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Product & Distribution Optimization
Deliver New Products Quickly and On Budget
The insurance industry is filled with examples of cost over-runs and time delays when rolling out new products. Delivering new processes, data, and systems to agents efficiently can be tricky. You will need to identify the IT and service gaps that inhibit new product deployments.
Did you know:
- The current average of 20 months to put up a new product is too long to compete in most distribution channels
- Effective organizational agility to roll-out new products and training distribution channels to sell them will be key differentiators
- Agents still use a variety of tools to sell and service customers and do not have fully digitized processes
- Insurers with successful product deployment cite that no single department is the problem and that improvements were made holistically
You are probably aware that modernization will be necessary for your organization in the next few years, but you have more to consider than just selecting a system and technology. You will need to factor in how modernization will impact all of your current and future products, and the impact on your distribution channels.
Most insurers are faced with the problem of maintaining closed block products, which new systems are not equipped to do. You know system modernization is necessary, but such a challenge can be daunting. While software vendors encourage clients to convert all policies from all legacy platforms to a single new target platform, this approach presents significant issues like:
- Increased customization requirements to support all closed block products
- Systems differ in how they store and/or calculate data so before and after values won’t always match
- Data quality and completeness must be addressed upfront
- Tying operations to impending changes incurs more cost and risk
Prepare for Simplified Issue
Simplified issue product popularity is on the rise. To add simplified issue life products to your portfolio, you must accurately assess whether you can develop, sell, underwrite, and service these new products.
You are going to need a gap analysis that identifies your existing capabilities and compares them against the known demands of simplified issue products. Some insurers find they are ready to launch right away, while others may need to slow down and invest in infrastructure, distribution, and training to be successful.
Consistent communication across your organization is critical for efficient product roll-out. When done poorly, it can create frustration and increase costs due to rework. This leads to organizational pain across several different departments, including operations, IT, and training.
Overcome unexpected implementation barriers and increase your speed to market with a customized roadmap.
You will need to compare your existing practices to industry best practices. The best way to do that is to enlist an unbiased third party to generate a set of observations and recommendations that become a roadmap that is unique to you.
Agencies struggle to design and maintain efficient home office processes, operations, and technologies, especially across several carriers. Your agents might be missing the the capabilities that enable their selling styles, and independent agents that sell for several carriers have the most complex system and process environments of all.
You will need a full toolkit to improve your current processes and a road-map for future maintenance, and it all must fit your unique organization.
By evaluating where your existing processes are not adding value to stakeholders, we can design new procedures that eliminate your redundant, exception-based, and inefficient practices.
Recruiting & Onboarding
Carriers and agencies are losing agents in large numbers due to retirement, and their replacements must be found and developed. However:
- New agents are naive to the insurance industry and need significant help to develop successful and compliant sales practices
- They are faced with expectations about how mobile devices, social media, and other technologies should be used in insurance sales
Adding automation in recruiting and on-boarding, along with an evaluation of your overall processes and technologies can help them meet these expectations and succeed. It is also important to track and measure the success of new agents so that the results can be repeated in the future. Consider keeping track of factors like sales performance, recruitment source, and so on.