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The Challenge

Reliance on inefficient technologies and outsourcing

A primary challenge within the insurance industry is a  slow move towards innovation. Neil Milner, Group Operations Director at Direct Insurance says: “Our industry has been slow to adopt technology, but our customers are wanting to save even more, so brokers are rushing to automate to meet that demand.” This can often lead businesses to implement inefficient environments, or not consider potentially beneficial devices.

With this in mind, Direct Insurance takes professionally printed proposals to the finance market on behalf of clients, and were entirely reliant on expensive outsourcing. Neil says: “We estimated we were spending between £10,000 – £20,000 annually on outsourcing our client proposals and exhibition brochures.”

Furthermore, the basic printers being used company-wide were exasperating the print issue. Regional Sales Director at Leemic, Mark Thomas says: “The machines Direct Insurance were using prior to our involvement were very slow. I think it was manageable when they were a small company, but as they started to grow rapidly they needed something far better.” 

As well as being eager to automate and streamline, another consideration for Direct Insurance is security. Neil says: “In an increasingly connected world it was really important for us 

to future proof.” Operations and Facilities Manager at Direct Insurance, Oral Fuat adds: “We needed technology that protected our documents from potential external or internal threats.”

Lastly, it was important that staff had the tools to communicate effectively. They needed a solution that would look impressive to clients, but also allow for the employees to collaborate, and deliver on time sensitive projects. Neil says: “We’ve recently opened new offices, some out in the US, so communication is vital, particularly with a new branch.”

The Solution

Yielding results with a consultative approach

Direct Insurance first approached Leemic simply looking to switch provider for a better service. “We went with Mark to Sharp’s central London showroom having an idea of replicating our current offering, just in better hands” says Neil. “We were initially looking to replace our two standard printers, but out the corner of my eye I noticed the larger brochure-capable machine.” Mark adds:
“I suggested we look at the light production machine and the requirement changed to a light production machine that could handle 70% of their outsourced work.”

Therefore, Leemic’s first solution was to overhaul the print process. By installing an MX-7090 light production device, Direct Insurance would no longer need to worry about spiralling outsourcing costs. Neil says: “During our demonstration I was genuinely shocked with the quality that came out of the device, it was print shop quality! After discussions with Leemic it was decided that if we reinvest those outsourcing costs we’ll make huge savings not only on our overheads, but also on outsourcing.”

Furthermore, Leemic proposed time efficiencies, and water-tight security by replacing the firm’s basic office machines. Neil says:
“We’re really busy and growing so much, no one has the time to manage a print job or remove jams from an inept machine. We wanted the ability to print quality everyday materials at pace.” Cloud, mobile, and USB ready, it was decided that two MX-3070 multifunction devices, an MX-2651, and an MX-2630 would be a cost-effective solution, enabling users to print upwards of 26 full colour ppm. Additionally, secure print release fail-safes built into each machine would future proof documents, requiring a unique pin before the user specifies which machine to print to.

Leemic’s final solution was to bring Direct Insurance into the digital age by integrating next-generation Sharp visual solutions into its London Lime Street head office. An interactive BIG PAD touch screen was proposed to provide an immersive inter-office communication medium, and to make presentations more impressive and engaging. Two strategically placed immaculate professional display screens were also selected to help elevate the office appearance.

The Result

Customer-centric service, driven by technology

Now utilising Sharp’s Pro Series Colour Light Production Printing System for all their client proposal brochures, Neil says: “We’ve definitely seen huge cost savings by reinvesting. Being able to print our typically outsourced documents in-house has given us more control.” Mark adds: “Staff now have the capability of print on demand; if they need 20 they can print 20, if the content changes they can make those changes without having to worry about an entire brochure order.”

By replacing their standard office machines with a light production device better-equipped to support the business, Oral says: “Everything’s so much quicker. The device has more storage which means I’m not interrupting what I’m doing every 5 minutes to refill paper or change ink. We can even customise the interface dependant on what we need, again streamlining everything.”

Furthermore, the devices are now secure. “What’s great about our new Sharp devices is being able to store print jobs on the device until we’re ready to release them” says Oral. “We don’t want anyone having access to confidential prints, so by having pin authentication on our machines our documents are more protected.”

Lastly, Oral says: “We have two professional displays, one in reception for clients and one in our kitchen and communal area for staff, both look sleek during meetings and client visits.” Neil also says: “The BIG PAD we have in our boardroom can be accessed from any of our global offices, we can deliver impressive presentations, you can make changes on screen and as you type they’re getting a live feed on the other end. It’s definitely improved communication and collaboration.” He concludes: “Leemic have been fantastic, we came out of each meeting feeling refreshed and thinking there was actually a lot more we could be doing to take our business to the next level.”

Leemic Case Study - Direct Insurance Group

With five offices worldwide and more than 120 staff, Direct Insurance Group prides itself
on its service driven ethos, retained from the core family values inherent in its humble beginnings. Uniquely amongst insurance providers, the organisation operates both broking and underwriting divisions, allowing them to produce client work quickly. However, dated technology was threatening to derail growth by impacting their ability to transact business efficiently, and the outsourcing bill was mounting. Furthermore, the business wanted to impress clients and staff by elevating the appearance of their offices with innovative visual solutions, which they also hoped would serve as an effective cross-office communication tool.

Leemic Case Study - Direct Insurance Group
Leemic Case Study - Direct Insurance Group

After discussions with Leemic it was decided that if we reinvest our outsourcing costs we’ll make huge savings not only on our overheads, but also on outsourcing.

Neil Milner, Group Operations Director, Direct Insurance
Leemic Case Study - Direct Insurance Group

At first when someone asks to look at your printers you assume it’s going to be hassle, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth with Sharp.

Oral Fuat, Operations & Facilities Manager, Direct Insurance

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