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Old 07-08-2013, 11:52 AM   #1
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State: jrandall19 is an Insurance Agent from Undisclosed Location
Agency Mgmt System Agency Mgmt System
At the risk of sounding naive I would like some input regarding management systems. As someone who started an independent agency 4 yrs ago and came from a captive; i have never used a management system. We are about $1mi in premium, 1 ft, 1pt agent, 2 standard carriers, 2 non standard. We've been able to manage by utilizing the carriers own reporting to access our book performance reports, audits etc. We scan everything to a client virtual file and track all communication with Microsoft Business Contact manager which tracks all email communication, allows journal entries and provides options for bulk communications to our clientele.

I have been researching several mgmt system options and do not "see" the ROI of purchasing a system. I realize our patchwork system is a little more labor intensive, but cannot see where we'd get any lift in production, retention, or anything else to profitably grow the agency beyond our current efforts. Again, I need to see the ROI.

Am I missing something???? Any words of wisdom are much appreciated.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
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infoe on Agency Mgmt System
 
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State: infoe is an Insurance Agent from Florida
Agency Mgmt System Re: Agency Mgmt System
I'm glad you worded the post the way you did because I was wondering how you've managed so far with the premium you have. You mentioned you don't have that many carriers. It's impressive to have 1mil of BOB with 2standard and 2 nonstandard. It's working for you...so far.

I'm not at a mil in premium yet, we are an agency of two (both owners) and we use a basic agency management system as well but it was designed by us...someone that wanted to get the management system business going but decided to go elsewhere and leaves it up and running for us so we have it to the point where he left off fully functional but will have no future updates.

To quickly answer your question, I can tell you to just think about the future. Would your current set up allow you to grow? what if you had 5 part timers and 4-5 full timers and more carriers..would your system work for you or would it be a hinderance?

It will be hard to calculate your ROI on the workflow effeciency...how much more can each person get done now with an effective management sytem.

It doesnt answer your question but I think it gives you a different way to view it
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Old 07-08-2013, 12:10 PM   #3
djs
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Agency Mgmt System Re: Agency Mgmt System
Times have changed.

With limited carriers and a good crm system, you can get by without a management system for a while. Heck, many agencies do. At some point though, policies start getting lost, clients get forgotten and renewals missed.

With a few carriers, if they offer a decent web interface (most do now), you can check the carriers for things that have changed in the last few days. No big deal, but it does take time.

You can submit apps to various carriers for quotes, but again, with limited carriers, you probably have a decent idea of where to place the business anyway.

Not sure if you use a rating system, but integration between a rating system and a management system is very, very helpful.

It also sounds like you are mostly personal lines, which makes it a bit easier to do this by 'hand'.....

But....... even though its possible, doesn't mean its worthwhile trimming those few bucks. Like I said, many agencies survive without management systems for some time, but once they install them, most wish they had done it sooner. It really is all about workflow efficiency.

What is the biggest advantage? In my mind it is that the management system interfaces to the carriers and uploads/downloads policy information. For instance, if you change a vehicle on a policy on the carrier website, it gets reflected on the management system.

If a policy lapses because of non-payment, non-renewal, non-whatever, you can easily track those and try to recover the policy. If a significant rate change happens on a policy, you'll be alerted to it. A claim happens, you'll see it.

Then, if you get into commercial, management systems are an almost must. They allow you to print forms, populate accords, create the required evidence of insurances, and whatever else your client will need.

There is nothing a management system does that you can't do with an excel spreadsheet and time invested on your part. It's about capturing your time to spend it more wisely.

Dan
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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Agency Mgmt System
Which is the preferred homeowners quoting system in the IA world? Is there such a "one?"
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #5
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AdvisorsIns on Agency Mgmt System
 
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Agency Mgmt System
I started my agency from scratch last March. I have used a management system and Rater since day one. Check out QQ evolution. Amazing to work with and incredibly affordable. I use PL Rater for quoting. I have one other sales agent working for me and we are about to hit 700k in premium this week. At less than $150 per month the management system saves so much time with the downloads. My office averages 4 policies per day. If I had to enter that stuff in or pay someone to do it it would cost me a ton of $$ in time. If we had to do all that data entering on our own it would cut our production down by at least 1 policy per day.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:26 PM   #6
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Agency Mgmt System
What State are you in currently? Just asking as to if that system is available in Florida.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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AdvisorsIns on Agency Mgmt System
 
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Agency Mgmt System
Look into QQ Evolution and PL Rater. Started my agency from scratch last April using this software from day one. Saves so much time having everything downloaded in. About to hit 700k in premium this week. Between myself and one other agent who started working for me in November we average 100 applications per month in home auto business life and health. If I had to enter all that in myself I could see it dragging our production average down. At a cost for both pieces of software of $255 per month. That is the commission from 1 home/auto package. I guarantee it is worth it. Buy it today!!
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Sorry thought my last post failed. I'm in SC
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Discrepancy in start date. Opened the business March 15 2012 but by the time I had appointments and started writing business it was late April - June before things got rolling.
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Last edited by AdvisorsIns; 07-08-2013 at 10:32 PM. Reason: Posts merged
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:39 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info!
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:44 PM   #9
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AdvisorsIns on Agency Mgmt System
 
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Agency Mgmt System
Not sure if you are apart of a local SIAA chapter. It was a huge decision to make, but has proven to be worth it financially and through all the deals you get. Extra bonuses and immediate profit sharing has more than paid for itself.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:53 AM   #10
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Agency Mgmt System
Originally Posted by AdvisorsIns View Post
Not sure if you are apart of a local SIAA chapter. It was a huge decision to make, but has proven to be worth it financially and through all the deals you get. Extra bonuses and immediate profit sharing has more than paid for itself.
@advisorsins.... I would love to ask you more questions on how Siaa is working out for you. I am a new agent and am setting up becoming independent. I do mainly commercial and I am a one man shop.
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