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The world after

This expression flourished throughout 2020, to mean that nothing would be the same again after this health crisis, which was quickly extended to an economic and social crisis.

Vincent Meslin

In addition to regulatory changes and the reconfiguration of the competitive landscape, the insurance world has been undergoing a transformation for several years that must move it from a model focused on risk to one focused on the customer.

The various experiences experienced last year by market players have highlighted more the need to continue and accelerate this transformation than open the door to a fundamental challenge to models and approaches, at least for the moment.

Among the available levers that, although not new, appear to be essential, the transformation of business processes to truly achieve operational excellence is in a very good place.

While this concept of operational excellence is old, it is clear that the road to achieving it can sometimes still be long.

2020 will have particularly highlighted certain factors triggering the necessary acceleration of transformations:

  • The desire to strengthen and improve the reliability of the service provided to the customer through effective management of production processes, especially in a generalised situation of remote relations with customers and teleworking of employees
  • The need for continuous improvement in the productivity and performance of organisations aimed at consolidating the economic profitability of the model and thus coping with crises without wavering
  • A need for a global vision of end-to-end processes and omnichannel customer pathways.

In a state-of-the-art approach, four challenges must guide market players:

  • Improving performance and getting closer to the customer
  • Establish new management principles
  • Facilitate steering and decision-making
  • Respond more easily to regulatory requirements

To meet these challenges, operational excellence has reinvented itself and now benefits from mature and effective methodological and technological approaches:

  • The BPM (Business Process Management) & Case Management approach with:

- Decompartmentalisation to promote autonomy and consider end-to-end, front-to-back business processes: today, most insurers have automated tasks but have not really addressed the processes as a whole

- Socialisation and collaboration to promote sharing,

- Orchestration of activities and tasks, to promote efficiency

  • Intelligent automation and process mining with:

- Robotisation, augmented by mature AI technologies

- The valuation of data, both in the analysis of the process and in its operational management

- Real-time performance management

Underwriting, in most markets (including the management stage), group health affiliation, management of property and casualty claims, processing of the policyholder's request, regardless of the nature of the request, processing of legal expenses in personal protection, the fight against fraud, etc.: the playing field for operational excellence is wide and there are many opportunities for improvement.

But operational excellence cannot be achieved simply by overhauling processes. It involves supplementing the process vision with an organisational dimension – including in its human aspects (ownership, skills, commitment, Quality of Life at Work) – to build the Target Organisational Model (or TOM) to be achieved.

And it is under these conditions that the players in the insurance market, having taken a significant step towards operational excellence, will be able to approach the next step: building a customer experience, including the emotional dimension of the relationship with the insured and giving this relationship a truly inimitable character.

By Vincent Meslin, Partner at Talan Consulting