We often hear from customers that the hardest part of starting to use an insurance outsourcing service, is starting to use an insurance outsourcing service. This is especially true for businesses that have never used outsourcing, also referred to as BPO (business process outsourcing) or BPM (business process management), before.
There are a lot of reasons that insurance organizations specifically look to use BPM solutions: reducing expenses, addressing staffing challenges, supporting growth, improving efficiency or maybe all of the above (and sometimes more). Those are all important and valuable operational goals – achieving them could have tremendous impact on a business’ bottom line.
The amount of value you end up deriving from outsourcing has a lot to do with selecting the right BPM vendor, as they’ll need to understand how to address your organization’s challenges for a smooth transition.
Let’s talk about how to get it right so you and your team can reap the benefits of BPM. Here’s what you need to consider:
This is key. Employees often feel threatened by the term or concept of outsourcing. We really don’t like it either, because it’s simply not reflective of what ‘outsourcing’ in the insurance industry has evolved into. When you delegate tasks to a partner, the point is to free up your staff to do higher value work, and it’s important for your staff to understand that they’ll experience many of the benefits directly, including being more satisfied at work.
Conveying this message and working with staff is part of an effective change management strategy that should be addressed by a BPM partner.
You’re going to be working closely with your BPM partner and they’ll be impacting your business and service levels. Bottom line, you want to partner with an organization that you can trust and like working with. Ask questions, find out how they do things. Are they really trying to understand your business? Determine if they can they address your challenges today and in the longer term. Importantly, talk to their customers!
One of the benefits that BPM solutions should be able to provide is the improvement of processes and operations, not just reducing their cost. That’s where you can get a real lift in benefits. When things are done faster, better and more accurately, customers and employees are happier; E&O exposure is reduced and businesses are better positioned to grow profitably.
It all starts with proper onboarding and a proven methodology for transitioning.
Picking the Right Partner
While you may not know how to solve for the above three challenges and concerns, the right partner will. It’s also very important to consider the ‘Total Cost of Ownership’ when selecting a partner. If you go with strictly a cost play, you may end up with an accuracy issue – and the cost of rework just makes the whole process more expensive.
Be Selective and Strategic
Improving your operations and performance through smart outsourcing is good business. While many of the processes you’re considering delegating might be tactical in nature, how you approach deploying outsourcing should be strategic to maximize the potential benefits. Selecting the right partner really can make all the difference.