Have “The Talk” – Signs Its Time to Leave Your Agency Management System [eGuide]

16_05_sis_breakup_eguide_thumbnailYou know when a relationship just isn’t working. You’re miserable. They’re not listening. It’s time to confront the problems or move on.

An agency’s relationship with their management system is no different. Our latest eGuide It’s Not Me, It’s You: Signs It’s Time to Let Your Agency Management System Go focuses on the signs it’s time to change your agency management system.

(more…)

Top 5 Agency Processes That Need to Be Paperless

paperlessAt this point in the digital age, most agencies are aware of the benefits of going paperless. Your agency can save time and money by offering paperless quotes and the ability to esign insurance documents, among other paperless processes. Eliminating paper frees up physical space in your office and makes it easier to find what you need. And, most importantly, more and more of your customers will expect paperless processing.

(more…)

Conversion Checklist eGuide Released

Choosing a new agency management system can be an intimidating process. With so many options offering such different experiences, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and overlook some of the most important aspects. You need to do your homework to find the right system and right provider, and make sure you’ll have a good conversion process. This last bit is oft-overlooked, yet is a crucial part of finding the best system for you and your agency.

Our latest eGuide can help set you on the right track for conversion success. This conversion checklist covers areas such as transition planning, data back-up, and system training among other useful topics. Armed with this checklist, you’ll be able to get the answers that will point you towards the right management system for your agency.

For more tips and tricks on how to choose a new agency management system or use your current system to the fullest, check out our resources page. We’re always working to add new content to help you improve your agency processes, reboot your systems, and help you be a more efficient, effective business. Contact us today with any suggestions on what you’d like to hear about next!

 

 

Conversion Transition and Training: Does Your Provider Have What it Takes?

transition trainingTo round out our series of posts focused on system conversion and finding the best conversion provider, we look to the transition process itself. Providers may be vague in saying they will “make the transition smooth” or “provide training” to ensure you’re ready for conversion. You have a right to gain clarity from these nebulous promises! Be straightforward with your potential provider and get the facts on what they’ll provide to make the transition and training of your conversion process painless and positive.

Transition and Training Questions for Your Provider

  • How have other agencies prepared?  What are the most effective ways to help my agency learn?
  • What type of training will be provided for the transition? Online? Onsite? Blend of both?
  • How many trainers will be onsite?  For how long?
  • If additional training is needed what are the costs?
  • How will you tailor training to my agency’s specific needs?
  • Will you work with me after the conversion if I want to make any adjustments post-initial conversion?
  • What is the transition timeline? How will you ensure we stick to this timeline?
  • Who will be involved in the transition (on your end and their end)?
  • Will additional training be offered as updates are made? At what cost?
  • What additional transition supports can you provide? User groups? Personalized troubleshooting?

Besides asking these questions, you should also question agency owners who recently transitioned to the provider. The best and most honest reviews come from the clients themselves to learn more about their experiences and things they’d do different knowing what they know.

Securing the Right Service Support for a Successful Conversion Experience

service supportIn this post, we continue our focus on ensuring a positive conversion experience for you and your independent insurance agency. As we look at the many facets of each agency management system provider, service and support stand out as critical pieces of the conversion puzzle. Knowing a provider has your back before, during, and after conversion can go a long way. In order to have conversion success, check in with your potential provider on the who, what, when, where, and how of client support.

Who will guide your agency through the conversion? Will they remain with your agency afterwards?

Continuity of service is ideal, as is getting to know who you’ll be working with during your conversion. Ensure the provider gives time for you to be in conversation with the conversion team so you feel comfortable with and know who you’re working with during the process.

What issues can happen during conversion? What guarantees are offered for data integrity in the conversion?

These questions are critical. Get to know what to look out for and how the provider will ensure your data is effectively converted.  What type of documentation is provided as to what will convert and what won’t convert.

Where will conversion happen? Onsite at your agency? At the provider’s offices? Another location?

The closer you and your provider are during the conversion process the better. It is ideal to have your staff and your provider’s conversion staff in conversation as conversion happens so any glitches can be addressed immediately from both ends.

When will the conversion take place? Does your agency have input in timeline?

Besides the obvious question of the “when”, it is important to find out how much input you will have in setting the conversion timeline. The more a provider can work with you, the better the experience will be from a staff and client standpoint.

How can your agency gain support afterwards? Online? Onsite visits?

Many agencies forget the importance of support in the aftermath of conversion. Even if the process goes seamlessly, chances are you and your staff will need support in figuring out how to read new data output or explain any changes in client facing aspects. The more support the provider can give, the better.

We at SIS know the importance of providing such service and support, and are committed to ensuring you and your agency fully understand and trust your conversion experience with us. To get details about the conversion process, contact us today at sales@sisware.com.

Getting the Right Agency Management System Requirements for Successful Conversion

successful conversionIn our last post, we covered some “need to ask” questions for independent insurance agency owners looking to switch agency management system providers. These questions help lead agency owners to providers who will ensure that the most important process of system transition—data conversion—goes smoothly.

However, preliminary vetting questions do not provide all the information an agency owner needs. Once it’s clear a provider is a good choice, it’s time to really get to know their system. To get a good read, focus on Conversion Capabilities, Conversion Process, Post Conversion Data Clean up and Data Retrieval and Backup. Each of these areas will provide a good predictor for conversion performance. Below are some sample questions for each arena.

Conversion Capabilities

  • How many conversions have you completed from my current management system?
  • How many different agency management systems do you convert data from?
  • Is your team in-house or is this outsourced?

Conversion Process

  • How much data is actually converted?
  • Will you work directly with my data or do I have to provide csv. files and spreadsheets?
  • Will you run a test conversion?

Post Conversion Data Clean up

  • Who is responsible for data clean up?
  • How do we communicate issues with the data?
  • What should our expectations be for response time?

Data Retrieval and Backup

  • Will you provide a backup on request?
  • How and where is backup data stored?

These questions are a good start to finding out if a potential provider’s system can and will handle conversion successfully. Agency management system providers should be willing to engage in these questions and provide thoughtful, complete answers.

We at SIS address some of these concerns related to our Partner XE on our FAQ page and have our dedicated sales team ready to talk through any questions or concerns related to system conversion. Get in conversation today! Contact us at sales@sisware.com or 800.747.7005.