Case studies

"Canon has proven itself to be a reliable and resourceful partner. It has gone out of the way to provide us with innovative solutions, and this has effectively relieved our employees to focus on higher-valued jobs that can better benefit our core business." Mr Francis Mook, Prudential Singapore's Director-Life Operations.


In the insurance industry, paperwork is inevitable. The challenge is to process this massive amount of information quickly and securely. Find out how Canon's business solutions can help.

Managing Workflow, Optimising Cost

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  • Customer Name
    • Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Limited

"Canon has proven itself to be a reliable and resourceful partner. It has gone out of the way to provide us with innovative solutions, and this has effectively relieved our employees to focus on higher-valued jobs that can better benefit our core business."
Mr Francis Mook, Prudential Singapore's Director-Life Operations.

Business Overview

One of Singapore's top life insurance companies, Prudential Singapore has a team of about 700 employees and 3,100 financial consultants with over 670,000 customers and manages more than 1.6 million policies for the whole of Singapore. It prides itself on having a strong commitment to its stakeholders. The awards and accolades in branding and customer satisfaction that it has garnered over the years are testament to its commitment and pride in service. Against a backdrop of the increasingly competitive industry, Prudential Singapore strives to continually look for areas of improvement in its operating strategy, to better service its customers. One such area is policy-related document printing, assembly and distribution, an often over-looked area that contributes to smooth operations and claims processing. Prudential Singapore's Director-Life Operations Francis Mook recognised that by embarking on a print out-sourcing strategy, it would not only save money and improve turnaround time, but also allow its highly-skilled employees to better focus on their core activities. It was clear that the way forward was a Managed Document Service, with a single point of contact.

A 5-Step Approach to Leaner Operations and Greater Efficiencies
By adopting a proven 5-step approach towards Prudential Singapore's objectives in print out-sourcing, Canon is able to understand and deliver beyond Prudential Singapore's expectations.

Discovery - Understanding the Environment
Walking through in detail with Prudential Singapore, Canon's Professional Consultant was able to identify and understand the various processes, vendors, equipment and employees involved in the Life Operations division. The need to travel to a 3rd party location for printing can be troublesome, not to mention that there are various parties involved in insertion and assembly of the policy documents prior to distribution to Prudential Singapore's agencies or policy holders. As Canon walked through the discovery phase with Prudential Singapore, it was clear that more could be done to reduce the multi-step, multiple-vendor environments so as to reduce the burden on Prudential Singapore's employees while improving the turnaround time.

Design - Optimising the Document Output Environment
To realise Prudential Singapore's objective of optimising the entire document output environment, Canon took over the management of all print-related matters at the Life Operations Division. Working with a trusted partner, Canon presented a proposal whereby documents from Prudential Singapore are sent daily via a dedicated lease line to a backend print house where they will be printed with two dedicated Canon production printers - imagePRESS 1135. Letter-shopping facilities are also in place for insertions and assembly of related forms or collateral, prior to dispatching out. With this new arrangement, Prudential Singapore not only liaises with just one vendor (Canon) and adopts an itemised billing, but also achieves greater turnaround time with defined Service Level Agreement (SLA) and cost-savings.

Transition - Deployment Program to Ensure Systematic Migration
Canon designed a phased deployment program that allows Prudential Singapore to systematically migrate to the new facility. A dedicated project manager is in place to ensure that the various processes are implemented as designed, training provided and quality checks are in place. With the solution fully in place and daily reports supplied, Prudential is now able to have better visibility of its entire output document production.

Management - Regular Servicing and Monitoring
As the print volume is tremendous, Canon makes it a point to service the production printers regularly to ensure that optimal quality is maintained. The operations team also constantly monitors the processes in place to ensure the smooth running of services. Any incident-reporting is handled with the highest priority to minimise any disruption.

Review - Ensuring Optimal Delivery of Service
As Prudential Singapore recognises the benefits of the smooth and efficient operations of such out-sourced printing, Canon and Prudential Singapore have continued working together on other areas to bring about greater cost-savings to Prudential Singapore. Due to this, ad-hoc project printings within Prudential Singapore have started to utilise this facility enabled by Canon.

The Challenge

One-stop Service
Then: Multiple vendors, Complicated Workflow
The processing from print to assembly and delivery was tedious and involved multiple vendors. Tracking was an issue and turnaround time was slow. As Prudential Singapore's staff have to be personally involved during the printing, manpower was stretched beyond what its core business is about.

Better Economies of Scale and Cost Savings
Then: In-house Management, Low Economies of Scale
With in-house management of the entire document output operation, many resources were taken up and overheads were high. Internally, Prudential Singapore also has to oversee the management of quality checks as well as inventory levels of stationery such as policy covers, letterheads and pre-printed forms. Managing the process internally also means lower economies of scale in terms of printing and postage service.

Faster Turnaround Time with Defined SLA
Then: No Promised Deliverables
The complicated workflow meant that documents were often delayed at various points in each process contributing to a long cycle from printing to delivery. Due to the high volume, in-house printing alone took about 48 hours and document assembly and validation took at least another 3 to 5 days before it was sent to the mail or courier vendors for delivery. Added Francis, "We needed an effective tracking system to monitor our service level performance."

The Solution

One-stop Service
Now: Single Point of Contact with Out-sourced Service
With a print out-source solution from Canon, Prudential Singapore now only needs to liaise with Canon for the end-to-end process from printing to assembly and distribution. With a leaner structure, Prudential Singapore can better focus on its core business. Said Francis, "Canon's dedicated service for our policy printing and delivery needs has greatly relieved our manpower so that we can put more focus on work for our core business. With only one point of contact, this has also greatly reduced our time spent in managing multiple vendors and unnecessary paperwork."

Better Economies of Scale and Cost Savings
Now: Lower Unit Cost
The new arrangement with Canon has proven to derive great cost savings. Apart from manpower and space savings as well as better economies of scale in terms of printing and postal-related costs, Prudential Singapore is also able to adopt a "utility model" mode - paying for itemised services instead and doing away with any asset investment and maintenance. "Cost alone has justified our switch. After Canon took over the operations aspect from printing to delivery, we found that our cost has dropped dramatically. And the savings is estimated to be up to 30%," said Francis.

Faster Turnaround Time with Defined SLA
Now: Shorter and Faster Service
"We recognised Prudential Singapore's need for faster turnaround time. As such, we implemented an SLA to ensure that deliverables would be met in a set timeframe," said Bob Chia, Senior Manager, Canon Singapore.

Prudential Singapore saw its key performance indicators improve. Jobs that would have usually taken 3 to 5 days from printing to document assembly now only takes 2 days - an impressive improvement of 150% or more! Month-end printing, which usually took more than 5 days prior to delivery, was kept to a key performance indicator of 5 days, with 100% quality checks on the finished products.

Daily reporting, a part of the overall Canon solution, also ensured that service levels were measurable. Administratively, Canon also helped to track record and send data files of undelivered mails back to Prudential Singapore's back-end operation within 24 hours of receipt.

The Results

Today: Faster Delivery of Promises for Enhanced Customer Relationships
"Canon has proven itself to be a reliable and resourceful partner. It has gone out of the way to provide us with innovative solutions, and this has effectively relieved our employees to focus on higher-valued jobs that can better benefit our core business. Its collaboration with their trusted business partner has also shown us that they are capable of utilising the strengths of partners in the sole interest of its clients, to reduce unnecessary cost and time wastage. Most importantly, Canon's dedication to service has translated to an enhancement of our service levels for our own customers. We are looking forward to a long-term partnership with Canon," said Francis.

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