Mercury Insurance Rationalizes Print Capabilities with HP Managed Print Services

The Brea, Calif.-based P&C carrier replaced its quality-challenged, multiple-vendor, “break-and-fix” print environment with a single vendor solution that has reduced devices in use by half and saved the company $1.3 million.

As a P&C carrier operating in 13 states across 50 locations, Mercury Insurance (Brea, Calif.; over $4 billion in total assets) generates and manages a great deal of paper documents. As a step towards the company’s vision of enterprise content management, Mercury undertook a consolidation of its print capabilities and the creation of digital document workflows with HP Managed Print Services (HP MPS) to address quality issues, reduce costs and increase productivity.

Mercury employs more than 4,500 associates and works with over 6,000 independent agents. The carrier, whose lines of business include auto, homeowners and business insurance. Like other insurers, Mercury constantly generates printed underwriting, claims and other documents, as well as customer communications.

Abby Hossein, Mercury Insurance.

Abby Hossein, Mercury Insurance.

“We aimed to streamline workflows and reduce paper,” comments Abby Hossein, CTO, Mercury Insurance. “But first we had to solve some festering service-quality problems, cost overruns, and employee tools issues. HP MPS enabled us to address our immediate quality-of-service issues and create a roadmap for the future.”

Mercury’s existing print fleet included unreliable devices without digital sending capabilities and leaky remanufactured toner. In addition to the delays and rework associated with those problems, the carrier’s processing workflow was paper-intensive and slow. “The cycle time was longer, toner leakage led to poor print quality, and because the print support services were poor, the staff wanted individual desktop printers to mitigate the risk of downtime,” Hossein reports.

Prior to its engagement with HP MPS, the carrier used over 1,800 print devices in multiple locations, with multiple vendors, according to Charles Camplese, project manager, IT, Mercury Insurance. “One of our goals in looking for a new vendor was to be able to digitize our documents, to speed our service, to help our customers,” he says.

Simply consolidating the environment was a major objective, Camplese implies. Having at least three suppliers for devices, including printers, fax machines and copiers added management complexity apart from other inefficiencies.

One of Mercury’s criteria in selecting a print services vendor was to work with an original equipment manufacturer, on the rationale that the services provider would work better on its own technology. Mercury also anticipated such a company would better support standardization and reduce the burden on internal IT staff.

Hossein says that Mercury’s decision to select HP MPS was shaped by considerations of overall cost, quality of devices and references from the vendor’s existing customers. He suggests that the vendor’s comprehensive expertise helped to seal the deal. “HP is collaborating with us by analyzing the printing and financial data, responding to questions, customizing reports and having productive and informative quarterly business reviews – these HP capabilities are essential to managing any managed print outsourcing services,” he elaborates. “Most service providers can fix hardware; very few can enable us to run our business.”

Mercury’s adoption of multifunction HP printers has eliminated the need for separate fax, copier and desktop printer devices, as well as being able to terminate two copier contracts. Mercury has also been able to move from paper to digital workflow, including electronic mail and fax, reducing paper processing and handling costs and saving time, and thus increasing general business efficiency.

Among the results of the HP MPS relationship, Mercury has reduced its number of print-related devices by 50 percent; the carrier has provide a secure print solution that protects private customer information through the use of HP’s MFP PIN printing authentication capabilities; and the carrier has saved $1.3 million during the 24 months after implementation.

The carrier has also enjoyed greater reliability and customer service, according to Mercury’s Camplese. “Working together with HP, we’ve been able to achieve over 99 percent uptime, which means we have a happy customer and we have an efficient fleet,” he comments.

Hossein characterizes the HP solution as having helped Mercury to move from a reactive, break/fix approach to the proactive pursuit of strategic goals for faster and better customer service. “HP expertise is vital in assessing our workflow needs, recommending right-size solutions and providing the data-driven insights that drive ongoing optimization,” he says.

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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