Monday, 10 October 2011

Does it really take 6 weeks to get my claim sorted?!

So, you post your form off to the post office/tax office/council/insurance company/bank/cable company (* delete applicable). What happens next – from your perspective?

“They” are busy getting on with it – right?

Two weeks go by – so you give them a call?

You spend a while on the phone as they track down your details. Then they tell you they’re dealing with it – right?

A week later, you hear back – and they need more details from you. So, it’s another phone call, or you write a letter.

This happens a couple of times?

Then, after a many weeks – it’s finally completed – hooray!

Six weeks to get the job done. Sound familiar?

But has it really taken them six weeks to get you sorted. No - it hasn’t. Most everyday customer demand just doesn’t take that long to complete – so what is happening?

When you study the work, you find your query passing from one internal team to another, waiting in someone’s in-tray, reviewed by different experts, who then need to get hold of you, even though you’ve spoken to someone else in the organisation a couple of times already.

Frequently, 30 minutes of work ends up taking over a total of two hours, spread out over six weeks, and they’ve had to build a call-centre to handle all the failure demand calls coming in to chase progress, and spent £000’s on IT to “manage” the back-log.

Ask any member of staff in a system like that and they’ll know the problems, and most will know the solution too. With a change in thinking, great things can be achieved.

I’ve just completed working in one such system. It was already working quite well – with claims being processed in 13.5 days, and was about 50th out of 380 similar organisations.

Working with the whole team, we were able to:
  • line the processes up to maximise the benefits of a simple flow 
  • work on one application at a time 
  • see each one through to conclusion where possible. 

Within weeks:
  • the end-to-end time had more than halved to 6.5 days 
  • almost half of all new claims where dealt with there and then in 30 minutes 
  • customers were delighted 
  • staff satisfaction improved 
  • 4th best in the country 
Some say quality is more expensive – I disagree – its always better value. We’ve cut out the waste work in the process – which was proving to be very expensive.

Real change can happen with a willing and committed management team to have the vision, take the brave pill and see it through.

Interested: send me a mail -

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