Policy Works blog | Commercial lines bliss

What is a Best of Breed System?

Written by Crystal O'Hara | Aug 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Has technology gone to the dogs?

During the month of February, the most famous dog show in the world takes place at the Westminster Kennel Club. I’m sure you’ve seen it on TV or heard about it on the news. One of the judging criteria is called “Best of Breed,” where an animal is judged as the best in its breed category.

Did you know technology has the same adjudication process? Techopedia.com describes “Best of Breed” as follows:

A best of breed system is the best system in its referenced niche or category. Although it performs specialized functions better than an integrated system, this type of system is limited by its specialty area.

When it comes to software for commercial lines, is an all-in-one solution, that is a system that does a little bit of everything, better than a best of breed system? Some of the benefits of best of breed are:

1. You don’t have to compromise.

Having an all-in-one solution means compromising and finding workarounds that may produce unsatisfactory results. For example, an all-in-one solution may have powerful invoicing capabilities but generates boring, unattractive documents. When you take into consideration that proposals are usually the first documents a prospect sees, is that a trade-off you’re willing to live with?

2. You work with experts in their field.

When you work with specialized vendors, you benefit from their experience with that solution only. With an all-in-one solution it’s not uncommon for the support technicians to provide a canned response read off a script. Not being an expert, it’s hard for them to offer advice or know what your business wants and needs.

3. You can implement a system for one department only.

A commercial management system (CMS) has everything you need to manage and grow your commercial book of business. When a brokerage is using a system designed mostly for personal lines, the commercial lines department will not be able to take full advantage of the system.

In addition, a best of breed system can reduce costs because systems don't need to be replaced simultaneously. While one system is being taken down for upgrades, the others can remain operating.

Each animal in a dog show was bred for a purpose. Hounds were bred for hunting and toys were bred to be lap dogs. As with a best of breed system, it’s important to determine what it’s going to be used for and how. Not only is a show dog a beautiful animal, it must also have character and perform according to its breed standard to become the top dog.