Switching your agency management system is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as an agency. Choosing a new system is a feat of its own, and only the first step in your system conversion process. However, switching systems doesn’t have to be painful! Preparation is the best medicine to save you and your agency from headaches.
Check out what 9 things to look for in an agency management system and provider
6 Tips for Making Your Transition Easy
1. Get team buy-in
Start the process by ensuring key agency team members view the system. Just as you would when purchasing a car or a home, your team should test out and poke around in each potential system. Make sure the work they do day in and day out are just as easy, if not easier, in the new agency management system.
After the “test drive”, ask for (and take!) advice and opinions. This small act helps agency members invest in the new system, making your conversion process easier.
2. Pick a strategic start date
Even the best conversion processes have some hiccups and hang-ups. Give your agency space by scheduling your transition during a less busy time of year. Determine when you have the least amount of renewals or select a time around a holiday. A strategic start date will manage stress.
3. Get your data ready
Data transfer can be the most difficult part of converting from one management system to another. Think about how your data needs to be managed to get it ready for conversion. Take the opportunity to clean your data and create a plan on how to re-enter or capture and save all the data that will not convert.
Get ready for your management system conversion with our Conversion Checklist
4. Audit your workflows
This fresh re-start in a new system is the perfect time to roll out the most well-organized operations you can achieve. Gather your team and go over every workflow, from documenting prospect interactions to processing a renewal. This is your chance to make sure your workflows are the most efficient and up to E&O standards.
5. Be deliberate about training
Learning a brand-new management system isn’t an easy task. Ensure your staff has all the training resources they need to make it as smooth as possible.
Plan ahead: four to six weeks before your switch, schedule an hour a week to train as an agency or department. Conduct your workflow audit during this time and go over how to integrate them into your new system. Have each team member teach a different session to empower them and create power users within your agency.
Read more on the “how” and “why” of management system training
If your new management system offers onsite training BUY IT! We’ve seen hundreds of agencies transition from dozens of different systems, and each has pointed to onsite training as essential to a smooth transition. This training should happen after your team has started on your new system so you can ask pointed questions about workflows.
6. Be patient!
Have patience with yourself, your team, and anyone involved in the transition. Switching agency management systems is not an easy task. It’s a major change for any agency, needing to relearn the daily tasks you used to know by heart. But, after a few weeks, those tasks get easier and soon it will all feel back to normal. As a leader in your agency, being patience and supportive of your team is vital.
Finding the Right Partner
At SIS, patience and support have been what makes each agency transition successful. We’re determined to be with your agency each step of the way, from sign-on to go-live. Nothing can replace that personal attention and always-extended helping hand.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luke Purnell has been a member of the Strategic Insurance Software (SIS) team for over four years. As National Account Manager, Luke trains current clients, hosting monthly webinars. He also leads on-site trainings for new clients, as well as regional workshops for existing clients. Luke uses these opportunities to garner feedback on Partner XE, which fuels the software updates.