Building a Broker System with ERP and New Technologies

A 2020 ICTA nomination

Toronto, ON (Jan. 27, 2020) – This account of a brokerage’s transformation to a “digital business model” highlights how our brokerage achieved what we called, successful implementation of post-modern era ERP.*

Enterprise Resource Planning (or ERP in short) has been known for years in many industries to provide competitive advantages by integrating all departments (production, sales, purchasing, logistics, quality control, accounting, orders, payroll, project management, inventory control, and more.)

We chose to disrupt a currently working model using a new approach that combines enterprise resource planning and technology for efficiency and resource management to overcome the fundamental problem facing the industry – skilled license broker shortage and inefficient production. The process took us years of planning, determination, and a complete overhaul of business processes.

To explain how our system works, we break down the entire implementation into stages.

Focus on the Core – Business intelligence derived from the customer.

1. Switching from a policy centric system (i.e., convention BMS) to client focus (CRM)

Building on the philosophy of Know Your Client (KYC), CRM is essential to this equation. We realized that we needed a system that allowed us to track every call, emails, transactions requested, family structure, company a client worked for, a location they reside in and more.

All of this required a powerful database to host this information. So, we customized a popular open-source CRM and integrated it with telephone PBX, which allowed tracking and recording of every phone call and automatically inserted to CRM every transaction entry. Our system can track which client calls from which phone, displaying the client’s name on our phone before the call is answered. Imagine our broker answering the phone by greeting, “Hey Mr. X, how do you like your new home?” instead of “What is your policy number?”

2. Integration of data

By having information available from underwriting claims via paperwork, emails, and insurer’s EDI transactions, we can now convert this information in our database into meaningful business intelligence (i.e., each day an insurer can send us clients documents telling us that a client missed a payment, claims payout, returned mail, etc.). While some insurers will send us an electronic copy, not all insurers have the same level of technology implementation, thus we have to rely on the scanned paper copy. We have built our AI system to scan, recognize, and categorize each paper we receive from the insurer and tie them to the client on CRM.

The latest addition to our data integration includes the use of bots for more complex open data collection (of course, legally) to better understand our client. We use sources such as social media, and ad sites to study, identify coverage shortfall, and recommend product coverage that would prevent financial losses to our clients.

3. Automation

Like many brokerages, we suffered from a lack of skilled licensed brokers.

So, we began to implement Natural Language Processing in our telephone system, where the AI will answer calls on 24×7 extended hours. The system has continuously improved over time, learning more skills with our AI language training team daily.

To date, our AI bot can perform standard functions, such as understanding requests and automatically issuing certificates of insurance, email policy declaration, explaining policy expiry date, assist in claims, getting some standard quotes, and partially helping clients in obtaining information such as change of vehicle, address and more. The AI is now integrated to phone, webchat, google assist / Alexa, Facebook, and online chat.

Changes in policy will automatically generate a standard CSIO form pre-filled with the client’s request and SMS or email to the client for signature. Without receiving them, we will not process but instead will send several automatic follow up messages to the client until they sign.

We are now extending our AI telephone answering to multiple languages.

Further, by partnering with companies that have access to a rating database from the insurer, we now gain the advantage by utilizing the price obtained and presenting to customers instantly.

We have built-in integration to these engines and updates on our CRM database, preventing double entry. For instance, Apollo is our partners in commercial quote rating, so, using our AI telephone bot, if anybody talks over the phone requesting “Yoga Instructor insurance,” we will pre-file some quote request forms and send an SMS message to the client’s cell phone directing them to complete on our “White-labeled Apollo exchange platform,” and update our CRM avoiding double entry.

4. Efficiency through ERP center

We set up our ERP center towards the end of last year to focus on training our team to perform a routine task. Each time a call is made to our office, an email received from a client, or a chat Bot request, we will ensure it is logged and confirm with our client using SMS. The system logs the time of request and completion, which is then reviewed by the Quality Control team to ensure accuracy. This ensures nothing falls through the cracks.

The client will be notified via SMS or email about the completed task, advising on who performed the task, if it was professionally executed, and if there’s room for improvement. Tasks that took too long will be automatically identified for correction with a better workflow. There is also a performance indicator on each task to help ERP staff better manage future tasks and plan for additional training. If there’s any shortfall on Quality, we have a procedure in place to ensure it is corrected immediately.

Through performance indicators, our team is now able to segregate people’s skills to the area they excel in.

Business Impact

We have seen significant improvements in clients’ satisfaction, quality, and speed since the implementation of our ERP.

And to our insurer vendors, our loss ratio has since greatly reduced due to tighten quality procedure in placed.

* Source: Gartner’s Model of 4th era of ERP

About UW Insure Brokers

UW Insure Brokers is a leading developer of broker technologies and remains at the front of innovative servicing in the insurance industry. We stand by our slogan, “Service Through Innovation” and strive to bring convenience to our clientele by utilizing innovative solutions to both streamline and create an enjoyable user experience. We are a firm offering a broad range of services in the property & casualty insurance industry through our highly experienced professional broker team.

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Source: UW Insure Brokers

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