About the Client
Leading Provider of Travel Insurance Plans Enhances Productivity
The nation’s leading provider of travel insurance plans, Travel Guard, was focused on improving claims processing and supporting disaster recovery goals. Most importantly, Travel Guard needed to connect information and claims processing between its U.S., UK, and Buenos Aires locations. With a majority of sales originating through direct website purchases or through XML purchase requests from partners, Travel Guard knew the benefits a paperless process could bring.
Covering more than 6 million travelers worldwide each year, Travel Guard wanted to automate processes and decrease paper dependence with enterprise content management (ECM). With a proven track record with the OnBase ECM system at a previous employer, Vice President of IT, Tom Nohelty trusted that an OnBase solution would meet Travel Guard’s needs. Developed by Hyland Software, OnBase has core capabilities in document imaging, electronic document imagining, electronic document management, workflow, COLD/ERM and records management.
With an existing relationship with Naviant Inc., Travel Guard worked with OnBase Authorized Solution Provider to implement and support a new solution. Originally, Travel Guard chose Hyland Software’s hosted offering, OnBase Online. Wanting to move to an on-premises solution, Travel Guard later migrated to the OnBase thick client.
Beginning in the mail room, Travel Guard scans in documents using Panasonic Corp. document scanners. Using bar codes and information from its internally developed claims processing system, Travel Guard automatically indexes incoming documents. An OnBase integration with the claims processing system captures information, continually updating the keyword sets used to index the documents so that they are always accurately indexed. Based on policy number, the document is associated with correct account information in the claims processing system.
Once scanned and indexed, claim documents move to a workflow queue where OnBase distributes them using detailed load balancing rules, ensuring all claims processors (about 45 – 50 employees) have a fair distribution of work and the necessary information they may need. The previous paper-based system required Travel Guard to distribute folders each morning, collect them at night and then re-distribute them the following morning. This labor-intensive process was well suited for an image-based workflow process.
Managers Spend Less Time on Paper, More Time on People
Another benefit of the OnBase implementation is greater transparency into processes. Managers can now review workflow queues and see what is in each processor’s queue, which each consistently hold 15 claims at a time. If a claim is not processed within a specific amount of time, the manager is notified, and s/he can check with the processor to identify what is causing the delay. Should a processor have a question about a claim, the inquiry can be entered into a Workflow question queue. Because the managers can spend more time working with processors and less time on tedious paper-driven tasks, they have the time to meet with the processor one-on-one to discuss and answer any questions.
“One of our biggest benefits from the automated system is that our claims managers now manage people, not paper,” says Nohelty. “We may have added technology to the claims process, but we actually increased the human touch and can provide better service both to our employees and our customers.”
With information in the claims processing workflow and document management system instead of paper folders on individuals’ desks, employees can provide better customer service. If a customer called in about the status of a claim, customer service representatives would previously only be able to answer questions if the claim had been processed through the system. With documents in OnBase beginning in the mail room, representatives can now provide answers no matter where it is in the process.
By integrating OnBase and claims processing systems, Travel Guard not only automatically indexes documents to eliminate redundant data entry, employees can also retrieve documents from within the claims processing system. Without leaving their familiar business application, employees have access to documents within a single interface. Further increasing efficiency and productivity, users’ workstations have a dual monitor set up, allowing them to have a full screen view of both the document and the claims processing system. In fact, productivity has doubled since implementing OnBase.
“Our first priority in implementing a new system was that we would process claims at least as fast as we did using paper,” says Nohelty. “We couldn’t take any steps back in efficiency. By eliminating paper, we ended up processing twice as many claims a day than we did before.”
Document Management and Disaster Recovery Mitigates Risk
With OnBase, Travel Guard supports compliance and disaster recovery initiatives. OnBase provides managers with “at-a-glance” reports that ensure processes are working quickly and correctly. Using pre-defined rules and automatic routing, OnBase requires processes to work as designed while audit trails provide evidence that documents and processes consistently follow correct procedures. Ensuring no claim falls through the cracks or take a longer or shorter path than others, OnBase re-assigns claims to other processors when a manager indicates a processor is taking vacation or has an emergency that requires him/her to leave.
Claims processors are also trained more quickly and are less prone to mistakes. Because they must always use consistent processing and Travel Guard uses comprehensive business process rules, they cannot accidentally go outside or around standard processing procedures. If a mistake was made during the workflow process, manager reports from OnBase would show the managers that they may need to work with the new employee to correct the issue.
Also mitigating risk, Travel Guard can shift claims processing to other locations in the UK and Argentina if a disaster occurs and users in the U.S. offices were unable to process claims. Customer service would not be significantly affected even with the claims department temporarily down. The UK location can also help out the U.S. location during peak load times to ensure the fastest claims processing.
Purchase Orders, HR Expansion Further Efficiency
With the success of OnBase in claims processing, Travel Guard recently expanded its solution to handle purchase order (PO) requests in the back office. A former PO system was not meeting Travel Guard’s needs and is being replaced with a Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly known as Great Plains) ERP system.
Using an OnBase E-Form, users can submit requests for PO, OnBase sends it to the correct approval process and routes the PO through everyone in the approval chain based on pre-defined processing rules. The form then goes to Purchasing to create the PO in Travel Guard’s GP ERP system, and the item is purchased.
Because Travel Guard has multiple buildings and users that travel often and work remotely, the new PO solution will enable those needing to approve PO’s to do their work offsite when necessary, further speeding up the PO approval process. In addition, if an approver needs more information, all related documentation around the PO can be quickly retrieved through a double click on the document utilizing the innate OnBase cross-referencing ability. In the next phase, Travel Guard will integrate OnBase and GP ERP so that this process can be accomplished from within the GP ERP interface.
Travel Guard isn’t stopping there with OnBase. The travel insurance plan provider is also working on implementing the solution in another back office department, Human Resources (HR). OnBase can use functionality such as workflows, document retention and reading compliance auditing to assist in HR activities such as the application and hiring process, employee records management, employee communications and approval processes, to name a few.
Continued Expansion Increases Solution Value
Also on the horizon is automating the new customer and insurance product conversion process. OnBase will route new clients and/or new insurance product requests simultaneously through several departments, including underwriting, accounting, IT, claims and impacted call center teams. Each department will then have all necessary information no matter where the customer might touch the company. With all department processes centralized, Travel Guard will better track the process and be able to ensure that critical business partner information has been distributed to all impacted departments. Like claims, it will also ensure that the same process is followed for each customer every time and will allow consistent productivity measurement.
By implementing the OnBase ECM solution, Travel Guard has successfully improved claims processing, supported disaster recovery/business continuity and will improve information sharing with its UK and Buenos Aires locations. With a solution that provides greater productivity and efficiency in claims and PO request and that is expanding to include other areas of the travel insurance company, Travel Guard continues to realize returns on its investment in OnBase.