AUTOMATING BACK-OFFICE TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

Cattolica Assicurazioni automates its back-office processes thanks to UiPath’s technology and Sprint Reply’s support

Automating administrative management processes

Optimising timeframes for the management of administrative operations, thanks to process automation: an important challenge which, when tackled correctly, offers considerable advantages both in terms of the ability to monitor activities and monitor cost savings.

With these objectives in mind, in 2020, Cattolica Assicurazioni began a scouting phase, followed by a pilot study and the implementation of various business cases. This internal analysis focused on identifying whether there were any activities among the organisation’s more complex and expensive operational processes, both in economic and temporal terms, which could be automated. Sprint Reply, a Reply Group company specialising in Intelligent Process Automation, and e*finance Reply, a Reply Group company specialising in Management Consulting services for Finance Institutions, supported Cattolica Assicurazioni in this complex process.

a new flow for the management of cancellation procedures

Among the processes involved in Cattolica Assicurazioni’s Business Operations review and optimisation path – ranging from Non-Life Operations to Life Operations, and from Back Office Finance to Back Office Administration – the one that stood out was the automation of the cancellation of insurance policies.

In fact, Cattolica Assicurazioni was able to convert its entire cancellation process into an automated system: starting from receiving the customer’s cancellation request, to the actual cancellation on the portfolio application. All this, accompanied by the drafting of an e-mail containing the details of the practice, is sent to the reference agency. Thanks to Sprint Reply’s expertise in Intelligent Process Automation, and to UiPath’s underlying technology, it was therefore possible to implement and constantly monitor the automation flow, in order to verify the correct operation of activities.

A smart and effective mix of Robotic Process Automation
and Intelligent Character Recognition systems

The automation made possible by Sprint Reply is based on a smart and effective mix of different technologies and tools. At the very core of the solution lies a Robotic Process Automation mechanism, supported by the UiPath platform, which facilitates the automation of data entry on any web form and desktop application, thus enabling, for example, the company's applications to retrieve the necessary information.

The cancellation request documents sent by customers are processed by two optical reading tools that use the ICR (Intelligent Character Recognition) technology. The purpose of the first tool, based on Natural Language Processing algorithms, is to identify the policy number and to verify it by querying the portfolio systems. Thanks to the integration of a neural network, the second tool verifies that all the data needed to approve the cancellation request, such as the contracting party’s signature, is present.
Once these first two phases have been completed, the cancellation request is processed by a machine reading engine provided by the ABBYY Digital Intelligence platform, which identifies and recognises the remaining information found in the document. If the automation does not reach the highest confidence levels of autonomous data extraction, or if it is determined that there is inaccurate or missing information in the cancellation letter, ABBYY provides an additional tool called Verification Station, which enables the integration of a user control activity into the automated cycle. The so-called “Human in the Loop” therefore allows users to access a “verification station” where the data can be confirmed or where it is possible to manually modify the information and then continue the automation process with the subsequent control and cancellation activities.

Automated processing that “asks” for help when necessary

The technological system designed and implemented thanks to the collaboration between Cattolica Assicurazioni, UiPath and Sprint Reply has been created to recognise and scan the information contained in even the most complex documents.

Often, customer requests do not use a fixed template; they can be handwritten as well as scanned. The system developed is nevertheless able to interpret the majority of the data, having been designed to tackle and adapt to a large number of scenarios. The solution developed has thus allowed Cattolica Assicurazioni to speed up its document analysis and processing procedure. Today, in fact, this tool enables users to focus on activities with greater added value.

The collaboration, originally launched in 2020, will continue with a focus on a series of Business Operations automations already in the pipeline, from Non-Life Operations to Life Operations, and from Back Office Finance to Back Office Administration.

«Thanks to the re-engineering of Cattolica Assicurazioni’s cancellation management process, it was possible to automate various phases – from data extraction, to the follow-up with the agency – standardising them and allowing for the full monitoring of all activities. Once the initial data – namely the letters received from customers – has been categorised, the solution provides for the execution of the subsequent activities by a robot, thus reducing manual activities by 70% and “exception” cases to just 1%. The solution has led to multiple benefits, with one of the most significant being the increased efficiency and reduction of customer retention timeframes».

Erica Boninsegna
Head of Presidio Automation
Cattolica Assicurazioni