The average insurance agency will have a wealth of challenging and complex matters to reconcile when approaching its content management strategies, as this is a highly data-intensive industry. Much like other sectors such as health care and financial services, simply streamlining information governance to ensure that data is accessible and portable will not be enough, as privacy and security also need to be maximized in accordance with regulatory compliance.
Detailed records and documentation are required for virtually every transaction that takes place, while approvals will be needed on multiple levels, creating a highly complex ebb and flow of information management processes. When insurance agencies do not modernize their content management frameworks, chances are they will run into issues with accuracy, efficiency and effectiveness within their reporting processes, and this can hemorrhage other areas of operations.
For example, business process management is more intrinsically connected to the reporting functions of organizations today than ever before, and when record-keeping and content are not optimized, issues will likely arise. Luckily, there are several types of solutions to deploy and strategic adjustments to make that will empower insurance agencies with far more streamlined content management performances, leading to greater efficiency in BPM.
So, let's take a look at five of the steps insurance agency leaders can take to improve their content management programs in a way that positively impacts other aspects of BPM and general operations.
1. AP automation
Accounts payable is a good place to start. Insurance agencies must streamline their transaction procedures, reporting processes and content management to ensure that financial oversight is accurate and efficient. Those firms that have not yet worked to automate some or all of their AP/AR processes should certainly consider doing so soon.
Look for solutions that include data capture, document retrieval, approval automation, touchless processing, self-service portals and check-to-ACH migration functionality. Additionally, consider leveraging software solutions that can eliminate data entry whenever possible, as this will help to simultaneously reduce the amount of time and resources that need to be allocated in this direction while dramatically improving accuracy.
2. Modernize content management systems
The systems in place to manage the entirety of content should be upgraded if agencies are still using products that were released more than five years ago. For this particular industry, there will be plenty of options available to streamline performances in an organic and affordable fashion. Agencies should always work to identify and deploy content management systems that include storage, retrieval, workflow, versioning and security components.
This will help to ease the strain of regulatory compliance, maintain tight control of sensitive documents, provide more seamless accessibility for authorized users and streamline the process of modifying documents when necessary. As a note here, look for products that can deliver quicker and automated document transfers through a rules-based workflow system.
3. Straighten out enterprise search
An important aspect of content management for all firms is search functionality that allows users to quickly and easily find the information they need in real-time. As insurance agency employees will always be in need of information on demand and will have little time to spare on extensive searches, a more progressive approach to this process should be considered.
Enterprise search solutions that include multiple layers of security, support broad sets of data sources, virtual directory systems and quick time-to-value will likely be best suited to insurance agencies' unique needs.
4. Go mobile
One would be hard-pressed to find a company that has not yet gone mobile but is still functioning at its optimal levels of operational productivity and efficiency. Simply put, today's workforce is driven by mobile devices and applications, and insurance agencies – like virtually all other entities – need to ensure that they are obliging these demands and preferences to maximize engagement among employees.
Insurance agencies can leverage mobile content management, data capture and workflow solutions that automate the more repetitive and arduous matters involved while making powerful tools available to staff members who prefer to use their smartphones and tablets to complete tasks. As always, make sure these mobile components integrate smoothly into standing content management systems for optimal outcomes.
5. Automate discovery, reporting, analytics
Reporting analytics solutions can help insurance agencies become more efficient, functional and powerful without straining resources and budget. Businesses have continued to deploy reporting, analytics and intelligence solutions to automate record-keeping, then turn the information generated and collected into actionable insights that will guide decision-making as time goes on.
Insurance agencies should consider following suit, as automated options that can be personalized, deliver on-demand insights and reduce costs associated with reporting will be a boon to operational efficiency and productivity.
Leveraging solutions from a reliable vendor of robust software can significantly improve the financial performance of any insurance agency, preparing the firms for the challenges of modern competition in the process.