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                           PROJECT CASE  


CNA InsuranceCNA INSURANCE

Headquartered in Chicago, CNA is a leading property casualty insurer. The company has a long established operations center in eastern Pennsylvania. Executive management ascertained that a second center in the western U.S. was required to both accommodate future growth and minimize business disruption risk. WDGC was thus retained to recommend the best location in the Mountain/Pacific Time Zones for the proposed center. Main operating requirements were:

bullet Functions: claims processing, customer service, help desk
bullet Headcount: 300, mix of insurance industry experience and qualified trainees (with customer interface experience but not necessarily insurance
bullet Available building around 35,000 SF
bullet Moderate operating cost
bullet Low disaster risk
bullet Nonstop air service to Chicago

WDGC performed a dual phase analysis. In the first phase we screened metro areas over 100,000 population in the U.S. In an elimination process where areas were dropped for failure to comply with various criteria (e.g., property/casualty insurance industry presence) a longlist of 8 metros was generated mainly by desktop research. We then reached out to economic development contacts to gather additional insights such as roster of major employers including insurance. Each area was ranked/scored utilizing WDGCs rating model balancing cost and qualitative considerations. Three were then earmarked for Phase Two evaluation.

In the second phase, WDGC conducted field investigation in the three finalist locations. This consisted of:

bullet Interviews with insurance and other back office employers
bullet Interviews with other pertinent groups (e.g., staffing agency)
bullet Windshield tours of available office properties
bullet Examination of commute patterns including mass transit
bullet GIS map plotting of resident skillsets, potential sites, competing employerse

WDGC recommended Denver as the best long-range location. We further counseled the southern submarket as preferred from a labor draw standpoint. WDGC worked closely with CNAs real estate broker to be certain that the ultimate site worked well from multiple perspectives.

CNA began operation of the new center in 2011. Expectations including supplies of highly qualified applicants have been exceeded.

 

     
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