Brokerage Ops the June 2021 issue

Same World but Different

Technological innovation has forced the need for business transformation. It’s up to us to sink or swim.
By Ken Crerar Posted on June 1, 2021

While things in the U.S. are slowly starting to move toward a recognizable normal, some of us may still be feeling that way.

I’ve had countless conversations over the past however many months about the challenges of the pandemic. It hasn’t been easy for any businesses or business leaders. But some good has come of it.

Technological innovation is one example. Customer expectations and demands have long accelerated business transformation, but this, forgive me, was unprecedented. Think for a minute about how quickly technology kicked into gear when we needed it most, both for getting on with our day-to-day lives and managing our teams from afar. The speed and seamlessness of digitization all around us was nothing short of amazing in 2020, and I expect it to continue.

I was continually impressed with our members’ ability to pivot from their traditional working environment to serve their clients virtually. I heard from many members that the pandemic advanced their understanding of the value of various tools available that not only made it easier to interact with clients and give them advice and counsel, but also could help support their business operations in the long run. What’s more were the cultural shifts that took place to allow for new ways to collaborate, convene, and build and retain relationships. Many of these changes were bound to happen at some point. The pandemic simply served as a catalyst for speeding up this process, transforming the way we will work in the future.

Someone asked me the other day how I see the role of the broker changing in the next five to 10 years. My response? If you can tell me what the fill-in-the-blank industry will look like in five to 10 years, I can tell you what the brokerage industry will look like.

What’s on the horizon is anyone’s guess, but an increasingly changing climate, tens of thousands of miles of broken roads and bridges, more artificial intelligence, and more complicated risk certainly top the list.

What’s on the horizon is anyone’s guess, but an increasingly changing climate, tens of thousands of miles of broken roads and bridges, more artificial intelligence, and more complicated risk certainly top the list.

As the world changes, we change. This is what our industry does so well. We respond to the needs of the business, anticipate new potential risks, and deliver value to clients where they need it.

As the value chain continues to lean into digitization, know this: change shouldn’t be scary. The ideas being presented across our industry should excite you, whether you’re a broker, a carrier, or a business owner. One of the key lessons to take away from the pandemic is that the digital way of doing business is here to stay. It’s the only way to meet changing customer expectations, and it’s your choice to sink or swim.  

It’s sort of like the world we’ve always known…but different.

Ken Crerar President & CEO, The Council Read More

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