Return to growth has been the management mantra of the past couple of years, but how do you drive growth when you can't compete on products or price? In insurance and across financial services, products typically become commoditized very quickly, and consumers are increasingly price sensitive (especially regarding personal lines P&C products). Being the proverbial low-cost provider is, of course, essential to successful operations, but that doesn't provide the competitive advantage that will enable market share growth and improved customer retention.
But what if the product development process could be improved -- becoming simpler, faster and more collaborative? What if products could be tailored and targeted using quality, relevant and timely (current) customer, producer and channel information? These are questions that insurers have been asking for years. It's only recently, however, that it has been more than wishful thinking.
As we reveal in this issue of Insurance & Technology's Connected Enterprise, at a growing number of companies, the product development process no longer is a dragged out, unscientific crapshoot. Using an array of sophisticated analytics and modeling tools, as well as advanced techniques for collaboration, project management and testing, insurers are starting to conceive of and rapidly develop products that not only meet policyholders' specific and changing needs, but meet carriers' requirements for profitability, as well.
To learn more about some of the ways that insurance companies are going beyond the rhetoric in terms of achieving targeted, profitable and customer-focused product development, and what's required to effectively automate and streamline the product development process, check out the Connected Enterprise Web site: www.insurancetech.com/ConnectedEnterprise.
Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & Technology in 1991. In addition to ... View Full Bio