Sutherland and Guardian Group talk partnership successes at 2017 Digital Convergence Conference


Sutherland Editorial

Guardian Group faced some front- and back-office challenges, needing to tune up its efficiencies and customer experience. Sutherland used its cloud-based solutions to automated the company's critical processes. This helped drive down Guardian Group’s manual efforts and associated labor cost for some activities by ~25 percent and cut claims-related processing turnaround time by 20 percent. It also digitized 100 percent of forms now available online.

Sutherland began a comprehensive, company-wide scan of all major business functions across all of Guardian Group’s business lines. Consultants gathered detailed operational data and held discussions with subject matter experts, stakeholders, and executives to understand the current state processes, to identify gaps and needs, and to collaborate on future solution designs. The Sutherland team identified numerous process transformation opportunities, and delivered justifying business cases to support fully informed client decision-making and prioritization.

An additional engagement guideline was to minimize impact to Guardian Group’s existing, core legacy systems. Much of the enabling technology was centered on going digital and leveraging cloud-based infrastructure.

“Legacy and inheritance systems is not just the challenge but the legacy mindsets that come with it -- it's the whirl of inertia that limits change,” Guardian Group Chief Operating Officer  Paul Traboulay said at the 2017 Digital Convergence Conference in a presentation about the company’s partnership with Sutherland. “Sutherland held our hands through this change.”

Similarly, Outsourcing Institute & IRPA Founder Frank Casale echoed Traboulay’s sentiment, noting that companies need to be prepared for more than just the change itself.

“It's not just about change but the speed of change,” he said. “What is your company’s ability to deal with the speed of change? How quickly can you act upon it?”

Sutherland Digital President Andrew Zimmerman, who presented with Traboulay at the conference, said there’s one sure way to get a company onboard with change: “Keep your mind agile -- the best way to change thinking is to show results,” Zimmerman said.

Sutherland’s work with Guardian Group is under a consulting-led PMO.

“It orchestrates the various specialized practices we bring to bear which represent virtually the entire portfolio of services Sutherland provides -- everything from design to analytics, to platform technologies, IT services and various BPO processing services,” he said. “And that’s all under the umbrella of a management consulting PMO function that does everything from tracking deliverables, tracking business cases, updating business cases and value achieved, evaluating and re-evaluating some of the contractual and business model terms.”

He added the successes with Guardian Group could only come with a great working relationship.

“The client feels very comfortable reaching out to the practice leads and the people on the ground very directly to have a real sense of what’s going on with them,” Zimmerman said.

“Their leaders have a real relationship with our leaders.”