Delivering value through an operations-first strategy
In recent years, the employee benefits landscape has changed significantly. The role of the benefits broker has shifted from being sales-focused to service-oriented, and to compete, today’s brokers must offer end-to-end service with the objective of delivering tangible value to customers.
What is the best way to do this? By becoming an operations-first organization. That means aligning your strategy, process, and execution so that you and your teams have the time to focus on servicing and offering value. Let’s explore two strategies for doing so.
Identify the “waste” in the benefits process
One of the most effective ways to improve your operational efficiency is to leverage lean management. Lean management helps identify and eliminate “waste,” or inefficiencies, that exists within the process of delivering a product or service through value stream mapping and other steps.
In the benefits process, examples of waste may include price shopping, obtaining missing information, fixing incorrect information, reformatting proposals, having senior employees doing junior-level work, or following up with carriers/providers.
Once you see where the waste is, you can work toward implementing an appropriate solution. This could include standardizing the ad-hoc process, segmenting accounts and service levels, sourcing the right work to the right person, streamlining workflows, or eliminating redundancies.
Reevaluate your talent
How effective is your process for attracting and retaining talent? For training and development? Are your employees’ goals with the business’ goals? These may seem like simple questions, but it’s worth drilling into them more deeply if the answers aren’t satisfactory.
Consider establishing a quality management system (QMS) if you do not have one already. A QMS is a detailed plan which can help you govern how your organization hires, onboards, trains, and audits employees, enabling you to ensure it delivers quality service consistently.
If the problem is not within your talent, however, it may be within your processes. Are your people spending significant time on repetitive and non-revenue generating tasks? Consider alleviating the problem through one, or a combination, of the following:
Keep in mind that change takes time
Lean and quality management are valuable investments for any insurance organization, but they take time to implement and perfect. After introducing operational changes, you will need to continuously monitor and measure the impact on your teams and your business results and make additional refinements if necessary.
With open enrollment period beginning in just a few months, you may want to consider a more flexible solution to your operations challenges. ReSource Pro provides benefits brokers with benefits administration and peak season support, enabling your teams to spend more time fostering client relationships.