Boyle Insurance Agency
- Based in Memphis, TN, additional location in Nashville, TN
- Founded in 1933 as Boyle Investment Co.
- 79% Commercial, 15% Personal, 1% Life, Health & Benefits
- 25 Employees
“We were nervous, having flashbacks of our last conversion with our old provider. But it was such a breeze! All told, it took about six weeks to fully adapt, and we had someone working side-by-side with us the whole time. There was very little we had to do. “
When Cindi Gresham of Boyle Insurance Agency saw yet another price increase in her current management system, she hit her breaking point. After seeing costs go up almost 40% in five years, she knew it was time to find a new system and provider that offered stability. After hearing about Partner Platform from a fellow agency owner, she met the team and knew she’d found what she needed.
Cindi and her team confidently signed on to Partner Platform, yet they still were worried they’d see a repeat of the disastrous conversion they’d experienced with their old provider. They were pleasantly surprised to experience a stress-free conversion and gain a friendly, responsive partner they could count on.
We talked with Cindi about her experience and why she recommends Partner Platform to everyone she knows.
Tell us about Boyle Insurance Agency – who are you, and who do you serve?
Boyle is a family-owned agency formed back in 1933. We started as Boyle Investment Company, a development company, building homes and providing mortgages through New York Life. Eventually, Boyle Investment decided to add insurance to their offerings, leading to the creation of Boyle Insurance Agency. We’ve grown to an agency of 25 employees with offices in Memphis and Nashville.
We specialize in non-profit, senior home care (home health and assisted living), construction, and “main street” business. We write in almost every state and cover everything from $50 to multimillion-dollar notary bonds. Our experience has the depth and breadth to cover it all.
We’re also very involved with industry groups. We’re part of SecureRisk – a co-op of agents in the South – and are the founding members of SecureRisk Tennessee. We’re also part of Insurors of Tennessee and Big I. I’m the National Director representing Tennessee on the IIABA board.
When did you start thinking about changing management system providers? What prompted the change?
We’d been with two management systems before Partner Platform. Both were national, big-name providers. The first one stopped supporting the version they’d sold to us, and we needed to pay to convert to their new version. The price was astronomical, so we looked for something new.
The second system we used promised us they would keep their system the same and wouldn’t pull the rug out from us like the first. It was a very robust system, but we only used about 25% of what they provided. What got us again was the price. They kept increasing the price year to year, and eventually, it’d gone up by almost 40% in five years. That was enough for us, so we started looking again.
How did your first hear about Partner Platform? What were your impressions?
I heard about the Partner Platform system from a fellow agency owner I’ve known for years. When I told him we were looking, right away he recommended Partner Platform. He’d used the same system we had and was similarly frustrated that they didn’t need the whole system and kept paying way too much for something they didn’t need.
I had met Michael (Doran, SIS President) several times at Insuror’s events. So, when I got the recommendation, I called him. He was, of course, as he always is, the ultimate gentleman and a delight to talk to. And when the SIS team came to our office to give us a demo, it was the same. They were all down-to-earth, very friendly. In fact, the Partner Platform team was the only team I met! None of the other vendors came to meet us in person like that.
As an owner, what outcomes were you after?
First was a better price. We wanted something more affordable, and that wouldn’t creep up with unexpected costs over the years. Next was service. The service we’d got from our other providers was just terrible. They took multiple days to get back to us, and we rarely talked to the same person. In this day and age, you can’t do that. We wanted a provider that would be responsive and consistent.
Along with good service, we also wanted a quality conversion. Our last conversion was a disaster, and at the time, I swore we’d never do it again. So, we were anxious about the conversion and wanted someone that would make it less stressful and all-around smoother.
Tell us more about your conversion experience. What was that like for you?
We were nervous, having flashbacks of our last conversion with our old provider. But it was such a breeze! All told, it took about six weeks to convert all our data, and we had someone working side-by-side with us the whole time. There was very little we had to do.
The data was all there – which was something I worried about. We had scanned everything in, and I just didn’t know if it would convert. It did! It can be scary when you move to paperless – worrying that something will be lost forever if a conversion doesn’t go well. In the end, we had nothing to worry about. We still talk about how shockingly easy it was as compared to our previous experience. I’ve recommended Partner Platform to several agencies based on that conversion experience alone.
What factors were most important in your decision-making process?
Hands down the service. We definitely got the savings we were looking for, but it’s the service that stands out. As soon as we email the Partner Platform team about something, we get a call back in less than a day – often in just a few hours. And it’s not just for emergencies; it’s anything we need help with, they respond quickly.
I also love how the Partner Platform team is so open to ideas and suggestions from agencies. The other systems we worked with – which, of course, are both owned by hedge funds – were very much “This is our system. That’s it”. But Partner Platform is always open to hearing how things can improve.
It’s also just an easy system to operate. It’s easy to maneuver. Sometimes systems get so complex that you lose everything, but not Partner Platform. It helps you move quickly and efficiently so you can get more done but still do it well. Whether it’s setting up clients and policies or download, it’s all so intuitive and very efficient.
How has your partnership evolved over the years? How have Partner Platform and the SIS team helped you advance towards or reach your agency goals?
We’re finishing our fifth year with Partner Platform, and I think every enhancement we’ve asked for has happened or is in the works.
The Partner Platform User Community has helped with improving our operations, too. Regionally I’ve been to the meetings here in Memphis, and I love talking with other agencies, sharing the different ways they do things in the system. We get so much out of that; the way people use the system and how they do it.
And with the Partner Platform staff trainers at the meetings, you hear about new ways to use the system from people who know it best. And it’s always a great refresher. There’s so much you hear about it when you first have your training, but it’s so overwhelming, and you forget a lot of the little details. At the regional meetings, you get to follow up, hear tidbits, and remember.
Nationally, at your last conference in Columbus, we sent two people to it, and they both came back with lots of information. And we plan to go to the next one – we love to be there.
As you look to the future, what challenges are you preparing for in the next 5-10 years? How is Partner Platform helping you prepare for those challenges?
I think it’s going to become more critical than ever for clients to access self-service like printing ID cards and certificates of insurance. Technology moves fast, and people expect instant information. Partner Platform already offers a Client Portal that does just that.
I also think the demand for qualified professionals will grow. It’s important to increase training and educational opportunities, which Partner Platform offers. The family-owned agency is disappearing with all the mergers and acquisitions. Partner Platform can help keep those family agencies – which I think in small towns are vital – active and serving their community.