In a data-rich environment like insurance, it is often easier to quantify opportunities associated with speed than it is in other industries. A global financial services company knew it took them 18 months to get new nationwide variable annuity products to the market. The company’s vast database and proven models allowed them to estimate that every day they could get to the market sooner would generate about $750,000 in extra revenue. It was obvious that cutting development time would be a good thing to do.
So the company created a cross functional team with representatives from marketing, actuary, illustrations (the people who do the models of “how much you get when you invest X dollars over X years”), risk evaluation, legal and finance. The team’s charter was to reduce the variable annuity development time by at least eight to nine months. The team was now ready to begin the DMAIC journey.