Agis has healthy returns from personalization
Dutch health insurance company Agis improved its operations and
customer communications by using enterprise document presentation
Agis was formed in 2005 through the merger of three Dutch regional
insurance firms, Anova, Anoz and ZAO, in preparation for the
Netherlands' healthcare system moving from a public to private model
in January 2006. The switch put immense pressure on insurers to
become more competitive. Agis is one of the five largest specialized
healthcare insurers in the Netherlands with 1.1 million individual
"This is a position we are eager to maintain and improve upon," said
Bertjan Teunissen, project leader at Agis, Amersfoot, Netherlands.
"To do that we knew we needed to improve our processes, work more
efficiently and take a service-driven and customer-friendly approach."
The Agis merger raised issues with different systems and filing
habits from each former company. Information retrieving processes
were laborious and time-consuming.
"The goal was to reinforce our competitive position by approaching
our customers in a personal manner, by offering efficiency and
consistency in the correspondence process and by achieving cost
savings," Mr. Teunissen said. "We also wanted to provide uniform
processing of our correspondence and recording systems and to
understand the amount of correspondence we were sending."
Another goal was to digitally archive the customer file in order to
deliver information across channels such as print, short message
service, direct mail or the Web.
After evaluating several products in December 2005, the company
partnered with software company StreamServe Inc. Its product
StreamServe Financial enables companies to convert internal
information systems into interactive and customized communication
channels for the creation and presentment of documents and customer
statements in any format via any channel.
Mr. Teunissen said that Agis had to adapt its systems to provide
StreamServe with the correct information, however this was not a
major challenge because the company accepts various formats. Agis
also had to change additional processes, such as the process at its
outsourced printing factory.
Agis generates seven to eight million enterprise documents a year
from its mainframe environment including letters, invoices, policies
and settlement specifications from the administrative systems.
StreamServe Financial lays out the document in the corporate style
and processes it in a variety of file formats to distribute via
printer, fax or e-mail.
The first challenge in which Agis used StreamServe was to merge the
systems for customers with private insurance and customers insured
under the national health service.
"We have been able to increase the efficiency of our correspondence
processes and are able to help our clients better and faster," Mr.
Teunissen said. "We also make fewer mistakes."
Agis has done various marketing campaigns with StreamServe since
implementing it. A direct mail campaign called "Traffic Light"
launched in 2006 first quarter gave Agis a return rate up to 12.5
percent, Mr. Teunissen said.
He also said in general customers are communicated with better using
StreamServe because all outgoing and incoming
correspondence is put together into the customer file so the company
can keep track of its customer relationships easily and effectively.
Agis also said it would continue to expand its
StreamServe application. Plans include changing from physical output
to a portal-like environment that allows for e-mail communications
and migrating to StreamServe Persuasion, a platform that takes data
from CRM applications and creates cross-sell, up-sell and brand
Mr. Teunissen said the software ensured all outgoing correspondence
automatically stores in the customer file. This provided staff with
an up-to-date image of the customer's situation at all times. Agis
can now process all information from one central application.
Mr. Teunissen said the uniformity of the outgoing correspondence has
made it simpler to contract out large amounts of printing. This has
saved the company more than $200,000 in printing costs.
"We also have a better insight into the numbers, which allows us to
manage our supplies better," Mr. Teunissen.