Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s.
Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business.
Beazley recognized that their operations teams were not efficient enough. They needed a flexible underwriting software platform that could track and manage requests and ensure that work items flowed through their teams as smoothly and quickly as possible. They also wanted a platform that would allow them to focus their improvement efforts on their underwriting processes, not on the underlying nuts and bolts of workflow and task management. Finally, they hoped to find a system that could be improved independently from the business processes of underwriting.
Because of these criteria, Beazley decided to look for an outside vendor to provide this platform, instead of building a custom system. They selected HighGear workflow management software because it was web-based, extremely flexible, and had a complete API to integrate with the rest of their underwriting tools.
Beazley had a strong separation between the underwriting functionality that was presented to their users and the workflow implemented in HighGear. This allowed them to have different processes and tools for different teams, while still keeping everything in the same system. This made it easier to bring teams on board because they could customize the system to each team. Now that their teams are fully integrated into HighGear workflow software, they are making further investments to merge the teams into a unified process. The system’s extreme flexibility continues to make it easy to add new teams and processes, and allows quick deployment of process changes and new implementations.
Beazley does not have a formal training program for their underwriting system. Team members train new peers through one-on-one mentoring relationships for the first few weeks after they come on board. Users in simple processes can learn in an hour or less. Administrators undergo a similar training process, starting with a day of intense one-on-one training, followed by mentoring with a more experienced user.
Beazley quickly saw the improvements they expected in productivity and visibility into the current state of all their work. One of the unexpected benefits they found was the ability to work out of queues instead of assigning directly to individual people, which has allowed work to flow much more smoothly through each team.
Their high-volume teams saw an immediate 30% improvement in productivity after the original rollout. HighGear has been very flexible and has provided a lot of capabilities to flow work between people and between systems and people, which was one of their big goals. It’s grown with them as they have added more teams and their teams have grown in size.
Process improvement has been much easier in HighGear than it was before. They are able to see where each task is in its process. The system formalizes each of their processes as tasks pass between people and various parts of the system. They gather basic metrics about all their tasks now. This has allowed their business to increase capacity and add more people with a quick training ramp-up. They have also been able to centralize or distribute work based on the need of the team or process.
Jeff Colandrea, the technical architect on Beazley’s HighGear team, said “When all the storms hit NY in early 2013, a business team that was not using HighGear had their work piling up in individual inboxes. The operations team was not able to manage the work because they couldn’t find it. That team is now using HighGear which completely eliminated the issue.”
Jeff added, “Another business team used to measure their turnaround time for quotes in days. Now that they are using the system, their turnaround time is measured in hours. In the future we are looking for that measure to be minutes.”
As a testament to the flexibility and capability offered by HighGear, Beazley was able to design, develop, and deploy new workflows for their property team in a few short months, which enabled the processing of 45% more risks in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the first quarter of 2013.
Beazley’s data files and user growth were significantly larger than originally expected, but through working with HighGear Pro-Services Team, was able to keep up with the millions of tasks running through their system and the 140GB of data.
Jeff also said, “We leverage HighGear Support as necessary. Support always makes us a top priority and jumps on our problems immediately. They treat us like we are their only customer. We have had three significant incidents with software performance. Each time Swift Software responded quickly and effectively to achieve a satisfactory resolution”
HighGear is continually enabling Beazley to add value to the business. It allows them a great deal of flexibility and diversification. Speed to market gives them a competitive advantage in getting changes out quickly.
About Swift Software
Swift Software, Inc. is an innovative developer of Task Management and Workflow Software for the Enterprise. HighGear, Swift Software’s flagship product, provides organizations of all kinds with the ability to quickly design, configure, and deploy effective, scalable, and extensible Task-Centric Business Process, Project, Program and Workflow Management Solutions. For more information, please contact sales@HighGear.com
About Beazley plc
Beazley plc (BEZ.L), is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, the United States, Asia and Australia. Beazley manages five Lloyd’s syndicates and, in 2013, underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $1,970.2 million. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.