Insurance Outsourcing: An Emerging New Industry

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

Insurance outsourcing has continually evolved to meet market needs. In the past, the need was for data entry and call center representatives. Today, there’s growing excitement and momentum surrounding new automation capabilities and the opportunities this will provide for insurance-focused Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). Outsourcing providers are taking different approaches to keep up with these new developments.
Before entering into any outsourcing partnership, you should be aware of the various types of providers currently in the marketplace and the benefits each can give to you and your customers.
Generally speaking, outsourcing providers fall into three categories:

  • Traditional
  • Transactional
  • Strategic

Traditional BPO Model

Traditional business process outsourcing is when a company delegates certain tasks to the outsource provider. The tasks are then completed in accordance with a defined service level. The main benefit of this type of outsourcing model is wage arbitrage.

Tasks are performed by trained staff, generally offshore where wages are lower and talent is easier to find, though onshore outsourcing can also have cost savings. Insurance providers are then able to execute their processes at a lower rate, saving money without sacrificing quality.

Transactional BPO Model

The transactional model is about resolving specific issues, such as bottlenecks in processing. These often occur when a business is growing rapidly and has yet to expand their project management framework, causing a stall or limit production capacity. Or, and this is especially true for the insurance industry, the backlogs may be due to a talent shortage holding the organization back.

To maximize efficiency and improve workflow, incorporating transactional BPO allows operations to continue without interruption while a baseline solution is implemented. Once the in-house processes have been restructured properly and the business can efficiently absorb the previously outsourced task, the work may be brought back in-house, or the organization may see a benefit for continued outsourcing.

Transactional BPO is ideal for:

  • Processing a large influx of claims
  • Sorting through backlogged policy checking
  • Auditing records for compliance

Strategic BPO Outsourcing Model

Traditional and transactional models aim to resolve specific issues. Strategic outsourcing takes a holistic approach to managing operations.

Strategic outsourcing incorporates all the elements of an organization:

  • Strategy
  • People
  • Processes
  • Technology

Aligning all four points improves business processes and outcomes.

By taking a strategic approach to outsourcing and operations as a whole, improvements are being made to the entire infrastructure, rather than focusing solely on a wage arbitrage play.

ReSource Pro pioneered this strategic approach within the insurance industry. Understanding that the real benefit for organizations didn’t just lie in processing tasks, but in optimizing operations to remain relevant in today’s disruptive and challenging business environment. With this approach, it’s not enough to complete a given process at a lower cost, it’s about improving and standardizing that process so it’s more efficient, accurate, and aligned with organizational objectives.

Why the Strategic Approach is More Effective and Efficient

Taking a strategic approach to operations helps an organization’s defined strategy align with its operations.

  • The right people, with the right skills, are doing the right jobs: Part of maximizing efficiency means auditing how your employee’s skillsets are being utilized. Having the right people, doing the right jobs, ensure your operations run effectively and can sustain the various ebb and flow of business.
  • Processes are optimized for accuracy and efficiency: Taking an overall look at how day-to-day operations are working helps to evaluate which areas require change and which areas can be capitalized on for strong performance. Standardized processes eliminate waste and deviation.
  • Implementing the necessary tools and technology: A large part of job success depends on having the right tools. Up-to-date technology will ensure your staff is supported and capable of carrying out their duties.

At ReSource Pro, our technology focus is on analytics. By helping our clients leverage the data they’re already collecting, we can provide them with valuable business insights to improve their operations.

When insurance organizations take a strategic approach to operations, they open the door to profitable growth. Business objectives and goals aligned with operations are more easily achieved. Staff members can focus on higher-value work and become more valuable assets to the company. Processes are more accurate and efficient, reducing and sometimes even eliminating non-compliance exposure while improving service levels. Sales teams can capture more opportunities.

Find out how you can implement outsourcing models within your business to improve efficiency, profitability, and employee retention. Contact ReSource Pro to learn more.