Frequently Asked Questions
What is Insurance Process Outsourcing?
Insurance process outsourcing, or IPO, is an efficient and cost-effective way to grow your operation. It offers some of the benefits of traditional outsourcing (lower costs, processing expertise) but is different in that it does not require agencies to transfer their agency management system or data to an external provider. With IPO, the agency is in control. ReSource Pro provides skilled and trained staff who plug into the agency's system the same way agency employees would connect from home. In doing this, we free up agency staff to focus on more productive tasks like soliciting more business or spending more phone time with customers.
Does insurance process outsourcing lead to downsizing? We are not looking to downsize our company.
For large publicly traded companies primarily interested in cutting costs, outsourcing has often led to downsizing. But the small and medium-sized agencies that we serve are not looking to lose valuable staff members who are hard to find and take time to train. Our IPO model is about cost-effective growth, not downsizing.
A quote from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's recent best-selling book, "The World is Flat", helps summarize our model:
"The best companies outsource to win, not to shrink. They outsource to innovate faster and more cheaply in order to grow larger, gain market share, and hire more and different specialists - not to save money by firing people."
How do IPO providers ensure the security of our data?
In the traditional outsourcing model, service providers offer cost savings by shifting you onto their agency management system, where they can perform operations faster and more cheaply than you could yourself. Unfortunately, if the relationship falters due to price increases or a decline in the quality of service, your agency will be stuck without the systems and people needed to run your critical back office functions.
In the insurance process outsourcing model, none of your data will ever leave your system. Access restrictions can be set, performance can be monitored, and, should you ever decide to end your relationship with ReSource Pro, you need only change your password to maintain exclusive control and access to your system. Traditional outsourcing can be a powerful tool for improving efficiencies and costs, but with IPO you get these benefits while maintaining control of the keys to your information and system security.
ReSource Pro has always operated under strict security guidelines regarding access to client data. We also received the ISO/IEC 27001 certification from the International Organization for Standardization, the world's premier distributor of cross-industry operational standards. This development came after an extensive two-year external audit process and confirms our adherence to the strictest security standards currently available.
ReSource Pro's processing specialists are in China. How seamless are communications?
All of our staff members are university graduates and fluent English speakers, and clients have been universally impressed with the quality of interaction between their staff and ours. While our office in New York helps to set up and train the staff in China and provides troubleshooting services if problems arise, your Team Leader in China will serve as your primary contact once your relationship with ReSource Pro has begun in full. Communications typically take place via email, and Team Leaders are noted for their incisive questioning and their interest in fully understanding the role that various processing tasks play in each client's operations.
What are the key challenges?
Winning internal support from your existing staff members is critical to success. Once they embrace the concept of process outsourcing and realize that ReSource Pro's role is not to threaten their positions but to support them by making their jobs more productive and rewarding, they can, with management support, identify additional ways to free themselves from routine analysis and processing tasks and improve their books of business.
Are the economic benefits significant?
The economic advantages of outsourcing or in-sourcing make sense only if these services make your operations more efficient and keep your staff members happy. Once these goals have been accomplished, agencies can save 50% or more on staffing costs with no loss of productivity. Offshore solutions offer the best returns on investment, provided that quality control can be maintained. In order to truly answer this question, you must examine your fully-loaded in-house costs including salary, benefits, hiring, training, management supervision, and attrition and compare these costs to those of your service provider's solution.
You may find that the intangible benefits of staff in-sourcing go beyond pure economics. Adding staff capacity to your operation is generally easier when workflows are extensively documented, and in-sourcing also places a greater share of the burden for hiring, management and quality control duties on the service provider.
What size agency is the service designed for?
Our service is well-suited for small and medium-sized MGAs, program managers and brokers, but its principles can also apply to regional carriers. We have three clients with 30 or fewer employees as well as larger clients with 100 or more. Whatever the size of the organization, clients approach us because they are looking for ways to grow their businesses, lower costs, increase processing capacity, or minimize the difficulties of hiring skilled and experienced staff.
How do we get started?
We believe the best way to start is for you to tell us which tasks would provide the greatest relief for your production underwriters and CSRs when entrusted to ReSource Pro. Our experience is that most back office tasks can be distilled into rule-driven workflows, or "if ... then" procedures.
To build confidence and demonstrate the value of our services, we offer a one-month trial period in which you can test our ability to:
- Document the workflows involved in each task
- Set up a dedicated team leader in our operations unit in China
- Send you a detailed write-up of your workflows for review
- Test communications between our staff and your agency
- Start implementation and monitor our progress to ensure that it meets your expectations
How much of management's limited time must we invest to get something going?
We understand that implementation must be minimally disruptive to management and staff. The process involves spending 2-3 days with a member of your staff documenting the workflows required to process tasks at hand according to your own procedural standards. Earlier operations have been up and running within a few weeks, and most clients are surprised at just how quickly and easily they can get started. Only a lack of remote access capability via the Internet, Terminal Services, Citrix, etc. can truly slow progress.
What IT setup do we need to get started?
To enable us to work with your IT infrastructure, all you need is:
- Broadband Internet Connection
- Remote Access via Terminal Services, Citrix or Internet-based system
- Additional Agency Management System User Licenses