Why You Need BPM & Workflow Automation in Your Agency
In our recent survey, we found that nearly 30% of life and health insurance agencies plan to adopt a new agency management system for their agency this year. A big part of moving to technology-based systems like an agency management system (AMS) is to help agents work smarter, be more in control, and reach their goals.
To help you achieve all of those things, you need to have these two key features:
- Business Process Management (BPM)
- Workflow Automation
In AgencyBloc, we call our automation Automated Workflow.
Before we start, let’s cover the terms.
What is BPM?
According to CIO:
Business process management (BPM) is the practice of aligning goals and processes as businesses evolve.
What is workflow automation?
Workflow automation is a created series of automated actions for the steps in a business process. It is used to improve everyday business processes because when your work flows, you can concentrate on getting more done and focusing on the things that matter. It allows teams to spend more time on the actual work itself and less time on the processes that support them.
Workflow automation is a component of your BPM—a major one—and it helps your BPM run more efficiently and effectively.
Bringing BPM Into Your Agency
Technology is a great thing to implement in your agency. Yes, it has the power to make many of your everyday tasks more efficient, but implementing technology without a plan won’t prove all that fruitful for you or your agency.
Remember, technology is great, but it is not magic.
The point of having BPM is to create efficiency in your agency. It’s the rhyme or reason for why you do things the way you do. Without the process, your agents will work independently of one another without cohesiveness. This can lead to confusion, frustration, and, at the worst, loss of revenue.
Having BPM in place helps you manage your whole team by having everyone working in the same manner to achieve an overarching goal. This creates efficiency throughout your agency, consistency, and can make all of your efforts more effective.
Consistency is crucial for agency health and longevity. Besides helping you become more effective, it can help you identify problem areas and understand what’s going on. With this information, you can pivot quicker and address the issues faster for a more streamlined outcome and resolution. You’ll be working smarter and making more informed decisions that vitally affect the health and wellbeing of your company.
All of this leads to growth and increases revenue because your efforts are more directed towards one specific goal.
Introducing a new AMS into your agency is the perfect opportunity for you to hone your BPM and get everything in order. The AMS and BPM should work fluidly together and complement one another. It’s crucial to know what your company needs first and getting everyone onboard, then start implementing the processes and make them a reality within your AMS.
Automation is the heart and soul of the “magic” in your technology.
Automation isn’t a new idea, but it is one that is quickly growing in technology to help you work smarter by achieving more in less time. There are examples of automation everywhere; think of the timer you set on your coffee pot in the morning or the notifications you get when a friend writes you a message on social media.
Basically, automation works on a cause and effect type of scenario. For example, you have an automated message set up to alert you when a new lead comes in from your lead form on your website.
Cause: Jane fills out your lead form
Effect: You receive the notification & follow up accordingly
To help this run most effectively, you must have your lead forms tied directly to your AMS. This means that the information inputted into the form is automatically populated within your AMS ready to work.
Automation runs by itself all the time so no prospect, lead, client, or agent ever falls through the cracks.
And you don’t have to stop at leads. Our users within AgencyBloc automate a whole host of manual tasks outside of lead generation. Some ideas include:
- Licensure management
- E&O management
- New policy submission management
- Lapse policy management
The list goes on and on. Basically, the automation centers around the monotonous, time-consuming tasks you already do every single day to help you improve your process, improve your efficiency, and improve your effectiveness.
That’s how automation is “magic” in your agency. It’s like having an employee working 24/7 completely for you. You set up the requirements once (the “causes”) then you wait for the “effects” to take place.
Integrating Automation With Your BPM
You can integrate automation throughout your BPM to help keep everyone on track and keep recorded documentation. This is super helpful when it comes to hiring new employees because you have the processes in place to help them assimilate faster and catch on quicker.
Plus, if you ever have an employee out or one on an extended leave, your other employees can quickly pick up their work based on the automation you’ve already set up.
Your BPM is more or less your “method to your madness” to help you keep everything going on in your agency straight and working together. It helps you stay on top of the daily processes and ensures everyone is working at their most efficient possible.
But your BPM shouldn’t be your end all be all.
It should be flexible. You know well enough how quickly things change in the health insurance industry, and it’s important to be able to quickly pivot and adapt to stay current with those changes. Your BPM should reflect this effort and be flexible to change as well.
Keep a constant eye on your BPM to learn how its fairing. This will help you identify the difference between a common downturn and a full-blown pitfall within your process. Using this information, you can better understand the peaks and troughs within your agency to sculpt a better BPM to match your agency.
A BPM that works for one agency is not necessarily the right match for another. Craft your own and analyze how it’s fairing to tweak what needs changing and make it work for you. Without this knowledge, you’re flying more by the seat of your pants and making decisions that may not be all that beneficial. Yes, you may get lucky, but you also run the risk of implementing a detrimental ideology into your process that could be harmful to your process and bottom line.
Plus, you’re also growing, so your BPM should as well. You aren’t the same person you were 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Neither is your company. As needs change and the industry changes, you need to alter your BPM to reflect those changes. Over time, you will grow in learning how to better analyze your BPM and better know how to make changes.
Integrating Your BPM With Your AMS
When you introduce new technology, like a new AMS, into your agency, set processes around it. Make sure you have answers to questions like:
- What’s the goal with the new technology?
- Do you have identified benchmarks within that goal to help you track your progress?
Your automation, BPM, and AMS should all work in tandem to help you achieve your goals and reach your milestones. Let’s take a look back at that incoming lead example from earlier.
Your BPM around lead management could state that whenever a lead fills out the lead form on your Medicare web page (yes, you could have multiple lead forms!), it goes directly to Agent Joe. The new lead also receives confirmation that their information was received.
This is how it could look with automation built in:
Step 1: Jane fills out the lead form on your Medicare page
Step 2: Your AMS instantly sends out an automated email to Agent Joe to alert him of the new lead AND places a new task as URGENT on Joe’s dashboard
Step 3: Simultaneously, Jane receives an automated email saying you received her information and would be in touch soon. PRO TIP: Include Joe’s contact information here so Jane can reach out if she needs.
Step 4: Joe calls Jane within 5 minutes of her filling out the form—remember, if you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them.
Step 5: Joe sets up a meeting with Jane the following day
All of this information is recorded within your AMS and Joe can save his notes there, too, keeling everything in one accessible place. This whole process is a part of your BPM. It’s a step-by-step detailed process of how you handle different scenarios that occur in your day-to-day.
Regardless of what your AMS looks like, it’s crucial to have BPM in place. This task is made far easier when you have an AMS built specifically for your industry niche like life and health insurance with built in workflow automation. This is because everything is working cohesively together for your specific needs.
Remember, you want your BPM, AMS, and workflow automation all working together to help save you time, improve the effectiveness of your efforts, and assist you in reaching your goals.
Want to learn more about the benefits of using an AMS built for your industry niche?
Check out our Overview Video to see how AgencyBloc could work for you.