Where did flow go?


Over the last 7 years I have had the opportunity to work with dozens of insurance brokers across Canada. One of the most frequently asked questions I get regardless of where I am (province) or what BMS is being used is ‘can you help us build a standard workflow?’

The answer is yes… most of the time.

Standard workflows are great – they generate all kinds of wonderful benefits.

  • They give us standardized coding – this leads to reports that actually make sense; ones that management can actually use and have confidence in.
  • They act as a training tool. Fantastic when a new hire arrives – starts them off on the right foot!
  • They offer transparency AND transferability. If someone isn’t at their desk when a client calls, at least we’ll know where to find information.

They SHOULD look like this:


But they often look like this:


The biggest challenge is that standard workflows are VERY difficult to define, especially in the current Canadian P&C industry. Why is this? Too many choices, too many options, TOO MUCH VARIETY!

As soon as we have two of anything, we have variety. And variety kills the flow in a workflow.

And we have a lot of variety in our industry:

  • Multiple technologies (Broker management systems, voice recording systems, policy management systems, rating tools, versions of Outlook) with integration “challenges”
  • Multiple insurance company contracts
  • Multiple product offerings
  • Multiple options and endorsements available EACH with its own set of underwriting criteria, rates and conditions
  • Multiple carrier portals
  • Multiple optimal methods of communication (phone, email, portal and yes, fax)

So can we build a standard workflow when nothing is standard to begin with?

Next blog: Getting our flow back!


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