Capitalize on New Technology to Improve Business Processes

“Every time you improve your company’s business processes, you generate crucial benefits for your organization in the form of cost savings, efficiency gains, and greater customer loyalty and profitability.” - Mark McDonald, PhD, Harvard Business Review Press, Improving Business Processes (Pocket Mentor)


While it would be nice to think that we are all perfect, there are very few, if any, organizations that operate at a level of 100% efficiency – and as more and more technology is introduced, the higher that bar becomes. The trick is keeping up, making the most of what is available and knowing when it is time to reevaluate,  find something better and improve business processes.

For the average independent insurance agent, for example, there was a time when the Franklin Planner was the best way to track appointments – then came Outlook, and then the ability to sync Outlook directly to your agency management system. There was a time when using carrier websites to transfer data was the most efficient way of doing things – then came Real Time. There was time when an in-house server was the way to go – then came the cloud. The list goes on.

Change as Opportunity

The trick is knowing when it makes sense to adopt new technology as a way to improve business processes and knowing when to stick with what you have. It is also in investing in technology that will continue to be updated as a matter of course – without a lot of thought or work on your end.

In “The High Risk of Wait and See,” Daniel Burrus, CEO of Burrus Research argues for adoption, stating that, “When you start looking at the certainties around you (which point to opportunities), rather than focusing on the uncertainties (which point to risks), you can see how detrimental a “wait and see” approach can be—how you’re actually missing major new opportunities for sales and growth.”

Analyze Business Processes

When uncertain about adopting a new technology or way of doing business, a business process plan/ analysis is a good place to start. At the get go, it will help you identify inefficiencies, define problem points and identify areas for improvement. It will also help you as you move into the adaptation of new business processes should you choose to do so.

As Michael Hammer wrote in his HBR blog, The Process Audit, “In virtually every industry, companies of all sizes have achieved extraordinary improvements in cost, quality, speed, profitability, and other key areas by focusing on, measuring, and redesigning their customer-facing and internal processes.”

Improve Effectiveness

Business Process Improvement is really about changing business processes to improve effectiveness. From a technology standpoint, this could translate to upgrading to new systems or programs. It could also translate into merely learning to properly use the tools you already have.

As an independent insurance agency, questions to consider might be:
  • As an organization are we making the most of the tools we have available to us?
  • Are we benefiting from the flexibility and scalability afforded by the cloud?
  • Am I able to give my employees access to the information they need?
  • Am I able to access critical information I need for my business?
  • Are we using Real Time technology to its fullest?
  • Can I get access to accurate information in one place…for all my carriers?
  • Is my system scalable and easy to train on?

Depending on your answers, you may find that you HAVE the technology you need, you are just not using it. You may also find that the system you have is nowhere near as efficient as it could be.

Partner Effectively

When considering an agency management system, the answer to some of those questions lies in the feature the product offers, the answer to others lies in your agency management system partner’s commitment to understanding the evolving needs of an independent agent and whether or not they embrace an environment of continuous improvement. For more details on how to find a partner that’s right for you, see our post Evaluating Your Provider.

SIS is that insurance agency management system partner – stable, committed, progressive, responsive and independent.

 

Find out why so many agencies have been switching to Partner XE insurance agency management system from SIS. Call 800-747-9273 or click here to get in touch with a representative.