(Jim True is VP of Product Management at Cabinet, a document management and workflow provider.)
Insurance is an extremely document-intensive business. And nearly all of the myriad forms, letters, and claims are critically important. It’s essential for administrators, agents, and executives to be able to quickly access and act upon documentation like claims, referrals, scans, email, contracts, and messages.
The days of lost documents, poor version control, and spotty compliance are over, thanks to document management software. It can help insurers operate in multiple locations, support employees that work remotely, meet compliance requirements, reclaim office space, and solve a wide range of business problems.
Many features of a document management system will enable insurance companies—both small and large—to enhance efficiency, boost productivity, increase profitability, and improve client satisfaction, and overall business risks reductions.
There are nine key considerations when determining what document management system is best suited for a business. We call these the “9 C’s” of document management:
Cloud-based/locally installed: For insurers that have multiple offices in several locations, a cloud-based product unifies satellite locations across one platform, allowing them to act as effectively as if the company was operating in just one location.
Cabinets (Filing structure): Mimicking a physical filing structure that includes cabinets, folders, and tabs makes transitioning to paperless much easier and intuitive. It also improves filing consistency and user access can be easily controlled by applying access rights.
Collaboration: Filing documents in the document management system’s central location facilitates collaboration. Users can access documents from the office or while on the road. Workflow and scheduling automate the business process which drives collaboration and improves efficiency across the entire organization.
Compliance: Insurers are highly regulated and must remain compliant. Document retention policy enforcement, audit tracking and reporting, and user access controls are the primary tools a document management system needs to offer to help achieve compliance with regulations and internal policies.
Continuity (Disaster Recovery): Wind, water, and fire can take an operation out of business in seconds without much notice. According to research by the University of Texas, only six percent of companies suffering from a catastrophic data loss survive, while 43 percent never reopen and 51 percent close within two years. If it happens, having a document management system could literally save the business by allowing it to recover years of critical documents from a remote backup facility. Without replacing business document and data, disaster recovery from a catastrophic event is nearly impossible.
Cost Savings: In today’s economy, every penny counts. Most never consider how much is spent by running a paper-based business. To learn more about potential savings with a document management system, check out this comprehensive return on investment calculator.
Custom User Configurations: If the shoe doesn’t fit, change it. In other words, the document management system should accommodate your preferences, not the other way around. Creating a comfortable user experience that delivers the information in a view to their liking will drastically improve how efficient the document management system performs.
Consolidation: Robust integration tools support the native document format of many existing applications, consolidating data into one organized and secure networked accessible system. In addition to basic filing, storage and retrieval, document management provides extended integration with popular applications, including QuickBooks, Outlook, Sage ACT!, Climark Advisors Assistant, Laser App, and others.
Custom Business Configurations: The best thing about document management software is that it can apply to virtually any business function including managing clients, accounting, and human resources, to name a few. Every new deployment is configured to replicate a business’s existing processes and workflows.
Jim True is VP of Product Management at Cabinet, a document management and workflow provider, based in Madison, Ala. For more information, visit www.cabinetpaperless.com. Jim can be reached via email at email@example.com.