Zurich insurance embraces the new normal


The benefits of SPS’ digital mail solution for remote working

About Zurich 

Zurich​ is one of the world’s largest insurance groups and one of the few to operate on a truly global basis with around 55,000 employees, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Zurich offers a wide range of services including pensions, investments, plus a variety of insurance options from life to travel and vehicle insurance solutions that are tailored to the specific requirements of both private individuals and business clients.       

The Challenge 

Everyday Zurich’s UK offices receive high volumes of mail containing hundreds of different document types from customers, brokers and intermediaries relating to claims, underwriting, its legal team, customer services, accounting, and other back office support functions. Most of this mail was being received at Zurich’s offices for  delivery as a hard copy to individual desktops on-site or scanned and forwarded to the appropriate location and team. Similarly, hard copy archiving was carried out by local teams.    

Adapting to remote working  

In late February 2020 Zurich began to prepare for the possibility of a UK-wide lockdown of its UK offices. Key to these preparations was the ability of Zurich’s 4,500 staff to continue to service customers remotely and still have access to all the physical mail and documents received into Zurich’s offices daily and held in its archives. Zurich knew that for the business to continue operating efficiently through a lockdown and incorporating homeworking, it would need to rapidly deploy a mail digitisation programme across its UK operations. The challenge was for Zurich to implement a remote working software solution that would allow safe, secure and timely remote access to a large range of incoming documents for a dispersed workforce, in a matter of days rather than months. One of the major issues Zurich was faced with prior to lockdown:    
  • Zurich’s mail digitisation programme hadn’t be rolled out across the entire business - only 50% of the incoming mail to Zurich’s UK offices was subject to digitisation, the remaining 50% was still  subject to manual handling and desk delivery.      
Discover the services that SPS provides for the Insurance Industry 

The Solution 

Zurich took a bold and ambitious step, they set about implementing their two-year  digitising business processes in just two weeks. After previously having success working with SPS before to centralise and automate the scanning and processing of a range of ​inbound mail​. Zurich knew SPS would excel to deliver a plan to execute the rapid expansion of these services and ​SPS‘ Digital Mail solution​ across all incoming UK mail. This included:  
  • All incoming mail is now received directly into SPS’ ISO-certified Digital Transformation Centre (DTC) where it is sorted, digitised, classified and indexed before being delivered to the business users’ desktop.
  • With SPS‘ Digital Mail solution users now have access to documents though a mail application where they can securely receive, view, process, share and archive digital mail from home.
  • Staff can access their assigned mail via a secure application and see all the new items of work for their area, team or department.
  • Powerful management information tools allow supervisors and managers to see the overall status of jobs, enabling them to react to changing workloads and to ensure all items are efficiently processed, reallocating work as needed.
  • Accelerating the speed at which incoming mail reaches teams, making it easy to manage and allowing users to spend more time focusing on responding to customers.

Equipping staff for life working from home 

On the 23rd March 2020, the British Government announced a national lockdown. This resulted in almost all of Zurich’s UK staff rapidly moving to remote or home working across the UK. Just over one-week later Zurich went live with a UK-wide mail digitisation solution managed and delivered by SPS. This digital transition offers staff the following advantages: 
1. A digital scan-on-demand service for legacy archive files and microfiche which replaces over 300 daily physical deliveries.
2. Every document is now available digitally to Zurich’s employees with many being searchable, further helping Zurich get to the right information to make decisions and support its customers.

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“The whole of Zurich’s UK business was relying on us rapidly implementing a digitised  mail solution that would allow for secure remote access. This was no small feat and  SPS came to the table quickly, bringing the right people on board with the understanding and solutions needed to make a successful transformation happen  amazingly quickly.”

Alex Pollock, Zurich UK, Head of Document Logistics

The Benefits 

  • Remote, secure and instant access to documents through Zurich’s network 
  • Admin significantly reduced with rapid customer document processing 
  • 300 daily physical deliveries digitised and automated 
  • Full audit trail: automated updates on status and compliance 
  • Reduction in the time to receive customer documents, enabling faster  processing of physical mail items combined with reduced administrative  burden  
  • Simple user experience with automated controls to ensure compliance and  security  
  • Full audit trail of activity and automatic management information on status  and compliance  
  • Reduced need for physical storage and automated retention schedules support  GDPR  
  • Millions of documents securely delivered, on time, every day resulting in a  reduced carbon footprint   
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