The Background: Worldwide Field Agents Are Constantly on the Move
CoventBridge Group is the largest worldwide investigation company providing surveillance, claims investigation, counter-fraud programs, desktop investigations, record retrieval, canvasses and more. With offices in the UK, U.S. and Ireland, the company provides top tier data privacy and security services, deploys robust case management technology customized to clients’ needs and delivers worldwide coverage through its 1,000 employees and affiliates worldwide.


Challenge: A Need to Prioritize and Manage Thousands of Open Cases 

A significant portion of CoventBridge Group’s business is field investigations. One of many examples is that CoventBridge might be retained by an insurance company to verify that its claimant continues to have the injury he reported, and is indeed unable to return to work. CoventBridge then sends an investigator to the claimant’s home or other location to observe the person and to confirm injury and inability to work. Typical turnaround time for a surveillance case is two weeks, but occasionally the requested turnaround time for a project like this can be as little as two hours! Case managers and field investigators need to do their jobs both quickly and thoroughly; there is no time to waste.


To manage their 5,000 open cases at any given time, CoventBridge uses SmartPartner, their proprietary claims software platform which incorporates Google Maps. Prior to 1998 when SmartPartner was first incorporated, all work was done manually in the investigative industry. CoventBridge Group is the first investigative firm to implement this top-of-the-line automation technology, which has fostered their growth into the largest worldwide investigative solutions company today.


The Solution: incorporating Maps into Claims Software Saves Time and Resources

SmartPartner had been used by CoventBridge and its predecessor company for more than 20 years. According to Jason Zurn, CoventBridge Group’s CIO, Google Maps was incorporated around 2011. Today, SmartPartner is used for “everything”; case management, claims management, payroll and more. There is also a client-facing side to SmartPartner, where customers enter a case number to view current and past referral details, claims data and case attachments, or submit a request for a new investigation. All CoventBridge cases reside in SmartPartner.


Incorporating Google Maps into SmartPartner has proven to be a huge benefit to the scheduling process. Case managers use Google Maps to schedule field investigator activity. They can see where the investigators are, and can assign hundreds of cases at once, enabling investigators to travel from claim site to claim site in the most efficient manner possible. Driving directions and real-time traffic are incorporated into the platform, so investigators don’t have to leave SmartPartner to plan their routes. Using the Google Maps APIs to integrate Maps directly into the software has truly streamlined the entire scheduling process.



A screenshot of SmartPartner shows all information the case managers and field investigators need to manage field assignments. Case managers assign cases to the nearest investigator, and field investigators can plan their day to make the most efficient use of their time by utilizing built-in driving directions and maps.


Fine-tuning SmartPartner into exactly what they want and need has involved “a lot of tweaking over the years, but we never considered using anything other than Google Maps,” said Mr. Zurn. “Nothing is as accurate and up-to-date as Google Maps,” added Bradley Plank, Director of Application Development at CoventBridge.


Conclusion: Technology Brings Competitive Advantage

When Mr. Plank initially contacted Google to discuss Maps, they recommend Onix as a partner to get things going. “Everything was extremely easy to set up. We have the standard company setup for Google Maps, and once we had the API keys we were off to the races,” he recalled. “The documentation that came from Google was really good, and Google and Onix are great about informing us of new APIs coming out.”


He continued, “We have a team of developers and have recently turned on real-time traffic, which gives an extreme ease of use when scheduling. We’ve seen a big efficiency gain since that implementation.” CoventBridge uses the following Google Maps APIs: JavaScript, Street View Image, Directions and their Predictive Time Travel, which is a combination of the Directions and the Distance Matrix APIs.


CoventBridge can take on an infinite amount of investigations since streamlining case assignments. This has allowed us to continue to scale and grow our business.


“Even though SmartPartner is largely an internal tool”, Mr. Zurn said, “It does get demoed to prospects. We invest in technology and are proud to show current and potential customers that our technology is better than that of our competitors.”