Agile Transformation For An Insurance Provider

Agile Transformation For An Insurance Provider

OVERVIEW

A large insurance provider in the Northeastern US decided to implement an Agile Transformation initiative across their organization, as part of the implementation of a new policy provisioning system.


CHALLENGE

The Operations department were using a number of time intensive manual tasks to process client applications.  The Business and IT relationship had grown to be rather dysfunctional, with a series of failed or incomplete projects.  The business did not feel included in the initial development process, believed they needed to have the project scope identified in advance, and continued to build and support Microsoft Access databases to track work progress because the provided tools were not process focused.

 

SOLUTION

Partnering with the client, we were able to break the 12 month waterfall project into four separate 90 day releases, with 2 week sprint cycles per release.  The first release consisted of the technical framework, creation of an Agile development cycle, simple product sets, and simple quality assurance and training review steps.  The subsequent releases added product and client complexities, medical underwriting and other processes to the model.


The results was a successful deployment of the provisioning solution within their timeframe and budget, a large reduction in organizational risk, organizational acceptance and support of the Agile process, reduction in pre-production user acceptance testing from 3 months to 2 weeks, and client satisfaction and appreciation for our commitment to the initiative.


At A Glance

Large, nationwide disability insurer that lacked automated workflow capabilities or the ability to provision new policies.

Business Challenges:

  • Aging technology
  • Slowing growth
  • Company Scale
  • Lagging efficiency

Solution:

  • Workflow Engine
  • Business Process Analysis
  • Java Based UI
  • Agile Methodology Transformation

 

Benefits:

  • Total Scope – Delivered on time and on budget.
  • 500% improvement in provisioning cycle
  • $400,000 in first year savings
  • Full ROI achieved after 18 months

About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

Digital Transformation Within Hospitality – A Mobile First Case Study

Digital Transformation Within Hospitality – A Mobile First Case Study

Digital transformation within the hospitality industry has begun to push innovation in the mobile technology space. As a result, user experience and customer loyalty have become more important than ever before. Customers want to quickly make decisions and act upon them…all while on-the-go. Simple responsive websites are not enough to meet the needs for an ever-demanding demographic.

Why Digital Transformation?

A Mid-Western regional hotel brand, needed to make a meaningful change to the way users interacted with their booking and reservation system. They had a basic responsive website solution designed to allow mobile users to both make and manage reservations and learn about customer loyalty promotions on a website that automatically resized based on the device the customer used. In the past, companies would use this technique to meet customer needs in a cost-effective manner. Ten years ago, the concept of responsive design was introduced to meet the problems experienced by many business struggling to address the demands of the marketplace.  Google even started to demand companies offer users responsive sites if they wanted higher search engine rankings.

Why Mobile First?

For many companies, providing a mobile first experience meant having a responsive design that would handle this need. Unfortunately, most users found such websites very difficult and problematic to navigate. While they handled an immediate, need many of these responsive websites failed to engage and retain users. Previously, the cost of creating and maintaining native IOS and Android solutions were out of reach for most firms. Some even choose to develop a single solution or none at all. The cost of creating and maintaining two separate applications required numerous developers, a marketing team, and user experience experts. However, despite the costs, for the companies that invested in a mobile first strategy they were rewarded. Sources indicate that 90% of millennials state mobile devices never leave their side.

What happened?

The client partnered with Oakwood Systems Group to determine what solution would help solve their need to enhance customer loyalty through a digital transformation initiative. The solution needed to leverage existing infrastructure and be easily maintained by internal developers. Oakwood’s solution leveraged technology that allowed the creation of a single solution that compiles native code for both Android and Apple’s IOS. This means that developers only need to support a single language and can continue to maintain existing infrastructure.

Oakwood worked to create an exceptional mobile first experience that allows user to easily check availability, make reservations, manage their own user experience, and join their customer loyalty program.  Within the first 6 months the client reported over $500,000 in sales resulting directly from their new mobile application solution.
Want to launch your own digital transformation initiative with a proven leader? Contact us to get started!

About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

Increase Your Efficiency and Reduce Possible Errors with Application Development Solutions

Increase Your Efficiency and Reduce Possible Errors with Application Development Solutions

One application development solution is tricky.  Two can be even more difficult.  These changes require a deep understanding of backend processes and internal technologies.  Oakwood attacks the most difficult application development problems – bringing resolution to organizations that need the support and leadership of qualified 3rd party IT consultants – that's the Oakwood way!

Business Challenge

Oakwood met with the manufacturer and was presented with their problem: the final step of the manufacturing process.  The process involved an operator who had to mark labels to be attached to parts they had manufactured. When each part they produced was complete, a small rubber label laser marked with production details was vulcanized onto each part to identify them and make sure they were used in the right setting. The operator had to physically select a select a warehouse, printer, part number, serial number, associated job file and other vital pieces of data to be marked on the rubber label. The whole process took an estimated 15 to 20 minutes per label, created a need for more operators, and caused the manufacturer to pay these operators overtime to meet normal business demand.

Business Solution

From an application development standpoint, Oakwood saw the immediate problem with how the process worked, and both realized that developing a custom web application specifically for the process of laser marking the labels could drastically decrease the amount of time the operation takes.

“By creating a web application, we could change the process into simply scanning a couple bar codes, loading the marker and hitting print,” Oakwood said.

Application Development Solution Benefits Realized

Partnered with Oakwood Systems, the manufacturing company instantly gained benefits. Oakwood brought their expertise to the problem and delivered an effective solution.

By integrating a laser marker machine with a specifically-designed web application, they were able to streamline the last step of the manufacturing process by making it more automated and efficient. The solution was also able to be accessed and used anywhere, which made the company much more flexible in the future.

“The process is set up in such a way that each individual job file can be configured however the operator wishes and the application will dynamically insert the correct information onto the correct object at the time of printing,” Oakwood said.

After Oakwood’s solution was installed, the time it took to complete laser marking the labels dramatically decreased as well as reduce the risk for possible human error. Once a rubber label is created and vulcanized onto a part, it is extremely difficult to remove the label and create a new one if an error is made. Because of the custom web application, the process will be faster, more efficient, and reduce the risk of money and time misused because of labeling errors.

Results

The application also reduced overall cost of third party software licenses and lessened the need for the company to pay operators overtime to meet demand.

The global heater and sensor manufacturer has gained many new advantages and benefits. With new increases in efficiency and eliminating the risk of errors, the company will continue to flourish and grow.

Technology is ever-changing and new problems will inevitably arise every day. With Oakwood Systems Group, a Microsoft Gold Partner, be confident in how you use your technology and take advantage of it at its fullest potential.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.

Construction Management Provider Improves Business

Construction Management Provider Improves Business

A national construction management firm has had dramatic growth and demanding deadlines—causing a challenge in the process of how they determined their staffing needs.  Read more in this interesting case study about how Oakwood solved their difficult problems.

Business Challenge

This company has numerous concurrent projects that it must keep track of each day. With each project came the allocation of the appropriate staff to each project. Every project has unique staffing needs with regards to staff location, ability, and experience. Trying to fill those needs and keep track of employee utilization was very burdensome and created a multitude of gaps and overlaps.

The existing solution the construction company had possessed several shortcomings that made the application less effective. Users were not able to track employee experience and keep up to date information on skill levels. The application also didn’t allow for scheduling out needs or forecasting how to fill those needs. Users were left with a database of employees, but could not effectively match their workforce to project needs.

Our Solution

The solution was to provide these needed functionalities by creating an application that communicated with the backend processes to a SQL server database which was deployed to an environment in Azure. Employee profiles were expanded to show project allocation and history. Project workflows were put in place to allow business owners to specify project needs and then search for employees based on role requirements. Reporting was added to help mitigate holes in staffing needs and to give overviews of resource statuses.

Construction Management Firm Conclusion

With the new tools, the organization is able to effectively forecast staffing needs well in advance and can react quickly if resource allocation has any holes. The solution provided them with the ability to fill their needs and keep track of employee utilization on a day to day basis. Business users are now more empowered to manage their project’s needs and availabilities and can do so more efficiently and effectively than was possible before.


Next Steps

Review our case studies and engagements where we helped companies just like yours solve a variety of business needs.


About Oakwood

Since 1981, Oakwood has been helping companies of all sizes, across all industries, solve their business problems.  We bring world-class consultants to architect, design and deploy technology solutions to move your company forward.   Our proven approach guarantees better business outcomes.  With flexible engagement options, your project is delivered on-time and on budget.  11,000 satisfied clients can’t be wrong.