BCU Knowledge Transfer Partnership revolutionises jewellery insurance sector

SBS Insurance Ltd initially approached BCU School of Jewellery (SoJ) as they identified numerous insurance claimants who were unable to replace stolen or lost items such as older antique and sentimental pieces of jewellery on the high street. Could 3D printing of jewellery be a solution to replicate the irreplaceable?

Expertise in jewellery and precious metal, digital CAD, CAM, and rapid Prototyping found in the School of Jewellery, and within the Associate developed and embedded a holistic, cost effective claims handling and digitally centred replication service for insured items.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) are fixed term trilateral projects between an Academic centre, a Company and an Associate; who graduated from higher education up to 5 years previously. In 2015, Claims handlers at SBS negotiated a voucher deal or cash settlement with claimants and received a small handling fee. There had been no change in the process for 25 years and an estimated 30-40% of claims might have been fraudulent. SBS identified that it made economic sense if they could manufacture replacement jewellery items themselves.

The SBS KTP project transferred specialist jewellery knowledge of 3D CAD technology and processes over a 30-month project. In order to validate the claims before production methods could be established SBS needed to know how much everything cost. Jade Watts (nee Pelham), the Associate on the project, researched the market, technologies and applications, established CAD libraries, embedded new processes, created training manuals and developed strategic partnerships with existing experience and knowledge with the local and wider Jewellery industry. SoJ supported Jade in the research processes, development of the validation methodology and training tool, strengthening relationships from the outsourced supply chain and mapping the jewellery process.

The success of the project reduced handling time, grew market share, saved costs, improved productivity, introduced and embedded cutting-edge technologies, and increased competitiveness through the knowledge sharing. The developed innovative service was instrumental in enhancing the reputation of the company and contributed to the positive disruption of the jewellery insurance sector. Knowledge Transferred SBS Insurance Services is a household insurance claims specialist, if items such as white goods, electronics, mobile devices, floor coverings and jewellery are lost, stolen or broken, SBS will provide replacement solutions for leading UK insurers.

A carefully structured Work Plan created by the BCU team and validated by KTN advisors provided a roadmap of the project developing the Validation Tool providing customers with loss-replacement in preference to financial recompense. Quarterly meetings reviewed the progress, achievements and considered the Work Plan for revisions. This new sector and application for the jewellery industry and a radical new methodology for handling insurance claims, made this project an innovative exchange of knowledge and award winning.

It led to:

  • Improved customer experience; developing a service to restore stolen, lost or damaged items.
  • The new process impact upon 25 major insurance brokers and their clientele.
  • Increased service quality.
  • Developed ability to pre-loss validate and value significant items.
  • Evaluation of the redeemable voucher solution and sub-contracted replacement service, improving quality, costs and time management.
  • Development of a unique business centre.
  • Exploration of data capture capability for other valuable items.
  • Created applications and templates for other replica products.
  • The electronic process met with audit requirements for consistency of validation process. Ensuring that every policyholder has validation in the same manner, with the same specific metrics applied to substantiate the value of the claim. Process meets with requirements of TCF - Treating Customers Fairly.
  • The Associate collaborated with external I.T. and A.I. suppliers and provided content for the database using dropdown menus, that a non-jewellery specialist could use to validate the item and identify fraudulent claims (known as red flags).

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) impact reached further than just the employees of SBS Insurance, who saw increased recruitment of new starters by twenty percent.

  • The 3D printing application is the first to market and still the only company offering this complete insurance claim offer.
  • Businesses in the local area facilitate the 3D printing, sustaining the local economy.
  • The award of contracts from new clients, along with growth from existing clients have been enhanced by work with the Knowledge Transfer Partnership and have enabled SBS to be viewed as progressive and forward thinking.
  • For this SBS Insurance Services won the Technology Award at the coveted British Insurance Awards (BIA) in July 2016, the Validation Tool was shortlisted in the category of Claims Initiative of the Year at the BIA 2018, and won ‘Best of the Best’ KTP awards 2020 for Business Impact.
  • BCU's reputation of expertise was seen on a national level.
  • Dissemination of 'outstanding' scoring helps to support the marketing of the scheme and development of new KTP projects.
  • Alternative applications - ADM KTP team are submitting a second KTP project with SBS insurance based around artifical intelligence.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership | Birmingham City University | SBS Insurance Services Ltd - YouTube

Santa Fe Symposium Papers - How do you replace the irreplacable?

Winner of the ‘best of the best’ National KTP awards 2020 - KTP Best of the Best Awards 2020 - YouTube (Award section 29-39 mins)

School of Jewellery and SBS Insurance Services partnership

See more of our work beyond BCU