FileNexus™ helps The Independent Order of Foresters™ improve internal productivity by 80% while slashing member/broker service times

Foresters logo

The Independent Order of Foresters™ (“Foresters”), a fraternal benefit society founded in 1874, is a life insurance and annuities provider headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. With over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, it is crucial for them to efficiently manage and securely archive their member and independent broker information.

FileNexus Fast Facts
FileNexus document management and workflow automation helped Foresters’ in these ways:
Organizational Benefits:
  • Helped improve internal productivity by up to 80%
  • A return on investment of 400% – on the core business case alone
  • 50 million+ pages indexed and archived into FileNexus to date – instant access and an end to traditional paper, microfilm, storage and management costs
  • A production grade pilot – up and running fast – in 30 days
Member benefits:
  • Service times reduced from days and weeks to hours – within days of FileNexus implementation
  • Virtually instantaneous, real time call centre resolutions
  • Online member and broker self service capabilities
Drowning in paper files? We can help. Request your FileNexus demo today.
“FileNexus was a big contributor to help us increase our productivity by up to 80% in certain business areas.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™
Business was growing and Foresters needed to manage the contract/application flow to and from tens of thousands of brokers. This meant reducing the time it took to turn around requests and minimize the human capital necessary to do so. They believed adopting technology to streamline and automate workflows could save both time and money – while faster response times would make them more competitive. After weighing the options available, Foresters selected the FileNexus Document Management System as the best solution for their document management, archival and workflow needs.
Prior to FileNexus, all transactions and correspondence were captured on paper and stored in filing cabinets—which could fill a football field—in Foresters’ basement. It represented a huge risk to the company.
“FileNexus gave us the results we wanted, fast – with no surprises. What else can you say?”
Peter Sweers, SVP and Chief Operations and Information Officer
The Independent Order of Foresters™
Dealing with paper is very inefficient. Any given piece of paper could be required by eight or ten different departments within the organization. While a paper file is awaiting action on someone’s desk, it is inaccessible to other departments. Sometimes documents were misrouted. The process to locate, access and circulate information was very inefficient and costly.
FileNexus managing 50 million pages and counting
Foresters began by back scanning all of their old files into FileNexus, representing more than 40 million pages. Jim Williamson estimates that Foresters now has in excess of 50 million pages… and growing. As an electronic archive and document management system, all information is now immediately accessible and searchable with the click of a mouse.
What types of files does Foresters now archive to FileNexus? Anything and everything that is transactional and has to do with their day to day business, all of their core business flow, and all paper and electronic correspondence from host systems to email, both inbound and outbound.

Foresters Head Office

“You can just imagine the difference that it made to everybody’s workflow. Everything becomes near real time. The efficiency of people’s work processes has vastly improved because of FileNexus.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™
All new incoming and outgoing documents are now standardized as electronic files. FileNexus automatically indexes, archives and logically organizes documents in their native file format. No more paper files. No lost or misplaced documents. With advanced logging features, Foresters can use FileNexus to track the metrics of how long documents take to cycle. And they know at a glance where the document is and at what stage it is in the process.
FileNexus offers automated routing and approvals of documents to streamline Foresters’ approval processes – all rapidly deployable and customized to Foresters unique needs. Users are notified of pending tasks. Once they log in to FileNexus they only see the documents that relate to their workflow and know what actions need to be taken. Staff get the resources they need to better service their members and quickly make informed decisions.
Customer Self Service Portal
FileNexus has enhanced Foresters’ Customer Self Service capabilities. Instead of the Customer Call Centre being inundated with requests to pull up documents, customers and brokers can access their own documents directly through the Foresters web portal, which is linked to FileNexus. The Customer Call Centre is now able to get back to servicing their more than one million members.
“Our service times were well behind our competitors. We went from taking days and weeks to service requests – down to hours, within days of implementing FileNexus.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™

eCommuting and the “work anywhere” concept

In 2006, Foresters went from a captive sales force to an independent distribution network. They now have well over 30,000 independent brokers licensed to sell Foresters products across North America.
When hiring a new broker, Foresters records the entire application interview and archives it in FileNexus. The agreement over the phone counts as a broker’s signature and agreement to terms of service and is captured by FileNexus. This speeds up the interview and sign up process, allowing Foresters to hire the right people without wasting valuable time chasing signatures.
Insurance Operations at Foresters has a strategic objective of a “work anywhere” concept. With the FileNexus Web Client, brokers eCommute using a web browser. Nothing to install on their PC.
With appropriate security access, underwriters have access to important documentation such as medical transcripts, application forms and affidavits. They have concurrent file access to everything they need for their decisioning process.
“The ‘work anywhere’ concept is a strategic directive for Foresters. FileNexus has given us the ability to move our insurance operations to anywhere we want because we’re not bound by geography. We have real time web based access available to anybody at their fingertips. That was a huge plus for us.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™

Electronic report distribution and reducing paper

Foresters has integrated FileNexus with report outputs from various sources such as their mainframe, policy administration system, cheque disbursement and general ledger system. Instead of sending reports to a print spool (and manually distributing them) they are sent directly into FileNexus where they are indexed, archived and automatically distributed to Foresters’ pre-set instructions. No user intervention required.
Recipients can view reports online as they become available. FileNexus can even send an email notification when it is ready for viewing. Foresters has reduced the amount of paper they use and streamlined distribution.
“Out of all the application installations we’ve done, FileNexus went in the fastest and smoothest.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™
FileNexus is connected to and integrated with Foresters’ Portals and Enterprise Service Bus. Now all of their other systems can easily integrate with FileNexus through web services to retrieve records directly from the host application screen – no user login into FileNexus required. It has given them some much needed automation with Mastek, their new business system and helped their business flow, what Foresters calls their ‘time to settle’. With two fairly significant systems integrations in place, Foresters is in the process of integrating through this same service bus their customer relationship management system, Microsoft Dynamics, used by their Call Centre and Membership Services Department. With FileNexus, organizations have the flexibility to integrate and expand the functionality of their business systems and applications.

Rapid deployment and ease of use

Foresters’ first production ready pilot took about four weeks. The complete deployment role out to the entire organization (including the initial pilot, refinement, testing, go-live including training for all staff—well over 1,000 people across four sites) was completed within six months.
“FileNexus is extremely cost competitive, very flexible and easy to implement. If an organization wants a product that is continuously innovating, where you are getting value out of your upgrades, and is creating new business opportunities with every major release, I would tell them that FileNexus is the way to go.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™

Business performance tracking, continuity, audit and litigation support – for everything from everywhere, in one place…

FileNexus has given Foresters a strong disaster recovery strategy. There are now safeguards against losing documents as they are all electronically managed and archived in FileNexus. With electronic workflows, documents cannot get damaged, misplaced or misfiled. And they can’t get stuck on someone’s desk while they are away on a week’s vacation.
Every action on a document is automatically noted and audit tracked at the document class, folder and user levels with FileNexus. It gives a full picture of where a document is in its workflow process, who has looked at it and when, if it has been moved. Each and every workflow is completely auditable and can be performance tracked by user definable dash boards.
Foresters originally considered purchasing a dedicated email archival solution. Once they saw what FileNexus could do they quickly realized the advantage of having a single FileNexus repository for all documents – email included.
FileNexus captures journaled (inbound and outbound) email messages, and allows full text indexing and searching of both the email messages and their related attachments. In investigations, having all correspondence and documents at their fingertips is very beneficial.
“Loris Technologies gave us great people to work with. Things were very well thought out and the project was very well executed.”
Jim Williamson, VP Information Technology
The Independent Order of Foresters™

Ongoing and Future Projects

Foresters plans to leverage FileNexus to increase their customer self service capabilities and integrate it into more of their applications and workflow processes. Beyond the day to day insurance operations, they are looking to implement FileNexus in their Corporate, Legal, Finance and HR departments, among others. They want to reduce manual processes in favour of increased business automation. In the end their goal is to become completely paperless.

About Foresters

Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference. The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

About FileNexus

The FileNexus Document Management System gives organizations, both large and small, the ability to capture virtually any type of document from any source (i.e. paper records such as maps, drawings, manuals, electronic files such as host generated reports, client statement streams, IVR recordings, etc.), index and compress them for secure archival and future recall—providing a single cohesive repository for all document management, workflow, archival and business continuity needs. To learn more about FileNexus and Loris Technologies Inc., please visit and request a FileNexus demo.

For more information on how FileNexus® can improve your business efficiency, please visit, or write to