Company Name(s): Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company, Panhandle Farmers Mutual Insurance, and BriteCore
Area of Technology Initiative: Business Process Management – Print and Mail Fulfillment
Industry: Property and Casualty Insurance
Year that Initiative went live: 2016
Overview of Companies Involved:
Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company in Cooperstown, NY, was founded in 1886 and insures both personal and commercial properties through a variety of programs.
Panhandle Farmers Mutual Insurance in Moundsville, WV, was founded in 1898 to offer Fire and Lightning coverage on standard Fire policies. It has since expanded to offer property and casualty insurance to homeowners, mobile homeowners, farms, and small commercial businesses.
BriteCore was founded in 2009 in Springfield, MO, when a group of six mutuals partnered with Intuitive Web Solutions (IWS) to build an advanced property casualty policy admin system for small to mid-sized carriers. It has since expanded into an enterprise-level suite that supports a wide variety of carriers, MGAs, and start-ups all across the US and Canada.
Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company and Panhandle Farmers Mutual Insurance made the decision in 2016 to outsource all their print operations to MassPrinting. Though they approached the company separately, both use the BriteCore policy admin system (PAS) managed by IWS. Prior to working with MassPrinting, both carriers managed their print operations internally, so an outsourcing application needed to be identified that could work with the BriteCore policy system. While there were several significant business objectives surrounding outsourcing print, this case study is focused on the API technology solution that was implemented to manage the secure file transfer process.
All involved parties wanted the transfer of documents from the BriteCore PAS to MassPrinting to be seamless, simple and secure. A thorough analysis showed the most efficient way to transfer print files from the BriteCore PAS to outsourced printers was to write a unique application program interface (API) that pulls documents directly from the BriteCore PAS.
Pioneering the effort:
Development and implementation of the project took more of a resource effort from all parties than a typical outsourcing project. Each stakeholder fully committed to the project: MassPrinting on business analysis/project management/development: Panhandle and Leatherstocking on analysis and testing: and BriteCore’s technical support throughout the project. As a result of Panhandle and Leatherstocking leadership in the BriteCore user community, the API solution can now scale to all other BriteCore clients when and if they are ready to implement outsourced print/mail operations.
“It’s almost scary how smoothly things have been going. The process is working great and we haven’t had any issues. Our staff that was previously in charge of stuffing envelopes is able to focus on more strategic projects, which is making them much happier. This is one of the better decisions I’ve made in a long time.”
-Art Meadows, President & CEO, Panhandle Farmers Mutual Insurance
Typically insurance carriers use file transfer protocols (FTP) to move documents; however, this FTP process has its limitations. It’s not overly secure, can be a slow process and can be difficult to use. By creating its own custom API, MassPrinting was able to provide significant upgrades over FTPs in these areas.
The simplicity was especially helpful for Leatherstocking and Panhandle. Since the API was pulling documents rather than receiving them, they didn’t have to do anything on their end, such as initiating a traditional send of documents.
Additionally, it saved the carriers considerable time and did not tax valuable IT resources. What was previously a multi-hour process that involved print output reviews, organizing mailings, stuffing envelopes and adding postage, is now a seamless process that only involves a quick review and approval.
The new process utilizing the API also did not tax valuable IT resources as was happening with the previous FTP process. Leatherstocking and Panhandle are both able to use company IT resources in other ways that are more beneficial, and more strategic, to each company’s success.
“This implementation, and the process behind it, has been a true partnership. Leatherstocking, MassPrinting, and BriteCore worked as a team, enabling us to more effectively overcome the small obstacles that arose. In the end, we have a great solution that has helped us provide better service to both our policyholders and our agents.”
-Mary Jane Conroe, Vice President, Leatherstocking Cooperative Insurance Company
Customer Impact and Business Model Changes Resulting from Project:
“We've had a few additional vendors ask about integrating a similar solution, but none of them had the expertise to do a pure-API integration.”
-Chris Reynolds, CIO, BriteCore
By meeting the needs of Leatherstocking and Panhandle through this API, BriteCore and MassPrinting together ended up creating a solution that was much broader in application than just those two carriers. While developing the solution, MassPrinting worked closely with BriteCore since the API would be pulling from their systems. Through this work, they learned that the API they created would actually make things much easier for BriteCore and all 40+ carriers they work with. Rather than creating technology and processes for each and every carrier, the API could be used, reducing time and financial investments for BriteCore and all its clients.