Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

Commercial Lines and the Bordereau Assembly Line Method

Written by Kathleen Kotchon | Mar 1, 2018 11:30:00 AM

I’m sure you’ve seen the I Love Lucy skit where Lucy and Ethel are working on an assembly line, wrapping candies at a chocolate factory. The goal is to have every chocolate on the conveyor belt wrapped before moving onto packaging.

At first, the chocolates arrive at a manageable pace. Suddenly, the conveyor belt speeds up and the ladies have a hard time wrapping the chocolates properly. Lucy and Ethel attempt to eat unwrapped ones, or hide them in their uniforms. At the end of the skit, their supervisor is so impressed with their progress, she shouts, “Speed it up a little!” and the chocolates arrive at breakneck speed.

Like the chocolate factory, are your bordereau processes an assembly line of data moving at the wrong speed? If it’s moving too fast, poor data is collected or worse, no data is collected at all. If it’s moving slowly, it may cause problems further down the line.

Bordereaux cannot be generated until it's gone through a certain stage of processing. A typical workflow may look like this:

  1. A CSR manually enters or copies and pastes data into a spreadsheet from multiple sources. The columns don’t line up or match, making copying and pasting more difficult.
  2. The spreadsheet is sent to a supervisor for checking or to fill-in the blanks.
  3. The supervisor sends the spreadsheet to the accounting department for final approval.

What happens if the CSR quits or the supervisor is on holidays? This leads to bottlenecks if a stoppage occurs at one stage of the process. This not only impacts efficiency, but it also creates tension amongst team members too.

So, when is it time to, “speed it up a little” without causing E&Os or employee frustration? The first place to check when it comes to bottlenecks and inefficiencies is to take stock of how long it takes to generate one bordereau.

What if almost all that data existed in one place? That would accelerate the process because staff no longer need to search for or reformat data. In addition, they wouldn’t be bottlenecked by delays caused by other staff because the data would always be usable and available at any time.

Assembly line methods work best for manufacturing, not processing bordereau. If you’d like to learn about how Policy Works helps make the most out of data for commercial lines brokers across Canada, contact us for a demo.