How much does it cost a typical insurance company to create and manage all of its documents? Due to differences in how organizations allocate costs, it is a difficult calculation. Analysts have estimated companies with a paper-centric strategy spend up to 15% of their annual revenue on document production, management, and distribution. Some studies have revealed the average office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper per year!
Converting from paper documents to electronic has eased the cost burden somewhat. However, expenses such as archive storage space, as well as staff time spent on document composition and management, reviews, approvals, search, and retrieval remain part of the picture; even in a company dedicated to communicating electronically whenever possible. Of course some of those electronic documents are eventually printed at some point during their lifecycle, reducing the savings.
Additionally, most carriers employ multiple document systems to support various departments and functions, further increasing document-related expenses by the cost to maintain, organize, update, and distribute templates and scripts used for correspondence, contracts, policies, or welcome kits.
The template issue gets worse over time. Employees copy and modify templates to meet specific needs, documents get updated leaving old versions in the filing systems, or templates get renamed and lost in obscure network folders or individual desktops. It isn’t unusual to find the same documents replicated in multiple document composition systems. Add in support for multiple languages or regional regulatory compliance and it can be a mess.
The proliferation of document templates becomes an even bigger problem when events such as corporate re-branding, mergers, acquisitions, or regulatory changes force insurers to locate and update all those templates. This is often a point at which organizations attempt to consolidate or clean up their vast document template libraries. Unstructured environments of the past are responsible for making a good portion of consolidation projects manual. Template bloat is responsible for making such efforts lengthy and expensive.
Solving the template dilemma, and therefore lowering the associated expenses, is achievable. Rather than allocating hundreds of hours for a manual clean-up effort, automated tools such as those provided by Xpertdoc can comb corporate servers and directories. Duplicates are eliminated and single-purpose documents are transformed into parameter and variable-driven shared resources. After addressing the few exceptions and anomalies the resulting document library is lean and efficient. Template inventory reductions of 50% or more are not uncommon. Often, organizations are surprised to find they can run their businesses with just a fraction of the document varieties they once maintained. Xpertdoc’s powerful technologies allowed Oxford Properties to radically streamline their lease document creation and management processes, and get legally compliant documents into the hands of their customers in record time.
Lowering communication costs can make a big difference on the balance sheet. Once insurers start adding up the costs of physical and electronic documents they are motivated to begin making changes. By reducing the volume of document templates first, all other expense-reduction strategies become manageable and affordable.