Due process with SugarCRM
CIMPAS is supported and funded by Portugal’s Ministry of Justice, and aims to mediate disputes between insurance companies and their customers that action their respective contracts, keeping them out of overloaded courtrooms. At nearly 4000 cases coming in per year, things were getting out of hand.
A Win32 custom built based application was being used to manage, but it was just not flexible or scalable enough to ensure that lawyers spent their time working the process, not the application, which had limitations like:
- lack of collaboration capabilities;
- no flexibility to integrate with third parties and third party internal applications;
- lack of customizable reports, with constantly having to go through endless piles of paper to get a number.
… came in the form of a web based architecture, with SugarCRM acting as a central hub for all the activities in each process. Collaboration, flexibility and user friendliness were coming CIMPAS’ way!
This solution was to become the center piece around which all the activity at CIMPAS spun, helping them become more efficient and gather metrics to help decision making.
"With SugarCRM we started to work in a much more collaborative and efficient way. We gained a significant cost reduction from staff being able to deal with more processes, and also from leaving paper and postal mail behind." - Dra. Rute Santos, General Manager, CIMPAS
Our solution helps CIMPAS to work collaboratively and efficiently, and have structured information and business processes, serving three types of users:
- administrative assistants, who handle initial paperwork and basic triaging;
- lawyers, who manage the entire process of talking to insurance companies and their complaining customers;
- and retired judges who have the power to settle cases.
These are very distinct, non computer proficient backgrounds.
The new platform has also supported the organization in a move towards other insurance areas, and being closer to their stakeholders: citizens and insurance companies.
The whole story
CIMPAS provides information and alternative forms of dispute resolution to insurance customers.
As such, CIMPAS manages various processes to monitor complaints from users, from filling out the complaint to a possible arbitration session. This process involves several players, from administrative assistants to attorneys, insurance personnel and eventually a judge. We developed and completely customized a tool for this purpose based on SugarCRM Professional.
A comprehensive business process
The work process involves several players, from administrative assistants to attorneys, insurance personnel and eventually a judge.
The administrative assistants initially take in all the data from the party who is filing a complaint and register them into the system, assigning the case to a specific lawyer. The lawyers take care of all due process, using Sugar to communicate with stakeholders via e-mail and letter, logging phone calls, invoicing expenses and setting up an audition with judges, onsite and offsite.
Image 1 - The detail page of a process in SugarCRM
There is also a portal that runs on top of SugarCRM, and that insurance companies — external users — can use to have a global view of all the processes they are involved in and take a number of actions. So internally and externally, everyone works on the same basic information, no mixups or confusions.
More than this, all issues handled by the agency, from the complex complaint handling to general questions that come in via email, are also stored in SugarCRM. Nothing gets forgotten, no paper gets lost.
Where we are now
The whole organization now works collaboratively, and information about any given process is available at all times, to whoever needs it. If someone is absent, CIMPAS as a whole is still capable of handling it.
There is much better archiving of data — not paper based anymore, no snail mail, lots of money saved on stamps! —, the ability to quickly search and retrieve information by a varying number of criteria, accountability of who did what in a process, an ERP integration that keeps invoicing and billing in line, and a fully flow oriented application, designed and closely knit to what the organization does.
Image 2 - SugarCRM's custom reports help decision making
The reporting engine allows power users to generate custom reports at any time and has proven an invaluable tool in more occasions than originally foreseen, with CIMPAS taking a number of management decisions based on indicators that were not initially thought out.