Performance Improvement in the back office

Performance Improvement in the Back Office


Our client is an International Insurance broker. Insurance services cover a broad range of corporate assets, including buildings, airlines and shipping plus corporate liability for employees, products and customer services. The business is organised around service lines to its customers with core support activities being centralised in the UK.

The industry has been the subject of consolidation, with competitive pressures on margin and a search for competitive advantage.

Our client was concerned with the size of the central support costs including IT, Admin and Finance.

Consulting Assignment

Our client asked us to help them to reduce the cost of the central support services by 25%.

Key Project Activities

The key project activities consisted of an analysis & design, recommendations and implementation.

Analysis and Design

We undertook a detailed analysis of the support activities to understand the scope of potential change. The analysis covered:-

  • Objectives, activities, hi level processes, structure, culture
  • Staff attitudes
  • Stakeholder and internal customer views on service levels
  • Hi level benchmarking
  • Cost to serve

The areas for improvement consisted of:-

  1. Services which had previously been outsourced which no longer provided good value for money should be insourced and downsized.
  2. Services which were non-core and could easily be outsourced to free up space i.e. internal customer help-line
  3. Internal services which had grown out of proportion to their value-add which needed to be re-evaluated and trimmed

We designed a change programme to implement the above which would include the staff in the process and thereby gain by-in. The programme comprised three change teams from the business:-

  1. Insource Team. This team looked at the current activities and service levels from the outsourcer. Eliminated non value-add activities Mapped the remaining operational processes. Re-designed the process. Profiled the requisite skills. Planned the insourcing of delivery and transference to an existing team.
  2. Outsource Team. This team looked at the current activities and service levels. Eliminated non value-add activities. Mapped the remaining processes and improved same. Prepared a business case and ITT detailing the services to be outsourced. Prepared an implementation plan.
  3. Re-Organisation Team. The team reviewed the current activities and service levels. Mapped the key processes. Costed the processes. Re-designed the processes, eliminating those which overlapped or where non value-add activities. Profiled the requisite skill sets to perform the processes. Re-designed the departmental teams around the processes based on like skills. Prepared an implementation plan.

Client Benefits

The main client benefits were: