Mailroom expertise X Digital one-touch imaging
A large L&A insurer faced the challenge of sorting, cataloguing and digitizing crucial hard copy documents such as insurance policies and customer requests received through the mail. This included managing dozens of PO Boxes and fax numbers that receive hundreds of types of documents with largely non-standard data, all needing to be sorted according to hundreds of business rules across all their products and services.
The company partnered with EXL to digitally transform its mailroom to support document content extraction and automated classification for simplified document management.
EXL used its digital document management expertise and deep L&A insurance experience to ensure that documents were processed right the first time. “Do it right the first time” (DRIFT) is a simple, widely-used phrase in supply chain or lean processes. In an imaging environment, it has a direct correlation with cycle time.
For an intake solution, DRIFT should get triggered from the time an organization defines its products or services. Organizations invest a lot of money and manpower to order requests into the right queue so they are routed to the processing units responsible for that product or service. Often called upfront classification, the legacy environment for this task is a manual, people-intensive approach intended to reduce exceptions and mistakes, but at the same time delays the time it takes documents to reach the processing units.
To overhaul this approach, EXL set out to redesign processes so that how a request was received governed how it would be managed. Documents can arrive as print hard copy mail, email, fax, or digital channels like web portals. The inherent efficiency in DRIFT depends upon how the product or service has been aligned to the input sources. A straightforward approach is to set up one common input per source, but this creates a lot of manual work if multiple types of requests are received through the same PO Box or email address. With that in mind, EXL set up individual input channels to take care of the pre-sorting or upfront classification by service or product.
The above approach not only ensured clean inputs, but also reduced the exception rates significantly, reduced the cost of manpower used for upfront classification and exception management, and improved the cycle time. This allowed customer requests to be serviced earlier in the process by minimizing the lead time between receipt and imaging.
While it is important to get the input sources aligned by product or service lines, it is equally important to use the right equipment to service. The most costly intake problem the client faced was managing paper documents.
The original process saw challenges at every stage including handling, preparation, imaging and archival. Paper requires people to touch it from picking it up from the post office, receiving it at the mail center, and then extensive prepping, all while the expensive scanner sits idle for work to arrive. The agony doesn’t end there. Once scanned, the problem of archival and data retrieval begins, itself a multi-million dollar investment for many companies.
EXL implemented a one-touch imaging solution using the latest in scanning and mailroom technology. Now, the client’s employees needed only to load a batch of envelopes received directly from the mail carrier on the feeder, which then pushed one envelope at a time through the integrated envelope opener, which then awards the open envelope neatly to the operator to retrieve the contents. The operator then separates the documents from the envelopes and lays them both onto the conveyor. The scanner detects the thickness of the paper and pulls one page at a time to scan as simplex or duplex, depending upon its contents, and adjusts the image position automatically. During this process, the scan operator also has the option to tag documents for later archival, with encoding on to the back of the envelope for easy retrieval.
After moving from a legacy process to digitized single-touch scanning, EXL improved cycle times significantly and helped the client easily meet targets of more than 99.75% turnaround time and quality improvement. The client also eliminated costs by rationalizing headcount at the scan center and reduced hours-per-resource due to the efficiency brought in by the scanner by completely eliminating many steps.
- Client struggled with sorting, cataloguing, and digitizing hard copy document
- Applied DRIFT principles to overhaul process
- Switched from upfront classification for mail to individual input channels rather than pre-sorting by service or product
- Minimized time between receiving document and imaging
- Applied one-touch imaging solution
- Solution automates opening envelopes and speeds up operator scanning contents
- Documents can then be tagged for archival, with encoding placed onto the back of the envelope for easy retrieval
- Eliminated costs through reducing the need for resources per hour
- Cut out or automated many inessential steps
- Saw a 99.75% improvement in turnaround time and quality