Online Document Management Can Help Boost Productivity
The dot-com hype may be gone forever, but the benefits of the Internet revolution are here to stay. And for companies in the insurance industry, that can mean faster issuance processes, elimination of redundant inputting of data and paper files, and the ability of field agents to deliver accurate quotes or proposals right on the spot.
Here are a few of the latest online software and services currently being offered in the market.
Docucorp International Inc. in Dallas, offers The Form Spot, a Web site hosted by the company. It provides free access to more than 400 ACORD insurance forms and optional fee-based services to automate forms processing and reduce common paperwork, says Randy Skinner, senior vice president of professional services at Docucorp.
The company says it also offers outsourced application service provider (ASP) services that create personalized documents for customers and it delivers them every day via the Web. There are two ASP hosting facilities, in Atlanta and Dallas, that process raw data and create individualized documents for clients who dont have in-house infrastructures or specialized staff to run them.
There is also an ASP policy production option, allowing clients to access Docucorp policy production software, production equipment and technical expertise, the company notes.
“[Carrier] customers would send us data, and we would do the policy production–we would do the folding, stuffing and mailing. We actually run the publishing software. We have an integration method where clients send us XML transactions,” Skinner says.
“They have their own underwriting and policy administration systems,” he continued. “They would produce a feed, and we would take that feed, produce an output and we would create an archive for them.”
Docucorp products can help eliminate the need to stock electronic forms and redundant keying of information across multiple systems and applications, says Skinner. With electronic archives, clients can also eliminate the need for paper files and speed the process of issuance, he adds.
Xerox Corporation also offers Web-based forms management solutions through its global services unit.
“We are primarily a service provider. We help carriers and agencies design a system or help get a better utilization out of a system from investments they already made,” says Julie Dorey, vice president and general manager of insurance and financial services at Xerox Global Services in Rochester, N.Y.
“The approach we take is to come in and understand the business process, and we start with due diligence,” says Dorey. “The second step is to recommend vendor-neutral technologies based on what is found in assessment.”
Dorey says the companys initial consulting service could range anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, with higher price tags for comprehensive implementation services.
“For a lot of document content management–especially around such a forms-intensive industry, with so much documentation and file cabinets and paper warehouses–there is no magic tool. The approach we take is to look at the business process of our clients individually,” Dorey explains.
The online components include Xeroxs imaging service, which takes documents in paper form, then scans and indexes them for an online repository in Hot Springs, Ark., the company says.
One of the tools Xerox uses for its online forms management solutions is ReqDirect by Bradley Company, a Xerox subsidiary. It is a Web appliance that automates the order-to-fulfillment process for forms and documents. ReqDirect allows forms to be ordered online via a hosted service, printed on demand and delivered directly to customers, reducing cycle time and warehousing costs. ACORD is also using ReqDirect as a template to streamline forms and document management processes, Xerox says.
Basic prices for ReqDirect include Internet access and support for $680 per month and licenses for two to three people for around $8,000 per month. There is also a one-time fee for data collection and setup of $30,000 and a $25,000 fee for implementation, training and data loading, says Xerox.
Another Web-based application Xerox often recommends is DocuShare, a document management application developed by Xerox that gives companies a secure online environment for capturing, managing and sharing information.
The entry-level price for a complete DocuShare 3.0 system with 10 seats is $4,145, and a 100-seat system is $9,995, with pricing at higher levels following a server and seat model at $65 per user, the company says.
Document Sciences Corporation, based in Carlsbad, Calif., offers xPression, a universal content processing services architecture.