by Alex Pavlovic

MB&G Insurance case study: a scalable solution for rapid growth

Newcastle-based insurance and warranty provider MB&G Insurance has been operating since 1978, supplying a growing network of customers across the motor and caravan dealership sectors.

After a year of using Qualsys's document, audit and issue management modules, the MB&G team reflected on how their GRC software solution has impacted their day-to-day work and their business more widely.

We sat down with HR & Admin Manager Anna Robinson, Compliance Manager Cameron Scott, Data Analyst Ed Holden and Compliance Officer Zoe Irving to hear their thoughts.

Watch the 10-minute video, or read the full transcript below.

 

 

 

 

What sort of standards and regulations do MB&G have to work to as an insurance and warranty provider?

 

 Zoe: As a financial business, we've got FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] standards, ICOBS [Insurance Conduct of Business Sourcebookstandards, and we've got our own quality standards we like to have our staff achieving. We've also got GDPR coming in on 25 May, that's a massive one. We're working to implement the changes and we'll be using those regulations as a framework. We use the TCF [Treating Customers Fairly] principle too, so customer care is a core goal for us.

Anna: The underwriters and brokers we work with also have their own particular set of standards which are set out in our service-level agreements. So there's plenty to comply with!

Cameron: The Financial Ombudsman also regulates us, and the Information Commissioners' Office will be at the forefront in May when GDPR comes in. 

 

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As a major warranty supplier to the sector, MB&G are members of the Retail Motor Industry Federation,

the British Holiday Homes & Parks Association and the National Caravan Council

 

 

Why does quality matter to MB&G? 

 

Cameron: It has to, it's the forefront. We wouldn't be in business if we weren't compliant or at least working towards that. Quality is as simple as customer satisfaction. That's how we measure our quality, specifically the feedback from our business partners and the number of complaints we receive. 

Anna: Many of those standards which we work to focus strongly on customer care and quality of service, so we have to make sure we're offering the highest possible quality to our customers. For instance, a lot of the schemes we offer include set turnaround times for answering phones and responding to customers. 

 

Data Analyst Ed Holden

 

Ed: From a data point of view, quality is very important. We're essentially in an information industry. Insurance is all about information and data, and it's essential to our business that our data is accurate. I measure quality by the strength of data that I'm able to provide back to our underwriters.

Zoe: The reason that it's paramount to keep our quality high is word of mouth. A couple of weeks ago I went to get my car repaired at the garage and happened to mention where I work because it's on my lanyard;

"Oh, I've had a warranty from there, because I got my car from such and such place, and they do it."

"Yes, we work with them."

"You're really good, I've had some good service".

So he told me about a good experience, but I can guarantee if he'd had a bad experience he'd have told me and ten other people. So I think quality is massive in terms of reputation, for gaining new business and sustaining the relationships we already have.

 

 

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 MB&G have used their new quality management system to reach

the finals of the 2018 Insurance Times Claims Excellence Awards 

 

 

We're essentially in an information industry. Insurance is all about information and data, and it's essential to our business that our data is accurate.

                                                                                                                                               - Ed Holden

 

What are the main business challenges that MB&G face?

 

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MB&G is a major supplier of warranty schemes to the motor and caravan industries

 

Ed: I think our main challenge as a business is the sheer variety of schemes that we offer. We deal with a lot of different insurance schemes for a lot of different products. We have several brokers that we deal with and several underwriters, and each of those people have different data requirements. 

Anna: The number of schemes that we handle. We are an administration company so we deal with a lot of brokers' claims, and they all have slightly different turnaround times and SLAs. We have to be able to balance - whether it's a company that expects a response within 24 hours or 72 hours, we have to have the ability to put down in writing when a claim has come in, then track our response time.

Zoe: The changes around compliance and embedding them into a quality culture. My biggest hurdle is implementing quality smoothly across all departments. 

 

 A customer told me about a good experience, but I can guarantee if he'd had a bad experience he'd have told me and ten other people. Quality is massive in terms of reputation, for gaining new business and sustaining the relationships we already have.

                                                                                                                                   - Zoe Irving

 

What prompted you to implement Qualsys's software solution?

Desktop Issue & Equipment Manager

MB&G opted for three Qualsys modules

 

Anna: What gave us the kick-start was the desire to continue our growth after we were bought out.

Over the past few years we've quadrupled in size, but we were logging everything in spreadsheets, which brings its own set of challenges. If someone didn't save a spreadsheet as a shortcut, they could then be updating something completely different to what other people were. And a spreadsheet would only allow one person in at a time. We had a number of issues with logging complaints and call monitoring as well.

We found Qualsys and EQMS, and that was the total package for us because it meant we wouldn't have to set up three completely separate systems. It was something that had everything we needed in one place. We didn't have to have three lots of training and background work, so it saved us a lot of time. 

A lot of the other systems we were looking at were specific to one of the issues we were facing, where Qualsys ticked all the boxes because the modules could fix a number of issues in one place. That was the main draw, and from an end user perspective, particularly Document Manager because everyone in the business uses it, it was an easy system for our staff to navigate around. They can't make a mistake with it, because the system doesn't allow them to. 

 

MB&G's HR & Administration Manager Anna Robinson

 

We have to be able to balance - whether it's a company that expects a response within 24 hours or 72 hours, we have to have the ability to put down in writing when a claim has come in, then track our response time.

                                                                                                                                     - Anna Robinson

 

Cameron: From my point of view as Compliance Manager, it was essential we had a system we could use for auditing and version control and which had scalability, so as the company grows we could add extra modules. I wasn't with the business when EQMS was selected, but I'm glad they have chosen it because of the functionality and the scalability of it. We use it for call monitoring and designing our own reports, so if we want to concentrate on one area we design a bespoke report. It handles the data quite nicely. 

Ed: One of my roles as data analyst is to act as a backstop. That means looking at claims data coming through and looking for anomalies. I'm not familiar with the front line staff for every policy, so it's extremely important that we can have a system where we can easily and quickly access the policy wording that was in place at the time of the claim. EQMS has been invaluable in allowing us as a department to do that. We were relying on Microsoft Office, which works up to a point but lacks several key features like document version control. 

 

We found Qualsys and EQMS, and that was the total package for us because it meant we wouldn't have to set up three completely separate systems. It was something that had everything we needed in one place. We didn't have to have three lots of training and background work, so it saved us a lot of time. 

                                                                                                                               - Anna Robinson

 

Zoe: I think the tipping point came when I joined, which sounds silly, but there wasn't any official software which could track. My main job at that point was monitoring calls and giving feedback, and we worked off Excel spreadsheets. Excel only managed to hold so much data before it started to slow down and lag. 

Qualsys offered us a demonstration and showed us Document Manager and we thought, "that's exactly what we need". We use it for policy wording - so if a company puts in an exclusion and their next customer is going to Version 2, for example, we'd tell our staff that a new version of wording was out and they'd say, "well, I didn't know that, nobody told me". With Document Manager we can track the changes, so we thought it was perfect. It was a lot of boxes being ticked.

I'm quite a visual person and being able to see the stages of an audit being built was excellent.  Because it was web-based as well; I do a lot of work from home, and we are planning to give our regional account managers access to EQMS Audit Manager on iPad. Part of their job role will involve auditing our suppliers. That's another bonus and shows how flexible the system can be.

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MB&G's rapid growth has seen them relocate to Newcastle's

Cobalt Business Exchange, the largest office park in Europe

 

How do the modules fit into your day-to-day roles?

auditing software and quality management-1

Anna: I mainly use Document Manager for my HR work.  The system's great in that it allows me to restrict access to sensitive documentation like contracts with salary information, National Insurance numbers and the rest of it. That's great for GDPR.

I also use Issue Manager for logging complaints, and resolving health and safety incidents and accidents. It's a really flexible, useful tool that we use for a range of things.

Cameron: As the company expands, EQMS is proving essential for what we're doing. I use the month-to-month feedback reports from the system as the basis for our quality and compliance improvement. 

Zoe: All our calls go through Audit Manager now. Every morning I open it up and view my reminders and 'to do' list. I send actions and feedback to our Barnsley branch with the system and track how progress is being made with a checklist and report.

In our department, it's used daily. Being able to just run a report sounds like such a little thing, but in the past getting all the figures together and putting into a chart took a long time. In the future, it's going to mean not as much of my time will be taken up. I can just run a report straight away.   

 

MB&G's Compliance Manager Cameron Scott 

 

As the company expands, EQMS is proving essential for what we're doing. I use the month-to-month feedback reports from the system as the basis for our quality and compliance improvement.

                                                                                                                                     - Cameron Scott

How will the system support MB&G's future plans?

 

Anna: We have a number of new schemes going live in the next twelve months. We're going to have a lot of new documentation being produced, so Document Manager will be invaluable for that. The fact you can take it offline is fantastic - we plan to give our regional account managers mobile access, so they can then go to our dealers and brokers, get documents completed there and then, and then upload them securely straight into the system.

That's a massive bonus for our people out on the road. They don't have to carry round bookloads of paperwork anymore. The system's attractive to our customers as well in that it demonstrates that we have complete control over our documentation and the documents that they issue to us. 

Cameron: It gives us the framework of stability and scalability. We're using the three factions we've got - Document Manager, Audit Manager and Issue Manager - not to their full potential yet, but as the company grows and our needs grow, I can just see that expanding. We're definitely an ambitious company. There's so much to consider these days for regulations that we have to be lean. EQMS allows us to do that. 

 

Mobile Document Manager access is a massive bonus for our people out on the road. They don't have to carry round bookloads of paperwork anymore. The system's attractive to our customers as well in that it demonstrates that we have complete control over our documentation and the documents that they issue to us.

                                                                                                                                     - Anna Robinson

 

Ed: Being a rapidly growing company and one looking to expand in the future, it's extremely important that we get the fundamentals right and that we have the systems in place that will allow us to expand quickly without being slowed down. The modules help us ensure we've got the right frameworks in place for the future.

Zoe: It was about getting something that was going to be able to follow our growth and also be interchangeable. We're constantly changing our business book and who we're getting onboard, and their expectations and their standards. The system helps by being flexible enough to change with all that. One of our other main objectives is getting our staff to 95% compliance consistently; we'll be able to use Audit Manager to track that and report on that. 

 

Compliance Officer Zoe Irving

 

Putting that investment in place in the long term has really paid off. We've been onboard for about a year now, and in that year the change has been massive.  I think investing in something like this in the long term is going to benefit your staff as well as your turnover and your profit.

                                                                                                                                                          - Zoe Irving

What would you recommend to other quality professionals looking to invest in a GRC software solution?

inspection management softwareMB&G plan to audit their suppliers with the iEQMS Auditor iPad app

 

Cameron: To understand it before you do anything. It's quite easy to select what you think is relevant to your business and go ahead and think, "right, we'll tackle that issue", but I think you have to understand the regulations as a whole and then apply them in a methodical manner, bottom-up, uniformly across. 

Ed: I think it's extremely important for organisations going forward to have tight control over their documentation, and control over who has access to documents, what those documents looked like in previous versions,  and also to have an audit trail available to see the history of those documents and who's had access to them. Getting a system that provides that for you is something I can't recommend enough. 

Zoe: To work backwards. It sounds silly, but you'll know what your end goal is, and you should work backwards and drill down into what you actually need. During our training, Dave Beard [Qualsys's Service Implementation Manager] said the same thing: you've got to know what your end product is going to be so we can build it. So I think it would be to really understand why each stage is important, why each block has relevance. 

Putting that investment in place in the long term has really paid off. We've been onboard for about a year now, and in that year the change has been massive. You can see the change in people's attitudes on the phone. They used to have to go through a database on a spreadsheet and there'd be five different pages before you could get where you needed. Now with Document Manager you can just enter a few keywords and find it quicker, so you can see their calls aren't lasting as long. 

I've got a list as long as my arm of things we're hoping to put into EQMS or build into the system. So I think investing in something like this in the long term is going to benefit your staff as well as your turnover and your profit. 

 

Image result for mb&g insurance

 

What to do next

To see how London-based insurance provider Thomas Miller also use our modules to support FCA compliance, visit their case study here.

For more information about our software modules, visit our modules page.

And download the EQMS Buying Toolkit for hundreds of useful resources to help you put together a business case for an electronic quality management system. 

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Tags: Success Stories, High growth businesses