CASE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What were the problems faced by Income in this case? How were the problems resolved by the new digital system? In the past, NTUC Income, which has over a million insurance policy holders, processes were very tedious and paper-based. The entire insurance process started with customers meeting an agent, filling in forms and submitting documents. The agent would then submit the forms at branches, from where they were sent by couriers to the Office Services department. The collection schedule could introduce delays of two to three days. Office Services would log documents, sort them, and then send them to departments for underwriting. Proposals were allocated to underwriting staff, mostly randomly. Accepted proposals were sent for printing at the Computer Services department and then redistributed. For storage, all original documents were packed and sent to warehouses where, over two to three days, a total of seven staff would log and store the documents. In all, paper policies comprising 45 million documents were stored in over 16,000 cartons at three warehouses. Whenever a document needed to be retrieved, it would take about two days to locate and ship it by courier. Refiling would again take about two days. So the processes were complicated and the result was waste of space and time, which leads in waste of money. The digital system can solve both of these problems and it cost 1/3 of the “paper–based” cost. 2. What types of information systems and business processes were used by Income before migrating to the fully digital system? To solve these problems, NTUC Income started to use the HP 3000 in 2002. Despite periodic investments to upgrade the HP 3000 mainframe that hosted the core insurance applications as well as the accounting and management information systems, it still frequently broke down. The HP 3000 backup system allowed restoration to only up to the previous day's backup data. If the daily backup was not completed at the...
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