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Insurance firm uses technology to keep client as top priority

Gillian Cregan said technology has helped Cunningham Lindsey deliver seamless insurance services to recent global disaster sites.

Interviewer: John Daly
Interviewee: Gillian Cregan
Background: CFO and head of business operations, Cunningham Lindsey, loss adjustment and insurance services group.

THE last few weeks have been dramatic and demanding for loss adjustment and insurances services provider Cunningham Lindsey as the company copes with the terrible destruction following the typhoon in the Philippines.

“Following the devastation caused across the Philippines our operations in the country are intact and currently have full communications available,” says Gillian Cregan, CFO and head of business operations. “We have deployed staff to a number of the affected areas from our Manila base; further resources are being sent from our Singapore office. Dealing with devastation of this level is always difficult, but this type of catastrophe is part of our business; we are a crisis management company with vast experience in such events.”

The company’s use of technology has enabled it to be proactive in the seamless delivery of services and efficient deployment of resources from different parts of the globe.

“Cunningham Lindsey Ireland has always been quite technologically advanced but it was still largely paper bound up until the commencement of the SMILE project in late 2011 – Shared Services, Mobility, Innovation, Lean, eFile. After the frozen pipe events in 2010 and 2011 we knew we had no choice but to be much more mobile. Our business is quite volatile; you have to be very flexible and ready for an unexpected catastrophe event.”

With a paper based environment, Cunningham Lindsey’s adjusters had to come to the office to pick up a file before a site visit — a very inefficient process.

“People get attached to paper; we had to replace their paper file with an eBook and sell this concept to them. We introduced tablets and an electronic site pack in early 2012 and rolled it out to our field staff within two months. We had been using digital pens but the site pack the adjuster required on site was too equipment heavy. They require a camera, digital pen, measuring device, paper file, and so on, the introduction of a tablet and electronic site pack revolutionised how they worked,” she adds.

Ireland took the position of technological leader in the Cunningham Lindsey Group, which has now fully implemented the use of tablets in the field across Group Countries.

Vodafone corporate marketing manager, Barry Tierney, said: “Cunningham Lindsey is a great example of how companies can utilise the latest technology to significantly improve efficiency, deliver innovation and superior customer service. The investment which Vodafone is making in our network nationwide is bringing high quality data where there is currently voice and so increasing the opportunities for even more companies like this to mobilise their workforce and take advantage of the latest advances in technology.”

Cunningham Lindsey uses tablet technology and Topaz software for instant access across the group. They call this Smart New Ways of Working. “We believe this provides a very proactive service to our clients.”

Cunningham Lindsey has seen huge innovation and service diversification on the back of the use of mobile field technology: “It has allowed us to design services that dovetail with our clients strategies,” she says. “Technology has enabled us to tailor our services to meet our client’s needs. Technology is an essential part of the future of this industry. You are only as good as your next idea. The use of smartphones dictates our future technology strategy.”

The Cunningham Lindsey future service innovation will be about customer convenience and exciting the customer experience, she believes: “We have a lot of plans for the development of apps that will hugely improve the customer claims experience in a more interactive way. Convenience will be a priority. We have a young vibrant team that have a thirst for embracing technology to achieve business advancement.”

Having implemented this technology in the middle of a recession, the Ireland operation has led the way for mobile field technology across the entire Cunningham Lindsey Group, which has a presence in 60 countries across the world.

“We partnered with Vodafone and introduced products that enhanced our technological capabilities and ensured data security and remote device management,” concludes Gillian Cregan. “Previous to this project we would never have thought of Vodafone for IT solutions as we would have seen them predominantly as mobile phone suppliers. That perception has hugely changed and thankfully with their help has changed the way we do business today.”


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