Are You Maximizing Your Technology Investment?

By: Kitty Ambers, CPIA, CIC, CISR, NetVU CEO | 11/18/2014
Business owners and managers are all faced with maximizing ROI.  After listening to multiple reports highlighting the usage numbers of various tools available to help carriers and their agents interface more productively, thereby allowing agents to write more business and more efficiently service and retain clients, it is painfully obvious that these ROI-enhancing tools are not being implemented by many.
Do you know your numbers? 
To get a snapshot of the download capabilities available to, and actually in use by, your agency we encourage you to email to request your agency's customized IVANS download grid.  This detailed spreadsheet will indicate the carriers you do business with, what download capabilities each has available, and whether or not your agency is taking advantage of all of the functionality.  Agents can then cross-check this list with what their Vertafore agency management system capabilities are via Carrier Partner Lists.
As you see opportunities for improving agency efficiency by automating all transaction types for all carriers, you can find specific details and steps for setting up download at MyVertafore.  Sign in and then simply search for a company's download certification forms.  This will provide you with all the information needed to get lines of business and transaction types added to your download setup.  (NOTE: You can use TransactNOW to sign on seamlessly to MyVertafore!)  
Some carriers download directly to management systems, such as Progressive.  Other carriers use non-IVANS download tools, such as TEAM-UP or NxTech.  Vertafore's setup guides include instructions for these carriers as well, but for a capabilities report, agents would need to contact these non-IVANS vendors for usage reports.  The ACORD User Group Information Exchange (AUGIE) is looking in to how to streamline access to this non-IVANS download detail.  We'll share more as we learn it!
If your agency is new to download in general, you may be looking for an overview to help get started.  Look to Get Real Time for numerous resources.  In addition, Vertafore has an Agency Download Plan that can be found on MyVertafore.  Log in and search for Doc354.
 Are you committed to "once and done"? 
Many are tired of hearing about Real Time, yet the numbers show it is not being adopted as widely as you might think.  At Vertafore, only 20% of agencies use Real Time tools consistently and reliably.  These agencies utilize TransactNOW daily to enhance their workflow.  It is the only way they get to carrier sites.
 As AUGIE and the Agent's Council for Technology (ACT) participants discuss the reasons for this, it's still obvious that many agents simply are not aware of what Real Time actually means, and how adoption can positively impact agency productivity.   For Vertafore agents, products that enable Real Time are TransactNOW and PL Rating. The Get Real Time campaign is still going strong, so be sure to take advantage by visiting Get Real Time
How many times do you or your staff have to enter a login or password to access information on a carrier website?  Do you know the time this involves for users?  One agency studied the time their employees spend with each login and password entry and determined that the average time was 37 seconds per login.  Wow!  Multiply that across the number of passwords maintained per employee within your organization.  What impact could saving that time have?
TransactNOW can help.  In a nutshell, TransactNOW provides users of Vertafore systems with the capability to bypass the login/password entry process and takes the user directly to the webpage at a carrier site where the desired information resides.  Logins and passwords are entered and maintained within TransactNOW.  When the TransactNOW link is selected from the customer screen in the management system, users are provided access to the information they need: billing, policy data, claims, etc.  Most importantly, this functionality is already built into your system.  There is no additional cost involved.  Just invest the time to set it up!
For specific details on implementing TransactNOW for your agency, visit Vertafore's website or contact Customer Support/My Vertafore for assistance.  At this site, you will find TransactNOW FAQs and a list of upcoming TransactNOW Training Webinars.
We hope you will take the implementation of download and real time capabilities seriously, and watch your firm's ROI soar.  "Save time, Save money, use Real-time!"