The best agencies utilize technology heavily and let technology drive internal processes.  They recognize that automation is an important tool for delivering value to their customers.  

Over the last 20 or 30 years, agencies and companies alike have made significant investments in technology.  All too often the promise of these investments in technology isn’t being realized, however.  We continue to do old work old ways.  Often we end up doing it again the new way.  We simply add automation on top of an existing manual process.  For maximum efficiency, customer retention, and profitability, it is imperative that we begin to do new work new ways, capitalizing on the capabilities of existing technology.

You can reduce the costs associated with processing work--new business, endorsements, or renewals--by as much as 35%.  Even very well run, efficient and effective agencies have seen savings of over 10%. While reducing costs, you can also significantly reduce elapsed time which is the time required from the start to the finish of the process, delivering better service to customer. 

It's time to discard obsolete rules and tap the skills and creativity of the people in your agency—the people who know the workflow best. Make technology work for you and for your customers.  Get the return on your investment that you should.    Make technology show you the money!  

Following a simplified process, you can design new work methods, fix broken processes, implement workflow best practices and substantially improve client satisfaction.  Moreover, redesigning workflow can help build continuous improvement into your culture, positioning your agency to thrive, not just survive, in the 21st century.

Critical Success Factors

If you have tried improving workflow before with mixed results, you may have been missing one of the following critical components. 


Management commitment--It's critical that management be willing to commit the time, energy and resources necessary to redesign process and implement changes.  Remember, workflow redesign will only be as important to your staff as it is to you.



Understanding customer needs—Knowing your customers – what’s important to them and how the agency can meet their needs--must be a central focus.  Remember, the customer is not just a part of your business; they are the core of your business.



Driven from the desk level--Workflow redesign can’t be a top-down initiative. Even though the leaders of the agency must be totally committed to the process and heavily involved, the people who actually do the work on a day-to-day basis must drive the change process from start to finish.  Staff must become part of the solution in order to be able to effect positive, lasting change.  

With these critical success factors in place, there are 5 simple steps that will help your agency not only streamline workflow, but also make sure it really works for your customers.  

1.      Look at yourself from the customer’s perspective.  Identify what your customers want out of a given process--whether it is new business, a renewal or a claim.   Don't assume that you know.  Ask your customers.  Then, determine how well you are meeting those wants and needs.  This helps focus on those items that are truly important from your customer's perspective.

2.      Analyze the current workflow to identify inherent problems.  Mapping the current process will identify loops in the process causing duplicate effort, redundancy, high labor costs, elongated elapsed time and other points of dysfunction that do not serve either the customer or the agency well.  

3.      Brainstorm solutions and set priorities. Use a team approach to identify and evaluate potential solutions based on the benefit to the customer and/or agency. Set priorities based on the cost, difficulty, and length of time it will take to implement changes. 

4.      Streamline the work. Design a new, improved workflow focusing on those key issues that are really important to the customer.  It truly becomes a win-win situation--greater efficiency and profitability for the agency; greater customer satisfaction for the client.

5.      Ensure results.  To ensure results, you need to define goals and measures and establish milestones to recognize achievement.  Celebrate success!

Much of the efficiency gain to be realized is a direct result of effectively utilizing automation tools readily available in almost every agency today. Even greater efficiencies are attainable through full utilization of emerging technologies such as imaging, the Internet, electronic mail and new automated tools provided by the companies.  

LMS will help you design your workflow and also with developing the required software.



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