How Funeral Directors Life uses OnBase to spur innovation

Funeral Directors Life is always innovating to make – and keep – its insurance purchase and administration processes as simple as possible. Recently, the company realized a lack of connectivity between stakeholders in the process was limiting not only speed-to-market and the flexibility to adjust workflows as necessary, but also the ability to engage with customers on a personal level.

Something had to change.

“We had been using imaging since the late 90s, but moved to an imaging system with basic workflow in 2012,” said Kyle Swearingen, director of engineering for Funeral Directors Life. “We quickly outgrew that system and wanted a solution that gave us more control of our own applications. We needed one system that could tie everything together in one easy-to-use application, like going from a Pinto to a Ferrari.”

A perfect fit

As the company researched its options, in addition to finding a reliable vendor with solutions that are easy to implement, the ‘must haves’ were:

  • A content services solution flexible enough to maintain and adjust workflows
  • The ability to extend managerial reporting to the enterprise
  • Basic configuration tools that empower business users to make simple changes
  • A simple, intuitive user interface that requires little training
  • Reporting for a variety of enterprise functions, processes, and resources

Funeral Directors Life also wanted to partner with a vendor that has a commitment to the insurance industry and a willingness to learn more about the company’s goals and business. Part of its culture of innovation is learning from other organizations that can help it effectively solve business problems.

That’s why Hyland was a perfect fit.

In the process of learning more about Funeral Directors Life to help it more effectively solve business problems, Hyland was transparent about potential project roadblocks, willing to collaborate on innovative solutions, and constantly focused on development. This echoed the dedication Funeral Directors Life has to ongoing innovation, further developed the partner relationship, and built trust quickly.

The flexibility of Hyland’s platform, and the intuitive nature of the OnBase user interface, enabled the internal IT staff at Funeral Directors Life to handle much of the actual implementation. While the organization configured the initial workflows internally within just a few months, it also had to migrate approximately 27 million images from a previous solution, a project that took about 12 months to complete.

We quickly outgrew that system. We needed one system that could tie everything together in one easy-to-use application, like going from a Pinto to a Ferrari.

– Kyle Swearingen, director of engineering

A culture of innovation

“Our company has taken the approach that we are going to be intentional about having a culture of innovation,” said Swearingen. “With new technology comes new opportunity to evaluate processes. We have already changed around 50 percent of our processes because of the capabilities of OnBase. And, we are starting to automate additional processes that weren’t even an option for automation a few years ago.”

Today, Funeral Directors Life – specializing in the sale of prepaid funeral insurance policies and annuities – has grown to become a $1.3 billion company. Amazingly, it runs all operations and business processes with less than 50 people and only 12 developers.

The ease of use and configuration of OnBase is a big part of that success.

“The current state of the software is light years ahead of our previous software, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we plan to do with Hyland’s software,” said Swearingen. “Our goal over the next five to 10 years is to automate and integrate as much of our business as possible so our customers have full visibility and control over the solutions we offer, and internally, we become as efficient as possible.”

And Hyland will be there every step of the way. Especially when that automation will help tap into the Millennial market.

* This blog post was originally published on

Cara McFarlane

Cara McFarlane

Cara McFarlane is Hyland’s sales enablement solution marketing manager. Her mission is to effectively position Hyland as the leading content services platform within financial services, insurance, government, higher education, and... read more about: Cara McFarlane