Niche accident management company, Proximo, claimed the “Best Growth through use of Technology” prize at the 2004 Sage / Daily Telegraph Business Awards.

Proximo provides taxi drivers with replacement licensed vehicles when they’re involved in accidents, then manages their insurance claim. Whilst the firm’s end-users are taxi-drivers, its clients are insurance firms: its biggest customers are the two largest taxi insurance-brokers in the country, and the firm is also the sole supplier to the UK’s number one insurer.

Financial success

The firm celebrated a fantastic 2004 – it was Proximo’s fourth consecutive year of growth and its best year ever. Turnover increased 76% and profits soared to nearly three and half times those recorded in 2003. Chris Bird, Proximo’s Managing Director comments on what he feels has driven the firm’s success:

“We win and keep a lot of customers by delivering great service through technology and people. In our sector we can’t secure customer loyalty through patents, unique technologies, strong brands or customer inertia. We can only build loyalty through excellent customer service – and we can only deliver excellent customer service with the best technology and the best people.”

The Technology

The company has used Proclaim Case Management software for nearly 3 years, and now has over 50 staff accessing the system. Proclaim features a powerful database integrated with document creation and management; reporting; task list; and diary functions. It is designed to improve productivity and internal efficiencies by streamlining workloads and automating day-to-day tasks. Chris comments on his reasons for investing in Proclaim:

“We required greater effectiveness in giving our customers the response times, procedures and information that they wanted. This simply couldn’t be achieved with the manual systems we had in place prior to implementing Proclaim.”

Proclaim has transformed the way that Proximo manages its business. The software allows the company to dictate the speed at which activity happens, to the point where Proximo now boasts the fastest response times in the sector, whilst also helping to remove human error from the equation. Using Proclaim, Proximo generates accurate, up-to-date Management Information so that the company knows which activities add value and which ones don’t. This has enabled the company to re-engineer its procedures to remove waste and enhance client service. Chris comments:

“We now manage cases in the numbers and at a speed we simply couldn’t have handled with paper-based systems. All claim and hire related correspondence is now system-generated, so we produce better quality communication at much lower costs. We can communicate from Proclaim at the click of an icon in any format the customer wants: phone, letter, fax – even SMS text messaging!”

In addition, FileView (Proclaim’s online case tracking tool) enables clients to view live case progress via a secure section of Proximo’s website – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in real-time. This feature saves huge amount of administrative time, as many queries which clients would normally contact Proximo directly to resolve can be answered by simply viewing progress screens online, requiring effectively no Proximo input.

The Bottom Line

Proclaim has had a clear and demonstrable effect not only on turnover and profit, but also on customer and staff numbers. Chris explains:

“We’ve experienced a 76% increase in turnover, and more than three-fold profit growth. Although we’re employing more people (we have over 40 in the team now), our profit per head has nearly doubled in the last year as we’ve become more efficient. Implementing Proclaim and moving from manual systems to systems managed by IT could have been seen to be a large task. But when staff got a feel for the benefits it would bring, winning ‘hearts and minds’ was easy – made even more painless by the fact that the system is very user-friendly.”

Proximo’s original aim was to provide greater effectiveness in giving customers the response times, procedures and information that they wanted. To do this, the firm had to make radical changes to the way they handled day-to-day cases. They knew that a combination of great customer service delivered through great people, using the best technology was the key. And the firm is on target to achieve everything it set out to! Chris Bird is delighted at the firm’s success, but is not one to rest on his laurels:

“We were absolutely thrilled at winning the UK’s most prestigious business award. At Proximo, we have a fantastic group of people and, with Proclaim, the best technology in our sector. We’re clearly pleased with our progress, but we have even more to achieve and technology will continue to drive the growth.”

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