Millennials are unlikely to recognise this headline which was integral to a campaign that turned the fortunes of BT in the 1990s.

Today, we live and work at warp speed and it seems even tougher to talk, especially when you can Tweet (140 characters or fewer of course), WhatsApp, Snapchat or Instagram. Millennials will definitely recognise these options… but is there still time to talk? We certainly think so at White Oak.

Are you reading this on a phone?

If you are, it will according to research be one of the 85 times you will look at your smartphone today. So it is fair to expect that the trend to use technology over talking face-to-face is only going to increase. This is why we believe we need to align how we talk to clients with how we embrace technology.

“We have always done it this way”

This quote is attributed to Grace Hopper who believed that they were the 7 most dangerous words in business. Grace was a pioneering computer scientist and Rear Admiral in the navy who challenged the norm and gained the nickname ‘Amazing Grace’ for her achievements.

I wonder what Grace would think of our bordereaux system which is ingrained in the way that our market does things round here, yet by its nature it is open to errors. The process of reporting out dated information rather than automatically translating it across systems gives rise to multiple opportunities for mistakes and at best a vague view of what has already happened. But it’s the way we have always done it…

What can be done?

At White Oak we constantly challenge and review our processes and talk to our clients. This is why we are engaging with them and specifically their IT teams. By talking, we are finding ways to link systems, so that they can talk to one another. No more re-keying, no more bordereaux, live data, greater efficiency and resultant cost-savings. A simple solution to a tricky challenge.

Speeding up the claims process

A second way we have challenged the norm is by helping TPAs and clients in North America. Again, we talked and listened to understand their problems.

They told us that a long supply chain, from say a truck accident to settlement, could take many months. Along the chain, there was the very real chance of errors in information transfer between each point. Even then, when a claim was agreed there was a potential time-lag before funds were available to settle the claim.

The solution was White Oak USA, real time, cloud based claims handling with central funds available immediately. A claim that could take months could now be paid in as little as 48 hours and the pain of trust account responsibilities, fund reconciliations and bordereaux production are removed from the TPA.

It’s important to embrace technology and change – but it is still good to talk.


Written by Jon Sitwell, Head of Claims and Compliance