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Client Story: Blue Cross Blue Shield

The leadership team at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) recognized there was a need for change. Ian Gordon, who joined BCBSNC in 2007 as senior vice president of commercial and government operations, determined that his 100-member service operations management team needed to do things with greater efficiency to meet more aggressive performance goals.

Lynn Duffy, then vice president of leadership and organizational development for BCBSNC, brought this need to Executive Education at NC State’s Poole College of Management. “We were impressed by NC State’s willingness to create a customized curriculum specifically targeting our organization’s unique needs in the area of operations management.” BCBSNC worked with NC State Executive Education to develop and deliver a custom program – the Service Delivery Leadership Program – that would train approximately 100 of their managers, directors and vice presidents to better design, plan and run service operations.

The six-day custom program spanned six weeks and covered the latest techniques in defining and documenting service processes, analyzing and managing service capacity and performance, and forecasting and managing demand. Managers also learned how to build simulation models of their actual processes. The participants worked in cross-functional teams to tackle real business problems and present real solutions. “This approach is at the heart of why this program was so successful,” Gordon said.

Soon after, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC) collaborated in an initiative called Topaz Shared Services, LLC (Topaz). “Creating Topaz will allow us to accelerate the technology, business and product changes we need to make to remain competitive in a consumer-oriented marketplace,” said BCBSKC President and CEO David Gentile. “This transition demonstrates the transformation our company is undertaking currently, to ensure we remain a market leader in Kansas City.”