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FuseMetrix Transforms Efficiency and Scalability of Group of Companies

In 2010 three well-established accident claims management companies, DAMS, McAMS and CAMS, merged. Today they manage road traffic accident claims concerning vehicles ranging from cars and vans to bicycles and motorbikes. In the first year of using FuseMetrix they enjoyed rapid growth in turnover from £12,000,000 to £16,000,000, with an even steeper rise in profitability.

Customer benefits at a glance


The challenge

After the merger, the group’s infrastructure was dated and hosted on a local server. Two full-time IT staff maintained an extensive Microsoft Access database which malfunctioned on a daily basis. These crashes meant that up to 130 users needed to log out of their system to allow IT staff to fix the database, and log back in afterwards. What’s more, the system didn’t allow staff to access realtime information.

If just one user hadn’t logged out, the database wouldn’t update properly, so the problem would remain within that user’s IT environment.

Also, the permissions system meant that if an employee made a mistake while updating a screen, it often couldn’t be corrected until the following day, after the overnight database rerun. Backing up the databases took all night.

Although reporting was possible, it meant that copies of enormous databases had to be made before reporting formulas could be created.
Even after spending circa £40,000 upgrading the server, the problems persisted.

“At board level we all agreed that servers and Access needed to become a thing of the past,” explained James Slater, who became Operations Director as part of the merger in 2010.

The solution

Three solutions were shortlisted. One involved a third-party team of developers that worked remotely. This was rejected on the basis of in-person communication being the most effective and valuable form of communication. It would be a risk too far if something went wrong.

The second was a SQL database hosted in-house.

“The SQL solution would have been a step forward, but would put us on a server renewal cycle of three years, or less if the company grew and the capacity ran low. 120–130 users accessing a single server from four depots is a dated approach, and was likely to be fault-prone. We needed the scalability of a web-based solution – this would give us two steps forward, so we chose FuseMetrix,” commented James.

With 35–40 databases running simultaneously, the migration team cautiously made four or five ‘soft’ launches before entirely shutting down the old system with confidence.

The results

“After using the system for a few months, I was chuffed to bits. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s brilliant and I’m really pleased,” said James.

He continued: “Although FuseMetrix gave the staff training as a precaution, they didn’t really need it. By working closely with our Claims Manager, FuseMetrix ensured the new system had a user interface that was very similar to the old one – so staff knew what they were doing when they logged on to FuseMetrix for the first time.”

In the first year of use, turnover increased from £12,000,000 to £16,000,000 and profits shot up from 21% to 38%.

FuseMetrix also gave James the option to change functionality that wasn’t working well for the business in the old system. For example, FuseMetrix enabled mistakes to be corrected immediately, rather than the next day.

The internal IT department overhead was eliminated. James adds or removes users and works with FuseMetrix developing new features that can be rolled out to all organisations using FuseMetrix.

Having access to real-time information and the opportunity to address revenue leaks has made a significant impact. For example, it has dramatically reduced the need to externally hire vehicles during periods of high demand, because staff know the whereabouts of each vehicle in their own fleet and individual return dates. Nothing gets lost

The time needed to record or adjust a claim on the system has fallen by 5–10 minutes, which has also speeded up customer service, while shortening the length of calls.

Clarity over data granularity and location has opened up new reporting and due-diligence possibilities.

“We initially didn’t know how powerful FuseMetrix would be – but now we understand, I’m working with the team to set up ground-breaking business reports,” concluded James.