“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”—Henry David Thoreau
One of the most challenging tasks for management, in any organization, is creating alignment between strategy and operations. Brokerages are no different.
Management sets the strategic direction. Staff are then expected to execute on this vision. The question for management becomes one of measuring: how do you assess if the plan is working and teams are working on the right things to hit targets?
Systems like Policy Works (for commercial lines) BMS systems (personal lines) are tools that are designed to enable front-line staff to do their work more efficiently and effectively. Management (executive, principals, managers) are often not in these systems. That makes sense as they are often not the ones executing on the day-to-day, working on policies as they move through the policy lifecycle.
Management is focused on the vision, the long-term. And this is where the disconnect comes in.
To date, no system in Canada, including Policy Works, is good at providing meaningful insights or analytics to help management make better decisions in commercial lines. Brokers across Canada use systems that do not provide the type of feedback that management needs to measure the effectiveness of their team or their strategic plans.
Instead, what you're likely to see is information being copied and pasted out of different systems into an Excel spreadsheet to try and analyze. The effort required to capture, copy and paste data out of systems and into an Excel sheet almost make it not worth doing. Often, it just doesn't get done. The result is management being left to piece together results with anecdotal information coming back to them from managers and their team.
We aim to fix that.
Strategy, Meet Operations
By April of this year (2019), we will have launched our Analytics product. It will be a cloud-based platform designed specifically for brokerage owners, principals and managers (you can download the product road map here that outlines the analytics we're focusing on).
Combining detailed policy and workflow data, our analytics tool will give brokers the ability to accurately measure the results of their strategic plans. And not just, "did we increase revenue" or "have our leads risen," but detailed analysis of how their commercial team is performing.
For example, every principal or manager we talked to wants to better understand their book of business. Insights like coverage gap analysis by line of business or sales revenue by line of business/producer are the most popular. Why? Because they are a window into where the brokerage is succeeding and who's driving that success.
From growth to retention to insurer relationships, our goal is to change how brokers use analytics to measure their strategy.
If you're unsatisfied with your ability to analyze your commercial book, stay tuned. Analytics is on the way (download our road map).
Analytics for principals
Commercially focused brokers need to know what's happening with their book. We've developed an analytics eBook roadmap to help.