We admit it – there are few brokers who really love to enter data into a system. Especially a new system. But what we’ve learned over the years is that the real root of anxiety over “having to enter data into a system” stems from the fear of having to re-enter the same data over and over. As Frankenstein might say, “Data entry, good. Re-entering same data, bad.”
Contrary to popular belief, taking time to enter information into a new software system, especially when that system is new to your brokerage, can be beneficial. Here are three reasons why you should start to love entering data (but just once, of course).
1. Cleanse your data
When you’re entering data into a system (hopefully for the first time), think of it as a chance to cleanse the information on that policy. Yes, speed is of the essence when trying to win new business. But incomplete data ultimately creates workflow problems, like submissions falling to the bottom of the pile or having to recreate certificates over and over by cutting-and-pasting from Word documents.
If you are leading a team through a new software system implementation, talk about the value of making sure the information on each policy is correct as it’s entered into the system. Doing it once, but doing it right, will make all the difference down the road.
2. Learn the new system
Having to enter some or all of a policy’s data into a new software system can be bit painstaking at first. Why? Because users don’t know the system yet. Having to enter policy data into a new software tool is a good way to ensure that end users of the software actually use the system. More usage of a system means higher ROI on your investment in that system. And so begins the fly-wheel.
The better your commercial lines staff know a piece of software, the more they are going to use it. This leads to increased efficiencies and higher ROI. Win-win.
(To learn how to maximize your ROI on a software investment click here)
3. Start down the digital path
The foundation of ‘being digital’ is having machinable data. When your staff are filling out commercial-lines forms or documents, whether that be in Word, Excel or your BMS, they have to re-enter data over and over. This data is not machinable; it’s stuck in that Word or Excel document.
However, if data is being entered into a system or platform that supports data exchange, then you’re moving towards a ‘once-and-done’ workflow.
(click here to read our CEO’s views on being digital in commercial lines)
The industry standard
We understand that data entry is not ‘fun’. In a truly connected world, data should really only be entered once and then shared with all and any required stakeholder. But for now, that reality doesn’t exist.
So try to reduce the amount of re-entry of the same data, over and over and over. To do this, consider a system (like Policy Works) that is dedicated to capturing the breadth and depth of commercial lines information.
The key is to remember that data entry will never entirely disappear, but re-entry of data should. Let’s start there.