Kramer Insurance Agency
- Based in Langhorne, PA.
- 40% commercial and 60% personal
- 40 Employees
“This is still a people business … they have gained my loyalty, not because of their product, but because of their people. And because their product is a good product and it works, I am staying.”
After years of struggling with a system that was “convoluted and hard to use,” and getting poor service from an agency management system provider who wouldn’t listen, Steven Kramer of Kramer Insurance Center in Langhorne, PA knew he had to switch.
“The glitches [with our previous system], and there were a lot of glitches, were never their fault. We are all human. I make mistakes. Everyone in my office makes mistakes but (they) NEVER made mistakes… so after five years of dealing with their wonderful service and brilliant minds I decided we should look elsewhere,” he said.
“Elsewhere” turned out to be Partner XE from SIS.
How did you end up with SIS/Partner XE as your agency management system?
We started searching carriers that had insurance database systems. We looked at features. We looked at costs. We looked at ease of use, the learning curve, downloading ability AND which company representatives (most important) opened their ears and listened. SIS listened. That is what impressed me the most. There was another system I thought might be slightly better, but in the end it came back to the big thing — Who listened? Who was willing to try and solve the issues?
How did the conversion to Partner XE go?
Because they had not gone through the conversion process from (my previous system) before, I was their guinea pig and the conversion itself actually took longer than it should have. But the bottom line is, throughout the whole process they always listened to what I had to say. With SIS,I didn’t mind the glitches because it was never “my fault” it was “how can we work on this together to solve the issue” it was a “we” thing – a “you are our partner and we want this to work” thing. Everyone makes mistakes… it is how you handle those things that is important.
Why does it matter so much whether your agency management system partner will listen?
You have a programmer sitting behind a desk, writing code. He doesn’t sit in an agency office. He doesn’t know what is really important. He is not thinking of “fills” – back fills and forward fills and things like that … that is where, NASPA, agency input and SIS’ willingness to listen comes into play.
SIS has showed me that my concerns are important to them. I have showed them a number of things. The difference between them and (the folks at my old system) is that at SIS they were excited to see this stuff… to see how they can incorporate it. This is why I think Partner is going to grow and end up being a big player in this market.
These are the things you want in a company. They don’t’ have to be the biggest company in the world… Heck… our company isn’t the biggest but our business is 75% referral. We have to be doing something right. It is the little things.
So, would you say bigger is not always better?
Look at it this way. When you look at a mouse standing next to an elephant, you’d say that mouse could never eat that elephant. But it can – just a little bit at a time. Partner doesn’t have to be that big massive company – that elephant. Think about the elephant (or huge system) like a ship, like an aircraft carrier that has to go twelve miles to make a circle. I’d rather see a limber battleship (like Partner) that can turn on a dime in the middle of the ocean. SIS and Partner are setting themselves up to say “here is some new technology let’s see if we can incorporate it in 90 days.”
How has the Partner XE agency management system made your life easier?
It improved workflow because it is simple to use. It is not a grandiose program that has a nine-month learning curve. All and all, the system also keeps us out of E&O problems when used properly. I am terrible at taking notes. It is making me better because I am doing the notes. What is happening too is it is now easier for our CSR’s to follow what is going on – because anyone can pull up a client file and know what is going on. I have no overall complaints from a user standpoint.
How does the fact that it is an online hosted agency management system help?
Even before I was on Partner XE, I have always been online. Once I knew I could go online I got rid of my servers in house. Having remote access has reduced my overall net costs. Here I have a 24/7 server watcher and if the server blows up they have it backed up seven times.
If you had to list the top things you like about SIS/ XE what would they be?
I really like the layout of the home screen. I can see all the notes/ to dos I have today and in the next five days. I can immediately see what appointments I have. That is crucial. It helps with self-organization. You know what you are doing, where you are going, who you are quoting and what reminders you need to send out. To me that is the most important part of a system. Not only that, it is a one click process from the home screen to the client screen so it is easy to do what you need to do when you need to do it.
Then there are the people we work with. The customer service people at SIS are probably some of the nicest, most professional people I have ever dealt with… in our business or anywhere. The whole company is very team oriented. It is a total team atmosphere to the point that I know if I call the president of the company I’ll get to talk with him – if not immediately, then soon thereafter. It is a real pleasure to be able to do business with them this way. It is nice. It is refreshing.