Introduction and Business Challenges
About Philam Life
The Philippine American Life and General Insurance (Philam Life) Company is the country's premier life insurance company. Established in 1947, Philam Life has earned the trust of customers for its financial strength, strong brand name, and ability to deliver on its promises.
Philam Life as PHP236.4 billion in total assets as of December 2015, and has delivered timely payouts of over PHP10 billion in insurance benefits (1950-2015), while serving close to 600,000 individual policyholders and over 2 million insured group members.
Philam Life understands the real life needs of its customers and provides the right plans and the right solutions, including life protection, health insurance, savings, education, retirement, investment, group and credit life insurance. It also offers bancassurance and fund management products and services through its subsidiaries - BPI Philam Life Assurance Company (BPI-Philam) and Philam Asset Management Inc. (PAMI).
Key Business Challenges
The initial business driver for the project was to reduce the amount of overtime, increase agent productivity, improve planning, and reduce backlog across several back-office teams, including; new business, claims, underwriting, policy amendments and quality. In total, over 100 FTEs were employed.
To support the digitisation of the front office, the operations management team needed a more accurate way of collecting and analysing incoming work, together with team and agent activities.
The business used in-house developed spreadsheets to record agent productivity based on the manual recording of agent activity. The analysis, however, solely measured the number of cases closed by individual agents. It was believed that additional capacity was available within the teams but there was no means of capturing how time was being spent.
The information available to management only itemised the agent who ultimately closed a case, even though the case itself might have been worked on by one or more other agents. Consequently, agents who worked on more cases than they closed were allocated a lower productivity rate than they deserved, which in turn had an adverse effect on morale.
The planning activities lacked the granularity and visibility of the historic performance and incoming work data available to team leaders. As a result, the confidence in monitoring how closely the teams were performing to forecast was low and often led to unplanned remedial action when backlogs built up.
The step change in monitoring, planning, and managing the department is, and continues to be, outstanding matched by the improvement in quality of service, management, and staff morale. Having access to real-time operations data and the skills to interpret and apply to the best effect has helped transform the business, and I'm looking forward to further developments from ActiveOps including the recently-announced Workware+ mobile applications
Workware+ and Active Operations Management (AOM) Method Selection Process
Richard Bracken, Chief Operating Officer, had previous positive experience of Workware+ and AOM in a former role, in addition to the value of ActiveOps solutions being proven across other AIA back office operations.
Workware+ was deployed to enable staff to log their activities quickly and efficiently to build real-time and historic, individual and team productivity profiles, including time spent on both core and non-core activities. As the individual, team, and departmental performance data was made readily available, team managers could quickly identify where spare capacity could be utilised within all teams.
The introduction of the AOM method provided a consistent management process, a framework of planning, and the loading and monitoring of meetings. This enabled teams to better collaborate, allowing them to apply the data insights and reports provided in Workware+.
Implementation and Business Benefits
The benefit highlights in numbers include:
50% reduction in overtime - due to the identification of spare capacity
30% increase in productivity
40% increase in cases per agent
The initial benefits were realised within a few weeks into a 15-week implementation program, including Workware+ training, certification and pre and post-operational health checks.
Real-time information captured through Workware+ enables team leaders to collaborate, react quickly to changing workloads, 'load balance' between teams, share best practice, and identify skills training opportunities. Team leaders now openly share their capacity and workload through twice weekly meetings, supported by a consistent process, visible and accurate performance data.
Productivity increased by over 30%, whilst FTE costs dropped by 10% and overtime reduced dramatically.
Confidence in forecasts and capacity plans enabled by Workware+ rose significantly, effectively de-risking the business, improving service levels and reducing stress amongst the management team.
The morale benefits were not restricted to management. The department recorded the highest rise in employee satisfaction improvement. Agents are now able to have the full extent of their work recognised and fairly evaluated with opportunities for further training. Employee satisfaction, as measured by Gallup Poll, recorded an improvement from 3.6 to 4.1.
Data gathered by Workware_ also contributed to the success of the digital transformation project and the combination of Workware+ and the AOM method helped establish a career path for subject matter experts (SMEs) and team leaders.
Reflecting on the project, Richard Bracken commented:
The step change in monitoring, planning, and managing the department is and continues to be, outstanding, matched by the improvement in quality of service, management, and staff morale. Having access to real-time operations data and the skills to interpret and apply to best practices has helped transform the business and I'm looking forward to further developments from ActiveOps, including the recently announced Workware+ mobile apps
Richard Bracken, Chief Operating Officer