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