2011 seemed to be a really slow year for insurance agency initiatives. Most of my clients updated document templates as necessary, updated a website or two and seemed to do only business improvements that were necessary. Reasons I have heard are:
- Budget constraints.
- We need to work and write business and not make improvements or changes.
- Nothing new happening with our systems so no updates or changes needed.
I get the budget constraints. But the other “reasons” are not valid in my opinion. If you are sitting still you are falling behind.
I find that often in agencies that do a budget, update the marketing plan for the new year and plan for other capital expenditures, updates in operations is frequently given the boot. I remember a time with systems didn’t change very often or the changes were so small that revisions to processes didn’t seem as important. But in today’s world this just isn’t the case.
I follow several agency management system vendors on social media and work directly with others. I see changes posted by one system or another every day. Such things as:
- A new carrier that is doing download with a particular system or a new line of business.
- The addition of claims downloads.
- The addition of accounting downloads.
- The states and or lines of business added to rating systems.
- Improvements to functionalities in one or more systems that you might be using.
Most vendors do at least one major update release to their system each year. A number of vendors do two or more a year.
If you are not looking at your operations standards, procedures and workflows throughout each year and updating, you are falling behind.
Your staff is not as efficient as they could be and you are losing money. Wasted time is wasted money.
What has changed that you have overlooked and not updated?