Assurance Centrale INC is an insurance company operating on a countrywide basis in Canada. In the past, it only dealt with three categories of insurance bus has grown to accommodate over seven categories. This growth has brought with it an influx of clients, which has led to increased profitability. Canadian Shield Insurance Company is a subsidiary of the former. It was acquired ten years ago. With this came 600000 clients, 20 years experience in the industry and over 50 employees.
The insurance industry is client oriented. Almost all the focus is directed towards attaining clients and maintaining them. The more the clientele base of a company, the more the work they have to do to ensure that their clients are satisfied with the services offered. With the growth of the company, they had to find an information system that is reliable and efficient. The ALPHA system, which had been in use for over 20 years, had become inefficient and required urgent change.
The weaknesses of the ALPHA system had accumulated to an extent where the employees were frustrated. For a company to report a profit, employees have to be properly motivated. Here, employees were demoralized by the hardships that came with an obsolete information system. The system was constantly crashing hence adding the company costs with numerous repairs and maintenance. Also, the response time taken for by the system was eating into client time. All these led to a poor performance by the company.
In Canada, all insurance companies have to engage the services of underwriters, who deal directly with clients. These are individual contactors who market the services of the company to prospective clients. They are the main users of the information system, and hence have to be content with the system used in the company. The prospects of a new and improved information system were hence received with much anticipation in the company. More so, this new system would be installed in all the regional offices of the company, and mot in the branch where it was to be developed.
The new system, Insurance Software Solution, promised a host of advantages. The design seemed more sophisticated and would accommodate the growing number of clients. Also, it seemed friendly and easy to use. This would reduce the time spent by the employees and underwriters on information logistics and hence creating more time for customer related endeavors. Also, it would reduce the errors made by the ALPHA system related information tampering.
The pilot was, however, unimpressive. The new system was sophisticated to the underwriters. There were too many logistics and steps taken to maneuver through the system. Instead of freeing time for the workers, it would take them even longer to deal with the information system. In essence, this is a mishap in the system and would lead to a probable overtake by the competitors.
There was also the issue of an alternative to creating a new information system from scratch. The Advanced Insurance System is an off-the-shelf system that proved to satisfy all the requirements in the new system. It was better than the ALPHA system and cost less that the ISS. This seems to be the best option, taking into considerations the surge in cost of developing a new system and simplicity in operation.
If implemented, the new system will cost an additional $50000 yearly in maintenance cost. These are some of the eventualities that the company did not account for while making the initial decision of creating the system. However, since the development cost has already been incurred, the company cannot ditch the new system to acquire the off-the-shelf system. In the long run, however, this may be the best decision. The employees will work better with a system that they are all comfortable with, and presently none of the two fulfill this requirement. The company should hence look into modifying the ISS or acquiring the AIS