address two key areas associated with those processes: data integration/transformation and automating exception handling and processing. According to Lee, the company next focused on creating a
wrapper around existing processes where the underlying technology—while functional—didn’t
support BPM efforts. “In this area, we focused on
automating steps, where possible, and using Adeptia’s workflow capability to alert key users when
errors occurred within the process, or when critical tasks weren’t completed in a timely manner,” he
More recently, Meadowbrook began using
Adeptia’s workflow simulation tool to document
existing processes and then conduct several “what
if” scenarios to identify the impact of potential
changes to those processes.
Another firm, Farmers Insurance Group, a Los An-geles-based wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich
Financial Services, has applied BPM software to
multiple aspects of its business. The firm’s Small
Commercial Lines division in May 2007 began using Pegasystems SmartBPM from Pegasystems Inc.
Farmers built an agent-facing quoting and servicing application on the BPM software, with the aim
of improving and speeding processes related to applications and underwriting for business owner’s
policy (BOP), workers’ compensation, commercial
auto and commercial umbrella.
Paul Burger, director of commercial IT at Farm-
ers, says the application replaced a series of manual
processes the division had been previously using.
The company had an agent-facing Web application,
but it was simply a pricing application and had no
built-in underwriting function, Burger says. Now,
agents use the BPM-enabled applications to enter
all data required to determine a premium, and un-
derwriters can use it to handle referrals and ap-
prove, decline or modify submissions as needed.
ACROSS THE ENTERPRISE
Farmers also has been able to leverage BPM expertise elsewhere in the enterprise.
As part of an effort to revamp its customer relationship management processes and first notice of
loss (FNOL) application, the company developed
a system known as “Hero,” which logically presents sequenced information to guide customers in
filing auto, property and other types of claims.
Hero went live in early 2009, and now supports
FNOL for auto and other lines of business insurance. The application helps trigger the right questions to claimants, gather the right responses and
integrate the information into the claim system so
that all information becomes part of the case file.
Within the first year of implementing BPM for customer service, Farmers reduced the training time
for customer service representatives from two
weeks to just one day because of the application’s
built-in intelligence. It also improved the average
handling time for a claims call by 20%.
BPM also has helped the company deal with
challenges integrating legacy customer service systems of acquired companies.
DOES BPM NEED A CLEAN SLATE?
One key question that might come up with a BPM
implementation is whether it is best to apply BPM
to existing processes or do it in tandem with a core
“We fundamentally believe that in any enterprise system deployment, evolution is much better
than revolution,” says John Colbert, VP of research
and analysis at the Stamford, Conn., advisory services firm BPM Partners Inc. “Making a series of
—James Lee, Meadowbrook