Transforming Underwriting: How Vantage Streamlined Legacy Operations to Drive Customer Value with Focused Labs
- Built and launched an underwriting platform that underpins the entire business in less than 12 months.
- Successfully migrated 100 percent of users from the critical underwriting platform to the new platform in less than three days.
Vantage brings a unique approach to the insurance industry, providing innovative, insurance and reinsurance solutions for complex and niche use cases. The company's expertise extends to specialized sectors such as the aerospace, marine, and energy insurance industries, as well as property reinsurance for catastrophic events.
By understanding the specific requirements of its clients, Vantage is better able to create tailored insurance packages that provide optimal protection and peace of mind in uncertain conditions. Whether it's safeguarding homes, vehicles, or businesses, Vantage is committed to delivering comprehensive and reliable insurance solutions.
Vantage’s key differentiator comes from their ability to leverage advanced technologies and data analytics, which allows it to offer its clients more personalized coverage and risk management strategies by continuously refining its underwriting processes, risk assessment models, and claims handling procedures to better fit their needs and risk profile.
The Need for Transformation: Overcoming Challenges in Legacy Tools and Processes
Faced with rapidly changing business conditions and increasing client expectations, Vantage realized that their current technology and processes needed to evolve too.
In particular, Vantage faced a significant challenge with its internal set of underwriting tools, which were built on outdated technology and hindered its ability to efficiently evaluate customers and assemble tailored insurance packages fast enough to meet customer expectations and management goals.
Their existing workbench used by underwriters also had inherent limitations, which:
- Restricted the flow of insurance products that could be offered to customers.
- Created bottlenecks in operational efficiency from a lack of data integration and analysis capabilities.
- Hindered the ability to more comprehensively evaluate customers and assemble tailored insurance packages.
- Limited Vantage’s ability to scale to meet additional customers and segments.
Finally, Vantage’s developers and project managers only had experience with traditional “big bang” or waterfall-style system transformations, which complicated project execution, delayed the delivery of customer (and business) value, and increased the overall risk to project budgets.
Strategy and Goals
Transformation through Collaboration: How an Incremental Approach Delivers Customer Value
Focused Labs elaborated a thorough analysis of Vantage's existing underwriting processes, data management approach, and legacy technologies, including mapping out their workflows and identifying areas that needed improvement. This deep understanding of Vantage’s business processes then served as the foundation for the larger vision for the transformation effort.
Vantage understood it needed to modernize its overall solution, but to do that it needed to apply more modern techniques. As deep experts in lean development and surrounding processes, Focused Labs helped guide it on that journey by helping it develop a roadmap for process evolution. This included a shift from traditional serial QA to test-driven development, which allowed for both faster time to quality and improved quality. Focused Labs also helped Vantage migrate from a waterfall model to an iterative agile model, forming teams, assigning backlogs, assigning burndown, assigning sprint plans, and most importantly moving from a semi-annual release cycle to a monthly release cycle. This approach also helped Vantage to enjoy a more smooth progression of the transformation away from legacy processes and systems to new workflows and tools, which helped to minimize risk and ease change management.
In addition to their technical expertise, Focused Labs placed emphasis on empowering Vantage's in-house developers through experiential learning. This investment in internal talent development equipped Vantage with the necessary skills and knowledge to drive innovation and adaptability in future projects.
The Final Results
A Modern, Differentiated Underwriting Platform Delivered with a Modern and Proven Development Model
Through the combination of experiential learning, incremental development, and a focus on building customer value, Vantage delivered a new end-to-end underwriting workflow supported by more robust risk modeling derived from their existing data holdings. In fact, this access to a broader range of existing data will allow Vantage to enhance its risk analysis capabilities using factors such as location and customer history to enrich its analysis, enable more precise and competitive pricing, and offer more tailored insurance packages that better address customer needs.
The project’s use of agile development will also have lasting benefits for Vantage. Having more experience with a rapid and flexible approach will allow Vantage to apply its knowledge and skills to future projects, helping it to quickly demonstrate business value and see a faster return on its investment in time and money.
Empowering Lasting Success: Paving the Way for Ongoing Innovation
The collaboration between Vantage and Focused Labs exemplifies the larger benefits of Focused Labs' approach toward legacy systems transformations—even within the complex world of insurance and underwriting.
While this project focused on streamlining and enhancing Vantage's underwriting capabilities, Focused Labs’ ability to provide expert project management and developer support combined with an agile approach helps to shift the focus away from project-based work and toward more manageable initiatives that constantly deliver value.
Equally importantly, Vantage’s team had the chance to experience firsthand the benefits of an incremental development approach, equipping them to navigate future transformations with confidence to drive ongoing innovation and value creation.
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