Kristina Long, Cohn & Wolfe for Panasonic
(415) 365-8566 direct
AMICA DEPLOYS RUGGED TOUGHBOOK® COMPUTERS TO AUTO APPRAISERS
Improved Connectivity and Durability Enhance Customer Service
Secaucus, NJ, October 5, 2012 – Panasonic, an industry leader in rugged, reliable mobile computers, today published a new case study highlighting Amica’s successful deployment of Toughbook® 19 convertible tablets, which have increased auto appraiser efficiency and overall customer satisfaction. Amica, the country’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, also offers home, marine, personal umbrella liability and life insurance products. Amica prides itself on exceptional customer service and recognized early on that mobile technology could play a role in enhancing their service.
Prior to the Toughbook deployment, Amica’s appraisers were equipped with standard business laptops. However, due to regular hard disk failures and poor Internet connections, Amica realized it needed to consider ruggedized notebook computers. Amica identified a set of required features that included durability, functionality in and out of the vehicle and a dependable wireless connection.
After an extensive pilot program, Amica chose the Panasonic Toughbook 18 convertible tablet with integrated mobile broadband for its rugged specifications, platform stability and the Panasonic brand reputation. Amica deployed the Toughbook mobile computers nationwide, allowing auto appraisers to write estimates on site and instantly upload reports while driving to the next customer appointment.
“The Toughbook 18 really stood out because it had the functionality and flexibility of a tablet and a clamshell, but it’s also rugged and lightweight,” said Larry Brown, Senior Systems Engineer with Amica. “The Toughbook 18 is also compatible with the estimating software and allows appraisers to attach notes and utilize drop-down menus through the dual-touch screen.”
At the end of the rollout, Amica had 50 Toughbook 18s and 19s (the next-generation convertible tablet) deployed in the field. As a result of the Toughbook implementation, Amica appraisers have been able to handle more work in fewer hours. Average inspections completed in a day went up 27 percent – one to two more claims a day on average. Average cycle time, the amount of time it takes for a customer to receive payment, was reduced by 24 percent.
“We have been very satisfied with the results of our Toughbook deployment and were able to fully realize our goals within the first two years. Appraisers are able to write estimates at the vehicle site, which has reduced the need for second appointments, thereby improving the appraiser’s efficiency,” said Brown. “After experiencing more than 20 percent failures with business laptops, we only experienced one Toughbook failure in the first two years, a failure rate of 0.02 percent.”
Recently, Amica refreshed its deployment to upgraded Toughbook 19s with enhanced processors and embedded 3G mobile broadband for better wireless connections. With the original units still operational, Amica was able to donate them to the local police department.
The full Amica case study can be downloaded at the Toughbook website here.
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For more information on Toughbook mobile computers, go to http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/laptop-computers.asp.
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About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is committed to becoming the electronics industry's leader in green innovation by its one-hundredth anniversary in 2018. In the 2012 Interbrand Annual Best Global Green Brands ranking, the Panasonic brand jumped four spots to number six: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/Best-Global-Green-Brands/2012-Report.aspx. As part of its continuing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, Panasonic Corporation of North America will relocate its operations to a new eco-efficient office tower adjacent to a mass transit hub in Newark, NJ in 2013. Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at http://panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is also available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.