Three ways to make the most of summer downtime at your brokerage

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It’s August and we’re now into the homestretch of summer vacation.  Half your commercial lines team is away, and your August renewal list could fit on a post card. If you’re feeling a bit restless and want the clock to move faster, here are three ways to make the most of summer downtime at your brokerage.

summer_downtime

1. Declutter your desk/credenza/closet or workstation.

If you’ve worked at the same brokerage for a while, chances are you have one or more junk drawers containing:

  • Trade show swag.
  • Insurance directories dating back to 2010 (or earlier).
  • Assorted pieces of literature explaining programs insurers don’t write anymore.
  • User guides and manuals that are out-of-date.
  • CDs, USB sticks and diskettes whose contents are a mystery.

Save the mysteries for your summer reading list. Grab a garbage bag, recycling bin and have at it! Invite your co-workers to take part. They’re probably looking for something to do anyway, and many hands make light work.  No one wants to visit a brokerage that looks like it’s having a rummage sale. Unless it is having a rummage sale.

2. Tidy up your Inbox.

If you don’t have time or energy to do a physical activity like decluttering, cleaning up an Inbox can be a cathartic experience, and it doesn’t occupy a lot of time because you can do it in small chunks.

If your brokerage is using MS Outlook, have you tried using the Clean Up feature on your Home page?  It allows you to clean up conversations, folders and sub-folders. 

Here’s a tip: To delete multiple emails, press CTRL + CLICK to select at random or press SHIFT + CLICK to select as a group.

3. Clean up your network folders.

Everyone has a catchall folder called “Temp” (or something similar) where you place Word documents, PDFs, photos, spreadsheets and assorted insurance things. It’s dumped there for weeks, months, even years.

Peruse your “Temp” file and get rid of what you don’t need. Most deleted items get moved into your recycle bin for easy retrieval if you change your mind.  In addition, your brokerage should be backing up your network daily, so if an item was permanently deleted by accident, it should still be recoverable.

You may also choose to weasel your way out of cleaning, and that’s OK.  As Homer Simpson said, “Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals! Except the weasel.” However, there is one type of cleaning your brokerage should never weasel out of, that is cleaning your data. 

Why is clean data crucial? Because bad data input results in bad data output—plain and simple. Garbage data is something your brokerage can no longer ignore because things like descriptive analytics, predictive analytics and forecasting the future of your commercial book all depend on the quality of your data. 

If you’d like to start cleaning up your data, we’re happy to lend a hand.  Our client services team has been helping brokers across Canada make the most of their data for over twenty-five years.  But, if you want them to help you clean out your junk drawers, your chances are slim.

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Topics: Commercial_lines, data, analytics