Why brokers need to ‘bee’ more

Toby MacLachlan, 8 February 2021

Here are a few business analogies drawn from the natural world: “busy as a beaver”, “fat cat”, and the business “unicorn”.  I’d like to propose another animal-themed business idiom: “build like a bee”. 

Follow me on this one.  The humble bee makes its home lightweight, a flexible yet strong structure, versatile enough to grow quickly, changing shape and size depending on requirement.  If a particular cell in a honeycomb isn’t working, a bee can quickly dismantle and put together a new, stronger structure.

The same should be true of business infrastructure

Many businesses are still inextricably tangled in complicated legacy systems.  If one part of the system is no longer relevant or functional, or the business wants to change direction or integrate new, digital processes, it can be incredibly costly and time-consuming; with a high risk of downtime or business interruption, to break down and rebuild the system the way the business wants it.

There are many off-the-shelf products out there, and though it may appear quicker and cheaper to buy the full package and get started, buyers often end up with elements of a system they do not need or want and very little flexibility to do anything about it. Not very cost-effective.

This is the way it has “always been done” (our industry slogan?) and many companies are cautious about doing things differently.  We work with a number of clients who prefer to stick with their legacy systems, we get it, and we have worked hard to ensure that we can integrate these systems with minimum disruption, but there is a better, more efficient way.  A way that not only sets the business up for now but makes it future-proof with the ability to quickly respond to changes in the insurance-buying and consumption process.

Back to the bee 

At Ignite we are seeing an increased adoption of a type of infrastructure that mimics a beehive; a total structure composed entirely of smaller modular elements, coming together to deliver a robust, resilient but most of all, agile result.

This microservice approach allows brokers to pick the specific elements of the system they need, combining best-of-breed modules to build a full front- and back-office, claims, and policy management system.  In this way, modules can easily be taken out or added as needed giving the business the agility needed to quickly grow and respond to changes in the industry.

We have long been champions of this honeycomb approach, our Ignite Broker system is built in modular fashion meaning that our clients can choose all or some of the modules they need to build their perfect system; rating engine, customer portal, commissions, complaints, chatbot services – all discrete elements of our system that our clients can choose.  

Benefits for the broking bee

This all might sound complicated, and dare I say it expensive, and that may be somewhat true.  But in terms of long-term business growth, future-proofing and efficiency, it is the best approach for a growing business, and it isn’t as complicated as it sounds.  Depending on your provider, modules can be easily slotted together and integrated with existing systems with little or no system downtime – all you need to do is work with your provider to carefully scope out the areas you need support, and they will tell you the best solution.  Not just the off-the-shelf in-house solution,  but an array of possible solutions to fit your business.

In a fast-paced, constantly evolving digital environment, most, if not all brokers could benefit from following the lead of the bee and adopting a modular approach to building their business, these are just some of the benefits: 

·       Pay only for the features you need rather than wasting money on system functions you may never use

·       Quickly adapt and build on the system as the business grows and requirements change

·       Minimal (or no) business interruption when different parts of the system need adapting

·       Best of breed approach allows you to pick and choose the best modules from different providers

 If you want to get building like a bee, we can help: Ignite Broker is a modular system that provides all the functionality you need in discrete cells that you can select based on your business need.

Get in touch with us today to arrange a free demo or have a chat about how we can help you.

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