Districts Mutual Insurance is an insurance consortium representing 16 technical colleges in Wisconsin. The 10-year-old company processes $6.5 million in annual premiums and delivers risk management services and consultation to its college members.
Build a highly secure, user-friendly website with a public face and private, members-only resources.
Lion’s Share, working in conjunction with associates furryLogic and Casey Weeks, developed a multifunctional website with defined, readily accessible segments, robust search capabilities and features that bolster interaction between members.
The site’s ease of use reduces administrative burden and improves DMI’s operations. A boost in registration numbers means that more users are taking advantage of the DMI website, positioning the company for better communication with its customers as it continues to expand its offerings.
“I’ve been told that our new website looks like a website for a $100 million insurance company. Working with Lion’s Share was an excellent experience. The company’s reputation precedes it and we couldn’t be happier with the final product.”
The Full Story
Districts Mutual Insurance (DMI), a cooperative insurance company, supports the 16 schools of the Wisconsin Technical College Districts system. In addition to providing cost-effective insurance coverage, the company also offers risk management services and consulting to its members. Since its inception in 2004, DMI has grown these services, including targeted loss control programs and quarterly instructional training.
Even as the company expanded, however, its website wasn’t keeping pace.
DMI’s website was initially created when the company was formed. Over the course of a decade, the design had been tweaked but the site was sorely out of date. “We were outgrowing the ability to address the needs and wants of our customers,” says Steven Stoeger-Moore, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
The site, which drew 150 registered users, required multiple passwords, each for a different functional area. Users would routinely lose track of their passwords and request assistance from DMI.
DMI administrators were also fielding calls from members who had trouble locating documents they needed. With over a thousand such files, the website that should have been an efficient “one-stop-shop” resource was in essence creating more work for staff.
“It was hard to keep everyone appraised of what they needed to do and where they needed to go,” says Geri Justinger, administrative consultant. “As the number of our files grew, the unwieldy website became more and more of a problem.”
When DMI approached Lion’s Share, the organization knew a new website was in order. “We realized that we needed more than a Band-Aid for the problem this time. We needed to wholly redesign the site,” Stoeger-Moore says.
Enlisting the help of interactive designer Casey Weeks and furryLogic web development and consulting, Lion’s Share worked closely with DMI staff to develop a smart “workhorse” website that would at once serve as DMI’s public-facing resource and as a clearinghouse for private and proprietary customer information such as policies, templates, white papers and forms—no small feat.
The two distinct sections of the website had to be segregated and secured, with a single login and password for each user that would enable access across all functions.
A robust search capability, which was missing from the original website, was incorporated in the design, allowing users to quickly locate the documents they needed. In addition, users would now log in to a personal landing page with their own files and relevant information, eliminating the need for convoluted searches.
The new site also added features such as a shared calendar for keeping track of activities and appointments, as well as a forum where users could communicate among themselves.
Upon its unveiling, the response to the new site was immediate and enthusiastic. Users commented on the clarity of the design, the intuitive navigation and the accessibility of key information.
With its added functions and inviting interface, Justinger says the new design has encouraged users to engage more frequently with the site. Registration numbers have jumped and she anticipates that the number will continue to grow, helping the company to reach a larger audience and keep its customers informed of best practices, while facilitating more interaction and information sharing between college members.
Alleviating the administrative burden will in turn accord DMI the resources to focus on what it does best—developing more resources and services for its customers.
Projecting a polished, professional image, the site signifies a new era for the company. “One of the actuaries I showed it to remarked that it looked like a website for a $100 million insurance company,” Stoeger-Moore says. “Working with Lion’s Share was an excellent experience. The company’s reputation precedes it and we couldn’t be happier with the final product.”