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WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN AGENCY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE

The procedure of choosing the right agency management software is often similar despite their differences in the area of operations. There are several agencies, for example, marketing agencies, hiring agencies, advertising agencies, among many others.  There are those underpinning factors to look for when deciding on an agency software irrespective of the size or the field of operation of the agency. Filecenter DMS is generally fully developed and inexpensive document management systems for agencies.

These systems are critical in the daily activities since they help boost the efficiency of these agencies in terms of speed of executing duties effectively with a lot of ease.

The software are handy to any agency since they boost customer service, helps in storing and processing of required data to give relevant insights.

Therefore the process of choosing an agency management software is very crucial and must be done with a lot of caution.

The following aspects are what you should look for when choosing an agency management software;

  1. A System That Will Accommodate Paperless Workflow

There is high efficiency accompanied by less paperwork in various agencies, and this practice has gained popularity in most agencies. A sound system should allow paperless workflow since the agencies will still be able to manage all its documents and data electronically instead of handling huge paper documents.

Therefore while choosing a system which can accommodate paperless workflow, you should look for Forbes about why you should run paperless system.

  1. The ease of downloading and uploading a document from the selected software.
  1. It should be easy to scan documents using the system.

There are numerous benefits associated with the paperless workflow, for example,

  • It reduces operations costs because of reduced spending, previously used for printing and storage.
  • It improves customer service since it allows the quick flow of information.
  • It makes it easy to access the documents.

2. Integrated Accounting

Accounting is a critical operation in every agency. Therefore, it is ideal to choose software that has integrated accounting into the management system.

Integrating accounting is very important since it will be easy to trace payments, billings, debts, credits, production information, revenue, and expenses incurred by just using your software. For an integrated accounting system you should look for;

  1. Precise segmentation of the agency in terms of department, unit, division, or branch to have informative accounting details.
  2. Ability to give customizable reports.
  3. Agency reconciliation.

Some of the vital importance of integrating accounting in an agency are;

  • It helps in cutting operations costs, instead of hiring an accountant, the software helps with the accounting operations.
  • It helps in reducing the incidences of double-entry; hence, it improves E & O operations.
  • It reduces reporting time.

3. Email Integration

Most agencies communicate mainly through emails. Therefore email integration in the agency management software system is worth the investment. Email integration enables the agency to save time, and it also speeds up the communication process.

If you are thinking of email integration then you should look for the following aspects;

  1. Ability to attach documents from the email system.
  2. There should be seamless integration, which gives room for document management.
  3. Simple user interface

There are several benefits associated with email integration namely;

  • There is a proper record keeping of the communication process.
  • It increases the efficiency of workflow since there is no more toggle between the software and the email.

4. Mobile Access

Mobile access has gained popularity, and it is currently widely used by different agencies. Mobile access is very convenient since it enables individuals to access the information they need from the system while they are away from the office by just using their phone.

If you want to incorporate mobile access to your agency management software then you need to look for the following aspects;

  1. Compatibility with mobile devices like Android, iPhone, and iPad devices.
  2. It should be able to accommodate all comprehensive information, data, policies, notes, and statistics.

It is essential to consider mobile access while choosing an agency management software due to its numerous benefits like;

  • The ability to access the agency management system from anywhere, anytime boosts the convenience of using the software.
  • No need for distorted second-hand information since the office staff can access the data directly using their mobile phones.
  • In most cases, they are easy to use as compared to the system itself.

5. Personalized Workflows

It is difficult for one management system to serve all organization’s needs. Therefore, an ideal system should be able to blend with all daily organizational activities if it can’t meet this criterion, then it is of less benefit to your agency.

It is recommendable to settle for a software that incorporates personalized workflow and can easily adjust to your agency’s daily operations.

When considering personalized workflows then you should look for the following;

  1. A reliable and flexible naming procedure.
  2. A personalized user dashboard.

There are several benefits associated with the personalization of the management software namely;

  • Increases efficiency and ease of using the system.
  • It helps in supporting agency expansion, and it also promotes agency growth.
  • It helps in reducing workarounds.

6. The Ease of Using

Acquisition of a new agency management system will call for training of all targeted users. Therefore a sound system should be user-friendly and straightforward to use. Will reduce the training period and increase system success. A system that is easy to navigate through will help increase the production of your agency since the workers will. A secure network is often easy to understand and operate too.

When looking for a software that is easy to use then you should look for the following aspects;

  1. Should have a simple and user-friendly interface.
  2. Should provide positive interaction between the employee and the demos.

Choosing a system that is easy to use is crucial since it comes with the following benefits;

  • When a software is easy to use the workers can easily navigate through hence increasing productivity.
  • Less training time is required resulting in faster employee on boarding.
  • It reduces workarounds required since the system are easy to use.

7. Data storage and security

Currently, most agencies are using the cloud as their primary data storage mechanism. Cloud is a new digital storage network serves that helps in storing and protecting agency data. The new generation agency management systems hosted in the cloud usually, and this gives adequate storage capacity and additional cyber security features.

The following are aspects that you must look for in terms of data storage and security of the agency management software;

  1. Reliable data storage backup.
  2. The storage capacity should be virtually unlimited.
  3. Tested and reliable security.
  4. Must be in line with the available standards in place.

There are benefits for using cloud data storage and having a reliable cyber security system. Some of the benefits are;

  • The data backup will enable the agency to recover lost data due to calamities like fire.
  • Robust cyber security features will protect the agency from various cyber threats.
  • The cloud storage system makes it possible for agency members to able to access any needed data from anywhere,

8.  Synchronization of data and downloads

In this era of new technology, the manual entry of data is a long gone practice. Data synchronization, by definition, is connecting with the carriers directly for a faster data download. Data synchronization & downloads will enable you to access information like policy information, carrier billing, transactions, and other relevant data for secure transactions.

When incorporating synchronization of data and downloads into your system, the following are what to look for;

  1. Accessibility to claim status.
  2. Its connection with ACORD forms.
  3. It should be easy to manage the carrier and employees passwords.
  4. There should be an option for sending a policy change for submission.

Synchronization of data and downloads into your agency management system will benefit your agency in the following ways;

  • Reduce time wastage since there will be reduced calls to connect with the carriers.
  • Increased productivity since there is no time wasted entering the information manually into the system.
  • There will be less E & Q issues.

9.  Enhanced Lines for Business Support

Capacity building is key to the growth of any agency. In most cases, the management software is often developed in one line of business, forgetting the other tracks. It doesn’t matter what kind of agency you are running; all you need is a comprehensive management system that can accommodate all the lines of business. Enhanced and completed lines of business will be of great advantage to your agency as it will help to boost your potential.

When considering enhanced lines for business support, you should look for the following aspects;

  1. Integration of commercial and personal.
  2. It should support direct lines downloads.
  3. Group certificate email.
  4. It should have real-time carrier access.

Having enhanced lines for business support in your agency management system will give you the following benefits;

  • Improve agency growth.
  • Enhance agency productivity.
  • It will give room for cross-selling opportunities.

Essential Provider Qualities

Choosing the right agency management software provider is key to the success of your agency.  The excellent system capabilities are of no importance if your provider does not support you to help your agency flourish. Therefore, while choosing a provider it’s relevant to evaluate your provider in the following lines;

  • Service

A right provider will help your agency with conversion support,

Preparation, and 24/7 customer support. The provider should be able to address the various arising issues quickly and efficiently to keep your system functional always. The provider should assign you a qualified professional to guide your agency.

  • Training and Support

Your provider should conduct the required training for all the agency employees who will be using the system. The training begins during the implementation of the acquisition of the new software, and this should continue every time there is a software upgrade. There should be different modes of training so that every employee can be comfortable (online coaching and one on one training).

  • Affordability

Though pricing should not be a significant issue, settle for a provider with competitive pricing that your agency can afford. Purchasing the right agency management system is a considerable investment, so do not let the price make you choose the wrong order.

  • Innovation

Change is inevitable, and the right provider should have that in mind. Therefore, they will be able to take care of your business today and even in the future without much struggle.

The provider should be willing to incorporate the new changes that you request in the system as time goes by.

Conclusion

Once you have known what to look for in a proper and efficient agency management system, try evaluating the potential providers and settle for the best of the best. Do not rush in your selection process; take your time to choose the best system and provider.

If you want to provide better service to your customers, then choose the system that will enable you to achieve your goal.

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