Nano-Scale Standardization™ Accelerates Robotic Process Automation—and Benefits— For Leading Insurer

The Lab’s patented Nano-Scale Standardizationmethodology helps a leading insurer supercharge their automation initiative with robotic process automation or RPA, achieving breakthrough gains in agent sales, operating productivity, and policyholder experience.

  • Agent sales uptime up 50%
  • Inbound application errors and bad data quality down 70%
  • Decisions per underwriter up >2x
  • New business operating expense  down 30%
  • Year One ROI 3x via standardization-enabled processes
  • 20+ RPA Wave 1 bots installed to recoup 30k+ annual labor hours

The Productivity Paradox

The executives of this top-quartile-performing insurer routinely invested aggressively in information technology (IT), seeking two objectives:

  1. Massive productivity gains: More revenue generated per agent and underwriter.
  2. Increased operating leverage: The ability to respond to the notoriously cyclical, hard/soft insurance markets without staffing additions or cuts.

After several years of costly, lengthy upgrades to the core system, claims processing, the CRM application, and others, productivity rates and operating leverage ratios were unchanged, even slightly lower. Executives launched an RPA initiative, but two years later, only 19 bots were operational, and the benefits were insignificant. The insurer was experiencing the infamous “productivity paradox”: Despite more investment in IT, worker productivity remained flat.

The Cause: Inconsistencies at “Nano-Scale”

The devil was in the details: “nano-scale” activities—often at the line-item or keystroke level—that added up to 30 percent of employees’ days spent on corrections, rework, and searches:

  • Agents spent more time following up with existing policyholders for missing information than they spent selling new policies.
  • Prospects sought quick, approximate price quotes, but the insurer only delivered exact quotes—after a lengthy delay.
  • Minimal early screening of applicants meant that over 80 percent of rejections were issued by Underwriting—after processing costs were incurred.

As a result:

  • One-third of the insurer’s prospects went elsewhere, rather than wait.
  • “Dead-on-arrival” policy applications from lower quality prospects (often rejected by competitors) kept sales and underwriting employees furiously busy on avoidable, low-value tasks.

Nano-Scale Standardization for Insurance

The Lab uses a two-phased approach to harness the power of Nano-Scale Standardization.

For this insurer, first we rapidly analyzed and mapped end-to-end operational work activities, keystrokes, and data elements across their sales/quotation, application processing, and underwriting operations. It sounds impossible—and it is… without The Lab’s own, in-house RPA business-process-mapping bots.

Next, The Lab applied our standardization templates, reducing work activities and data elements to the lowest common denominator. This Phase One business process analysis and “automation candidate discovery” generated a prioritized “shopping list” of 150-plus RPA use-cases.

In the second phase, we helped to implement it all. And The Lab provided ongoing support for bot maintenance, operations, and RPA client development capability.

Not All Insurance Process Transformations Require New Core Systems, New Applications, or RPA

Sure, robotic process automation or RPA delivers blazing processing speed and massive productivity gains. But The Lab’s patented Nano-Scale Standardization stunned management with immediate gains in performance and capacity, before any new technology deployment.

During The Lab’s engagement—the two phases spanned just seven months—we mapped all major business processes and customer journeys, end-to-end—covering over 85 percent of employee work activities. Once mapped, we helped radically improve the insurer’s perception and performance, targeting:

  • Form simplification
  • Error reduction tracking
  • Policyholder need prioritization
  • Capacity utilization modeling
  • Competitor capability metrics
  • Metric standardization

—all of which were prerequisites for the subsequent intelligent automation implementation in Phase Two.

Automation Use-Cases—and Benefits

The Lab identified, configured, installed, and launched an initial wave of 20 RPA “bots,” all developed and project managed from our U.S. offices in Houston. Nothing is ever outsourced, offshored, or performed by contractors.

Highlights include:

  • Increased sales uptime. First, The Lab simplified and digitized new business applications to improve first-pass quality and reduce avoidable followups. This alone reduced errors on new business applications by 70 percent, while boosting revenue-per-agent and uptime by half, within just three months.

Next, a series of RPA bots was developed to scan and detect “not-in-good-order” application data. These bots logged the errors in a queue and automatically sent notifications to both applicants and agents with specific instructions for fixing them.

  • Reduction of manual application data entry. Taking advantage of the improved (and digitized) new-business application forms, The Lab developed a series of bots to extract, validate, and enter new application data into the carrier’s policy-management system. From there, follow-on bots assigned the applications to individual underwriting staff, based on complexity and other pre-selected criteria.
  • Identification of “dead-on-arrival” applications. The Lab standardized application screening criteria and metrics to shift rejection decisions upstream, avoiding unnecessary costs from Underwriting. These improvements, which required no new technology, reduced underwriting-issued rejections by 50 percent—in just eight weeks!
  • Enhanced quote-to-issue conversion rate. The Lab captured standard pricing criteria in automation-friendly data tables to enable quick and accurate quotation—even via email and text message! These customer-focused standardization-plus-automation improvements rapidly delivered both service gains and salesforce operational efficiency.

Book Your No-Obligation Screen-Share Demo

The best way to see how The Lab provides all of this insurance standardization and automation firepower—remotely, no less—is to schedule your complimentary, zero-obligation 30-minute screen-sharing demo. You’ll learn more about The Lab’s proven and patented Nano-Scale Standardization methodology…see real insurance process maps and business intelligence visualizations…and witness actual insurance RPA bots in action.

Simply contact The Lab today at (201) 526-1200 or email us at to book your free screen-share demo today.


For 2021: We have updated our insurance client offering. Much of these findings and implementation results can be reviewed in the 4-part-series of “Big Rocks for Insurance” below. Find out how to strategically lower costs, increase operating leverage, improve customer experience, and automate what previously wasn’t automatable in your insurance company.

Find them all here:








    * Required