Digital Strategy & Planning
Efficiency tools are not an endgame. They are a launchpad for higher-level strategic objectives.
Technology is Your Launch Pad
Claim organizations are facing disruptions on many levels and from several directions.
Crippling labor fluctuations and staffing shortages. Recruitment and retention. Increased competition due to a lower cost of entry. Growing demands from clients. Long-term clients are increasingly vulnerable to competitors. Closing new deals is becoming more and more difficult. Replacing legacy software systems is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. A lack of timely data to deliver a clear picture of systemwide performance complicates effective decision-making. The tried and true strategies that have saved the day in the past are falling flat in this new world. Margins are shrinking at a time when you need capital for several high-priority objectives. Your board is expressing concerns about the dividends.
The MIT study (reported in The Fallacy of Technology) cited above) found the most significant barrier plaguing executives is that there are simply too many priorities; which in itself is a strategic barrier. When organizations have too many priorities, they do not have a good idea of what their strategic focus actually is.
It's Time For A Moonshot Strategy
Understanding the issues.
Ok, you are faced with an overwhelming number of issues. Any one of them alone would be a serious undertaking. You need to produce some immediate results that will put a wet blanket on the hot issues. At the same time, however, you need to generate some revenue to calm some of the wolves at your door. The loudest issue is the exodus of your professional staff. If you don't get that issue under control, your business will come to an abrupt halt. And the odds are that if you can get that under control, most of the other issues will fall in line.
In our discussions with the frontline claim professionals, the nature of the job as it exists today simply involves too much pressure and attention to completing meaningless details under time frames that are unreasonable. This is, in one claim professional's words, "a modern-day factory job. I do not recommend it and I am getting out as soon as I can." When we explored more about the job with them and what drew them to the job, most of the longer-term staff noted that they loved the opportunity to work directly with the injured worker. To understand their issues and concerns. To help them get their lives back in order. They also noted that on the flip side, finding those attempting to abuse the system in any number of ways and stopping them cold was quite rewarding."
Of the many priorities, the most critical issue has to be the HR issue. Until you solve that, nothing else can impact the current state of affairs in a meaningful way. But, before you can address the core HR issues, you must address how your company does things. This situation will not go away by just throwing money and benefits at the problem. Claim professionals today are making an undeniable statement that they do not need to feel value in what they do today. Working in a pressure-sensitive environment where they spend their day focused on routine, repetitive, menial tasks that deliver no value other than checking off some box in some form required by some regulation somewhere, will never be a draw for a young professional looking for a career. Click here to review a LinkedIN post where claims professionals discuss their current conditions.
Defining the Why
The knee-jerk reaction to the issue is typically to quickly throw a stack of money and several mid-level managers at the issue and hope it goes away. That's the "ready, fire, aim" approach. We all know the problems with that approach.
The first issue a senior claim executive needs to consider is, in an ideal world, what would the claim professional's job entail. How would they spend their day? What kind of outcomes could you expect if all the routine tasks and decisions could be eliminated? How would this impact your company's relations with your clients? How would it affect your business development strategies? How would this reposition your company in relation to your competitors? What would this do to your corporate culture? What would the reaction be to changing the "but this isn't the way we do things here" or the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality? Where within your company would you expect to find resistance? (yes, there will be resistance). How would you go about getting them either onboard or offboard? If you could achieve this one objective, how would that impact the other priorities on your plate today?
The above exercise establishes the "Why," (see The Fallacy of Technology and Simon Sinek, The Golden Circle https://youtu.be/fMOlfsR7SMQ) and becomes the basis of your primary strategic objectives. All subsequent initiatives will be addressed through the lens of those objectives. If you clearly state the "Why" you are engaging in digital investment, you will bring order to choosing the right "How" issues that will rise. The importance of this strategy was found in the MIT study. The MIT researchers found that organizations that jumped to the "How" without first establishing the "Why" almost always fail, and such a failure has fallout issues on every other initiative. Given today's environment, such a failure can be cataclysmic to the organization.
Understanding the Function of Technology
The exercise establishes that technology is not a magic cure-all. It is not a "Why" in itself. Technology is a powerful tool to be applied strategically within an organization to support larger corporate goals and objectives. But, it is a "How" not a "Why."
The BaseLine Platform as a Service - Your Moonshot Launchpad
The BaseLine Platform is a unique service that substantially reduces operating costs and eliminates non-compliance with regulatory and business rules. It is designed to integrate multiple software applications and critical data necessary for functioning defined workflow processes. It can deliver workflow automation services and eliminate the routine manual tasks plaguing claim professionals. Further, the BaseLine Platform can integrate with a client's various internal and external decision support services. Hence, when the workflow requires input from the claim professional, it can present the decision support data required when and where it is needed.
Please contact our president, Don Adams, if you would like to have a deeper discussion of how the BaseLine Platform can be your platform of success to launch your moonshot.