Choosing an Agency Management System: Know Your Agency's Needs
Data management plays a huge role in the betterment of your insurance company. As you work to grow and to better understand your clients, you need to know about them, and you need to be able to retrieve this information in a consistent way. What needs should you consider as you choose an agency management system?
Where Are You Now?
Right now, why do you need a better agency management system, and what do you need it to provide? How much capacity do you have to manage this system? If you're a smaller agency, look for products that are designed to be simple enough and at a small enough scale for you to use with ease.
If your employees are not very technologically savvy and you're planning to maintain your current staffing, consider how easy the system is for people to use. Ease of use means that no one will avoid using the system or get lazy and try to find workarounds that could compromise data integrity and security.
Where Are You Going?
If you're small and planning to grow or expand to a new location, your needs could differ substantially in the future. Think about that future as you plan for a new agency management system. It can be difficult moving data from one system to another, so choose a system that you'll be able to use for a number of years into the future. Look at the technical support provided as well so that you know how you'll be able to grow with support.
What Kind of Reporting Do You Need?
One element of your management system is the reports that it can provide. What are you most curious about at your agency? For instance, if you want to know how many of your current clients are opening your newsletter on a regular basis or how many sign up for multiple types of insurance, can your management system provide this kind of reporting?
What Integration Do You Need?
What are the potential uses of this new agency management system? Insurance Business Magazine states that "an effective AMS increases efficiency through integration, and a business that is efficient is positioned to better serve its customers."
If you're mostly going to use it to retrieve and track data, you might need one system. If you're trying to use it to create a strong social media presence that's integrated over several different social media platforms, you could need a different system. Know how your agency management system must communicate with other systems at your business.
Should You Be in the Cloud?
Is it better to manage data locally or online? If you like to manage your data in-house and you have the necessary staff at your office, you could use a software-based agency management system. If you'd prefer to have information available while your employees are traveling or working from home, a cloud-based system could be better. Be sure to consider the security implications of each system as well.
Choose a Safe System
As you plan for client data security, talk with and research those who've created your agency management system. What kind of encryption is in place to protect the data? How often do they update security on the system? What kinds of fail-safes are in place to make it more difficult for employees to leave a screen open or forget to add important information?
Our insurance agent association is here to provide you with a selection of resources for your agency. American Agents Alliance offers you access to discounts on agency management systems such as Agency Matrix, Hawksoft, and QQ Catalyst. Contact us today to learn more about the ways we can help your insurance agency grow.