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Delmege Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd, part of Delmege Forsyth & Co Ltd is a well established insurance brokering company which was incorporated in 1994 to handle both retail and wholesale insurance. The company operates in two branches, one in the business capital of Colombo and the other in the hill capital of Kandy.
The company has extensive experience in all classes of General Insurance.
PROPERTY - Construction and Engineering, Liability, Motor, Energy, Financial Institutions
MARINE - Cargo, Hull/P & I
POLITICAL & TRADE Credit Risks
Within 4 years of incorporation, the company became the No. 1 Insurance Broker in Sri Lanka. Its main clients for both General and Life insurance have been the corporate sector. They take responsibility for managing an entire portfolio & are experts in Risk Management, Re-insurance and handling major infrastructure projects.
VALUE ADDED SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY
Risk management services
Insurance portfolio analysis
Independent negotiations and placement of insurances
Analysis of Security rating of Insurers/Re-Insurers
Prompt claim reporting, monitoring claim activity to resolution and speedy settlement
Analysis of trends or patterns in losses
E-solutions for efficient communication and maintenance of underwriting claims statistics
3.0 Information Systems Used by the Company
The company uses different Information Systems to carry out operations. Some of them are;
- The Invoicing System
- Omiga- whichis related to risk management & is handled by the global company.
- ER online- is like a document centre, or a library.
- Computerized General Ledger
Among the mentioned Information Systems, the most important or the central system being used by the company is the Invoicing System. Following is a description about the Invoicing System.
3.1 Invoicing System
Invoicing System, the core Information System used by the company is also called the” Dibsys” & was developed & introduced by a former company employee in 1996. Since this is the central Information System used in the company, it is used by almost everyone in the company. The Invoicing System is used to generate invoices regarding the insurances made by the company. This system is used by around 30 employees within the company & is restricted & accessible only by those belonging to the Delmage Insurance Brokers (Pvt) Ltd & not used by the other groups of the company.
This is a Doss based system which has been programmed using Clipper which is quite an old programming language. Since this was installed way back in the 1990s it's sort of outdated relative to the Information System software being used in the industry. Even though the Invoicing System is the central IS being used, it also has the following drawbacks.
There are several drawbacks of this system as pronounced by the IT Manager himself & other employees such as;
- There are limitations on the number of records that can be kept
- It contains bugs which are errors in the software, which causes the software to malfunction.
- It is a menu- driven interface in which the users have to select items from a menu which has to be done using the keyboard.
- It cannot synchronize with other locations, causing difficulties in exchanging documents between different parties. Therefore copies of relevant documents are made & are transported to different locations.
- The system does not have back- up of the Insurance Certificates issued to its customers.
- It is not a web- based system & is not very user friendly.
Therefore in order to overcome the above mentioned problems with the current IS, the company employees prefer to go for a new system which will enhance the effectiveness of operations done.
3.2 Activities for which a system is not available
- Purchasing- purchases made by the business are recorded in CR books or the computer. If the CR books get misplaced or something happens to the computer in which the purchase data are recorded, there's no way of tracking them back. Because of this, the company also wishes to have a separate purchase system for that, but is mainly focussing on the Invoicing System as it is the main system that is being used in daily operations.
- Attendance- Attendance of employees is also done manually. For this a finger print reader or an Attendance System could be purchased off- the shelf or a unique, custom- made system can be developed by the IT group of the company.
3.3 Screen Shots of the Current Invoicing System
3.3.1 Login Page
3.3.3 Client Creation
3.3.4 Proposal Screen
3.3.5 Invoice Screen
4.0 Background / Problem Identification
4.1 Top Level Manager (Ms. R. Shyamali Dias)
As the ......... of the company, she has several responsibilities such as looking into issues relating to claims of insurances of all clients, look into issues relating to claims of all classes of clients, handling negotiations, meetings & other related activities with leading insurers, clients & staff, handling of quote comparisons, evaluations & recommendations, handling of staff work/service team work monitoring & reporting, new business development, handling of correspondences of international intermediary/intermediaries & any other issues of day-to-day activities.
- Underwriting information
- Claims information
- Updates on Renewals/ Client Visits/ documents/ Claims/ New Business
- Technical information & market information
-Market Prices/ Quotes
-Additional Covers/ Features
-Quality of services
- Industry information
- International market information
Ways of getting the required information
- Technical Information- Underwriting information, are obtained manually on her own
- Market Information-on her own(manually)
- Industry/ International Market Information- on her own(manually)
- Claim Information- through the Invoicing System
- Updates- through a monitoring(IS) system
4.2 Functional Managers
4.2.1 Assistant IT Manager (Sachindra Amaratunge)
As the Assistant IT Manager, of the company he is vested with responsibilities such as coordination of all data processing & communication activities of the company, advising & informing the management on issues regarding IT, working as liaison between global partners of the company & internal users in order to maintain the systems provided by them, preparation of IT budget for the company, overlooking the new system developments.
- On demand customer queries.
- Information on future expansion plans of the company, its resources & company infrastructure.
- Information on new trends, new products in the insurance industry used by competitors or is becoming a trend.
- Information on customer expectations.
Ways in which Information is Obtained
- From various regular meetings held with parties such as end users, the management personnel & insurers.
- By reading materials such as newsletters, memos etc
- Through system reports, queries & discussions.
- The system was developed using earlier technologies. Therefore there's a difficulty in implementing new trends like web base services.
- The system is not up to the required standard in terms of the security of the system.
- The current system in which operations are done cannot operate on new OS (Operating system) platforms.
- Limited flexibility in the system.
- Difficulties in maintaining the system.
4.2.2 Assistant Accounts Manager (Ransith De Mel)
The types of information required by the accounts manager to do his functions are all sources of transactions made in day to day operations of the business.
Methods of Obtaining Required Information
- Through invoices
- Bank Statements
- Debit/ Credit notes
- Agreement documents etc.
Processing of Data
The Invoicing System is used to process data obtained from various sources that helps prepare financial statements & other required documents. The IS assists in the preparation of accounts documents which is internally circulated to make decisions accordingly.
- The system in not user friendly
- Lacks some required features which helps to perform the tasks well
- It is quite outdated & is not widely used by competing firms in the insurance industry.
4.2.3 Functional Manager
4.3.1 Insurance Executive (Tyronne Krause)
The Invoicing System is used to perform the required functions.
According to him, there are no problems with the current system that he faces & is quite satisfied with it.
4.3.2 Trainee Clerk (G. Pradeepan)
- Keeping records of new businesses etc.
All the activities performed by this Trainee Clerk are done manually (manual documentation) without any use of an Information System.
Problems Identified by the User in the System
- The system is outdated.
- It is quite complex & is not user friendly.
4.3.3 Executive (Kanishka Ranasinghe)
The required tasks to be performed by him are to follow up insurers & insured parties & get the necessary documents from both sides which are then recorded in the Invoice System.
Since he doesn't encounter with the Invoice System directly, he doesn't see any problem as such with the current system. Even though he is quite satisfied with the system, he is also in favour of a new system or a system development.
5.0 Solutions Recommended & Benefits to Each Stakeholder
5.1 Solutions Suggested by the IT Manager
- Development & installation of a new Information System which can fulfil the requirements of the users of it to a great extent.
- Streamlining some of the company workflows.
By doing so, it will help the IT manager to do his functions with ease as he can synchronize with other locations/branches & provide solutions to the problems they face. It will also help him to ensure security of the company details, so that any unauthorized personnel can access it. It will moreover make it easy for him to maintain the system as it's designed according to the latest technology.
5.2 Solutions Recommended by the Accounts Manager
Upgrade the current IS with a Windows web based system with new user friendly features that will improve the efficiency of recording daily operations.
5.3 Solutions Recommended Insurance Executive
Even though he feels that the current system is at a satisfactory level, he also suggested that the current system be developed to suit the current systems being used by competing firms.
5.4 Solutions Recommended by the Trainee Clerk
Introduce a new system with easy to use search methods, record keeping methods etc. By doing so, he believes that the time spent in documentation if it was done manually could be saved.
5.5 Solutions Recommended by Us
- Since this system is the main Information System being used in carrying out daily operations of the company & was implemented quite some time back & is not updated to suit the current requirements of the users, we suggest that the company to go for a system modification rather than changing the whole system and go for a new one.
- By making the necessary modifications to overcome the problems faced, the users will be able to perform their operational activities more efficiently & effectively. This is also a cost effective method which will not require great deal of money being invested in improving the system, but will ease the problems & drawbacks of the current system.
6.0 Types of Information Systems to be implemented
Since the company's core Information System is the Invoicing System which is quite outdated for which we are suggesting modifications such as to redesign a system which is web based, we feel that the company should focus on the Invoicing System rather than the other existing information systems & new information systems.
However, the company could implement information systems such as;
- Purchasing System- Since the company currently uses a CR book to record transactions of this nature for minute & other miscellaneous activities, it is advisable to implement a system which could facilitate in those activities.
- Attendance Marking System- Since attendance marking & other related activities are done manually; the company could also have a system for this function which will make performing of these activities more efficient.
7.0 Screen Mock ups of the Suggested System & Strategies Behind its Design
8.0 Challenges Foreseen & how they can be overcome
8.1 Challenges Foreseen & how to overcome them
1. Cost Factor
Cost is a significant challenge foreseen, which can be classified as development cost or implementation cost. This is because when the company is in need of a new technological products or systems, they have to allocate & invest quite a large amount of funds which could have been saved or used for some other external investment activity. Even though the new system can be made in-house, outsourced or bought off-the-shelf, it would still incur a great deal of money. This cost will initially be spent as start up/ initial cost in developing or getting the system. Later on the company will also have to incur cost in maintaining the implemented system.
But all these costs can later on be covered from the efficiency of performing activities by employees, accuracy of doing it through a well designed system which is much user friendly & well secured.
How to Overcome
2. Vulnerability to Viruses
- Training employees
- Getting employees to adapt to the new system
- Maintenance issues