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Toyota Boshoku America and benefits administration

When Toyota Boshoku America was ready to upgrade their approach to benefits administration, they partnered with Alight to optimize their employees’ benefits experience. Read how the evolving collaboration of this partnership improved processes for benefits enrollment, dependent verification, and other key areas, creating dramatic savings while boosting employees’ awareness and satisfaction with their benefits.

Modernizing the benefits administration experience for Toyota Boshoku America

As a premier manufacturer of automotive interior systems, Toyota Boshoku America (TBA) employs more than 11,000 team members throughout North and South America, including 4,200 benefits-eligible members in the U.S. In 2013, TBA set out to streamline their benefits administration and improve legacy processes that were becoming increasingly complex, expensive and labor intensive.

Working through their insurance broker, TBA conducted an exhaustive search for vendors who could help automate benefits management, assist with the one-to-one communications of benefits and deliver a technology platform that solved the limitations posed by existing systems. After a strong demonstration of capabilities from Alight, the first iteration of a lasting partnership was born.

Initial goals & challenges

TBA's first engagement with Alight involved an eight-week system implementation and enrollment project. Without a true benefits administration system, enrollments were done by paper and then manually keyed into their legacy platform. TBA wanted to eliminate these inefficiencies and alleviate the burden of day-to-day benefits management for their HR teams. Existing processes were also hindering efforts to introduce benefits changes and provide employees with consistent guidance and positive messaging.

After both teams worked closely to ensure total alignment on strategies and goals, the project began with a clear roadmap of successful outcomes:

  • Implement a new benefits administration system—the SmartBen® Platform—and update beneficiary information in the system
  • Deliver consistent one-to-one counseling across 10 facilities in the U.S.
  • Introduce new supplemental benefit options for Critical Illness and Whole Life
  • Discuss the importance of the preventive care benefits
  • Promote employer contributions to increase benefits appreciation

A revamped enrollment process

While the SmartBen Platform was being quickly implemented at TBA, a team of Alight benefits counselors underwent two days of intensive training to gain familiarity with TBA’s specific benefits and desired outcomes.

Enrollment started right on schedule, and the team provided custom one-to-one counseling for more than 3,000 employees. Through a combination of onsite and call center sessions, counselors helped each member input beneficiary data into SmartBen, explained the new supplementary benefits and delivered consistent, positive messaging about employer contributions.

Upon completion of the roll-out, Alight conducted a customized post-enrollment survey to gather feedback.

The customer service aspect was huge. Many team members had not worked with a benefits counselor before, and they loved being able to work through all their questions with a knowledgeable source.

Kelly Flake
Senior HR Benefits Specialist

Success by the numbers

For TBA, the results and impact were clear, and employee survey results spoke volumes.

felt their counselor was a good teacher, provided good advice and left them feeling better educated about benefits after a session
thought that each plan option was thoroughly explained and were happy with their elected benefits plan
believed that TBA’s benefits packages were competitive and were very satisfied with their available options
of previously unaware employees learned that TBA was covering an average of 91% of each employee’s premium

Saving big with dependent verification

After successfully overhauling enrollment, TBA began to explore other areas where Alight could help, including dependent verification. Dependent verification had a potential for great savings—and great potential for employee dissatisfaction—unless the process was accompanied by expert, hand-crafted messaging. Through a combination of ongoing monitoring and periodic audits, Alight was able to provide just that.

Results of a 2017 audit included:

  • +3,000 dependents reviewed, with more than 7,000 documents processed during the audit
  • Nearly 10% ineligible rate discovered
  • $828,763 in projected annual savings

The evolution of a partnership

Due to a strong focus on customer service, partnerships with Alight rarely end after one engagement or project. This trend proved true for TBA, who has continued to add on services and technologies as needed. They’ve even continued their partnership with Alight for every annual enrollment since 2013—and utilize SmartBen for new hire enrollments on an ongoing basis.

Additional services they have partnered together on include:

ACA compliance: When existing platforms could not support the robust reporting requirements of the ACA, SmartBen was there for TBA. “By the time we realized we had a need, Alight already had a solution,” Kelly Flake, Senior HR Benefits Specialist.
New hire enrollment: Since 2014, Alight has conducted over 5,200 enrollment sessions with new hires. More than 95% of these employees reported satisfaction with their benefits as well as the new hire counseling process.
Benefits communication: Alight provides ongoing messaging and communications support as needed, which includes total comp statements as well as mobile app support through SmartBen NOW.

As blue-collar manufacturers, our employees really relate to and love the intuitive app. It’s just one more layer of convenience—and one more phone call that HR doesn’t have to field.

Kelly Flake
Senior HR Benefits Specialist

Alight Solutions acquired Hodges-Mace, LLC in August 2019.

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