The Tennessee Insuror Mar/Apr 2020

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Daniel Talks Agency Technology: Agency Management Systems pt. 2 What Are the Questions You Should be Asking? What are the key pieces of technology for the modern agency? How should you implement them and train your staff to use them? In this series I will look into agency technology and specific systems and how you can implement them at your agency. In the first article in this series, we talked about how to get started in your search for an agency management system. Now we're going to look at what questions you should be asking to sort through the systems and find the one that's best for your agency. To determine those, we talked to agents, system providers and more and got their feedback on some important questions agents should be keeping in mind.

What Do You Feel Agents Overlook when Researching a New Agency Management System? Michael Doran, President, SIS/Partner Platform: Two things: The process (data conversion, timing, training, back-ups and general logistics) of successfully moving from current AMS to a new one and differentiating between what is shown on a demonstration of software and what is actually possible. Agents are done a huge disservice when given a “silver bullet” approach to running their business. It doesn’t exist. Changing agency management systems has it’s challenges and if you choose the wrong provider, it will bring your agency to a crawl. Brent Sheppard, President, Xanatek, Inc.: 1. What do they really need now, and what will they need as they grow? It’s great to have a “Cadillac”, but if you don’t really need it, why


compiled by Daniel Smith, CAE

have it? “Why have a Cadillac and pay for it, when a nice Chevrolet will do just fine?” 2. Who is the owner of their data – many are shocked to find out how much it will cost them to obtain a copy of “their” data. 3. Is the system easy to use? A system may have a lot of unused features that make it much more difficult to learn and use. 4. How important ongoing training is on the system. Does the vendor charge for additional training or is it included? What kind of training is offered, video, manuals or access to a real person? Jenna Kleiber, Director of Marketing & Sales for Jenesis Software: Agents sometimes believe the more features the better, not realizing that they probably will not use half of the features in their system that they are paying for. Thus meaning that just because a system costs more and has more robust features doesn't necessarily mean it is the best fit for your agency's needs. Keeping in mind that some systems continue to grow and change as you do. Cam Winterburn, President at NetVu Nashville and Agent at Winterburn & Associates Insurance, LLC: I think people get caught up on the sales or service aspect of each system without weighing the other side. I truly don’t think there is a system available right now that can do both.

In Your Opinion, What are the New Technologies, Integrations or Features that are Setting Apart Systems in the Current Marketplace?

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