You could make a case for either. To figure it out, you must first look at the need in an agency.

· In the independent agency, most have multiple companies and products to offer
· Many companies have websites that assist the agent with status, changes, and payment options
· Many companies offer access to application document and other document images

1. But what if the company doesn’t offer these things?
2. What if you have documents you need stored and the company does not give you access to them?
3. How do you balance your cash drawer?
4. What if you need annual reports for all companies for your E & O renewal application?
5. What if you want to cross-sell?

In 2010, I attended the SC Technology conference. There was one particular speaker, an agent, that made a profound statement that has stuck with me ever since. She said, “If an agency doesn’t have an agency management system today, the averages show that they will either be sold or go out of business in 3.5 years.” I think we all know that independent agencies have the need. So, how do we view the system, as an expense or an asset?

If you look at it as a printer, which needs paper and ink to fulfill the printing need, then it is considered an expense. But when you analyze what a system can do for your agency, I will make a case that it is an asset. It is as important as the very office where your agency resides.

The task of marketing and cross-selling can only be done efficiently with a management system, which not only saves you time, but actually creates sales. Balancing the cash drawer and uploading to companies is done efficiently within the system, again saving time which allows more time for sales or more time for other things you want or need to do.

In the final analysis, if a system save time, the agency makes money. If it increases sales, the agency makes money. If it assists personnel in efficiency and professionalism, the agency makes money. So, to me, the answer is crystal clear. An agency management system is one of the most important assets an agency will ever have.