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The Importance of an Operations Review

As an approved auditor for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, I have had the privilege of working with independent insurance agencies across the United States conducting Operational Improvement Reviews. This process is a valuable opportunity to receive an external partner’s review of how your agency is operating and mitigating E&O exposures.

If you have not participated in an Operational Improvement Review, you may wonder what it involves and why it is important. The Operational review is a critical process for highlighting inconsistencies in workflows, addressing common obstacles for staff, identifying operational inefficiencies, and improving the customer experience. While the process approved through Swiss Re focuses primarily on E&O exposures, a full operational review can capture so much information for the agency.

10. Allowing an independent partner to provide feedback can be difficult, rewarding, and helpful all at the same time! (Remember, its about opportunities but also a chance to celebrate!)

9. An opportunity to pause, check and adjust: something we don’t inherently do for ourselves or our business.

8. Learn quick tips to become more efficient!

7. An opportunity to ask questions about how other agencies might handle certain obstacles or decisions (confidentially of course – agency names are always protected!)

6. Prioritize opportunities for financial and operational improvements – especially helpful for those of us who succumb to the excitement of “shiny things”.

5. Discuss the agency’s future. Are you in a position to be successful in obtaining your mission and objectives? (and do you have a clear mission and objectives!)

4. Review an unbiased explanation of the customer’s experience in working with your agency.

3. Deep dive into the workflows and look for opportunities to utilize technology, employee skills or create efficiencies.

2. LISTEN to employee feedback and obstacles and frustrating roadblocks and ACT accordingly with the help of a professional.

1. Reinforce that the agency leadership is dedicated to improving operations for its employees and its customers.

Before you decide to review your agency operations, discuss with your team what your goals are for the process. Is it to successfully onboard new employees as the agency grows? Is it to find ways to utilize technology to help the agency work more efficiently? Is it simply a “checkup” to make sure things are running as well as it seems?

Whatever your reason…good luck and have fun. It’s a great time to be an independent insurance agent!

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