Embracing technology: Karen Stanford’s perspective on scaling success for Managing General Agents (MGAs)

Technology: A non-negotiable component

The resounding message from our discussion was clear: technology is no longer a choice for MGAs; it’s an absolute necessity. Today, our insurance clients demand efficiency, accuracy, and customer-centric services, making technology adoption mandatory for MGAs. The regulatory environment has become increasingly complex, with recent introductions like the “Consumer Duty” highlighting the need for robust processes and controls. Modern MGAs must leverage technology to meet these evolving regulatory demands.

Ecosystems: The path to efficiency

The traditional approach of seeking a one-size-fits-all platform is no longer practical. Instead, we should focus on creating ecosystems composed of best-in-class solutions that seamlessly integrate. Thanks to open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrations, we can choose specialised tools that cater to the MGA’s unique needs.

The question that many MGAs face is whether they should build a single, comprehensive solution covering policy administration, claims management, and credit control, or whether we should construct an ecosystem of specialised components. The consensus leans toward the latter. The flexibility offered by an ecosystem allows us to build solid foundations and adapt quickly to evolving requirements and customer needs.

The role of strategy

An MGA’s journey into the world of technology should commence with a clear strategic vision. Creating a well-defined growth strategy, identifying the right partners, and embarking on your technology journey step by step is crucial. This overarching strategy should always guide your decision-making process. Without a well-thought-out plan, technology adoption can fail to deliver the required outcomes for MGA businesses.

Project management and collaboration

Effective project management is crucial for the successful implementation of technology solutions. You must ensure a strong relationship between the project sponsor and the project manager, actively collaborating and addressing challenges together. Clearly defining roles and responsibilities and maintaining active communication between teams can make a world of difference.

Testing and continuous improvement

Thorough testing of technology solutions is essential to ensure the platform functions as intended. The ability of vendors to adapt quickly based on feedback from their clients ensures the technology evolves to meet the changing needs of its business and its customers. As exemplified by one MGA, rigorous testing allowed them to rectify approximately 80% of the system’s bugs within the first three weeks of going live, demonstrating the benefits of meticulous testing and a robust bug-fix process.

Selecting the right partner

Choosing the right technology partner is paramount. A trusted partner can significantly ease the technology adoption journey, especially when they understand the intricacies of technology and align with your business’s goals. Experienced technology partners can offer valuable insights and guidance. Cultural alignment is also critical for your success. These relationships will be long-standing, so ensuring vendors and clients are culturally aligned and can collaborate will lead to the right business outcomes for both parties.

This partnership must remain a true collaboration, where the MGA does not rely completely on the software provider. Both parties must demonstrate a dedicated commitment to guarantee success, and this collaboration is especially vital during the requirements and testing phases.

Challenges: Cost and partner selection

While the benefits of technology adoption for MGAs are clear, we acknowledge that several common challenges can hinder the process. Cost considerations often play a role in decision-making, and identifying the right technology partners can be difficult. For these challenges, seeking the assistance of external experts or ecosystem facilitators, like GreenKite, can help you navigate the complexities associated with technology adoption.

There is an urgent need for MGAs to recognise the increasing importance of technology adoption. With a well-defined strategy, the right technology partner, effective project management, and a strong focus on rigorous testing and client feedback, MGAs can unlock the potential of technology to meet regulatory requirements, enhance customer experiences, and scale their operations. It’s abundantly clear that technology is not just an option; it’s a key driver of growth and success for MGAs in today’s digital era.

Find out how GreenKite can help you on your journey. Please contact Nadia Timmer at [email protected].


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