Busy #Businesswoman

Technology Driven Policy Fulfillment Solution Eliminates Administrative Burden on Staff

Background

For workers compensation companies, policy document distribution is a paper-intensive process that requires that policyholders receive their policy documents and regulatory posting notices in a timely manner.  Many brokers also take a very hands-on approach to working with their customers and often package the policy documents with other materials, notes, or even hand deliver the policies in person.

Our client, a national workers compensation company, was printing and distributing these policy documents (sometimes more than 100 pages long) in-house and referencing spreadsheets maintained across multiple departments to determine agency mailing preferences of whether to mail the documents as is (to the agent) or to throw away the first page and instead mail directly to the policyholder.

In addition to the policies themselves, there are state-specific notices that are required by each state’s workers compensation laws to be posted by the policyholder in prominent locations for their employees to see.  These “posting notices” were generated in-line with the policy documents and would have to be printed on different stocks, often requiring special color, size, or thickness stock depending on the state.  Once printed, they needed to be sent to the policyholder to distribute to their individual office locations.

All of this required significant labor hours and coordination to ensure the right materials were sent to the right recipients within the expected delivery period.

Solution

MPX started working with its client to outsource a portion of their in-house printing and mailing needs that were generated by other departments.  After successfully implementing a few programs together, the client determined that the complicated policy document and posting notice mailing program would be a good fit for MPX to design an automated solution.

Several challenges needed to be overcome in order to outsource this work:

  • Find a way to maintain the benefit to agents allowing mailing preferences (either to the agency or direct to the policyholder)
  • Posting notices were generated within the same output file as the policy documents, requiring manual printing and collating to handle all the different types and sizes of stock
  • Streamline production to allow for automation and machine insertion
  • Accommodate print specifications for posting notices dictated by each state
  • Policy documents need to be approved at the individual document level before being printed

Armed with a deep knowledge and understanding of the existing processes in place by the client’s in-house production and data teams, MPX worked on several technical solutions to address each of the challenges.

  1. Agency Mailing Preferences Tool: MPX developed a new web tool to allow staff to update mail preferences for agencies.
    1. Preferences can be set by the policy type
    2. Agency data is maintained with daily data feeds from core software to ensure that it is always up-to-date
    3. The preference tool tracks changes so that users can tell when the preference was last updated and by which user
    4. Mail preferences integrates with the policy document program so that the mailing address is chosen at the time of processing, ensuring the most accurate preference
  2. Posting Notices Independent from Policy Documents: The client and MPX collaborated to separate the posting notices from the policy document output and generate a posting notice data file.
    1. The client used existing systems to generate a new multi-line record format for posting notices so that they could be separated from the policy documents and allow production efficiencies
    2. The custom data file includes only the location records relevant to the policy document so that only the required state posting notices are produced for applicable states only
    3. MPX built a document processing program to generate the posting notice packages with the appropriate number of notices for each state in the data
  3. Streamline Production for Automation: MPX analyzed the policy documents extensively and designed a new package that allowed for machine inserting.
    1. MPX removed the manual insertion into traditional pocket folders and integrated the process into the program with dynamic cover and backer sheets for each version
    2. Tray calls are used to programmatically pull in the appropriate cover sheet stock while all of the content is printed on demand
    3. Cover sheets are machine inserted along with all policy documents, eliminating the need for hand work
  4. Variable Forms Tool: MPX developed a new web tool (accessible in the same portal as the Agency Mailing tool) to set up and maintain all posting notice print specifications and variables.
    1. The Tool is an asset management application that collects metadata about each form to be used in automation to produce the notices on demand
    2. Users can add new notices, replace notices, update variables and their placement, and select the size, stock, and orientation for each notice
    3. Posting Notices document processing program uses a JSON file generated by the Variable Forms Tool to programmatically generate the appropriate notice pages determined by the multi-line record data file
    4. Print specifications are integrated into the PDF output so that the printer knows to pull the appropriate stock for each page in line
  5. Document Approval Tool: MPX built custom functionality to the existing Document Approval Tool to automatically link and mail posting notices once policy documents are approved.
    1. The client needed the ability to approve policies on an individual document basis, but did not want or need to review the posting notices
    2. Users review policy documents in the tool and once approved, it triggers the corresponding posting notices to be produced and mailed at the same time
    3. Production receives a single order with groups of output based on print specifications to ensure the posting notices go out as soon as policy documents are approved

Client Benefits

The client has successfully outsourced all of the policy document printing and mailing to MPX and achieved several benefits from this comprehensive and integrated solution to several challenges.

  • They freed up the mailroom to focus on other priorities
  • Agencies can request their mailing preference and the client has a single source and simple tool for maintaining this preference
  • Production efficiencies are drastically improved, reduced from 1-week to next-day mailing
  • The client can review policies online prior to mailing without having to view the posting notices
  • Document review and approval process is now digital, instead of looking through thousands of printed policy pages
  • State requirements for posting notices can be updated in minutes without programming

The client can grow its business with the knowledge that their policy underwriting operations can scale with this growth and the custom benefits they offer their agency clients will continue as they grow.