Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

The “Let’s Make a Deal” Workflow

Written by Debbie Summers | Dec 6, 2016 9:13:43 PM

One of my favourite TV shows growing up was the game show “Let’s Make a Deal.” On the game show, a contestant is given the choice of three doors. Behind one door is The Big Deal; a car, a boat, a trip, behind another is a good prize; appliances, furniture; electronics, the third…that’s the Zonk, something of little or no value, like a goat.

I have nothing against goats but when it comes to commercial lines, complexity, necessity of information, or different team members needing access to that information, your workflow shouldn’t resemble a game show.

A “Let’s Make a Deal” workflow scenario looks something like this. The Big Deal (grand prize) is an email received from an underwriter a few weeks ago. Is it behind?

  • Door # 1, a Broker Management System (BMS)?
  • Door # 2, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software?
  • Door # 3. A labyrinth of folders containing hundreds maybe even thousands of assorted documents.

This grand prize email may be attached to the BMS, CRM or saved as an Outlook .msg in a folder. Nobody knows until all the doors are opened. This could be true of any piece of information you are looking for. Even worse is when you need it now. ZONK!!!!

Are you allowing guesswork to be a habitual part of your workflow?

I don’t understand why so many brokers insist their, “Let’s Make a Deal” workflow is efficient. Going to three or more sources to find information about an insured doesn’t sound very efficient to me. At best, there’s a one-in-three chance of finding it the first time—you just need to take the time to find it.

Now is the time to replace the guessing game with an endgame. Here are three first-rate ways to get there:

1. Create standardized workflows.

Your best game plan is to invest in a Commercial Management System (CMS) because it has everything you need to manage and grow your commercial book of business. It allows you to standardize your commercial processes, create submissions, market to multiple insurers simultaneously, create professional proposals, easily produce certificates of insurance and more.

In addition, a top-notch CMS integrates with your BMS. That takes out a lot of the guesswork as to where a piece of information like an email will be located because the integration component allows the two systems to ‘talk’ to each other.

2. Create a shared directory.

A shared directory is a folder that’s made accessible to team members or groups on a network. This the most common method of accessing and sharing information on a local area network. If all your commercial lines staff are on a shared directory, everything is accessible to them only. That is, employees in another department will not have access to their shared folder(s).

3. Make your workflows mandatory.

Once an efficient workflow is established, make it mandatory. Mandatory use of your CMS with subsequent mandatory workflows eliminates guesswork every time.

Keep in mind your CMS is living technology and that means it’s constantly evolving. It’s important to perform updates regularly. A workflow that’s really a workaround may be fixed in an upgrade. In these instances, the workflow has to change too or you’ll be right back to inefficient “Let’s Make a Deal” workflows.