- Based in Odon, IN.
- Founded in 1977
- 60% commercial and 40% personal
- 9 Employees
“The ease of use and cost sold us on Partner XE. Add to that the incredible service, and the ability to have personal relationships with your provider. Partner XE and SIS just can’t be beat.”
The Insurance Shop is an independent insurance agency that offers any type of insurance to serve a client’s personal, farm or business needs. Located in Odon, IN, The Insurance Shop team works hard to protect local families and businesses.
After a decade with another provider, John and the agency wanted to get more for their investment. They began a search for an agency management system that could do more without raising costs. Soon, they discovered SIS and Partner XE and recognized a match of ease-of-use and affordability. Read on to discover why they made the switch to Partner XE.
Tell me about The Insurance Shop—what were your beginnings?
Mark and Ginny Cornelius purchased a small agency in 1997, which grew to become The Insurance Shop. In 2003, the Cornelius’ son-in-law, John Britton, joined and became the principal for the Property & Casualty, Life & Health division. Together in 2003, they purchased a second location in Loogootee, IN, to serve expansion and to better serve clients local to the area.
We are a group of friendly, caring, loyal people working together to provide an empathetic approach to servicing clients. Everyone here takes a team approach, making every effort to support each other and service any client who calls or walks in.
How long were you with your previous system? What led you to consider changing your management system?
We were with our previous system for about ten years. The main driver for making a switch was the cost of our previous system. While that system had a lot of features, we just weren’t using them all. We realized we shouldn’t be paying for things we couldn’t use. When we learned about Partner XE, we realized it would cost about half of what we were paying and could do just about everything we needed.
What led you to SIS and Partner XE?
A member of the SIS sales team called us first. At first, we brushed his pitch off but when they reached out again, we stopped to listen. When the SIS team presented the XE system, we liked that the layout was familiar—similar to Microsoft Office programs—and was easy to use and follow.
That ease of use and cost made us stop and seriously consider Partner XE. We did some further research into other business management systems but eventually settled on Partner.
The fact that SIS is a smaller company was very attractive to us. The service was also impressive. SIS is still quick to get back to us within an hour or two of our reaching out. We feel like we have a say in what is going on with our management system.
What have you found SIS to provide that larger providers do not?
One word: Service. No other provider out there can compare with SIS. With SIS, you can develop personal relationships. We have gone to a number of workshops now and have gotten to meet so many people face to face. We know the people at SIS and they know us.
We’ve also noticed that SIS takes our suggestions seriously. With each upgrade to our system, we have seen past recommendations incorporated.
What aspects of the Partner XE system do you or your team use the most?
We really like the notes and to-do lists. On the clientside, everything is readily available and easy to access. Downloads work very well and our employees can quickly access everything in a policy when they open a client screen. We like that we can link to history activity (e.g., notes) in each file.
Accounting is also much easier with XE. Partner’s accounting program gives access to multiple reports, links together very well, and makes monthly financial reports easy. You don’t have to calculate anything. Once you transfer all of your information over to the system, it won’t allow you to make a wrong entry (e.g., credits and debits have to match). That’s incredibly valuable in terms of time, customer relationships and your bottom line.
Overall, we found that within 3-4 months we were comfortable with using Partner XE. In contrast, it took us almost three years to feel somewhat familiar with our previous system.
What advice would you offer to someone weighing SIS and Partner XE against other providers?
I’d say that it’s key to identify someone internally to lead the education on using the system. Have someone who can take the lead on answering questions and being a positive voice behind making a change.
I’d also recommend not trying to use all the features up front. Start off using what you have to to service customers and then gradually add in additional features. For example, at first we didn’t use the to-do list. Eventually, we focused on getting our employees to use that function, to ensure that any one of our staff could service clients who might come in or call with questions. Now, we don’t want to go back. The to-do list feature helps us follow our own internal procedures more and ensures a smooth workflow.
I’d also highly recommend that agencies use the accounting feature of Partner XE. Many firms that use Partner XE still use another system for accounting. But I highly recommend merging that aspect into Partner as well.
Any additional thoughts?
Ultimately, we would recommend Partner to any agency. The ease of use and cost, in addition to incredible customer service with a personal touch will prove invaluable.