Speaking to Exaxe’s Head of Operations, Ian Dornan, we asked him why companies might fail when implementing or upgrading their insurance administration software. Ian has identified three key areas of the implementation stage that insurance companies and underwriters need to consider in your IT project planning:
Rethink your business & insurance policy process – Replacing or upgrading your legacy insurance softwaremeans you do have the opportunity to revisiting existing business practices that evolved over time. What works well? What causes frustration or confusion? Consider inexpensive commercial tools like Microsoft Excel or various ad hoc custom system to handle simple, small-volume transactions that already logically follow the structure of the software. As your business grows, will you be able to meet most of your evolving needs with your existing insurance policy tools?
When functionality burdens come to justify a new insurance administration system, reconfigure your processes to gain full benefit from a more advanced insurance administration system. Trying to carry established processes into new insurance software introduces avoidable customization and sources of errors and failures. But move deliberately; “blank sheet re-engineering” can attempt to alter too many processes too fast.
Change to convert data - Silo-based Excel spreadsheets and antiquated databases contain fragmented client and policy information, some of it redundant and in different formats. Those databases have errors and gaps. Your new insurance policy system should extract and process this information. Have executives and employees review and correct existing databases. Determine if your records need more information fields. Once you address data quality issues, software is available that can convert the data to your new formats, subject to your employees’ verification and testing.
Don’t forget to include staff members – People are wary of change and need to be involved in adapting their job functions in order to benefit from the features of your new insurance administration system. Include enough people to equip you to weather any one person’s abrupt departure. Your project managers should provide critical links between line employees, outside consultants, internal technology specialists and senior management.
If you have a question regarding your insurance policy software, please ask and we can point you in the right direction!