Increase Operations Efficiency in the Insurance Industry

After the economic challenges of the past decade, many companies are looking to streamline processes but are often not reaching their expected savings or fully commit to their proposed changes.

Operational efficiency is integral to maintaining profitability in a volatile market and economic climate, but it also responds to increased calls for transparency and faster access to important information. As communications become more dependent on the Internet over in-person calls, operational efficiency can also help companies meet their clients where they are at: online and researching their next major purchases.

Today’s insurance consultants strive to make insurance companies more profitable and agile, here’s how to do this with employee and operations management.

Four Effective Ways to Manage Your Employees
Operational efficiency starts with your employees. That makes operational management dependent on how you manage your employees. The right management can encourage your staff, get them better equipped for change and increase your profitability.

Encourage idea management: Your staff are your most knowledgeable and immediate resource into your business’ ins and outs. The best ideas will often come from your own staff. Working to ensure that your employees feel comfortable and encouraged to bring their ideas forward is a key to modern success, a strategy that has led to important changes in organizations like Toyota and GE.

Prioritize motivation and engagement: Employees who feel heard and engaged often show a 15-20 per cent increase in performance. So how do you engage employees? Focus on motivation, incentive programs and, of course, clear and open communication.

Incentivize your staff with fair and motivating rewards: Monetary compensation is just one way in which you can motivate your employees, but never underestimate the power of a pizza party and mentions of success in the company newsletter. These are often more cost effective and always appreciated by your team.

Change cost allocation: Flat, equal cost distribution is one of the least effective ways to improve operations, yet it is still a popular strategy. Instead, allocate costs based on consumption. It encourages people to use the resources in the organization and it saves money on expensive third-party solutions.

Four Ways to Achieve the Most Productive Organizational Structure
Look for inside hires: It pays to bring in an outside perspective, but always promoting from without instead of from within the company will leave your team feeling like they need to go elsewhere to grow. Growing leaders in-house and taking the time to mentor promising employees can help you retain valuable assets just when they may look to move, and will save you on hiring a more expensive expert from outside.

Streamline compensation: What people earn is quickly becoming more common knowledge and, with it, tensions around compensation. By streamlining your levels of compensation, you can ensure equal pay for equal work while rewarding those who deserve more for their efforts.

Reduce management layers: Modern businesses need to be flexible, agile and quick to respond to change. Having multiple levels of management can lead to the opposite: bureaucratic inefficiencies and communication structures that lose vital information. By reducing levels of management, you can increase your efficiency and better plan for those quick changes.

Get the right number of people: Too few or too many employees both present problems. One will burn out your staff, increase turnover and lead to operational “bottlenecks.” Too many employees unnecessarily increases costs while insufficiently leveraging your collected talent. This is where operations, contact centre and back-office benchmarks can drive operational efficiency.

The Assessments & Benchmarks Insurance Companies Need
If you are curious about how your company is operating and want to understand how to better streamline your operation, The Burnie Group has may assessments and benchmarks that can help your organization run better. They are even available across multiple channels, including:

Call/phone (including IVR)
Online (including chat and bots)
Mobile
Branch
Insurance benchmarks and assessments are also available across different business lines, such as:

P&C insurance
Individual life insurance
Group life insurance
Retirement
Investments
Insurance benchmarks and assessments can also help across different functions, including:

Sales
Services
Claims
Complaints
Loyalty and retention
Shared services (e.g. Workforce management)
Contact The Burnie Group today to learn more about how to drive operational efficiencies in your company to achieve better profit, happier employees, and streamlined process.

One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Your Class on USA Trips

The USA has an abundance of potential when it comes to school residential trips, and you don’t have to look further than Washington DC, home to the National Air and Space Museum, for inspiration. A visit to this excellent museum will see your students marvelling at the 1903 Wright Flyer and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, touching rock that’s come from the moon, and getting to grips with the fascinating history of aviation and space travel.
Home to the world’s largest collection of space and aviation related artefacts, this museum is not only educational, but hugely inspirational as well.Teachers will be pleased to discover that the museum caters extremely well for pupils on residential school trips, and there is much on offer to help make your visit a truly memorable one.

Tours

When taking your students on a trip it’s always useful to know that, when appropriate, you can take a breather and hand them over to the experts. At the National Air and Space Museum,you can book a guided tour specifically designed for students. The History of Flight Tour II and Exploring Space tours are angled towards secondary school children.

The tours last an hour, with all year groups of secondary school age catered for. If you have more than 15 youngsters on your residential school trips, the group will be split accordingly. Hosted by volunteers, these tours are highly informative and can be tailored to any specific interests or curriculum requirements.

Einstein Planetarium

This attraction is considered an absolute highlight of the site and, as one of the most high-tech planetariums in the country, it’snot hard to see why. Adults arealways just as impressed as youngsters and,as the newly installed 8K Full Dome System works its magic, projecting super high-definition visuals, your class will be mesmerised. The vivid colours, intense brightness and pin-sharp clarity simply must be seen to be believed.

There are several shows run throughout the day. To Space and Back invites viewers into the world of exploratory space travel, and shows how intrinsically linked our changing world is to the universe around us. Other shows include The Stars Tonight,whichincorporatesrelevant headlining topics.

Shows change often, so teachers bookingresidential school trips in advance will need to check closer to the time to see exactly what is on. Every show is fantastic, however, so they’re an experience not to be missed.

Observatory

The wonderful observatory at the planetariumhouses an array of telescopes that, because of their safe solar filters, can be used during daylight hours. Pupils will have the opportunity to look for spots on the sun and discover the phases of Venus – and that’s just the start!

When planning residential school trips to Washington DC, booking with a reputable educational travel tour operator is highly recommended, in order to make the most of the time. They will advise and assistwith every aspect of planning your trip, leaving you free to concentrate on making the experience as memorable as it can be for young students.

Author Plate

John Gardiner is the Managing Director of The School Travel Company, a tour operator specialising in educational travel for school and youth groups. Whether you’re planning UK study tours,school residential trips to the USA, Iceland geography trips or trekking expeditions to India, you can trust both the educational and economic value of their itineraries, whether ready-made or specifically designed to suit the needs of your group.

Choosing the Right Insurance Company for You

There are a lot of insurance companies, so choosing between them can be quite challenging. Here are the main points to keep in mind when selecting an insurance company:
Licensing
Not all companies are licensed to operate in each state. In general, you should buy from a company licensed in your state, since you can rely on your state insurance department to help if there’s any problem.

Price
Prices vary greatly from one company to another, so it really is worthwhile to shop around. Get at least three price quotes from companies, agents and the Internet. Your state insurance department may publish a guide that shows what insurers charge for different policies in various regions in your state.

Financial Solidity
You buy insurance to protect yourself financially and provide peace of mind. Choose a company that is likely to be financially sound by using ratings from independent rating agencies.

Service
Your insurance company and its representatives should be able to answer your questions and handle your claims fairly, efficiently and quickly. Talking to other customers who have used a particular company or agent is helpful to that end. You may also want to check a national claims database to see what complaints a company has. Also, your state insurance department will be able to tell you if the insurance company you want to do business with had many consumer complaints about its service relative to the number of policies it sold.

Comfort
You should feel comfortable with your insurance, whether you get it from a local agent, directly from an insurance company, or over the Internet. Make sure that the agent or company can be reached easily if you have a question or need to file a claim.