How can insurance companies meet the digitalisation and successfully make use of automation potential?

hpo Practical Case

Authors: Oliver Kohler, Jana Giacometto, Simon Schrepfer

How can insurance companies meet the digitalisation and successfully make use of automation potential?

hpo Practical Case Versicherung

The insurance industry is undergoing change. Digitalisation represents the newcompetitive field. However, it is not uncommon for established processes and structures to conflict with the goals being pursued through the use of digital technologies. This includes, for example, creating a differentiating customer experience or optimising claims processing through extensive use of automation and even artificial intelligence.

Increase the degree of digitalisation in claims processing

A large Swiss insurance company pursued the strategic goal of substantially increasing the degree of digitisation in claims processing and at the same time making its customer service more consistent. On the one hand, the focus was on the introduction of a new, highly digitised and automated way of working in claims management. On the other hand, the complex matrix organisation consisting of functional, regional and process-based organisational forms was to be broken up and replaced by a lean organisational form with efficient reach-through options and a “one voice to the customer” interface.

Aim of the project

hpo was commissioned to optimally align the process and organisational structure of the insurance company with regard to the requirements of the automation or digitalisation initiatives. The goal was to strengthen the customer orientation by improving the cooperation between the processes, the elaboration and introduction of a new way of working while ensuring the unité de doctrine as well as the establishment of a process-oriented culture.


After analysing the initial situation, a cross-process target business process model was created. Particular attention was paid to the design of the business process responsible for customer acquisition, customer onboarding and customer support. At the same time, process control at headquarters was consolidated in order to draw up process-related specifications for process execution at the decentralised sites and thus ensure a unité de doctrine. This created the basis for establishing direct process management.

The overall organisational structure was systematically derived on the basis of the target business process model. By organisationally bundling the activities at the customer interface on the one hand and all activities of claims management on the other hand, the matrix organisation was eliminated. In order to stabilise the new regular operations and to ensure a smooth handover of project responsibility to the line, hpo accompanied the transformation planning and implementation.

This also included change management, which ensured that the results achieved were anchored in the company by providing comprehensive support to employees during the change process.

Adaptation of the organisational structure while retaining decentralised locations (simplified representation)

Adaptation of the organisational structure while retaining decentralised locations (simplified representation)

The result

By consolidating activities at the customer interface in a dedicated main process including clear responsibilities and maintaining the principle of “one voice to the customer”, it was possible to break up fragmented market processing, exploit synergies and increase customer orientation.

The sharpened understanding of processes that accompanied the new business process model led to a significant reduction in the previous complexity. This was supported by the implementation of a uniform and consistent organisational structure with clearly defined and shortened decision-making paths.

In addition, the implementation of centralised direct process management, including ensuring unité de doctrine and uniform deployment of resources, formed the basis for exploiting the potential of automation and digitisation.

With the active support of hpo in the context of a systematic change management, affected employees and managers were optimally prepared for the upcoming changes and the go-live for the nationwide roll-out was ensured.

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Who is hpo?

hpo makes companies more successful and more innovative. The strategy consultancy for enterprise design boasts more than 25 years of experience in the creation of strategies and organisations spanning many different industries. The management consultants at hpo specialise in the meticulous development of strategies, processes, business models, innovation and culture, and in accompanying the transformation.

The hpo design approach enables companies to better cope with strategic and organisational challenges and to realise substantial competitive advantages. The basis of the industry-spanning design approach is an academically grounded methodology with which high performance organisations are shaped and which is continually further developed with the latest findings from research and practice.

The management consultants at hpo come from a commercial or technology background and stand out with their high level of analytical and emotional intelligence. They are passionate in their dedication to the client’s concerns and enjoy working in a team.

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