Founded in 2012, insurance110 is an American insurer unique for its wide range of insurance products to expats from Japan. The company currently has nine locations around the U.S., including San Jose, Dallas, and Chicago. Prior to using Kintone, insurance110 relied on paper, Excel spreadsheets, Dropbox, and e-mail to manage their customer and sales data. Their operations made it difficult to answer questions like “how are sales going overall?”. It also held the company back from scaling due to issues with data integrity and preservation. insurance110 turned to Kintone to help resolve their challenges. Since switching to Kintone, the company’s productivity has increased nine times over thanks to auto-generated sales reports, build-yourself applications, and platform features like audit logs. Yoshihiro Arishika, CEO and founder of insurance110, shares about their story.
In 2016, insurance110 was in the middle of opening their fourth store location. But as Yoshihiro and his team navigated the expansion process, Yoshihiro realized their current operation methods would present him with serious challenges as the number of store locations grew.
First, customer info was managed only on paper forms the customers filled in. Yoshihiro had to physically visit the location and pull out the paper form, then confirm the customer’s status with the staff. Going through papers made it hard to understand what was happening overall.
Second, the sales data was managed on an Excel spreadsheet shared through Dropbox, which was updated by the staff on a daily basis. Although it was managed in a shared digital format, sometimes important information was accidentally erased when multiple staff members worked in the document at the same time.
Yoshihiro knew there were going to be more accidents like this as more locations opened and more staff joined the company. To get ahead of his problem, he began searching for a new operations solution.
“At the start of my search for a new solution, I looked into systems I’ve used in the past,” said Yoshihiro. “But those solutions had issues with speed and flexibility. Every time a new application needed to be built in them, it required help from an outside vendor. Also, many times the application the vendor built would differ from the requirements.
I was reluctant to move forward with that system, but wasn’t sure of my other options at the time. Then one of my staff introduced me to Kintone. Kintone was different from any other tools I’d used in the past. I was able to build applications on my own with the layout I wanted, and my staff were able to learn how to customize the forms themselves.
One of the best parts about all this is that Kintone had a very affordable pricing plan, so I was able to get exactly what I wanted at a much lower cost. I decided to move forward with Kintone right after my first call with their team.”
Another benefit of switching to Kintone came with shifting from the old system to a new one. “The shift from our original operations system to Kintone was very smooth,” said Yoshihiro.
Yoshihiro found the platform provided his company with other benefits as well. “When using Dropbox and spreadsheets, it took me 30 minutes to understand the overall sales status,” he said. “I had to manually open each location’s spreadsheet which were stored in separate folders, then check each file. With Kintone, I need to just login and the summarized sales report for all the locations is displayed right in front of me on the portal. Within 3 minutes, I would be done with my daily routine of checking the sales status.”
According to Yoshihiro, Kintone reduced his time load from 30 minutes to three, a nine-fold increase in productivity.
Excited by the results of Kintone, insurance110 began to create applications in Kintone for all their operations processes. “We started to use Kintone with five apps, which were built by Kintone’s System Engineer,” said Yoshihiro. “Once we got the essentials running, I requested new info to be managed on Kintone. I’ve assigned the staff member that managed our IT devices to be the app builder of Kintone.
The result was amazing. I would ask her to build an app, and she would have it ready for me only a few hours after my request.The process was incredibly fast! We built eight more applications internally, and we currently rely on 13 apps for our business workflow.
Examples of apps we built internally are the Knowledge Share app, which help teams share their knowledge across locations, and the Mileage Tracker app, which allows us to expense gas by tracking mileage.
Kintone’s feature to build apps without any coding skills is remarkable,” Yoshihiro added.
Today, Yoshihiro’s team continues to build apps to streamline their workflow process. “The latest app we built was the Web Inquiry Management app. We get 80 to 90 percent of our inquiries through our website. Prior to using Kintone, we had a staff share the inquiry to the team using email. Now, we are able to assign the staff responsible, and understand the status of each support ticket and tickets not been handled yet in a glance on Kintone.
The app also plays as a contact list and for those contacts which did not convert to becoming our customer right away, we are planning to send newsletters. This will be our first attempt in nurturing prospects, and it’s only possible with Kintone,” said Yoshihiro.
Kintone not only helped make Yoshihiro’s life easier, but the lives and work of his staff. With the help of Kintone, the company expanded from three locations to nine over two years. “It’s really changed the game for us,” said Yoshihiro. “With Kintone, we can really focus on what makes insurance110 so great: providing great products with a customer-focused approach that puts people first.”