Our industry is in a state of flux.
Organizations that can metabolize
change faster than the competition
will come out on top. At Crawford
& Company, we see change—
across market conditions, regulatory requirements and customer
expectations—as an opportunity
to set new standards for how
insurance businesses operate.
Imagine the impact on your
business if claims management
took one-fifth the time it used to
or if you could invoice your customers 70 percent faster. There would be significant operational
benefits from collapsing the cycle of awareness, knowledge,
and action by giving decision-makers access to enterprise data,
content, collaborations, and processes on any device, from
anywhere at any time.
These are some of the advantages Crawford has seen by
transforming our approach to how IT delivers business value.
Using a business process management-based enterprise application platform, we have rolled out nearly 40 business applications in the past four years that have changed the way Crawford
works, how we engage with others, and how we deliver value.
This transformation has been about how quickly we can react to change. Crawford is the world’s largest independent provider of claims management solutions to the risk management
and insurance industry. We are often operating in the aftermath
of a disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake.
In such a dynamic and distributed environment, isolated
and hard-to-reach data, emailed spreadsheets, phone calls,
sticky notes—with a manual effort to piece it all together—
simply won’t cut it. We must adapt how we operate to incorporate
new disruptive technologies. At the same time, we never want
to lose the aspects of our business processes that have made us
successful in the market.
Using the BPM platform, we have been able to modernize
our core operations while preserving our successful processes.
This has allowed us to leverage new technologies to accelerate
data collection, collaboration, and operational decision-making.
The primary solution we deploy is Crawford Desktop Mo-
bile. It’s a collection of social and mobile business applications
for managing all resources related to a particular catastrophe re-
sponse. When a disaster hits, we assemble a CAT team that will
use the solution to handle everything from identification and
assignment of adjusters to claim filing, site assessment, fraud
detection, and full claim management. It supports both desktop
and mobile usage, along with a social collaboration component
that keeps everyone apprised of progress.
In building Crawford Desktop Mobile and other business
solutions, we chose to use a BPM-driven application platform
(in our case, provided by Appian) for a number of reasons. A
BPM approach accelerates delivery because it favors visual composition over code-based development. It provides the granular
process control and flexibility we need to be truly nimble. It
eliminates the additional cost of mobile development and maintenance through a “write once, run everywhere” architecture.
And it ties social collaboration directly to the core enterprise
systems and data on which our business operates.
Using our CAT Connection mobile app and geo-location,
we crowd-source up to several hundred adjusters to deploy,
based on such attributes as their physical locations, accreditations, regional certifications, and performance histories.
Adjusters receive and accept work assignments via the app and
use the app to complete required forms and upload photos of
a claim site directly from their mobile device. These forms are
entered into claim processing, which includes various stages of
review and reporting and result in final settlement, customer
communication, and invoicing.
We want to empower Crawford employees to be change
agents. The BPM platform facilitates this by rapidly operation-alizing new ideas as business applications. A solution suggested internally at Crawford resulted in a mobile app for rapid
processing of low severity, high-volume claims. To borrow a
poker term, we are “all in” with the BPM-based approach to
modern application development. In the time we’ve been using
this approach for building mobile-enhanced applications, nearly
everyone at Crawford who touches any part of our processes
has seen real improvement in productivity.
We now have a highly transparent and collaborative way of
working, supported by an IT architecture that helps us sense
and respond to change. With disruptive change now the norm,
future-proofing is not merely helpful, it’s vital. ITA
(Brian Flynn is the global CIO for Crawford & Company.)
Change Delivers Value
The industry may be in a state of unrest, but that doesn’t mean insurers can’t
take advantage of the disruption.