Homesteaders Life Company works with funeral homes to help make a difficult day in a person’s life a little easier. Since 1906 Homesteaders has provided insurance funding for advance funeral plans, or “prearranged funerals.”
The company is committed to the success of its funeral home customers and to providing long-term security for policy owners.
Carolyn Strawn, Manager of Imaging and New Business, knows that nothing pleases customers (and employees) more than enjoying immediate access to policy information. She also recognizes that the company’s microfilm records system is no longer capable of delivering the speed and quality of service their customers demand and deserve.
(looking for documents is not always the easiest)
Since implementing a Digitech Systems Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system, Homesteaders has increased efficiency, saved $62,800 in the first year of use and improved the customer service process overall.
Homesteaders Life Company (www.homesteaderslife.com) is the nation’s leading pre-need insurance funding provider, offering funeral planning solutions to consumers through partnerships with more than 3,000 funeral homes in 44 states.
The 106-year-old mutual insurance company is owned by its policy owners and employs nearly 170 people. In 2010 it generated approximately $425 million in revenue with nearly $2 billion in assets. In the 1980s and 90s, Homesteaders managed its insurance policies on paper and microfilm.
With millions of documents to maintain, a separate storage room was needed to house all the records. Remote paper files and shelves of microfilm made information retrieval a burden to employees. The storage room was crowded with files and microfilm jackets stacked high and out-of- reach.
During her search she spoke with Imagetek, and we suggested we start here on our Radix platform as soon as possible.
After a demonstration, she selected it, because it offered a flexible solution that could change as the company’s needs transformed over time.
“Everything could be converted in the timeframe we needed. They were able to convert paper, microfilm and microx records and do it for a price we were willing to pay,” said Strawn.
To help them get started, the reseller provided services to convert the stored archives to electronic records. Millions of microfilm documents were scanned and exported into PaperVision Enterprise, where employees could instantly search and retrieve electronic records. Later, Homesteaders installed PaperVision Capture so their own employees could scan new and incoming documents. Implementation was fast, because the software is easy to use. “Training didn’t take long at all—just one week for all 165 people,” said Strawn. “Even the scanning and imaging team was trained in less than a day.”
Today, the company manages 12 million electronic documents to better serve customers, increase efficiency and cut costs.
Agent files, funeral records, bank and beneficiary information is all managed digitally. This enables the customer service department and employees in four other departments to boost productivity and reduce the cost of information management.
“All new documents are available within 24 hours,” said Strawn. “We run the scanner continuously and index the documents at another desk which helps accelerate the imaging process.” Barcode and match-and- merge technology also make indexing fast and precise.
Employees do minimal data entry, because key index values like customer name, agent and funeral home numbers are automatically populated using information stored in their LifePro TM database.
“With the Digitech Systems technology our file system is 100% accurate. I never hear of missing or misfiled information,” said Strawn. Processing documents is equally as easy with automated document routing.
“We just started implementing PaperVision Enterprise WorkFlow, and we’re already experiencing productivity savings,” said Strawn.
The ECM system cuts postage costs too.
Today, critical business records are permanently preserved and disaster recovery strategies have never been stronger. If a catastrophic event occurred, the company could access their data within 12 hours.
“Not only are 100% of our files effectively managed and protected, we’re better positioned to serve our customers for the next hundred years,” said Strawn.
Reduced personnel costs by $45,000 annually
- Eliminated $17,800 in annual postage expenses
- Reduced file retrieval time from one hour to just seconds
- Streamlined document processing, saving 100 hours in productivity each year
- Created a reliable, permanent records archive that is 100% accurate
- If a disaster occurred data could be recovered in just 12 hours