Phil Richard Insurance Agency
- Based in Danvers, MA
- Founded in 1988
- 50% commercial and 50% personal
- 15 Employees
“From our perspective, we are so committed to Partner XE and helping more agencies see the benefit of this system. We recommend that all small to mid-sized agencies really look at the cost/benefits analysis with Partner XE. Why would you pay for a system that you complain about every day, and which is costing you double what you could otherwise pay? I can say, without reservation, that Partner XE is the system today’s agencies ought to be using.”
Phil Richard Insurance is an independent, full service, family-owned insurance agency offering property and casualty products, as well as commercial insurance. Based in Danvers, Mass, this first-generation agency is founded on relationships, service, and integrity. After trying multiple agency management systems sold by today’s major providers, owners Phil and Patti Richard looked down the road and realized they needed a better system to serve their long-term business goals, as well as to maintain the high quality customer service their clients have come to expect. Read on to discover why they chose and continue to advocate for SIS and Partner XE as the agency management system of choice.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your Phil Richard Insurance?
Right now, we are most proud of our daughter, Jacqui, who was recently highlighted by the BostonVoyager for her role in managing our agency’s Outreach Team and Business Development Initiative. We are extremely proud of her (and of all four of our daughters). Jacqui has done so much for our agency, helping us to grow and serve our community in the way we have always envisioned. She is bringing a lot of awareness to our agency that otherwise might not have happened. The family oriented ownership here is important to us. I am so proud to work alongside our CFO my wife Patti—who I would be lost without—our daughter, Jacqui and my other daughter Jordan who is working part-time on projects while going to school. We are also proud to be an agency that is always focused on staying ahead of the curve in terms of product offerings, implementing new technologies, etc. Early on, we harnessed the concept of scanning and attaching documents when many agencies were still paying to mail documents and proposals via snail mail. We have also harnessed opportunities to support remote employees, as the cost of labor rises and the labor pool shrinks. Having a vision for the future continues to contribute to our success.
What prompted your agency to change management systems?
It is important to us that we are always looking a little bit further down the road, thinking about how to remain a viable, profitable entity. We had switched to other agency management systems before but kept finding that we were using only about 30-40% of the features of these more expensive products. The systems were tedious and built for agencies that have hundreds of employees. We engaged our staff in making a decision to switch systems.
How did you learn about SIS and Partner XE?
We attended the Massachusetts Agent’s Convention in Boston. Partner XE was there with a demonstration. We stopped and talked with the sales executive and exchanged cards but had just switched to another large provider’s system, so couldn’t make a change yet. SIS would call us every year around the same time. About two years after that first introduction at the convention, we sat our staff down and had them go through the Partner XE demo. As they were “oohing” and “ahhing” through it, we all agreed Partner XE could do everything our agency needed without all of the fluff. It was also clearly very easy to use.
What have you found SIS is able to provide that larger providers do not?
From the get-go, we immediately noticed how friendly and personable all of the SIS staff is. They clearly care about our agency’s unique needs. Our first encounters were with their training team, who came onsite for our training. By the end of the three days, we were taking them out to dinner; we had a real relationship with them. We have also been able to develop a personal relationship with Michael Doran. That is very important to us, to be able to have personal relationships with the vendors we work with. With Partner XE, you can get individual training for your staff, as well as simple, short and easy to understand webinars. The learning curve for our new staff is significantly faster than with previous providers. Also, any time we have a concern or bring something up that we need, SIS takes it to heart and we have seen many enhancements to Partner XE over the years. It shows that SIS cares about our agency’s needs and wants. It has been a really nice ride with them.
How has your agency changed since implementing Partner XE?
We have been able to develop systematic workflows, which has been huge for us. With our previous provider, that wasn’t possible. Partner XE is so user-friendly. The enhanced reporting features are also vital to us, which was something we had asked for. We are also looking forward to the new CRM system, which will enable us to better manage our assets and benchmark, as opposed to using third-party software. There are so many things Partner XE has helped us do better.
What features of the Partner XE system stand out to you the most?
We use the accounting and reporting features, as well as the search capabilities that enable you to pull reports. Certificates of insurance are also something we do a lot. The client portal and cross-referencing features are extremely helpful to our staff, as well as the scanning features. The ease with which we can scan documents and drop them into the appropriate folder is fantastic.
Do you have any advice for other agencies that are realizing they need to switch management systems but may be holding back from doing so?
I’d advise that they save all the reports from the old system. From an accounting perspective it will help a lot to ensure all of your information is correct. Ultimately, we’d recommend that all agencies really look at the cost/benefits analysis with Partner XE. Why would you pay for a system that you complain about every day, and which is costing you double what you could otherwise pay? I can say, without reservation, that if an agency hasn’t considered Partner XE, they ought to look into it today. This is the system they should be using.
Anything else you’d like to add?
From our perspective, I am so committed to Partner XE and helping more agencies see the benefit of this system. In the interest of full disclosure, I am on their agent’s advisory board. But, I constantly say to other agencies, “We save thousands of dollars per year. How much do you pay? Come out and let us show Partner XE to you. We are an agency that has experienced real value with this system. We are not a salesperson. Let us show you what it means to our agency.” We’d also highlight the fact that SIS and Partner XE are constantly upgrading the product, which is only going to make it a better system. They are actively pursuing constant enhancement. These enhancements stem from the agencies needs—Partner XE prioritizes what agents are asking for, not want they want to sell. The big players don’t do that. Those flashy systems just fall short on so many levels.