American National Insurance: A Business Process Management Case Study

by Craig Weber, December 13, 2004

Abstract

Boston, MA, USA December 13, 2004

Disciplined use of BPM tools can drive impressive service improvements and transform the insurance technology environment.

Business process management (BPM) is a tool with immense promise for insurance carriers because it can help address product and legacy system complexity. This report outlines American National’s BPM strategies from 1998 through today, including its choice of Pegasystems as a BPM vendor. Efforts in the company’s Health Client Service Center and Independent Marketing Organization Field Service Center are described in detail to illustrate how the work was organized and the specific results obtained.

"American National exemplifies what can be achieved when the right tools are used in the right way," says senior analyst Craig Weber, author of the case study. "By taking a holistic view of business processes and how they can be supported by technology, American National has made dramatic service improvements without unplugging a bunch of back-end systems and starting over," Weber says. "The company has found a way to leverage its existing legacy infrastructure, which is a challenge that most carriers face."

Dramatic Results From Applying BPM In The Health Client Service Center

Weber notes that American National has successfully built process awareness through the company, and its cadre of "workflow architects"—who design business processes and codify them using BPM software— has helped facilitate and automate literally hundreds of business processes, with dramatic results.

In the company’s Health Client Service Center, the average speed-of-answer has been slashed from one minute 37 seconds in 1999 to 14 seconds in 2004. At the same time, the abandon rate dropped from almost 8 percent to a paltry 0.6 percent.

"It’s hard to overestimate the value of these improvements," Weber says. "Customer and agent satisfaction are clearly tied to the company’s long-term profitability."

This 31-page report contains 12 figures and six tables. A table of contents is available online.

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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

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Table of Contents

 

Boston, MA, USA December 13,  2004

American National Insurance

Return to report Abstract

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 3
BACKGROUND 5
  Overview 5
  Premium Growth 5
  Distribution Complexity 6
  Imperative for Change 7
  A New Strategy 8
  Long-Term Vision 9
  Putting BPM To Work 11
  Vendor Selection 11
  Implementation 12
  Making a Business Case 13
  "Soft" Benefits 14
  Technology and Architecture 15
  Resource Transformation 15
  Priority Initiatives 16
HEALTH CLIENT SERVICE CENTER 18
  Background 18
  Staffing Philosophy 18
  Implementation 18
  Examples of Process Management 19
  Taking it to The Next Level 20
  Results 21
INDEPENDENT MARKETING ORGANIZATION SERVICE CENTER 22
  Background 22
  Challenges 23
  The Solution 23
  A Different Philosophy 25
  Implementation Path 25
  Service Insight 26
  Results 26
FINAL THOUGHTS 28
OBJECTIVITY & METHODOLOGY 30

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