WorkSafe Victoria Automates Service, Improves Customer Satisfaction
- Dramatically reduce the time needed for employers to receive estimates of occupational health and safety insurance premiums
- Be more open and transparent, so employers can better understand how premiums are set
- Migration of process off older mainframes and onto newer, faster computers
- CSC rules engine that calculates premiums and can run on employers’ Web portal
- Automated notification of premiums
- Immediate calculation for premiums
- Estimates delivered in seconds — rather than months
When workers in the Australian state of Victoria have to miss work due to an illness or injury, they turn to WorkSafe Victoria. That’s the government agency, staffed by some 1,125 employees, that manages Victoria’s workers’ compensation plan, workplace-injury insurance plan for employers, and other occupational health and safety services.
These policies and claims quickly add up. Last year WorkSafe Victoria took in revenue of nearly AU$3.6 billion while paying out claims of about AU$1.5 billion. All while managing a AU$12 billion insurance plan.
Yet WorkSafe recently embarked on a mission to operate more effectively and efficiently. The mission started in 2012, when the agency launched a five-year effort, WorkSafe 2017, aimed at making yearly improvements in four core areas: safety, return to work, service, and sustainability. As part of the project’s service component, WorkSafe last year implemented what it calls a Red Tape Reduction Program. The goal: streamline WorkSafe’s bureaucratic processes in ways that will enable local employers to work more productively and lower their insurance-related expenses.
Clearing Premium Red Tape
One of the “red tape” zones identified by WorkSafe is the way the agency informs employers of their workplace insurance premiums. Under the older process, employers would first tell WorkSafe how much each of their insured workers was paid. WorkSafe would then use that wage information to calculate the employer’s insurance premium and then inform the employer how much they would need to pay.
This process was accurate, but far too slow. For example, assuming WorkSafe received wage information from a company in July and August, it would not be able to inform the employer of their insurance premiums until the following October, according to Leanne Hughson, WorkSafe’s director of insurance.
“It’s one of the initiatives that we’re trying to work on and improve for employers,” she says. “We knew this would help them to budget and work out what costs they will charge their own clients during that year.”
A Long-Term Partnership, Renewed
Streamlining this premium-estimating process was complex enough that WorkSafe knew it needed help. So the agency turned to CSC. The two organizations had already worked together for years on other projects, so CSC was quite familiar with WorkSafe’s needs as well as constraints.
WorkSafe asked CSC to begin by assessing the current system and then recommending a faster alternative. Next, CSC would actually manage the project and develop the technology needed. And finally, CSC would help WorkSafe to deliver and implement the new solution.
Once CSC consultants began working on the project, they quickly discovered that the premium-estimating process was so expensive and slow because it was run on a relatively old mainframe. So the CSC team devised a plan to move the WorkSafe process off the mainframe and onto a newer, faster computer system. As part of this migration, CSC also created a software rules engine able to calculate insurance premiums in no more than five seconds. For WorkSafe, that’s as good as instant.
From start to finish, the project took CSC approximately 18 months. By then, CSC had delivered a totally new solution that included not only the rules engine, but also an implementation that could run on WorkSafe’s online Web portal for employers. Employers can now use this portal to give WorkSafe information about their workers’ wages in a way that is both quick and easy and safe and secure. Once an employer enters the information, their premiums are quickly calculated by the CSC-supplied rules engine and then displayed on the employer’s computer screen.
“CSC helped us achieve what we wanted to achieve by ensuring that employers get a premium in two seconds — rather than two months,” Hughson says. “The feedback we’ve had from employers about the use of the calculation engine and how quickly it works has been really, really favorable.”
In addition, CSC’s program- and project-management expertise ensured that the premium-calculation project was delivered on time and within budget, Hughson says. “Our partnership with CSC has grown from strength to strength,” she adds, “because they are a very trusted partner of WorkSafe, and they understand our business.”
What’s next? “My expectations of CSC moving forward,” Hughson says, “are that they will continue to work collaboratively with us, that they will understand the challenges that we’ve got into the future, and that they’ll work with us to provide solutions to address those challenges.”