BACKGROUND: We are Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society. (A "Friendly Society" refers to a historical institution that originated over 200 years ago in the U.K. They were savings groups set up to help the working class. Liverpool Victoria is now very much a modern-day financial institution.) The 1996 acquisition of Frizzell Financial Services and the 1997 acquisition of Landmark Insurance has made us the U.K.'s leading Friendly Society, offering a full range of investment, saving and insurance services to two million customers.

PLATFORMS: Decisionhouse is available on a range of UNIX SMP and NUMA server platforms including: Sun Microsystems, NCR, Data General Aviion, Sequent, Siemens Nixdorf and Hewlett-Packard. A mutiprocessor NT version of Decisionhouse was recently released.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The acquisition of Frizzell intensified the need to manage efficiently the customer relationships with both companies' newly merged databases. It was imperative for us to not only maintain a high level of customer service to our account and policy holders, but also be in a position to personally target them with products and services they needed. We also wanted to increase mid-market share, specifically middle class/middle age ­ the largest, most profitable demographic audience. It was important to analyze all of our combined data and feel confident that not one piece of vital customer information had been lost.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Quadstone's Decisionhouse, a suite of software for customer behavior modeling, was able to discover key characteristics such as identifying customers who might defect or customers who had a higher propensity to buy a particular product. Using high-speed analysis tools and an intuitive user interface to create models of customer behavior, Decisionhouse allowed us to make better business decisions from our customer data. We were then able to utilize this information to devise more efficient targeted marketing campaigns for the wide range of Liverpool Victoria's products and services. This ensures that the right customers are informed of the products best suited to their needs. By managing customer relationships more effectively, our members consider us to be a trusted and preferred partner when making decisions about financial products. Decisionhouse has allowed Liverpool Victoria to build on and enhance that partnership.

STRENGTHS: Before we implemented Quadstone's Decisionhouse solution tools, we had to rely on our instincts. Now we can select appropriate customers scientifically and set up in-house modeling to streamline our marketing efforts. Quadstone has significant experience in delivering immediate business benefits through the advanced data analysis capabilities of the Decisionhouse product suite. Decisionhouse provided real-time, high-speed customer segmentation and profiling.

WEAKNESSES: There was a perceived need for additional process automation. Unlike some other tools, Quadstone's Decisionhouse does not use neural networks. Some members of our team questioned its absence. Quadstone maintains it deliberately does not use neural networks in order to avoid the "black box" nature of them and obtain more explainable scoring results.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected Quadstone's Decisionhouse for its scalability, visualization and modeling capabilities as well as overall ease of use for marketing users.

DELIVERABLES: The benefits of customer relationship management (CRM) for Liverpool Victoria have been significant and measurable. Decisionhouse was a key part of fulfilling our CRM strategy. Decisionhouse incorporated all the necessary tools such as query and reporting, data mining, OLAP and visualization to ensure that all modeling could be done from a single desktop location. The user-friendly solution has been quickly integrated into our marketing department. We already have marketing staff using the software to perform customer analysis and build propensity models. As a result, the group is able to streamline its marketing campaign: One direct mail project's response rate increased by 35 percent. Our marketing campaigns have become more logically structured and more likely to provide a higher return on investment.

VENDOR SUPPORT: Quadstone provided a high level of expertise in the analysis and manipulation of our data. This knowledge was quickly transferred to our marketing staff. The support team was helpful and accessible. They were instrumental in acclimating our staff members to the model-building process.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is comprehensive, thorough and easy to understand.

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