Organization: Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT)
Formed in 1997 from the merger of Lloyd Thompson and Jardine Insurance Broker, Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) is an international group of Risk Specialists and Employee Benefits Consultants. JLT is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is one of the largest companies of its type in the world. JLT had a 2010 turnover of £746 million with 6500 employees across 34 countries. The EB Group within Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT EB) made up £132 million of this 2010 turnover with 1500 employees in offices in the UK and India.
Business Challenge: Managing Growth, Increasing Efficiencies
Doing more with less requires innovative use of technology. Starting in 2004 JLT EB had been able to increase top line revenues by selling new solutions while lowering costs through process automation. This legacy of success became a critical asset when merging together multiple acquisitions between 2008-2010.
For example, in December 2009 JLT acquired HSBC Actuaries and Consulting Limited (HACL), a leading employee benefits and actuarial consulting firm with £40M in revenues. The acquisition was considered highly synergistic, extending JLT EB’s capabilities in areas such as Defined Benefit, Defined Contribution and pension consultancy and solutions.
At the time of acquisition HACL had a complex, business-rule driven system and associated EDMS for process automation. JLT EB had its own BPM-based infrastructure. After doing a rigorous technology review, JLT EB decided to keep its current BPM platform and make a large investment in extending that infrastructure to enable both increased sales and reduced costs. Use would go from a few hundred people to >1200 daily users. Expected savings proved very high.
BizFlow BPM Solution: Business Transformation and Process Agility
BPM allowed JLT EB to innovate in the following areas:
Sales – Employee benefits and pension fund schemes must be tailored to individual customer needs. Each scheme contains unique data and backend systems. With its BPM-based infrastructure, JLT EB can demonstrate to both current and prospective customers an ability to meet their specific requirements both quickly and cleanly. This inherent flexibility in technology architecture has been a component allows for product differentiation and supported the activities that have seen a 50% increase in trading profit.
Document Handling – Looking internally, JLT EB has lowered costs per employee through process automation. Removing paper is one big reason for these costs savings. In the past, outbound document handling was printed and stuffed by a Post Handling Team (PHT). Through the integration of Scanning, EDMS and BPM, outbound documents are now directly integrated into the overall flow. Inbound document handling is likewise automated. Some of the incoming documentation (e.g., Checks and Certificates) are treated with special handling functionality. Streamlining and standardizing document handling alone has produced annual savings into the hundreds of thousands of pounds. Furthermore, it has ensured regulatory compliance. For example, regulators impose strict penalties if turnaround times are breached. BPM grants users visibility into work status as well as creates triggers for escalating and notifying users to get work done before regulatory penalties apply.
Customer Service – Another innovative use of BPM is in the area of ad-hoc reviews. Within the structured workflow is a jump-off point for ad-hoc correspondence from the user to one or many colleagues. Keeping the work within the application allows all users to collaborate to quickly resolve customer issues while tracking overall progress. It also removes the need for scattershot emails and calls, again reducing wasted time and resources. The ad-hoc capability has been particularly important as more work has been routed offshore where the implicit understanding of the UK pension rules and regulations is still maturing. In other words, BPM is a primer for KM.
SLA Management – The use of BPM has also helped JLT EB to effectively meet SLA’s and deadlines. The management of statutory deadlines often crosses the boundaries of natural processes. Knowing this is one thing, monitoring it is another. Using BPM, methods to manage SLA compliance were developed and reports created. Now missing statutory deadlines and breaches are rare. Improved performance and increased risk management have led to more sales and less legal costs.
Compliance – As mentioned above, the employee benefits business is very highly regulated and all incoming and outgoing correspondence must be tracked. In order to accomplish this requirement while streamlining the entire employee benefits operation, JLT EB decided to integrate Scanning, EDMS and BPM components to create a highly sophisticated, large scale application architecture. The approach was to loosely couple BPM (BizFlow) with EDMS (SharePoint) whereby documents were directly accessible from workitems in the BPM user interface and/or forms. Integration was done using an API and sympathetic folder structure, but not direct coupling to the case in question. This approach has allowed flexibility and independent access to the EDMS documents using the EDMS front-end. The custom interface allows incoming documents to be ‘indexed’ with relevant meta-data and to have this data initiate relevant business processes. A Practice Engine is a time recording system used for billing and the workflow system updates this engine whenever a case is opened and closed. Accurate billing to the clients is managed through this interface.
Growth - First and foremost, JLT EB was able to grow its trading profit by 50% in the last financial year. This was largely the result of doing more with less. JLT EB on-boarded new acquisitions with 50% fewer people despite a significant increase in the volume of transactions. And the company was also able to replace redundant systems.
Speed - The new methodology and best practices have enabled JLT EB to do work better and faster. For example, Business Analysts can do research and workflow design while developers focus on implementation and testing. This means that BA’s can do about 50% of “development.” Because the BPM suite is “codeless,” they are saving time from not writing and maintaining code. JLT EB has also created a COE to ensure that team members learn best practices, get training, follow standards and get investment for new projects. Key reasons for success include: business involvement and user engagement, constant clear communications amongst stakeholders, and good vendor support.