth revealed that its paper workflow had reached its limits. So to ensure smooth growth, Marc Peeters, CIO and CFO of Optimco, reached out to us to help him digitize the whole process with our case management solution and digital mailroom
Streamlining the mailroom to handle growth
Between 2012 and 2016, Optimco doubled in size – from 30 to 60 employees – to keep up with customer demand. At the time, six people were working in the administrative mailroom, classifying paperwork and allocating dossiers to different people. “Even with six people, there was still too much paperwork coming into our mailroom to handle everything properly. We were building up a huge backlog of dossiers that required sorting.
At one point, we started measuring the backlog by the meter, with up to 15 meters of dossiers that still needed to be processed,” explains Marc Peeters. “Our service for the insurance agents also suffered. If they called for information on a dossier, half the time we couldn’t answer them straightaway because the dossier had to be lookup up first by the mailroom, a process that could take one or two days.”
Marc Peeters, CFO & CIO at Optimco
“Our previous system led to unwieldy processes. If an employee needed to send a letter to an agent, they first had to mail the text to their own email. Then they had to scan the supporting documents or other documents, mail those to themselves and then combine the two mails before sending. As a growing company, we urgently needed a solution to resolve things like that. So I looked for a partner that could help us quickly – something I knew Docbyte would be able to do.”
Peeters reached out to Docbyte, a company he’d known from a previous employer, to help streamline the company’s administration. Docbyte created a digital mailroom and claims management solution for three departments – insurance agents, policy administration and insurance claims – which eliminated the entire backlog and put a digital process in place for new dossiers:
- Insurance agents: over 1,600 dossiers were digitally archived and all the new information was scanned and pumped into the system.
- Policy administration: the processing and management of insurance policies was reduced from five months to less than two weeks.
- Insurance claims: all claims are now fully digitalized and the entire backlog has been cleared.
From 6 to 60 users
“All sixty employees have access to the new system case management system, called Feniks,” says Marc Peeters. “This was beneficial for both our planning and customer service. In the old system, the weekly schedule was printed out on Monday morning. You knew what to do for the rest of the week, but there wasn’t much room to revise schedules. Nowadays, the automatic agenda system gives you tasks as soon as something needs to be done. People have more time to help out a colleague or a client with an urgent issue.” There was also a significant reduction in overhead costs (OPEX) because the company uses less paper, toner and printing material and is saving on physical archival space thanks to the digitization. It is also because no one needs to search through paperwork anymore. “Previously, if an agent called to follow up a dossier, we either had to call them back or ask a colleague. Now we can easily find all the information, even in a colleague’s files, as we have access to everyone’s dossiers,” says Peeters.
More exciting work and more productivity
By automating the complex mailroom and the claims management, Docbyte helped Optimco achieve unseen levels of efficiency. Optimco gained 30% in productivity. And this had an impact on the employees in the mailroom. Not only did the intelligent solutions take over repetitive and boring tasks, but they also ensured the same workload could be handled with fewer people. “Where previously we had struggled to handle everything with six people in the mailroom, now we have reduced our mailroom to just three employees, who are processing work the claim handlers had to do themselves in the past. Overall, Optimco’s employees feel more valued as their work is more challenging, and instead of administration they can focus on serving customers quickly and personally.”
One slightly unexpected benefit of the new mailroom was that Optimco could easily move offices. “We’d been planning on moving, but our large paper archive was an obstacle,” says Peeters. “After digitizing everything with the Docbyte software, we were able to throw out a large portion of our archive, drastically downsizing it. Suddenly we weren’t encumbered with these rows of filing cabinets, so we could relocate with ease, which we did.”
The project teams were built around early adopters and motivators in the Optimco team, who were keen to push the project internally. Optimco selected a project manager and department head from each of the three departments that would be given a digital mailroom. Every week they were trained in a specific part of the technology. These six people then explained the functionalities and benefits to their colleagues and were fully involved in training and testing them. Docbyte also taught Optimco’s IT-team how to resolve software errors by themselves, so minimizing Docbyte’s role as much as possible and making Optimco as independent as possible.
And none of that took much effort, notes Marc Peeters: “The entire product is really easy to configure and, more importantly, learning how to use it is a breeze. It’s one of the main reasons I would recommend the solutions to my peers. I believe the fact that the package was tailored to our needs, from metadata to interface, partly explains its ease of use. Our digital mailroom is not cluttered with unnecessary fields and the like. This means we don’t have to wade through complicated menus and heaps of data to get to the relevant information. Moreover, it makes it all quite intuitive.”
Optimco’s employees now have the possibility of working from home thanks to the new solution. This is still a pilot project, but the results are promising and roll out to the entire organization is scheduled for next year. Moreover, the benefits that the digital mailroom delivers each day bring Optimco’s dream of a full-blown AI future much closer. “There’s a lot of data coming into our systems, especially when we hook it up to our ERP. This makes data mining possible, as well as RPA and an even more thoroughly automated workflow in the future,” concludes Peters.
Interested in our digital mailroom solution? Then read our whitepaper on why your organization will also benefit from a digital mailroom or contact one of our experts.