14 July 2017 07:00
Laurent Nadeau | Photo : Réjean Meloche
In recent months, several brokers have tested the market of broker management systems (BMS) to ensure they are using the option that best suits their needs. And the providers engage in fierce competition to win their favors.
«The BMS exist so that the broker can control and grow its business,» says Laurent Nadeau, vice-president, sales and marketing of Technology Keal. «Essentially, brokers want to be more productive, give a faster response to their customers, and offer them a better service,» confirms David Larkin, president of Software association supplier advisory council. «Today, dealers search for efficiency, want to see it all in one place, be able to get an aerial view of their entire organisation,» adds Philippe Joassin, vice-president sales for Applied.
And this is what the brokers need. Jean-Philippe Martineau, president of the Group Ostiguy Gendron, reports that its offices were using five different systems to do its work flow management, documents, customers, potential, production, and access to the customer portal, including. «We wanted to migrate to a single system rather than using several different solutions and ways of doing things, and have found that an integrated solution was the way of simplicity. Our former BMS alone did not meet our requirements. «
This is after having conducted a study of the effectiveness of their process that these requirements are specified, and that the Group Ostiguy Gendron has decided to opt for Epic ofApplied Systems. «Partnering with a company as important as Applied, in an environment of uncertainty and technological change, has also had a certain weight in the balance,» said Mr. Martineau.
The Group Ostiguy Gendron has a great need of mobility, since its strategy is based on organic growth and on acquisitions. «We needed a solution robust enough that we can work on mobile also, since it is possible that our producers are on the road and we have several offices «, adds Mr. Martineau. He particularly appreciates the solution Sales force integrated with the software Epic to manage prospects and find out where the producers are in the cycle of the sale with them.
Sean Graham, president ofIdea Insurance, a start-up that turns out to be the first canadian firm which uses the technology of cloud computing, consider the system of Keal as a basis on which to work. His choice was mostly stopped on this software because they allow the integration of systems external, in addition to benefit from a mobility thanks to the cloud computing system due to the nature of the firm.
«We use several different systems that integrate upstream and downstream with Keal. This is convenient because it is in this system where we begin and end each of our operations, » explains Mr. Graham.
Mr. Graham explains that it is the people at Keal who have influenced his decision to do business with them to his young company. «Keal is starting to become a big company, but not too big to the point where employees lose their personal touch they have with their customers. I feel that I can trust them and especially me proud of them, » he says.
But for many smaller firms, the cost is what influences their decision and that determines which BMS they choose. «Get a new BMS is a big investment, even though they say it is a big expense. Firms want to be able to customize their BMS, and the program will mold to their organization, it is flexible and allows them to work more versatile, » says Mr. Nadeau.
Automate the process
If several brokers complain of clerical tasks that consume a lot of time, BMS seeks to automate this process. On one side, accounting is one aspect that the dealers are with complex tax rules pointed. Their BMS must adapt to various changes that often come quickly. «The brokers want an accounting system that allows them to reduce their workload «, said Mr. Nadeau.
The other hand, the management software must be able to perform some small tasks to which the broker does not not necessarily think. For example, it is possible with Applied as the BMS sends an e-mail automatically after a telephone discussion with a client. At Keal, an analysis of policies and data of the clients is done automatically. The BMS notifies the broker when a renewal is coming soon.
In general, the industry also follows the shift to electronic, with the signing and proposals electronic. «The paper tends to disappear. Brokers do not have the choice to follow the trend taken by the insurers turn to more electronic communication than paper, sending contracts in PDF format. It makes the treatment much faster, » explains Mr. Larkin.
However, this last nuance his remarks by suggesting to the dealers to assess the degree of technological knowledge of their customers and their openness to this method of compromise. «The phenomenon without paper depends much more on the customer and the broker. Some law firms are paperless for several years because their clientele is accustomed, so that it can be the opposite for others. «
In return, the brokers want their BMS to support their operations, it must also enable him to better accommodate their customers by responding to their new expectations, or to shop their insurance and make the transactions according to their schedule. And this is also where the mobility comes into play. «I often find myself send submissions and e-mails to my clients in the evenings and on the weekends, to the chagrin of my family,» says Sean Graham.
In addition, customers demand access to their policy and proof of insurance, and make changes and submissions, directly from the portal of the broker, who must be available 24 hours on 24, 7 days on 7. «Brokers are aware that they must turn to technology to help their clients, and the BMS has to respond quickly to technological changes to serve dealers and facilitate their job «, said Laurent Nadeau.