The Pantaenius Holding GmbH

Many companies in Germany feel a diffuse need for action regarding digitalization, without knowing exactly which measure provides the appropriate return on investment for their business model. Pantaenius Holding GmbH has already identified three pillars many years ago, on which all digitalization measures are based. Thus, the group of companies, which is among the leading providers of boat and yacht insurance in Europe, not only saves money but also simplifies processes, making them safer and less error-prone.


Manuel Schlief and Sebastian Papke lead digitalization projects for the traditional insurance group based in Hamburg, which serves customers worldwide through twelve branches. Pantaenius Holding GmbH specializes in brokering boat and yacht insurance as well as comprehensive risk management, especially for medium-sized companies. However, the scanning tool is just one of many practical examples. Like all other digitalization measures at Pantaenius, it is based on these three fundamental pillars:

  • The right interface
  • Agile working
  • The right partner

For example: The scanning tool. A software automatically checks the entire incoming mail, whether electronic or on paper, and assigns it to a customer or a contract. The documents are then sent with a meaningful subject line to the responsible clerk or employee. In this way, the tool examines around 200,000 incoming mails per year. “Paper is declining,” describes Sebastian Papke, Head of Digital Project Management in the insurance brokerage sector of the Pantaenius Group, “we have already eliminated paper by 95 percent.”

  • 375 employees
  • 200000 incoming mails are scanned in one year.

Finding the right DMS interface for OASIS and other ERP systems

Interface may sound technical, but especially in digitalization projects, it’s crucial that new tools and solutions align with what the company already uses. Many insurance brokers rely on the policy administration system OASIS, a daily tool for clerks. And the document management system of d.velop AG has precisely the right interface to OASIS, thereby extending it to complete, digital document-based processes.

“With the DMS, Pantaenius not only maps all document processes but also the entire file plan and archiving,” describes Detlef Hölzen, Market Director Financial Services at d.velop AG. The DMS takes OASIS by the hand, opening up new, broader, more comfortable possibilities for digitalization.

Therefore, Pantaenius decided as early as 2008 to digitize documents and files and to introduce the document management system for this purpose. It securely stores all documents in compliance with all legal requirements and can also keep track of deadlines and remind the relevant employees at the right time. “We have replaced the paper file with the digital file in the DMS,” describes Sebastian Papke.

Digitaler Workflow for Underwriting

One of the latest digitalization projects based on the DMS: The digital workflow for the “Underwriting” process. In this process, a specialist reviews applications, assesses risks, and concludes contracts. This process generates a customized offer for prospects. The entire process runs digitally within the document management system and is simultaneously connected to the triggering system for offer creation to seamlessly integrate into existing processing workflows. The strength of the solution lies mainly in expanding the existing processes of the Pantaenius Group through flexibly definable, system-supported processes.

And here’s how it works: Applications, specialist information, and other documents are brought up on the screen with just a few mouse clicks or via full-text search. The preceding and subsequent steps and employees are also accessible from the system. The DMS also allows for filing in the right, easily locatable place and comfortable tagging. “We discovered this potential for digitalization ourselves,” says Manuel Schlief, “we identified it from the sales department.”

Agile Working

Potential for digitalization can typically be discovered in many departments. “We are a family-owned company,” describes Schlief, “the family has always been technology-oriented. This intensified even more with the generational change of recent years.”

For Pantaenius, agile working is the key to discovering and unlocking potential for digitalization. This includes trying things out and learning together in the process. “Employees can decide very freely, which encourages them to tackle and implement their own topics,” says Papke.

And: “I can’t always predict in advance what will have a positive impact on revenue,” describes Papke, “but we have a quality gate for ideas. We don’t blindly implement projects; we conduct a business analysis. We use dynamic committees for that.” Many departments at Pantaenius independently discover opportunities for improvement in their daily work and actively seek ways to better utilize digital processes and tools.

Agile working means quickly bringing ideas and projects to an early maturity. In this way, companies can already test in the initial phase whether an idea is actually viable – before all features and functionalities are developed. Schlief: “My advice: don’t be afraid of failure! Take small steps. Don’t go for the hundred percent solution right at the beginning. Just start and see where it goes, assess the benefits that come with the idea.”

We have been working with d.velop AG for over ten years now. It all started with the digital claims file, which replaced the paper file. By now, we have digitalized 95 percent of our paper processes with the help of d.velop. For example, when we are travelling internationally, we can access over 25 million documents in the archive and approve invoices using our company mobile phones. Digitalization is the answer to many questions. d.velop is very interesting for us because they can react very quickly.


Manuel Schlief
Head of IT, Pantaenius Holding GmbH


Finding the right partner for digitalization

In search of the right partner, Pantaenius ended up with d.velop AG through an externally commissioned market analysis. Manuel Schlief: “The chemistry was right from the start. d.velop adapted very well to our ideas and requirements and quickly developed viable solutions in a collaborative and supportive manner.” The advantage: The right partner for digitalization doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. They know which structures or measures will drive a particular company forward and which might be premature. They have long overcome all beginner’s mistakes and can focus on the point. Moreover, the right partner not only has the technology and tools but also considers the people, workflows, and processes.

“If you want to build something yourself that can be bought ready-made, then you’re making a mistake,” emphasizes Manuel Schlief, “with d.velop, we find not only high quality at reasonable costs but also a high level of reliability that meets legal requirements. After all, I don’t build a car myself.”

One of the first projects that d.velop implemented with Pantaenius in the late 2000s was the digital claims file. Sebastian Papke remembers the time with paper: “We had a large rolling cabinet where the files were sorted by numbers. All associated documents were printed, numbered, and filed, with all emails and papers sorted. Some files we handled daily.”


Scan software automatically assigns incoming mail and emails to the appropriate colleagues

Today, with the document management system of d.velop AG, Pantaenius employees work with their own digital inbox. All emails and documents are collected there and can be processed from any location worldwide with internet access. As described earlier, the scan software independently retrieves documents from Outlook and sorts them into the inboxes of the respective responsible colleagues. “We no longer have to carry files,” Papke describes, “the rolling container is a thing of the past. Overall, we have scanned and destroyed about ten tonnes of paper.”

Last but not least, ideal partnerships work in both directions. Detlef Hölzen, Market Director Financial Services at d.velop AG, says: “Since 2008, we have had more than one partnership with the Pantaenius Group, which is one of our most innovative clients.” Manuel Schlief reciprocates the praise: “Digitalization is the answer to many questions. d.velop is very interesting for us because they can react very quickly.”

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