Brokerage Ops the June 2022 issue

The Talent Quandary

Patra’s Shannon Mahoney shares six reasons why companies should consider tech-enabled servicing to augment their existing staff.
Sponsored by Patra Posted on May 31, 2022

Talent. It is on everyone’s minds these days after two-plus years of being engulfed in a pandemic. With various challenges to recruiting and retaining talent, the insurance industry is at a crossroads in both finding talent and keeping whom we have happy, healthy and motivated. Today’s market requires a laser focus on service delivery and being more efficient to survive the increasingly unpredictable industry.

Brokerages of all sizes face challenges in operating their organizations efficiently and affordably. Striving to remain competitive, brokers often take on additional services for clients beyond the necessary basics, which leaves them exhausted and pulled in many directions and prevents the business from growing as it otherwise could. This added servicing also impedes the development of new skills among employees and deters them from being creative.

Ask yourself if you have ever had these thoughts:

  • We want the business to be more efficient, but how may the customer be affected? How will our customers react if we change our workflows, processes or services? Will we keep their business?
  • If we change our processes and workflows, how will we know if we’re saving money? How will we know if employees have more time to spend with clients?
  • What about all the processes already in place? We want to be more efficient, but this is how we’ve always done it. And we’ve always made it work.
  • We keep hiring and training entry-level employees, but eventually they quit or want a higher-level position. How can we put a stop to this turnover cycle? How do I find the right employees to implement change?

Asking for help can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six compelling reasons why companies should look to partner with a tech-enabled service provider to augment their existing staff.

Your key employees, whom you hired for their expertise in insurance, sales, relationship management, and consulting, spend a large portion of their day on transactional tasks.

1. Reduce employee turnover, reduce hiring, and lower your labor costs.

Whether it’s data entry, eligibility management, billing audits, renewal assistance, or small-account management, you pay your outsourcing partner as a contractor. By outsourcing these processes, the work will be completed in a timely, efficient and cost-effective way, and you’ll put a stop to the turnover cycle. This approach reduces the costs of hiring, including those for training, benefits and equipment.

2Focus on your core competencies.

Your key employees, whom you hired for their expertise in insurance, sales, relationship management, and consulting, spend a large portion of their day on transactional tasks. A partner can take on these tasks, allowing your experienced employees to focus on their core competencies.

3. Promote growth.

Giving your account managers time to focus on client relationships and account rounding will lead to growth and higher retention. Relieving your management staff of overseeing workflows allows them to focus on training, which will elevate your employees to focus on growth.

4.   Provide quicker and more consistent turnaround times.

A global team of process executives in offices in politically stable countries provides staff to complete work. This means your business will run 24/7, resulting in quicker turnaround times for you and your clients.

5.   Provide business continuity.

A tech-enabled services provider can streamline and execute critical insurance processes, enabling brokers to respond to their clients, providing focused, uninterrupted attention and service.

6.   Reduce your liability.

You may be one of the many companies that recently moved your operations to a work-from-home environment. With this comes an increased E&O exposure. If you’re partnered with a service provider that takes responsibility for its employees’
work, it will offer liability coverage through its E&O policy, reducing your liability exposure.

By partnering with a services provider, you empower and retain your employees because your company is leveraging the very best in insurance innovation and process executives. We recently met with the CEO of a large national agency who, during the most recent fiscal year, saved approximately $432,000 in expenses by leveraging such services. “That number is very valuable,” he said. “We could put that figure back into the firm’s valuation and increase our value and access to capital for growth and acquisitions.” With EBITDA multiples trading as high as 8x to 10x, agencies can create future investment capital and enhance the overall value of their company itself.

Shannon Mahoney is senior vice president of business development at Patra.

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