How digital adoption can boost your agency

The right technology systems in your workplace will save you money and make your office more efficient

How digital adoption can boost your agency


By Sam Boyer

The right technology systems in your workplace will save you money and make your office more efficient. It’s that simple.

But not everyone is employing the best technology.

According to the Applied Digital Agency/Brokerage Annual Report, titled “2017 Digital Technology Adoption Benchmarks and Trends”, tech take up is improving.

Reid French, CEO of Applied Systems, spoke with Insurance Business about the findings of the report, and about insurance software generally.

“This is the second year we’ve done this [survey] and the reason we do this is to try to help agencies and brokerages – not just Applied customers – to better understand what’s going on in terms of technology adoption across the industry,” he said.

“There is a very large return on investment, both in terms of profit for a brokerage and in terms of customer satisfaction and relevance in today’s economy.”

According to the report – which surveyed more than 900 independent agencies and brokerages across the US, Canada, UK and Ireland – agencies were adopting digital tech in different areas, and at different paces, depending on where they were.

“Why should brokerages and agencies do this [go digital]? Because, on average, they generate significantly higher revenue, per employee. It makes total sense, right. You can run more business with fewer employees if you have a highly automated infrastructure within your agency or brokerage,” French said.

“At the end of the day, it’s a very good ROI for them to go digital. In an agency that’s not very automated, the employees spend all their time just trying to process the business they already have … [whereas] a highly digital agency is actually taking those employees and shifting them to focus on selling new business and making sure they’re cross-selling appropriately into their base.”

Looking at the findings of the survey, it’s clear agencies in North America and agencies in UK and Ireland have different digital priorities.

In the US and Canada, almost 100% of agencies have adopted management systems as the core of their business operations. In UK and Ireland, however, brokers haven’t adopted management systems as widely, with just under 70% adopting it.

Similarly, about 50% of North American agencies offer eSignature through their management system, while just 5% of UK survey respondents offer eSignature.

“You need to give your customers what they deserve, which is to interact with them in a digital manner,” French said.

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