Business Innovation Garage (BIG) is the internal think-tank for innovating products and services at Progressive. The concept of BIG was piloted in 2012-13 and was approved by Progressive in May 2014. It’s a virtual testing environment, and works with partners across the company to collect and cultivate business solutions, with the end goal of exploring and testing new ideas to improve employee engagement and the customer experience by transforming ideas to prototype and production.
The garage has a physical location at the company headquarters and is staffed by a team of analysts and IT developers (Mechanics) working for a garage manager who prioritizes the work and oversees the innovation process. ““Mechanics” will work with employees to improve the claims process, understand driving patterns better and improve the Progressive customer experience, explains Erin Baginski, IT Director, Enterprise Architecture Services and Edison Process Leader. The most recent efforts of BIG have been focused on customer engagement and mobile applications for quoting and insurance telematics.
Progressive’s BIG initiative shows that to win in the digital driven marketplace, it’s important to change, experiment and fail fast. “Over the last five years, we’ve had countless discussions about the need for an internal ‘lab’ to test and learn,” said Ray Voelker, CIO of Progressive Insurance. “Innovation requires some degree of speed, so BIG allows us to fail fast, innovate faster and get best-in-class products to market in such a highly-regulated environment like the insurance industry.”