MSL Legal Expenses holds a unique place in the UK market. Since the opening of its first offices in 1988, it has remained a private company, now employing some 300 staff across the country and at its purpose-designed headquarters in Cheadle, near Manchester.
The company is part of a group of businesses that includes MSL Vehicle Rental, with nine vehicle depots located at strategic points across the country, Financial and Legal Services and underwriter Financial and Legal Insurance Company Ltd. This integration positions MSL as a one-stop, responsive provider of business and claims solutions with the capacity to manage large volumes.
Nick Garner, Managing Director at MSL talks us through the firm’s IT strategy and details the selection – and ongoing usage – of case management software.
Why did you choose Eclipse and Proclaim?
Around ten years ago, we made the decision to investigate case management software technologies. The main motivator was finding a way to accommodate the needs of our businesses, retain data and avoid duplication. The organisation was using two separate systems – one for MSL’s claims operation and another for Forward Hire (now called MSL Vehicle Rental), the arm providing replacement vehicles for claimants.
In addition, we needed a flexible product that would allow us to carry out ongoing tailoring and amendments in-house, as market and competitive pressures often force us to adapt very quickly.
We carried out research into the software market using an independent consultant. An initial selection was narrowed down to three providers. Eclipse’s Proclaim system stood out as offering, by far, the best scope in terms of our key requirements. We were also confident that Proclaim could easily adapt to our needs and – importantly – the system had a reputation for resilience and the capacity to handle large volumes of claims.
What day-to-day benefits do you see from Proclaim?
At its core, Proclaim provides the means to seamlessly draw together global information from across the entire business. The system provides a ‘one-view’ facility for our staff to manage and progress cases and places all the tools they need – document production, reports, ‘to do’ lists, etc – within easy reach. No data is ever lost, search tools mean that everything is within grasp, and even new and relatively inexperienced staff have no problems in getting to grips with the software.
To what degree have you tailored Proclaim in line with your needs? How does this help in the running of MSL?
The ability to tailor the system to meet our needs as a large independent legal expenses insurer was a major influence in selecting Proclaim. On a micro-level, being able to amend documents, user-friendly screen layouts, helpful workflow steps and so on are fantastic benefits. It allows our case-handling methodologies to be incredibly fluid and ensures that staff are not frustrated by having to work around the software – rather, it works with them. With many systems that we saw, it was clear that making changes was either going to be very complex or simply impossible without having to pay large fees to the provider for ‘consultancy’.
At a higher level, Proclaim allows seamless connections with our business partners. For example, many of our own clients use the system, so transferring relevant data is almost instantaneous – making for efficient and cost-effective working practices.
In addition, Proclaim enables the tracking of service level agreements (SLAs) that we have in place with our clients. This is a great way to provide measurables on our customer service, and – taking this further – we have been able to create a system called MSL Connect for our broker partners. This provides them with a database, integrated with ‘real-time’ claims tracking, document creation, management and reporting. Insurance brokers benefit from far greater administrative efficiencies, and streamlined workloads, and can rapidly relay details of ongoing claims to their clients.
Do you have any future plans or goals for Proclaim?
At MSL we constantly review and benchmark our systems against both market standards and key competitive organisations. By utilising the inherent flexibility of Proclaim, we can stay several steps ahead and continue to derive maximum benefit from new ways of managing the claims process.
Our overall strategy is aligned with the company ethos, expressed by ‘MSL Works Harder’. This means that our executive team is constantly striving to achieve ever higher levels of customer service. One specific example is the way in which we are building round-the-clock access for insurers, brokers and intermediaries. Using Proclaim to drive MSL Connect gives our clients great response times and a high level of confidence in our efficiency. This tool is vital for us and we continually investigate new ways of increasing its value.
We are also looking into how Proclaim can be used to produce behavioural management statistics. As a high-volume claims processor, we are acutely aware that one or two – seemingly minor – behavioural items can have a large impact on our overall efficiencies. By using Proclaim to monitor processes and analyse patterns, we expect to be able to fine-tune our service offering to an even higher degree.
Overall, I would say that we are extremely happy with the way in which Proclaim can be used as a truly effective business tool – the solution stands apart as a one-stop answer for our entire claims and hire needs.