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Financial Services Case Study

Case #4499: Service and Performance Improvement - New Business Installation Process

As the retirement savings market continued to evolve, a major insurance company found itself offering more customized products and services which, in turn, added complexity to their installation process.

Lengthy installation process delayed commission payments to brokers which negatively affected repeat business. It also caused client dissatisfaction, which in turn reduced referrals and references, a major differentiator in the retirement services market. With sales goals required to increase better than 10% per year, it was critical to have an efficient and competitive installation process that supported the sales effort.

Other metrics indicated that installation expense had risen substantially as staff was added to address the cycle time issue. The company needed to increase installation productivity to remain cost competitive.

We were engaged to reduce installation cycle time and improve productivity and process performance. The installation process crossed 8 departments - Sales, New Business Installation, Document Production, Record-keeping, Compliance, Licensing & Commissions, Legal, Accounting, and Information Systems.

During an assessment, we identified a range of improvement opportunities that included process re-design, clarification of roles and responsibilities, installation of process-driven management metrics/reporting, and departmental reorganization. We also set in motion a redesign of key compliance and legal documents so that when finished, 90% of all new business installations could be completed within 8 weeks.

At the end of the 16-week engagement, the backlog of open cases had dropped from 1782 to 685; average cycle time had decreased from 38 weeks to 17 weeks, and the % of cases installed within the client's 12-week goal increased from 2% to 26%. The document redesign was 70% completed, thereby ensuring that 2001 sales would achieve the 8-week installation timeline.

Engagement Highlights

  • Industry:
  • Financial Services
  • Client:
  • A Well-known Nation-wide Retirement Services Provider
  • Assignment:
  • Reduce Cycle Time
  • Reduce Operating Unit Costs
  • Improve Customer Service and Quality/Accuracy levels
  • Approach:
  • Analyze Process Workflow
  • Define and Develop Management Tools
  • Determine Case Review Guidelines
  • Establish Quality and Cycle time Production Goals
  • Analyze and integrate IT requirements
  • Install New Forecasting and Staffing Models
  • Develop IT Strategic Plan for Supporting Installation
  • Transfer Continuous Process Improvement capability and skills to Client


  • Backlog Reduction of 61%
  • Cycle time Reduction of 55%
  • Productivity Improvement of 10%

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