Agency Management System Vendors Blind Spot

In the past few weeks I have been asked by two different sources for information and opinions on issues with agency management systems.  One of these inquires was about Real Time, client portals and new functionalities.  The other was about systems being current with ACORD forms.  My response to each spurred me on to write about this issue.

blue piggybank blindfolded

This will take more than one post.  Your clients have a lot they want me to discuss with you.

Every visit with an agency involves at least one conversation about an issue with their agency management system.  I am often asked to discuss the issue with the vendor.  While every vendor listens, answers questions and thanks me for the input, I have no power and nothing gets done.  Users are going to need to band together and put “REAL” pressure on vendors in order to get things done.

I was told many years ago by a very insightful agency owner to never, never trust the vendor.  This was long before agency management systems.  I thought he meant the salesperson.  And in that day and time that was mostly the case.  However, today it goes beyond sales.  More than once in my career, I have been the consultant that got to deliver the news to an agency that their system did not do some function as promised.  In response to this I have heard bad words (not directed at me), seen tears and had individuals leave the room to be physically ill.

Many of my past conversations with vendors and their programmers and even programmers of private systems tell me that they have no idea of the impact of non working functions in systems.  They don’t even understand the issues with extra clicks in getting a process accomplished.

Tomorrow I will discuss Real Time and future enhancements.  I will be attending the ACT Meeting in New Orleans this week.  Agents, please feel free to discuss your issues with me.  They will be held in confidence.  Vendors I would love to have meaningful conversations with you as well.  To my friends, if you see it getting ugly, please come to my rescue.