Sometimes tools grow organically from a simple project into a highly complex application. The Policy Tracking System started out a simple CRM tool to track client employees and their insurance policies. The system has since grown to encompass file uploads, merging, comparing and exporting of spreadsheets, an external client query portal and a Flash based system that provides a video presentation based on the actual numbers of the client logged in.
One of the first hurdles we faced was the wide variety of formatting used in each spreadsheet. Some had columns labeled “First Name,” “Last Name” while others were labeled “fn,” “ln” or even “Given Name,” “Surname.” We provided a system where the users could map these columns to the fields in the database and import the data in a consistent fashion.
“Twelve Foot Guru has been partnering with The Innovia Group for over five years. With their assistance, we have built an online enrollment system which has been used to offer our products to over 40,000 interested persons. This, combined with the custom administration application Twelve Foot built for us, has allowed our company to prosper in tough economic times. Their expertise in application development and other areas has allowed us to focus our energies, not on complicated technical issues, but on our client’s needs.”
- Jeff Mercer
We also created a file sharing area where documents could be passed back and forth between users. The system notified users when a file was uploaded for them and kept track of who uploaded the file and when.
When the need emerged to be able to compare different data sets, we built an addition to the program that allowed users to compare, merge or find the difference between multiple spreadsheets. Additionally a test import was added so that the results of an import could be seen before the actual data was changed. This allowed users to quickly see problem areas and adjust before disturbing the live data.
One of the long term goals of the system was to use it to present a variety of insurance options to the end user based on their own personal information. This Benefit Presentation software allowed a user to log in and view a brief video that presented their current insurance situation and the potential changes that would occur for each of the new policy options. The user could then enroll or decline the additional coverage.
Later on, the client portal was opened up to the company HR departments to allow them a limited view of the data kept in the Policy Tracking System so that the client could be informed of address changes and changes in employment status.
The system continues to be tweaked and improved, with a full update on the drawing board for next year. The system currently contains over 95 thousand client users and is used on a daily basis. Backups are maintained both on site and off-site and the system also employs a dedicated, monitored firewall for security purposes.