ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

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

Investing In The Future

As our benchmarking program continues to expand, we welcome the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New Hampshire to the PIPELINE. All member agents of the Association in New Hampshire will begin receiving the PIPELINE this month as a member benefit. Welcome to the ever-growing family of agents who strive for GROWTH AND PROFIT (Agency Consulting Group, Inc.’s Mission is to help insurance agencies grow and prosper.)

Agency Consulting Group, Inc. has been benchmarking the performance of independent insurance agencies since 1987. In 2003 we automated the benchmarking program on the Internet through our website, www.agencyconsulting.com . Any agency may now input their data to the national agency database AT NO COST. Previously all agency input was done as a part of an Agency Consulting Group, Inc. ‘Quick Analysis of Agency Performance’, comparing the specific agency’s performance against its peer group (by size). Since this was done manually, we had to charge enough to cover our cost of input even though we offered free phone consulting service to the users of the Benchmarking program as an additional benefit of participation.

Since the system has been automated several thousand agencies have input their financial data into a secure system that does not maintain any identifier information about the agencies (to assure confidentiality and privacy). Not only has the Benchmarking database become totally live and interactive (changes daily as more agencies input their information), but the elimination of manual effort on our part has permitted us to offer the Quick Analysis for only $30 (instead of over $100 previously), if desired, and it has permitted us to fulfill a request that associations all over the country have made frequently.

We can now offer a separate Benchmarking database by State (and by size within the State if sufficient agents from a state submit their data) as well as our national database figures!

What this means is that agencies in New Hampshire can now see their own results compared to other agents in New Hampshire instead of only against similar sized agencies throughout the U.S. The national data is still very important to the industry and we will continue to supply that information regularly. But New Hampshire agents would prefer to benchmark themselves against an agency database more similar to themselves than the inclusive national database would permit. As New Hampshire agents submit their data in sufficient numbers, each submitter will be able to access the entire New Hampshire database. If they request a Quick Analysis (for only $30), they will receive a comparison of their operating revenues and expenses and Balance Sheet liquidity ratios compared to their LOCAL peers. And if a sufficient number of agents respond in each size group (< $1 Million Revenue, $1 Million to $2 Million, $2 Million to $3 Million and > $3 Million), they will also receive a comparison of their performance against their size group peers within the state of New Hampshire only.

Of course participating agencies (as well as the Association sponsors) will also have the opportunity to compare their performance (individually or as a State) against the national database, as well. This is very important when determining areas of concentration for improved performance of a single agency or of an entire state.

All agents in a sponsored state or a sponsored association will receive the PIPELINE monthly via e-mail (use your state identifier – i.e. IIABNH – as your password). This is a valuable member benefit of your state association and a way that we at Agency Consulting Group, Inc. can thank you for 25 years of support. We will continue to do everything in our power to cause independent agencies to grow and prosper and we invite your call to use any of our consulting services (see www.agencyconsulting.com for details).

Only agents participating in the benchmarking project will receive agency-specific passwords to access the State and National databases for one full year from the date of their data input. Please don’t give other agents your password – it will give them access to confidential agency data that only you should have knowledge about. No one can access your pass-worded data but you (-not even Agency Consulting Group, Inc.).

If you are an association executive who has not yet considered sponsoring your group’s Benchmarking Program, please call Al Diamond, President, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. at 800-779-2430. The cost is minimal and the benefits to both your organization and to its members are many.