Reflections by Christopher Frankland after first business trip and face-to-face meeting for a year He reflects on how Delta has worked to eliminate waste as well as cope with COVID style travel. He wrote: 

"Lean Six Sigma & Insurance

Lean is learning to see waste. The moment you begin to see waste, everything else will take care of itself. Until you don't see waste in everything, you don't understand Lean - Paul Akers

As a Lean Six Sigma green belt, it has become a bit of an obsession to identify waste in everything. From an insurance point of view, that means looking at things not only through the eyes of the customer, but also the worker, the employee, the insurance professional who is only as good as the tools they are provided with. When you look at the end-to-end insurance lifecycle with the broad objective of reducing waste, removing friction and ultimately driving a better customer experience, it becomes a constant ask of:

How can this be done better? Why are they doing it that way? Understanding insurance operations becomes a daily Gemba walk -

Taking the time to watch how a process is done and talking with those who do the job."

Frankland also saw how Disney uses automation to allow frontline staff to spend time on what is important for customers and for when they need empathy and the benefit of intuition. 

"During our team meeting, we talked a lot about the Disney Institute. The concept of creating an exceptional customer experience. Creating and forging positive memories that make people feel treasured and cared for. Insurance is no different. People want to feel like they are looked after and will be cared for at their time of need. This is a combined effort - leveraging people and technology at the right point and time on the insurance journey. The technology is a key enabler, yet, the empathy comes from real people, working on the front lines and behind the scenes. Positive memories created for and by people. For Disney, automation comes in many forms. The one that stands out for me is the RFID driven Magic Band - an absolutely transformative wearable device that lets guests reserve their favorite attractions, purchase merchandise and also doubles as a room key and entrance ticket to parks. This sort of technology also means Disney cast members now have additional time to spend making that Disney customer experience exceptional and not just OK.

More than ever, we are all witnessing an acceleration of digital activity, a wave of digitization that is coming at us faster than ever before."

In the quest to automate thus should be a guiding principle. Customers want to know the insurer cares even if an algorithm has allocated claims to specific teams and individuals, eFNOL processed the initial data gathering and AI been used to make sense of photo, video and telematics data.  

Research emphasises that all customers want to be able to talk and engage with a real human whenever they need to even whilst also delighting in digitally empowered claims journeys. 

After a year of being battered by the pandemic, lockdowns, business interruption and accelerating online ordering and delivery of food, drink, clothing, household goods there is a need to receive and give kindness.

Homo Sapiens are by nature social; that's what made them dominant. Online is great but can only go so far.