Like a number of industries, insurance in Australia is affected by technological advancements, shifting climate patterns and an increasingly mobile and multicultural populace. How a business chooses to adapt in the face of such significant upheaval can mean the difference between struggling to keep up with the competition and heading into a thriving, profitable future.
In the face of challenging business conditions, the nation’s company leaders remain unsure about the prospects for their organisations in the coming years. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 19th Annual Global CEO Survey found that only one-third of Australian CEOs felt confident in their ability to achieve revenue growth this year. With concerning sentiments such as this, looking for cost reductions wherever possible should be at the front of mind for businesses across the nation.
So how can insurance companies evolve their operations and strategy to cope in such an uncertain period? A good place to start is by streamlining workflows and getting the most out of office equipment.
Move with the times
While the product offered by Australian insurers is perhaps less susceptible to dramatic change than some other industries, the way these businesses conduct operations and serve their customers can still be improved. Speaking to Insurance Business, Dr Kurt Karl, chief economist at Swiss Re, discussed some of the ways in which Australian providers can best meet the challenges of the modern market.
“Because it is currently a challenging environment given the capacity in the market, all insurers need to become as efficient as possible,” he says.
“Some of this is simply operational efficiency, but today’s technology – its computing power as well as data analytic techniques – can particularly assist in reducing underwriting and distribution costs.”
Having the most up to date office equipment featuring industry-leading technology is an effective way of keeping regular operations running at their peak, and maintaining a consistent service for customers.
Modernise to lower costs
A study by KPMG into the Australian insurance industry found that total profits across the nation fell from $4.9 billion in 2014 to $3.7 billion in 2015, a somewhat severe deterioration. The same study found that reported expenses remained flat at around 26 per cent, unchanged despite the fluctuations in the industry as a whole.
Should falls in profit continue, it will become more essential for organisations to look for other areas in which they can recoup some of those losses. Again, improving efficiency at the operational level is a smart place to turn for lowering costs.
The implementation of cost-reduction initiatives such as managed print services allows businesses to free themselves from the ongoing burden of maintaining office technology, not to mention restocking materials like ink. Such schemes often also benefit from the expertise of trained professionals who can further analyse operations and recommend further areas for improvement.
Prepare for the future
Ernst & Young believe that, given an increasingly tech-savvy populace, insurers need to evolve their offerings to meet the demands of their customers. That sentiment also applies to a company’s staff as well, making systems more accessible in line with the digital age.
Bringing increased mobile compatibility into the office is an important step for organisations in many industries, making workflow for individuals more efficient and satisfying. The reality of the modern workplace means it’s much easier for employees to perform tasks on the move, away from the shackles of a physical desk.
For insurance companies in Australia, staying competitive means becoming more agile and technologically capable. If office equipment is in need of rejuvenation, talk to Fuji Xerox today.