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The Toolkit Delivers Speed and Accuracy in a "Risky" Business

Published
  • October 01 2005, 1:00am EDT
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REVIEWER: Chris Locke, head of IT at Kiln.

BACKGROUND: Kiln is an international insurance and reinsurance underwriting group that specializes in complex, unusual risk. Kiln plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange. Its operating subsidiary R J Kiln & Co Limited has £703 million of capacity under management for the 2005 year of account, making it one of the largest agencies trading in the Lloyd's of London insurance market. Kiln is a recognized leader in each of the five main business areas in which it operates: reinsurance, accident and health, aviation, marine and special risks and property. In these and other fields, the group helps its customers to manage their risk and provides them with financial protection in the event of disasters and catastrophes.

PLATFORMS: One 4-processor Windows 2000 Advanced Server in a SAN environment currently serves a population of 200 LAN and Web users. One biprocessor server for the development environment (10 users).

PROBLEM SOLVED: Kiln had to move from three-year to annual accounting and forecasting in order to meet new FSA regulations for Lloyd's of London. The new annualized forecasting system was needed to automate the data extraction for both annual and traditional three-year accounting, load it at the lowest level (policy) and provide current reporting capabilities plus enhanced analytical and forecasting functionality. Approximately 100 underwriters will use the system to forecast across their business units on both annual and rolling three-year accounting periods. These forecasts will then provide a consolidated view for executive management.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Kiln developed the new forecasting application (DURG) using Orenburg's Board Management Intelligence Toolkit (M.I.T.) with help from its business partner CIBER UK. This has changed the way underwriters view and manage their business. It provides new information in terms of earned figures and facilitates the definition of a one-year view of Kiln business and the accounting incurred loss ratios required for one-year accounting. A partial list of the benefits includes: faster and more effective forecasting, providing data to the underwriters in a faster and more controlled environment, clear link between year of account and annual accounting results, less administration thus speeding the DURG process, easier communication between underwriters and the Syndicate Information Department (SID), enabling underwriters to analyze anomalies at source without reference to SID, removing errors in data transcription (automated feeds) and providing auditable record of changes to business forecasts. Board M.I.T. allowed Kiln to include in the new application workflow support for a tight integration with the management processes. Board's visual, programming-free development environment enables an easy transition from this 2-D interface to a more interactive and multidimensional one that exploits all the power and richness of the toolkit without any impact on the back end.

STRENGTHS: The Board toolkit gives us independence and the ability to rapidly react to (and anticipate) the fast-changing needs of our business. Due to the success of the DURG project, we see many new applications for Board M.I.T. We have already started work on claims reporting and reserving and have plans for much more.

WEAKNESSES: During the implementation, we would have appreciated the ability to write-back directly to the relational environment. This functionality came in July 2005 with the release of version 5.5.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The complex requirements of such an application demanded that the solution should be carefully evaluated. In mid-October 2004, a detailed six-week proof of concept was started. Approved by the director of underwriting, the application was then successfully moved into production by January 2005.

DELIVERABLES: Using Board's toolkit approach, we have developed a number of different applications that provide support for business forecasting, KPI monitoring and management reporting.

VENDOR SUPPORT: CIBER helped get Kiln off to a very fast start. Their people really understand our business and, more importantly, are transferring their knowledge and techniques to help us to full self-sufficiency.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is more than adequate for different user profiles, although we would appreciate more practical examples.

Board Management Intelligence Toolkit
Orenburg USA
255 Bear Hill Road
Waltham, MA 02451
781-290-4800
www.board.com


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