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Forward-Thinking Employee Innovation is Rewarded

WoodmenLife Committed to Rewarding Employee Innovation

Every quarter WoodmenLife presents an Intrapreneur Award to associates who display forward-thinking to fix a problem, save money or create efficiencies. Rudy Moser and Steven Cusumano, both from the Actuarial Division, are WoodmenLife’s honorees for the first quarter of 2018.

Cost Savings and Efficiencies

Without being asked, Moser and Cusumano developed a more efficient way to upload new rates and values tables. They upload these rates into the Illustration system, which Sales heavily relies on. Previously, a third-party vendor handled the hundreds of tables with thousands of numbers.

Rudy and Steven developed a sequel program (database management system) that enabled all of the rates and values tables to be downloaded directly into the Illustration software, effectively taking the third-party vendor out of the process. The vendor representative commented to Blake Warneke, Director of Product Development, “Are you guys trying to put us out of business?” This occurred when she heard of the solution Moser and Cusumano had come up with.

Warneke mentioned these are the types of things managers want to hear as WoodmenLife strives to be more innovative and cost efficient.

Learn more about our Intrapreneurs

Rudy Moser 

What does winning the award mean to you?

Winning the Intrapreneur Award is an honor because it represents a time where I was enabled to try something that had not been done before.

Were you surprised when you heard you’d been selected?

Yes, I was surprised, because I knew there were a lot of other people in the Tower who have also been doing things that challenge the status quo and explore new ideas.

Overall, how is your work having an impact on the organization?

I believe that my work is having a positive impact on the organization by creating processes that are predictable and increase our confidence in the systems. Our confidence in our processes allows for a culture of trust so that we can complete projects faster.

How did you and Steven come up with the cost-saving aspect of the process. Are there more things that can be done in the future?

The idea was generated when we first upgraded our Illustration system in 2016, but we did not update our refund rates until last year. Last year was the first opportunity to try out a new process. With the new Illustration system, the database is easier to access. That gives us clearer visibility into how the vendor organizes the data.

I was able to use some of the SQL skills I’ve gained as part of the PAS project to work with Steven to get all the new rates into the Illustration system.

Although some of the framework was put in place this year, more automation around formatting the rates can be done in the future. That will streamline the process and increase our confidence that we can update rates en masse without errors.

Why do you think it’s important for associates to be innovative and explore new ideas?

Innovation allows us to improve our processes and grow as individuals. It enables us to think in other ways how things can be better. If we did not allow for innovation, our processes would become antiquated and we’d limit our growth as an organization.

What is your favorite thing about working at WoodmenLife?

WoodmenLife is full of great people who I love seeing and talking to everyday. The environment allows me to ask questions when I need answers and lets me get to know my coworkers on a personal and professional level.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like weekend trips to the zoo with my wife and two boys. I like doing puzzles, playing games and running 5Ks, as well.

Steven Cusumano

What does winning the award mean to you?

The award means that I accomplished a special task that was innovative and saved time, money and effort. I am really honored to have won the Intrapreneur Award.

Were you surprised when you heard you’d been selected?

Yes, I didn’t even know I had been nominated. I was told by Rudy Moser to be sure that I attended the first Give Us 40 meeting on May 1 at 8:30 a.m. This gave me a clue that maybe something special would happen, but I still didn’t expect to win the Intrapreneur Award along with Rudy. At best, I thought my recent promotion or ASA designation would be mentioned.

Overall, how is your work is having an impact on the organization?

The work we’re doing is saving money and helping WoodmenLife realize efficiencies. Although we’ll still have to rely on vendors for some tasks, it’s always a good thing when you can streamline processes.

Why do you think it’s important for associates to be innovative and explore new ideas?

It’s the best way to help WoodmenLife grow and prosper.

What is your favorite thing about working at WoodmenLife?

My favorite thing about working for WoodmenLife is the generous benefits. As an actuary, WoodmenLife pays for my exam fees and study materials.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to play chess. I am the current Omaha City Chess Champion.

WoodmenLife congratulates these Intrapreneurs for their contributions to cost savings and realizing efficiencies!

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