The Admiral Group
ClientThe Admiral Group
Through spectacular growth The Admiral Group is a force to be reckoned with. Since 1993, Admiral has expanded and today comprises six brands. The group has over 2.3 million customers. The insurance sector is demanding and has experienced significant change; the emergence of price comparison websites has transformed the market creating strong competitive pressures. Admiral has responded; prioritising the development of its reputation and service levels, building client retention and renewal rates.
On a day-to-day basis the business faces multiple challenges: Admiral has a lasting commitment to process a high volume of payment transactions, including refunds, in twenty-four hours or less. Combined with multiple payment methods and the constant need to protect itself against fraud, this is a significant undertaking. Perhaps it’s no surprise that bank reconciliation features highly in the group’s daily operations: Aurum Solutions’ has seen its powerful Groupit application address and exceed the stringent demands of a vital reconciliation application.
“Bank reconciliation is now a critical system, it has a very high priority in this business” says Mandy Healey, Customer Accounts Manager, who heads the team responsible for reconciling the group’s bank statements on a daily basis. “We’re proud that we’ve got a track record of balancing back to the penny every day and never having had anything showing in the ‘unallocated cash’ account”, adds Mandy.
Groupit replaced the system Admiral previously used, and its selection was based on both cost and operational benefits. “We already had very tight controls in place, we thought it would not be easy for another reconciliation company to meet our exacting requirements” adds Mandy.
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Bethan Pritchard, Customer Accounts Team Manager, was a member of the project team evaluating Admiral’s new reconciliation solution. “We established very clear criteria for our requirements and the features of the systems we evaluated” says Bethan.
Together with Paul Clifford, Customer Accounts Debt and Reconciliation Team Manager, Bethan short-listed the solutions that Admiral wanted to consider. Bethan and Paul are additionally responsible for managing a wide range of supplier relationships, “We could see Groupit fitted the bill at an early stage,” says Paul.
“We also saw that Aurum Solutions was a company we could not just buy from, but we would also develop a close working relationship with them” he adds.
Groupit was demonstrated at The Admiral Group’s Cardiff head office. Cleverly, Admiral had the entire reconciliation team involved in the demonstration. Reflecting on first impressions, Paul says: “It was really, really helpful to have the solution’s designer at the demonstration, interacting with the team and answering questions”.
"We […] saw that Aurum Solutions was a company we could not just buy from, but we would also develop a close working relationship with them."Paul Clifford, Customer Accounts Debt and Reconciliation Team Manager - The Admiral Group
Darren Vaughan, Team Co-ordinator and a member of the evaluation team, says: “The detail in the system was apparent right from the start, I think the whole team could see how easy it was going to be to use.”
Admiral decided to operate Groupit in parallel with their previous system for a four week trial period. Paul comments: “The ease of use stood out at the start, our reconciliation team is experienced but they really appreciated both Groupit’s powerful functionality and ease of use.” Bethan also recalled the process of training staff responsible for reconciliation in the Gladiator division: “Previously bank reconciliation was a bit of a stumbling block in training terms and had made the team hesitant but with Groupit it was much easier” she adds with a smile.
Was it all plain sailing? “With the nature of the IT set-up at Gladiator we had some internal issues,” Bethan says, “Tim from Aurum Solutions found a great way around the problem, that makes data import much faster and which saves significantly on recurring daily data processing time. He was very helpful throughout the integration process and took lots of feedback from the reconciliation team” she adds.
"Previously bank reconciliation was a bit of a stumbling block in training terms and had made the team hesitant but with Groupit it was much easier."Bethan Pritchard, Customer Accounts Team Manager - The Admiral Group
Our reconciliation process takes less time now and productivity has improved by at least 10 hours per month. We’re achieving 90% or better in terms of automatic match rates; the way our business is expanding there’d be a problem if it was much less than that!
“When I look back,” says Paul, “it all went really well from the start. “Another great advantage is that Aurum Solutions enabled us to keep our old historic data and provide us with online access to it”. “Also installation turned out to be really easy and the need to get our IT Department involved was much less than I’d anticipated” he added.
“Growth at Admiral means that Groupit is handling many more transactions than at the start and it has proved more than a match at coping with the increased volumes,” says Paul. “In our experience with the application it has lived up to our expectations, the automatic match rates have improved and I’m really pleased that the support from Aurum Solutions has been there from day one.” he adds.
Commenting on their experience with support from Aurum Solutions, Bethan and Darren also mentioned the user guide and support documents: “they’re very good,” says Darren, Bethan revealed: “we used Aurum Solutions’ documentation to create our own training guide and user instructions, it’s really been very useful.”
Mandy provides the management view of working with Groupit: “Our reconciliation process takes less time now and productivity has improved by at least 10 hours per month.” Mandy adds: “we’re achieving 90% or better in terms of automatic match rates; the way our business is expanding there’d be a problem if it was much less than that!” And you can’t say it fairer than that.