ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

What we do: Agency Analysis

Are you one of those people who refuse to go to the doctor because you're afraid that he might find something wrong? Or do you schedule regular check-ups to make sure you are all right or, if not, to identify what is wrong and attack the problem as quickly as possible?

Business owners fall into the same categories. Some refuse to analyze their business unless they feel something is wrong. Others refuse to analyze their business even when they know their business is suffering. Like the proverbial ostrich, they bury their heads, work harder and hope the problem disappears. Ego is a great barrier to self-analysis. Ego causes denial of business problems that can (and do) eventually lead to the demise of insurance agencies.

However, progressive agencies understand that a "check-up" by a qualified, objective professional will either confirm the agent's efforts or it will identify areas of weakness that should be addressed. Some agents have performed self-analysis but have found that their employees know them too well. The employees tend to tell the owner what they think he would like (or expect) to hear. After all, the agency owner is their employer and source of income. Most employees are not comfortable criticizing systems and procedures developed by their employer (even though you are inviting that criticism as a part of your analysis). Agency consultants are trained to put employees at ease and gain their confidence. All employees are assured that their conferences are held in strictest confidence and that the information collected is used to form overall opinions and analysis of agency operations.

Agency Consulting Group's cornerstone consultation is the Agency Analysis. During this unique consultation, we review all administrative, financial and sales operations of the agency. Our visit is preceded by a data collection questionnaire that permits you to gather necessary information prior to our arrival.

Since the insurance agency business is a people business as much as a numbers game, we interview all employees as well as agency owners and key managers during our consulting visit.

The Agency Analysis Consultation is designed to provide a comprehensive analysis with initial recommendations for changes made during the consulting visit (rather than weeks to improve productivity, growth and profitability. A detailed report follows the consultation and we remain available to assist in the implementation of any recommendations.

Financial Analysis:

During the Financial Analysis, we review the Operating Statements, Balance Sheets and Aged Accounts Receivables history and systems of the agency. "Red Flags" are raised where aberrations from industry norms are noted within your financial systems. Recommendations are then designed to change spending habits, financial systems or procedures that may be detrimental to the profitability of the business. We urge and assist in the creation and management of agency budgets in those businesses who have not yet developed their own budgeting process.

Operational Analysis:

During the Operational Analysis we interview all staff members to determine whether their roles are well defined, productive and successful for the agency. We also analyze books of business, carrier results and contracts and profitability by department.

Finally, we analyze and audit the effectiveness of the agency's automated and operational systems. The resulting recommendations are designed to improve automation, workflow, service standards and personnel utilization.

Sales and Marketing Analysis:

Our Sales and Marketing Analysis concentrates on three functions that determine an agency's sales success. Producer selection, success and management reviews the agency's producers on an objective basis to determine if they are succeeding both for themselves and for you. Recommendations revolve around producer compensation, goal setting and activity management.

Sales and marketing campaigns, methods and strategic direction determine if the agency's target markets will permit its growth and financial success. Finally, we will analyze your carriers to determine if their strengths match your marketing territory and your range of products and skills.