One of the reasons for Kessler’s success is its strength in the area of IT. The international insurance broker is continuously developing its systems. One of the aims for the new Kessler Information System (KIS) was to simplify its business processes. Off-the-shelf systems met its requirements only partially and adapting a standard system would require Kessler to share many years’ worth of in-house expertise. The insurance broker therefore elected to develop the system in-house in conjunction with a trusted partner. As well as assisting with the KIS implementation, Zuhlke also advised the client on strategic issues. Zuhlke's experts assessed feasibility, outlined new options for further development and actively helped shape solutions.
Making international business processes more efficient
The new management information system has delivered benefits such as improved management of customer data and policies and better reporting. Previously, all policy data had been transferred between head office and local brokers via email. Zuhlke implemented automated data transfer, enormously simplifying the collaboration.
Transfer of technical expertise
The partnership with Zuhlke has also enabled the in-house software development team to ensure it is fully up to date with the latest techniques. Zuhlke's experts have passed on their expertise, delivered training and introduced agile methods. Kessler now possesses a high-powered team, able to extend the system under its own steam and in accordance with strict quality criteria. For larger projects, the insurance company continues to rely on Zuhlke's technical expertise. Its next project involves developing a new user administration system.
I have full confidence in Zuhlke. Knowing the fact that Zuhlke experts are part of the team, I feel certain that my projects and the software maintenance are running smoothly.
Has investment in the new system paid off?
Definitely. It has made life much easier for staff – international brokers can see everything at a glance. Processes and management accounting are now much more efficient. The return on investment has also been good. The number of working hours the new system will save means it will pay for itself in just a year or two.
An additional objective was transfer of expertise to enable future development to be undertaken internally. Was this objective met?
Completely. Zuhlke's specialists soon came to feel like ”in-house outsiders” – they integrated into the team very well. The speed and enthusiasm with which our staff learnt from them was great to see. We are now in a position to implement future extensions to the system in-house and to undertake projects using agile methods.
What was your experience of the way the project was carried out?
Now and again, early in the morning before the developers were in, the owner of the company and I would take a look at the pinboard in the developers’ office. We could see at a glance where we were and what was next on the schedule. That gave us confidence that the project would be both on schedule and on budget.
What further developments do you have planned?
We have a big project lined up – the Kessler Identity and Access Management System (KIDAM). This will manage access privileges and allow changes to be traced in full. Here again we are putting our trust in Zuhlke. Their experts are also advising us on strategic issues. It’s valuable support that provides us with added security.