Conseco Improves Efficiency of Back-Office Technology and Processes
- Create a corporatewide shared service organization that improves customer services for employees, customers, producers and independent agents
- Consolidate systems by streamlining workflow with CSC's Automated Work Distributor (AWD)
- Implement CSC's PerformancePlus for compensation management
- Increased volume while lowering costs, standardized processes across global operations
- Shortened claims turnaround and accelerated commission processing while cutting IT support in half
After a series of acquisitions, Carmel, Indiana-based Conseco was operating as three business units: Bankers Life & Casualty, Colonial Penn and Conseco Insurance Group, providing life and health insurance products to the senior middle-income market through distinctly different distribution channels.
The company was serving more than 4 million customers out of four different back-office locations worldwide and maintaining 33 policy administration systems, 17 commissions systems and five workflow systems. There was no integration between Conseco’s combination of homegrown and vendor systems, creating a strain on resources and a training nightmare. And to enhance relationships with independent producers, Conseco needed a single system for incentive and compensation management.
Leveraging Existing Workflows
To evaluate workflow systems on the market, Conseco pulled together key stakeholders from across the enterprise. The team evaluated a handful of workflow applications and narrowed it down to two products, including Automated Work Distributor (AWD). The next step was seeing the software in action. Conseco representatives toured CSC’s business process outsourcing (BPO) operations, where CSC employees use AWD to manage millions of life and annuity policies for more than 20 U.S. insurance companies.
“The site visit was pivotal to our decision,” recalled Terry Harvey, vice president, Conseco Services LLC. “CSC was leveraging the workflow system to do what we wanted ours to do — streamline processes, eliminate unnecessary paperwork and reduce operating costs.”
Conseco selected AWD and worked with CSC to get the system into production in just nine months. One of the reasons Conseco was able to go live so quickly was that the team used the same workflows used in CSC’s BPO operations as a baseline and only modified them if there was an extreme difference in business processes.“The workflows were perfect for us because CSC’s BPO team works for multiple clients and has to segregate the work and the reporting,” said Loree Haisley, senior director, business application configuration, Conseco. “Even though we had multiple acquisitions and various administrative systems, we skipped a majority of the whiteboarding of the workflows, which is typically a one- to three-month exercise. We were able to get up and running quickly and adjust the workflows as needed after we were in production.”
Doing More with Less
AWD is now the company’s strategic workflow system, with more than 1,400 users in the United States, Jamaica and India, managing 4 million policies. The system is used for new business, policyholder service processing, call center processing, claim processing and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
“We’re able to leverage the flows as well as the processing across all business units. If someone’s processing an address change, whether it’s for Colonial Penn, Bankers Life or Conseco, the workflow process can be established the same way,” said Haisley. “CSC helped facilitate that so that we now have consistent, standard processes.”
With AWD, managers within the shared services units are able to manage their inventory of work by actively monitoring where the work is within the process and reallocating their resources themselves. “We have the flexibility we needed so that managers and the supervisors can load balance whether it’s offshore or onshore and they don’t need to depend on IT to do it,” Harvey said.
Conseco consolidated its U.S. processing operations into a single location in Carmel, Indiana. Despite the increased volume of work in Carmel, the company reduced its resource requirements overall. Employees are now cross-trained across lines of business and can respond to customers’ issues much more quickly and complete more once-and-done customer service calls. Captive producers who had been nervous about the consolidation are pleased with the results. “Soon after implementing AWD,” said Haisley, “the work was being done within our service level agreements (SLAs), and calls from the field had significantly dropped.”
Supervisors can monitor the queues to see what’s nearing SLAs, rebalance the workflows, and change employee access to reassign the work.
For independent agents, Conseco was running 16 different regions for compensation on eight different platforms. Using so many disparate systems had created a complex environment that made serving independent producers in a timely, responsive manner very difficult.
Conseco also chose PerformancePlus as its strategic compensation management system for independent agents. The company was able to reduce its number of compensation regions from 16 to 10 — and eliminate three of its eight processing platforms. PerformancePlus helped the company process commissions faster, while cutting IT support in half – from 16 full-time employees and consultants to eight.
“The new products that we are rolling out are all on PerformancePlus,” Harvey said. “And it resulted in significant costs savings.”
Harvey said Conseco values its long-term relationship with CSC. “By operating a BPO, CSC experiences the insurance processing and addresses the same kind of challenges that we encounter,” she said. “So CSC relates to us and brings subject matter experts to the table.”