Within a decade of its founding, April Insurance went public. Within two decades, it had grown from 15 employees to 3,500 and was operating 70 subsidiaries in countries across Europe and North America. April was by all measures a disruptor, growing rapidly based on an attractive third-party administration offering, first organically, then through acquisition. But then, in the words of its current CEO, it grew comfortable, then “sleepy.”
In 2019, CVC Capital Partners took the company private and encouraged it to reclaim its insurgent spirit. All around the insurance landscape, digital disruptors had transformed the market to meet consumer needs, and hardly any of Aprils’ processes were digital.
CVC and April turned to Bain to develop a plan.
The Bain case team began by applying a tailored version of our Radar 360 Strategy, where we help companies imagine the future they want to achieve, think back, and build a plan. It was clear from this assessment that April faced a number of challenges.
Whereas digital disruptor competitors were satisfying consumer demand for shopping for insurance online, few of April’s products were available digitally. And its data and analytics strategies were still nascent. Furthermore, it didn’t have the digital expertise to keep pace, much less leap ahead. Aprils’ new CEO understood this.
“The way you serve your customers is very different [from] what we were used to,” says Eric Maumy, who became April Group’s CEO shortly after CVC’s acquisition. “So, we had to change.”
What was April’s starting point for customer experience, data, marketing, and more?
What should April’s ambitions be five years out?
What initiatives would greatly improve customer experience?
How would April use data?
What would April’s digital marketing strategy be?
How would April fund this initiative?
Bain took April’s senior leaders on a world tour to visit more than a dozen digitally disruptive companies in the insurance and ecommerce spaces. They traveled to Berlin, Hong Kong, and San Francisco to meet other executives and see firsthand the dynamics of an online insurance model.
“When they came back, they said, ‘Wow, this is happening. We’d better get going!’” says Jean-Rémy Roussel, managing partner of CVC. April decided to transform itself into an insurance technology company.
They launched Spring, an ambitious, four-part plan to become an agile, omnichannel, digital operator, as well as a champion of their long-neglected customer experience—and do it within three years.
Using the Radar360 work, Bain helped them:
- Establish a digital fact base—Including broker surveys, market analysis, and more, so the company could fully understand its starting point
- Set a digital ambition—Bain helped April define its ideal future state and all the actions needed to get it there.
- Build an operating model—Bain’s experts drew from a vast repository of insurance and ecommerce insights to craft the business models needed to support the plan.
- Micro-battles—April used the Bain Micro-battles System® to generate quick wins on priority initiatives
Bain’s team also helped April founded a digital studio, Digital X, to develop the capacity to support its own transformation. That team then worked with Bain to set about creating an outstanding broker and customer experience.
The case team helped April transform its website into an ecommerce platform, establish advanced analytics to monitor funnels and marketing progress, and set about advertising these services. In a relatively short time, they increased their online sales from 0% to 33%.
“Now we are an ecommerce player,” says Maumy. “And our goal is to become the leading digital platform in Europe. We have great people who have joined the journey, and all together we can make it to the top.”
April has resumed the title of disruptor, and the work validated CVC's investment.