7/24/2011

Unique Car Insurance


Unique Car Insurance

Case Study

Submitted by: David Laurence

Student Number: 9453159X

1. Introduction

This report will examine how Unique Car Insurance can implement a knowledge management plan for their business.

This will involve advising what new technologies, work practices that can be used as well as recommending appropriate websites for the vintage car industry.

The report will also examine two other car insurance websites and what features Unique Car Insurance can implement into their website.

2. Use of Information Technology in the Car Insurance Industry

With the advent of Information Technology there is much material on the car insurance industry which is readily available. Also new developments are occurring all the time. The following sections will discuss about this material and development.

Firstly we must discuss what a knowledge management system is. According to Parekh (2005) a knowledge management system requires three basic steps:

1) Establishing what knowledge needs to be managed,

2) Identifying people and a process within the organization to facilitate the capture and sharing of knowledge, and

3) Instituting formal systems that work to organize that knowledge in an accessible format.

As well as conducting those steps, Unique Car Insurance should use the information that is already there and to make use of their employees knowledge as it is an asset that is as important as financial assets.

Another area that Unique Car Insurance may want to consider is the area of data mining. Data mining refers to the concept of retrieving valuable information from various databases. Data mining supports many goals such as reducing costs, enhancing or reusing research and detecting fraud. (Firestone 2005).

There are a variety of data mining software around which can be used. However one important aspect of data mining is to ensure that the quality of information is beneficial takes up considerable staff time as the information has to be current, accurate and complete.

The most important area for a company like Unique Car Insurance is the area of customer service. As Lamont (2004) states, excellent customer service depends on having your files at your fingertips. In Unique Car Insurance’s case, the ability to access claims, policies and other relevant information will not only help Unique Car Insurances’ employees but also increase their service to customers thereby increasing their market share, which has been decreased recently.

3. Work Practices

InfoMan Associates advises Unique Car Insurance to consider adopting the following work practices into their company.

One work practice that Unique Car Insurance can adopt is to have an efficient intranet site. An efficient intranet site allows staff to access accurate and current information as well as performing searches on topics e.g. calculating the cost of a premium. This practice will benefit Unique Car Insurance as it allows the staff to help their customers more efficiently either by phone or other means.

Another practice that Unique Car Insurance may want to consider is to have a staff directory in place. The staff directory could consist of names, phone numbers and even photos. Although the number of staff at Unique Car Insurance is not huge, if they need to expand it is always good to have the knowledge on who does what e.g. who is the marketing manager, who is the administration manager etc.

4. Organisation of new staff and restructuring

Based on the previous findings, InfoMan Associates recommends that Unique Car insurance undertake the following regarding staff and the restructuring of the organisation.

One option that could be worth considering is allowing the Claims Officers to enter the claims over the phone while speaking to the customer. This allows the claims to be processed instantaneously and allows the claim to be processed quickly. Since the Claims Officers would be processing the claims, the Data Entry people can be transferred into another area such as marketing or administration.

Adopting an intranet site will allow more information to be flowed into the organisation however there is the danger of information overload. One option would be to employ some people in a knowledge management capacity who can verify the information coming into the organisation so that it is then sorted and categorised accordingly. If any of the existing staff are interested in this area then the company could form an Information Management section. This allows the company to utilise all the knowledge that the staff have and sharing it across all sections.

5. Vintage and Veteran Car Websites

Based on extensive research, InfoMan Associates have found that the following websites would be beneficial to Unique Car Insurance.

The first website is the Vicroads website (www.vicroads.vic.gov.au). This website and other around the states of Australia lists information such as registration fees, renewing licences etc. This would be beneficial for Unique Car Insurance as it allows the company to keep updated on all the latest news regarding road laws, licensing requirements.

Another website that could be beneficial for Unique Car Insurance is CarSales.com website (www.carsales.com.au). While this is a general website dealing with all car types, it can allow the company to check to see what the value of certain cars are, therefore be able to calculate their premiums accordingly.

Another website worth noting is the Australian Motor Industry website (www.motormegasite.com.au). This website allows the user to search for products, clubs, car manufacturers etc. While the site has some good information, it can be limiting in its search capabilities, you really do need to know what you are searching for on this website.

6. Recommended features for the new company website.

This section will describe what features Unique Car Insurance can implement on their website based on the following two Australian Insurance websites.

6.1 AAMI Website

The first website that we investigated was for AAMI Insurance (www.aami.com.au). The home page of the website is very easy to use, with the options for choosing a quote, choosing what kind of insurance e.g. Car, Home etc. Also there is an easy way to find how to contact AAMI through the Contact AAMI section where it listed not only phone numbers, but email addresses and even a postal address. This site also has a section on how to make a claim and the types of services AAMI offer.

Another great feature that AAMI offer is a site map. A site map is where you can find out what is in each section. For example, under the section Quote, it lists New Insurance Quote and Retrieve Saved Quote. This allows potential customers to understand which section they need to go to for a particular document. In my opinion, a must have feature.

However while AAMI does have a site where you can find answers to questions under the Ask An Expert, it was a bit confusing as you had to select a topic then an area within that topic. Also there was not an updating policy, which in theory, all websites should have but most don’t.

6.2 Shannons Website

The second website which is in the same field of expertise as Unique Car Insurance is Shannons Insurance (www.shannons.com.au).

Like AAMI, Shannons had a Contact Us section where it listed a phone number and also the office hours for each state. It also gave a brief history of the company in the About Us section. This would be a great feature for Unique Car Insurance to have as it will allow the first time user an understanding on who Unique Car Insurance are and gives the feel of a reputable company (which of course it is).

Like AAMI they do offer an online quote service but also stipulate what they can and cannot do in an online quote. This would be another good feature for Unique Car Insurance to have as it will allow potential customers to understand what we can do online and what they may need to do over the phone.

However like AAMI they do not have an updating policy on their website, which is a common fault among many websites.

6.3 Features to adopt for proposed website.

For Unique Car Insurances proposed website, I recommend that they have a feature which allows an online quote system, a site map, an area where a user can download documents such as types of insurance, how to make a claim, lodge a complaint etc. Also a contact us section as well as an easily accessible Frequently Asked Questions site and of course, an area on the bottom of the site which states how often the website is updated.

Conclusion

This report has recommended some strategies that Unique Car Insurance may want to adopt. This includes adopting a data mining technique, developing an intranet. It also has covered what features Unique Car Insurance may want to consider when developing their own website.

Utilising their existing staffs’ knowledge is essential in any knowledge management plan and as discussed earlier, a staffs knowledge is the most important asset a company can have.

Bibliography

Joseph M Firestone 2005. Mining for Information Gold. Information

Management Journal 39, no. 5 (September 1): 47-50,52.

http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/ (accessed May 6, 2006).

Judith Lamont 2004. Customer service flourishes in insurance. KM World,

October 1, 12-13. http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/

(accessed May 6, 2006).

Rupal Parekh 2005. Revisiting the 'KM' buzz. Business Insurance: Industry

Focus, March 1, 20. http://www.proquest.com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/

(accessed May 6, 2006).

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