April 24, 2014

Excellence in Practice

 

ASTD-Excellence-in-Practice-250

We are thrilled to announce that ReSource Pro’s Learning and Development department in Qingdao, China has recently been recognized for their Achieving Business Results Through ESL Learning program. The program has been selected to receive an American Society for Training and Development Excellence in Practice citation in the Organizational Learning and Development category for the 2012 award year.

There are many ESL programs in China but few corporate English programs are earning this kind of distinction. This program is one of many offered to the to our team members working in our Qingdao and Jinan offices in the Shandong province of China.

 

 

The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) is the world’s largest association dedicated to professional training and development. ASTD members are found in 100 countries (www.astd.org).

Camping in Nashville

Nashville_skyline_2009In early April of 2013, ReSource Pro hosted our first annual Insurance Operations Boot Camp in Nashville, Tennessee. This event, the first of its kind, was a huge success!

Attendees spent two days learning and practicing workflow management, standardization, and benchmark auditing of project plans.  In addition to being put to work, clients and ReSource Pro team members alike spent time eating, drinking, and listening to fantastic live music!

One client, Patricia Clevenger, composed a poem about her experience at ReSource Pro’s Operations Boot Camp. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Patricia for capturing the spirit, objectives, and takeaways of the event so beautifully! With Patricia’s permission we are thrilled to share this fantastic piece of poetry with you all!

 

Camping in Nashville

By Patricia Clevenger

 

Day One:

Operation Boot Camp starts with hearty hail,

Overkill, overtell, as we hit the process trail…

Stop the song; it’s all wrong; the message is quite clear;

A Lean, mean, incredibly clean, new process is here.

 

Peel the onion, bit by bit, letting every tear

Wash away each wasteful act and every lingering fear.

Buy the runs, get the wins, change-up how you thought it;

The value’s in the player whose measure fuels profit.

 

Boomer, Millennial, Gen X, Y or Z-er,

Just do it, or do what counts; make the process freer;

Design it, refine it, align it strong and true;

Make sure you build the process, and the process will build you.

 

This brings us to the matter of readiness for change,

To think we must get ready may seem a little strange.

Some defame it, we reframe it, even try to tame it,

All the while we simply need the proper way to name it.

 

Pocket change? Change of clothes? Change the way I think?

There are so many changes; I’m simply on the brink;

From pedantic to semantic, soon I think I’ll choke;

I have to manage all this change, or else I will go broke!

 

Change is surely more than a nickel or a dime,

It’s an ever shifting shaping of another paradigm.

ADKAR, Prosci, benchmarking every beat,

Be sure you don’t burst into flames mapping out your heat!

 

Leading people through the change gets them through the maze;

Managing the work they do clears up all the haze;

Inquisition, Acquisition – hiring by any other name,

Develops and deploys the right talent for the game.

 

Talent in and of itself is never quite enough,

We have to find a way to know we’re doing the right stuff!

One more thing to manage, performance is the part

Where we find out “it’s so fluffy,” or “our goals are really SMART!”

 

SMART includes outsourcing, letting go of all we must,

Growing a relationship built on monumental trust,

Aligned in purpose and intent, the only way to go:

Transformation strategy along with ReSource Pro.

 

We’re still “campin’ in Nashville: 

Day Two: the rest of the story….

When told we would improve our craft,

Assembly line was fully staffed;

We did not know the craft was AIR;

Pushing paper was NOT our flair!

 

Straight from air to water, we dive into Swim Lane part,

Sticky notes are floaties that move about the chart;

Name that task, float that note, ‘til each lane’s replete,

Now we’re done, challenge won, process is complete.

 

Standardize the process – organize each task;

Solutions aren’t in the knowing, but in the questions that we ask.

Soon enough we’ll find, the factors of success,

They lie within the people and the problems we address.

 

We all know our ABC’s, but do we do know ABCD?

It’s one more acronym you see, to help us write an SOP!

A is for analysis; B breaks into pieces;

C is capturing details, while D documents the thesis.

 

Keep it short; keep it sweet; to keep us thinking on our feet;

Less is more; more is less – conciseness keeps our process fleet.

Use numbers, letters and specifics please,

With Tables, verbs and examples of these.

 

Truly, problem solving, is the root of all this talk,

With studies meant to guide us as we learn to walk the walk;

Who knew that when we sought our skills to sharply hone,

We’d be identifying causes on the spine of some fishbone?

 

Workflows, lean process, mapping or Six Sigma,

All the tools at our dispense can cause quite the enigma;

Yet all are meant to move us from our better to our best,

May we never cease to use them with improvement as our quest.

 

What a joy to “camp” in Nashville, Operations the component,

What a privilege to work with those who share as the proponent

Of such leadership and teamwork that causes us to grow,

Through the insight and relationships we build with ReSource Pro.

 

Agency Operations & Profit

In conjunction with Insurance Journal, ReSource Pro Analytics (the research arm of ReSource Pro) has released an Agency Operations and Profit Survey.

survey

The survey is the first of its kind and will benchmark the relationships between agency performance and operations management. It will examine how people, process, technology and culture intersect. It will compare and contrast manager and employee views of their agency’s operational effectiveness to see if there is a gap between perceptions and experience. Operations is like the tide that can raise or lower all ships. Which direction are you headed relative to your peers? How effective is your agency’s operations?

This survey is open to agency owners, managers, producers, and service staff. All answers received will be pooled and aggregated with other survey data to ensure anonymity and to develop the survey results. Respondents have the option to include their email address in order to receive a free report of the survey’s findings.

Click here to take the survey now! We are confident you will find it worth while.

 

 

 

Shaping Up Operations

OperationsIn 2013 we are taking our commitment to our mission to transform insurance processing operations to the next level. This April we will be hosting an Operations Boot Camp for our clients’ Insurance Operations teams.

We all know the importance of operations efficiency in facilitating profitable growth, but sometimes the management of the process is less than optimal. Our Boot Camp will tackle the essential questions of how to efficiently manage operations and turn process into profit. This boot camp will enable attendees to identify opportunities for process and workflow improvement, write lean and mean operating procedures, transfer work effectively for maximum productivity, and gain the tools that will allow them to assess their staff’s talents, redeploying people to the greatest advantage.

We are excited to provide the only place to get hands-on training and walk away with practical tools developed specifically for insurance operations managers. Check back with us in April for post boot camp takeaways so you too can share in the knowledge!

 

Changes in Ex Mod & Work Comp Premium Calculations

image2013 marks the first changes in ex-mod calculations in over two decades.  Employers with poor loss histories will probably be seeing their rates go up, while employers with good histories, solid management practices, and good safety programs will probably realize some financial benefits.

The effective implementation timing is predicated on a state-by-state basis, depending on their adjustment periods.  Additionally, under the new guidelines, the rate calculations will continue changing on an annual basis.

To help agencies and their staffs better understand the changes and the impact on their clients, ReSource Pro consultant Jack Burke recently interviewed Kevin Ring, the Lead Workers Comp Analyst at the Institute of Work Comp Professionals for the monthly publication Audio Insurance Outlook and has allowed ReSource Pro to share it with their clients. 

Click here to access the interview.

Lessons Learned from an HR expert.

For those of you who attended ReSource Pro’s Innovation Advisory Council event last week, you’ve heard Don Phin saying that there is no substitute for  sound HR management practices. It makes no difference if you are a professional firm, retail outfit or contractor. It makes no difference if you have 5 employees or 50,000. It makes no difference if you have seasoned HR executives or not. Many companies fail to see the true cost of poor HR practices and don’t embrace the right ones until they get whacked in the head enough times that it begins to hurt!

Great companies don’t wait for the pain, they model best practices. This is not rocket science, it’s just plain common sense. By going through the HRthatworks.com calculator and using your own figures you will see the bottom line distinctions HR That Works can help to create at your company.

Book Review “Reverse Innovation”

business process outsourcing innovationNew York TimesWall Street JournalUSA Today, Amazon BestsellerReverse Innovation is the new business idea everyone is talking about. Why? Because it presents the blueprint for scaling growth in emerging markets, and importing low-cost and high impact innovations to mature ones.Innovation is no longer the exclusive domain of the Silicon Valley elite. Reverse Innovation will open your eyes to the fact that the dynamics of global innovation are changing—and if you want your firm to survive, you’d better pay attention. The gap between rich nations and emerging economies is closing. No longer will innovations travel the globe in only one direction, from developed to developing nations. They will also flow in reverse. CEOs of the world’s most influential companies agree and have cited Reverse Innovation as their playbook for the next generation of global growth.

Authors Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth explain where, when, and why reverse innovation is on the rise and why the implications are so profound. Learn how to make innovation in emerging markets happen and how such innovations can unlock even greater opportunity throughout the world. You’ll follow some of the world’s leading companies (including GE, Deere & Company, P&G, and PepsiCo) through stories that illustrate exactly what works and what doesn’t.

(source: Amazon.com)

“Mother Nature” and the Insurance Market

The changing market in the insurance industry is a topic we covered in the past. About a year ago, to the date, we hosted an event in Miami to talk about the cost and opportunities of a changing market. And just the other day I was revisiting an article from July 2012 on the topic of hard market that reads….”additionally no one knows what Mother Nature has planned for the upcoming year, many companies are struggling to survive”.

Well, Is this the “Mother Nature” event the insurance industry has been referring to? Is this the event that will harden the market. S&P does not think so. In a report they released today they state:

“Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services expects Hurricane Sandy to have a limited impact on the ratings on U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurers, global reinsurers, and certain catastrophe bonds. Although we anticipate that losses from this event will affect (re)insurers’ fourth-quarter earnings in 2012, for most (re)insurers the hit will be offset by strong capital bases and strong earnings through the first three quarters of 2012. The event is unlikely to materially affect premium rates in loss-affected lines.”

On the other hand, although the industry can weather the financial hit — estimates of which have now hit $20 billion of insured losses and still climbing, some industry pundits are saying that this is the opportunity for the industry to raise premiums with justification.

What do you think — no impact or rising premiums?

 

MONEYBALL: Apply the principles of Moneyball to your insurance organization

Oakland A’s Billy Beane will be the Keynote speaker at the ReSource Pro’s “Ahead of the Game” Executive Event. Beane will speak on how selecting the right metrics transformed the baseball industry.

Based on the success of the best-selling book and blockbuster movie Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, companies around the globe are lining up to learn how to replicate Beane’s triumphant Moneyball philosophy. Beane’s innovative, winning style of management and leadership involves identifying undervalued assets to create and sustain a competitive advantage. His unique philosophy and heroic underdog story offers lessons for all types of industries including health care, insurance, and finance to name a few. ReSource Pro clients have already been introduced to the impact of Beane’s management concepts through an article written by Epstein this summer, “Moneyball: Apply the Principles of Moneyball to Your Insurance Organization. I thought this would be a great time to reread.

In the recent movie “Moneyball” with Brad Pitt, the GM of the Oakland Athletics builds a winning baseball team based not on a few star performers but on a scientific approach to managing the aggregate performance of the whole team. With the smallest budget in the league, and no star players, the Athletics outperform all expectations, set the American league record for most consecutive wins and change the way the game is played. The same principles hold for insurance organizations.

Many insurance executives focus primarily on offense: building strong carrier relationships, developing competitive products and focusing on sales performance.  Meanwhile, assuring widespread product expertise, proactive customer service and operations efficiency receive relatively little attention. Back office processing operations – defined here broadly as non-client-facing, administrative and policy processing functions – amount to uncharted zones of inefficiency and waste. Submissions go in and policies come out, but in between, staff time and creativity can vanish with little trace.

Download Dan Epstein’s the article “Moneyball: Apply the principles of Moneyball to your insurance organization”

How does your agency compare to the best? Benchmarking for Improved Financial Performance

Insurance agencies have been notoriously ineffective at measuring performance; yet the top performing agencies both measure and benchmark leading practices. There is a strong correlation between effective management and effective measurement. After all, what you measure provides insight into gaps, opportunities and ultimately areas in which businesses can focus; and what investments are required.

Our upcoming Innovation Advisory Council will meet in November to discuss “The Inspired Workforce”. We have invited Marsh, Berry and Co. Inc. back for an encore performance. In a previous IAC meeting we  explored the topic of Financial Performance Benchmarking as a tool to drive organic growth. We invited MarshBerry ‘s APPEX group to facilitate a discussion on benchmarking efficiency and its relation to driving agency value. Here are some of the key takeaways from that meeting:

What can agencies benchmark?

Anything that can be measured can also be benchmarked. Benchmarking can take place internally by looking at best performing processes or groups and benchmarking others against them. If there is information on things you measure available on your industry, then you can measure externally. In this case, APPEX provides benchmarks for Retail Insurance Agencies.
Certain factors such as how much time producers spend selling vs. servicing, how well an agency controls cost, how the appointment to quote to close ratios look like, impact the agency’s performance. By benchmarking, agencies are able to focus on activities that correlate to improved results.

What do best-In-class agencies measure?
Typically agencies look at Revenue per Employee as a primary measure of performance. This is often a superficial indicator. ReSource Pro specializes in driving back office efficiencies to its clients through insurance processing outsourcing, for this reason we are interested in measuring for our clients the return on investment for their various operational strategies.
Marsh, Berry and Company’s APPEX presentation showcased new metrics and indicators that best-in–class agencies measure in order to create a total sales oriented agency culture.

How best-in-class agencies develop a sales culture for organic growth?

  • Best-in-class agencies focus on factors that drive efficiencies, productivity and margins. Some of those activities include:
  • Focus on larger average account size that typically reduce service staff cost.
  • They benchmark and help their producers achieve better hit ratios.
  • Trade some service staff productivity to support higher producer productivity (sophisticated servicing increases the time producers spend selling).
  • Provide service staff incentives based on retention, size of book serviced, timeline compliance and quality of customer service they provide.
  • Trade down smallest 20% of accounts each year by eliminating commissions paid on smaller accounts