Hastings Direct is the main brand and best-recognised part of the Hastings Insurance Services Limited. Operating in four key insurance areas Hastings Direct provides private car, van, motorbike and home insurance. A diverse growth strategy has seen a further six insurance brands launched as well as the establishment of the company’s first Hastings Local presence in its home town of Bexhill.
Over the past twelve months, the overall company’s customer base has more than doubled with a customer taking out a policy every 41 seconds. The company also grew its employee numbers during this time by 50%. Whether it’s the Hastings Direct belief in “good, old fashioned, honest customer service” or its strategy, it’s a very impressive result. The group is already a top-three employer in East Sussex, they’re obviously going places. Hastings Insurance Services has a centralised bank reconciliation team that is responsible for the daily reconciliation of all bank accounts across the entire business. It had identified that its bank reconciliation system was becoming increasingly pressured.
A well-timed call from Aurum Solutions led to an on-site demonstration at its Bexhill office, which showed the depth and scope of Groupit’s capabilities and also brought into sharp contrast the limitations of its existing system. Hastings decided to go with Aurum Solutions. A speedy and efficient implementation of Groupit followed, completely replacing its former system in a matter of a few days.
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Groupit’s high levels of automatic matching and improved visibility has allowed Hastings to keep ahead of the constant growth in transactions. “The situation is so much clearer now,” says Sue Baverstock, reconciliation and controls manager, “with an unremitting rise in the workload, we needed strong performance from our reconciliation system. The previous software just wasn’t coping” she adds.
“I need an overview across our multiple accounts and to have instant access to any that need detailed investigation,” says Sue. Groupit’s multiple account query provides Sue with the vital view: “I have an instant picture of the team’s reconciliation results, it’s quick to use and reassuring to know that we’re performing well”.
The reconciliation team uses Groupit daily to reconcile a range of bank accounts including premiums and claims accounts and their office account. Transactions comprise multiple payment types including cheques and credit/debit cards. Reconciliation data is also processed into Groupit from a variety of sources; via the internet from Hasting’s bankers, and by direct feeds from its finance system and also two insurance-industry back-office systems. Although originally intended to replace its existing system, during the implementation phase, Groupit was also configured to undertake the reconciliation of some accounts that were previously being reconciled manually.
Quin Hughes, bank reconciliation administrator, who joined Hastings Insurance Services on the same day that Tim Andrews from Aurum Solutions arrived to install the system says: “Groupit seemed quite intuitive when I first saw it. By comparison the old system appeared very old fashioned”. Looking back at the post-installation phase Quin adds: “It was something of a baptism of fire for me: I was very soon being treated like an expert on Groupit, but support from Aurum Solutions, changing the matching rules and scripts for us really helped us get up to speed”.
The Hastings Direct reconciliation team uses Groupit daily to reconcile a range of bank accounts including premiums and claims accounts and their office account. Transactions comprise multiple payment types including cheques and credit/debit cards.
“Use of Groupit is evolving as we understand more of its capabilities,” says Sue, “I’ve spent time and immersed myself in the application and our processes as I like to understand things from the ground-up. It’s really clear to me that we needed a system to cope with the growth of the business and, from where we are today, I’d say we have found it”.
Hastings Insurance Services may be located on the sunny south coast but make no mistake; this is a bustling, expanding business with ambitions to succeed. Aurum Solutions is delighted to see that they’re thriving with Groupit.