A Need for Technology
Technology plays a major part in the success of your agency as it grows. You can certainly make it through the first growth period without these valuable tools. Still, when your agency starts to take off, it is mandatory to have these systems in place and fully implemented into your day to day operations. In fact, I would submit these systems are important day ONE.
First, let's tackle the 'Management System' portion of your business. This is the system that will allow for true expansion. It will give you access to customer information, production reporting, downloads from carrier systems, and some offer accounting features. In many cases, this system will also help protect you from E&O predicaments as you can save customer interaction information that is time-stamped and not erased.
For example, our organization uses Salesforce for our agency management system. At first, it was a considerable cost but has become instrumental in our growth while minimizing our growing pains. It allows us to store all of our customer information, comes with cloud-based filing features, e-signature compatibility, and even various producer tracking and accounting features. In addition to all of these features, it offers incredible reporting capabilities!
Salesforce and AdobeSign
Salesforce allows us to operate completely paperless. As a 'cloud-based' system, we can access customer information and files from anywhere in the world through a secure interface. We also utilize the Adobe Sign electronic signature system that is connected directly with Salesforce. It allows us to email a customer directly out of the system to gather needed signatures. Once e-signed, the document is sent back and automatically filed under the customer account. We find this helps us stay on top of signed applications and agreements without the hassle of going back and forth between our system and the carrier websites.
Other management software packages worth exploring include AMS360 and Hawksoft. There are literally dozens available, and research to compare them is fairly easy online.
How much will a management system cost?
The cost of these systems can vary greatly. We offer ours with modifications for insurance agency use to our group members for $100 per month. However, most range between $250 and $400 per month. Different providers may also charge for each organization or by login. Regardless, this valuable tool should be a requirement for any agency looking to streamline growth and stay organized.