This post is part of a series sponsored by AgentSync.
Data silos and workflows cost insurance work time, money, and good people. It’s time to shed some light on these common issues and start breaking down these barriers.
Does the phrase “but that’s what we’ve always done” sound familiar? If you’re in the insurance business, and it is, then you’re definitely not alone. A lot of things in our world have been “done this way” contractsif not centuries.
Sticking to the same old way you’ve always run your business may seem the easiest route, but when it comes to making your business competitive, the status quo isn’t going to help. The truth is that insurers, insurance agencies, and MGAs/MGUs are full of silos. Whether it’s because of outdated processes, outdated technology, or people who don’t have the resources they need to effectively share information inside and outside their organization, silos are the same path in today’s insurance world.
Perhaps you realize that these silos exist and try to find solutions, but to no avail. On the other hand, perhaps you were fortunately unaware and didn’t even know that your current situation is causing problems. Either way, keep reading to learn about the common silos that prevent many insurance companies from achieving their full potential.
I want to Skip to the test? Determine if your insurance carrier can suffer from siloitis* by taking it now.
* This test aims to diagnose potential data silos within your organization. If you think you or someone you know is experiencing information silos or workflow issues, please call us Find out how AgentSync can help.
What are silos?
like glorious Grain Silos By beautifully dotting the American agricultural landscape, silos in your business are great ways to keep information and processes closed and pollutant-free. Unfortunately, this also means that the people who need to access that information or processes most likely can’t. Unlike grains and other commodities, institutional knowledge needs the ability to move freely around your organization. Thus, as much as we love farmers, we firmly believe that silos have no business in your business.
Information silos occur in your business when information travels vertically rather than horizontally. For example, your head of legal sends an update to the members of the compliance team below them in the organizational chart, who then send the information to their administrative staff. But no one mentions anything to the head of operations, so the information never reaches the employees in this department. This can lead to confusion and conflict between departments as they each work with the information they have, but not the same (accurate) information.
In addition to information silos, workflow silos exist. This occurs when different parts of a larger organization follow different processes and workflows. If each section is a gear in a large machine but each gear rotates in its own unique direction, the machine as a whole will not work.
The information and workflow silos that are created between departments within an organization are what we generally think of. It’s easy to imagine how the sales team and the HR department might have completely different ways of doing things and places to look for information. Most of us have worked for a company that has struggled with internal silos at least a little.
The information and workflow silos that exist between different organizations are perhaps common, but not so much acknowledged, that they should, and should, work with each other. In the insurance industry, insurers, insurance agency, and regulators will benefit from having a transparent, real-time, multi-directional flow of information. If they did, everyone within each organization would have access to the same knowledge as the others and everyone would be on the same page effortlessly. We probably don’t have to tell you that this isn’t usually the case.
Workflow silos can also exist between different organizations just as they do internally. Most of us know the pain of two opposing processes between organizations, leaving both sides frustrated with how difficult it is to deal with the other.
What causes silos?
Much has been written about the reasons And the negative effects silos on companies. From revenue to efficiency to employee morale, there is a consensus that nothing good comes from an isolated organization.
In many cases, experts attribute the formation of silos to poor leadership and aggressive, competitive internal teams. However, we also know that silos cannot exist because of malicious intent but simply from a lack of resources that are spent on preventing them. In an industry as old as insurance, silos can easily form when a company does not adopt new practices designed specifically to store information centrally and allow it to be shared across the company.
How do you tear down information and workflow silos?
That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? Deconstructing the data, workflow, and connection silos of your insurance business can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Some expert advice includes:
- Encouraging Horizontal Collaboration: Creating opportunities for team members to work with one another, not just with those in their vertical chain of command.
- Create a common goal: When everyone on the team shares a vision and is dedicated to working together to achieve it, it becomes less important to store information and more important to share it.
- Applying technology to do the heavy lifting: More systems isn’t always the answer. But having the right systems in place can be. When your organization invests in a solution that gives every employee the right level of insight into the same single source of truth, it’s hard for information silos to thrive.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But tearing down your silos of information doesn’t have to be an impossible task. With the right tools, it can be easier than you think!
Can your organization use a healthy dose of silo cracking technology? Take a test to find out.
How do you tear down information and workflow silos?
If you are looking for a better way to manage product setup, ongoing compliance management, contracting, carrier schedules, and many parts of your business in a way that provides transparency across the organization and makes your internal and external stakeholders happy, See how AgentSync can help.