SBS Insurance Services (SBS) are an award-winning insurance company of national repute.
With the jewellery insurance industry typically using out-of-date practices and obsolete methods, SBS Insurance Services identified a gap in the market to partake in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) and provide a more stream-lined and efficient service, disrupting the Insurance industry that had not changed for 20 years. To take advantage of this – and to ensure they led, rather than followed, the latest developments – SBS enlisted the help of Birmingham City University’s Faculty of the Arts, Design & Media, School of Jewellery. Reaching out to established academics within the University, SBS wanted to provide a better service for their clients, a more reliable system for their staff and embrace modern technology.
SBS, based in Cannock, is one of the UK’s most distinguished multi-commodity claims handling businesses. They are appointed by some of the UK’s largest insurance companies to provide better replacement household contents, including electrical products, mobile tech, flooring, furniture and jewellery.
However, Paul Fairbrass – Technical Director at SBS – felt they could do with improving their technology and skills for use in claim handling. Principally, insurance claims for jewellery remained poor, while claims for lost or stolen property were often lengthy processes.
With SBS and other insurance firms still adhering to old and established practices, Paul Fairbrass sought to work with Birmingham City University to turn SBS into a disruptor in the market, using new and more reliable methods.
Birmingham City University suggested a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), an Innovate UK-funded project that sees a graduate and lead academic from the University work with a company to improve their knowledge base and skills. The KTP saw Jade Pelham, KTP Associate, who graduated from the University’s School of Jewellery, begin working with SBS under the supervision of Senior Lecturers Frank Cooper and Kate Thorley.
The successful delivery of the KTP has enabled SBS Insurance Services to improve their competitiveness and productivity. By embracing 3D printing technology and techniques, jewellery items originally deemed irreplaceable can now be replicated and reproduced, leading to the development of a validation tool for handling jewellery claims.
Furthermore, the collaboration has resulted in SBS Insurance Services being recognised nationally, winning the Technology Award and being shortlisted for Claims Initiative of the Year at the British Insurance Awards.
Other benefits have included:
There have also been numerous benefits for both the University and Jade’s future career prospects. The KTP partnership with SBS Insurance Services has been graded ‘outstanding’ by Innovate UK, the highest rating they can bestow. Meanwhile, Jade has now secured a full-time role with the company and is working towards becoming a fellow of the Institute of Registered Valuers.
If you’re a SME or larger businesses from any sector looking to develop a competitive edge from business support, funding and R&D activities with university experts and specialists, we invite you to enquire about a KTP at BCU.
Please send us an enquiry and we will contact you to discuss how we can help.
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships is a UK-wide programme that has been helping businesses for the past 45 years to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base.