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Pacific Life Enhances Workflow Systems To Support New Structure

Dawn Trautman, SVP of IT and strategic planning for the carrier, explains some of the technology improvements her team undertook to support new divisional sales organizations.

Pacific Life, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based life and annuities carrier, changed its organizational structure this year by opening six divisional sales organizations that sit between its regional life offices and headquarters.

The goal of the new units, which handle back-office operations including wholesaling, licensing, new business and in-force processing, is to allow employees at the life offices more time to work with producers.

Dawn Trautman, SVP of IT and strategic planning for Pacific Life, tells Insurance & Technology that the change required technology changes on several levels. The regional offices used to have control of a case all the way through the sales process, underwriting and policy delivery. But with part of that process now handled in a different location, a number of different areas require real-time data.

"Technology plays a critical role in the success of this distribution model change," she says. "It has elevated the need for transparency on the status of a new business case and the need to quickly share the information on a case with people in various geographical locations."

Pacific Life has worked to extend visibility into its home office workflow, and give case management functionality to the field offices, to allow multiple parties to collaborate in real time across geographical locations on the same case. In addition, the company has made it possible for these systems to be accessed via mobile.

"[Mobile] is a time-saver and benefit to recruiters and producers who may frequently be out of their office," Trautman says. "They may need to respond to client questions or gather additional information to complete a case in a timely manner for the client."

The carrier has also increased its reporting and analytics capabilities — at the regional office level for sales management and at the divisional office level for operational management — and plans to implement straight-through processing to increase speed to market, efficiency and accuracy.

"These capabilities are foundational to our expansion into the emerging market, and enabling our recruiters to spend more time working on case design and illustrations with advisors for their clients, ensuring that the prospective policy owner gets the best support," Trautman says.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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