Who is moving my cheese – from here to where?

“A business model can succeed if and only if it is backed up by Outstanding Product/Service and Purpose & Results Driven Team” – Krishna Datla

This customer of ours has asked us to look into their Business and Technology and come up with the current state “Why” and future state “What”. They have been hearing about Lemonades, P2Ps, Progressives, and Valleys. Concerns about “what’s going to happen” and Curiosity about “what can be done?” grew. That’s how we started working with them.

It was an open-ended engagement and we were initially lost in finding the starting point. So, we began with just a small question set!

  • Are you selling or are your customers buying? (Make & Sell Vs. Sell, Make and Take)
  • Are all customers the same for you or different? At what level and why?
  • Who reaches out to whom – especially, around statuses, help/handholding, services, etc.? Customers or your team?
  • How is the Org. structured? By Business Functions (Marketing, Sales, UW, Claims, etc.) or By Flows (Start to Finish)?
  • How is the hierarchy structured? Around Complexity drove decisions or continuing with the one that has been there?
  • What are your measures & metrics? Around time to complete or around achievement of purpose in customer terms?
  • What do you think about your current Technology use and what are your expectations?
  • What about the data and its use? Do you decide based on that?

The answers are, mostly, as expected

  • We have a standard suite of products and we offer them with variety of options for customers to choose
  • Well, there is customer segmentation (loyalty, profitability, family, age, etc.) – but the granularity is not that deep
  • Mostly, we respond to customers (reactive)
  • We have departments by function and they interact with each other
  • We have been continuing with the same processes for the last 6 years
  • Measures and Metrics are around the time taken to complete.
  • Platform use appears to be partial – there are still a lot of manual processes.
  • Data – hmmm – not consistently used in decisioning. We don’t change rates or decision structures so often

There you go! A seemingly simple question set helped us understand the organization’s “Current Pulse”. We got them into the thinking mode and helped create a right sense of urgency for the way forward – that was our first win and the rest was easy!

We started working very closely across the entire hierarchy – with a focus on value creation and failure elimination. We continuously kept in mind the possible resistance to change and started by investing in simple changes for them to experience the results. So, for the long term, they can be the “Change Champions” by ticking off the following

  • Alignment of business processes for the Company’s goals
  • RIGHT business model that can be used/reused across territories, agents, and products? (standardization & localization)
  • Reduction in time/costs and enhancing the business performance and efficiency through IT (How can IT better support Business Processes?)
  • Making current IT scalable, to the extent possible, for the evolving business needs and redesigned business processes
  • Continuously communicate and celebrate the benefits of change/initiative, across stakeholders, in measurable terms

We know you want examples – here are a few:

  • Across the entire flow (quote, policy, claims), the work that does not require manual intervention is defined, with a well-structured safety-net, and automated
  • Work structure redefined around skill & need. Human intervention is included only when that specific expertise is needed
  • BOTs are introduced for repeat manual processes automation, guidance, and communication
  • Guidelines put in place for measures, corrections, maturity, and continuous monitoring –
    • Systematic Error Management: every time something goes wrong, instead of correcting the mistake, shift focus to correcting the system that allowed the mistake to happen
    • Cleanup: Do not hold onto things that have lost value or relevance
    • Review: Like a painter, once in a while, step back and review the painting

As always, there is so much more to what we have covered here – please reach out to us for specific insights – we have a wealth of experience to share!

Today’s businessman has to be like a sportsman. Situational brilliance, instant adaptation, daring to make new decisions, in-course corrections; thinking beyond patterns & trends.

Biz Tech Insights Team Manomay

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