Our proprietary Rapid Ethnography methodology revealed the damage done by a company-wide software installation, and helped identify the associated solutions to remedy their stifled ability to process individual applications.


A leading regional health insurance carrier experienced a dramatic increase in processing time for Individual consumer applications (from about two days to a whopping eight weeks) after upgrading their enterprise-wide software. Brokers demanded a correction, as they were unable to enroll clients into their plan of choice and the carrier was losing revenue fast.


The software upgrade focused entirely on the B2B side of the business, causing tremendous challenges in backlogged applications for Individual sales. SBR was selected amongst other competitors because of the “Rapid Ethnography” method we use to first immerse our strategists into the process to move beyond cookie-cutter solutions and not simply prescribe a potentially expensive automation fix.

An assessment was conducted of all IT system processes, broker sales (live and onsite), enrollment processes for brokers, and internal application acceptance procedures. The assessment revealed that it took over 22 employees to process a single application, many of whom duplicated the same manual efforts. Merging these findings with quantitative data, SBR learned that codified workforce management (WFM) processes were needed as much as automation solutions. SBR designed a quick-change to decrease application-processing time alongside an ongoing “Automation & WFM Solution Map” for the carrier to implement internally. The latter ultimately mitigated added external costs.


In just under 30 days, application-processing time reduced from eight weeks to eight days. Following this, the carrier continued to implement recommendations from the “Automation & WFM Solution Map,” improving productivity, unifying administrative processing and increasing broker and new member satisfaction.