An agency management system is the largest technology expensefor virtually any agency regardless of the particular vendor orplatform. When these systems are well managed, they help youragency maximize internal productivity and provide a better customerexperience.

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The following are some of what I've found to be the mostcommonly underutilized functions in an agency managementsystem.

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Proposals and Templates

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For those systems that have an integrated proposal and templatecapability often an agency staff doesn't fully take advantage ofthe merge functions. For example, the “mail merge” function allowsyou to automatically insert common boilerplate language intostandard correspondence. You also can generate proposals thatinclude policy information merged from the client's record.

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When merge templates are not well defined your staff has to takethe time to edit and change the merged document. A lot of time iswasted by individuals editing single letters or proposals. This isespecially problematic when proposals are created from your agencymanagement system. How many times have you had to completely redo aproposal because the merged document was not correct?

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Carrier Marketing

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Many agency management systems have a module that tracks theaccount submissions made to insurance companies. Trackingcarrier-specific information about the submissions you've madeprovides agency management with valuable information that you canuse to enhance your relationship with each carrier you represent.The type of information tracked can include: the number ofsubmissions, the number of declines to quote, how many submissionswere quoted but not sold by the agency, and the accounts quoted andsold by the agency. Insurance companies track this informationabout agencies. You should too.

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Ensure Accurate Data

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Agency management systems provide places (fields) to store atremendous amount of information about clients and prospects. Iaudit agency system databases and find that many agencies don'thave quality data. Incomplete or inaccurate data impacts agencyproductivity. If the basic information within the agency databaseis not accurate and consistent then any reports generated from thebad data will not be useful.

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Reports

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Many agencies continue to use the standard reports included withtheir management systems. You should explore additional reportsthat might be available to help you better manage your agency. Oneexample is monthly production. Agencies often use some other means(like an Excel spreadsheet) to track new business and monthlycommissions. You should be able to pull this information directlyfrom your management system and eliminate the redundant data entry.Many reports can now be exported from the management systemdirectly into spreadsheets for specific analysis.

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Many systems now provide report-writing functionality thatallows you to more easily create custom reports.

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