When I started first started selling insurance agency management software, one of the key indicators that agents needed us was the abundance of typewriters in the office. Some pointed questions about who had them and how they were used was an effective way to discuss the benefits of automation. I’ll never forget a discussion with a rural Mississippi agent who was certain his CSRs could type forms faster than they could be printed.
In the document management world, one of the discussions I have with customers and prospects (since the typewriters are long gone) is around filing cabinets. Even some who claim to be “paperless” continue to file paper, often because it is outside of their core need for document management.
For example, many of our agency customers use Docstar to file all customer and policy information; yet I will spot filing cabinets and ask what’s in them. Some common things I spot are marketing materials from carriers , continuing education certificates and licenses, records of bills from accounts payable, human resources information, or records of other business not related to insurance.
One of the reasons Docstar is a better choice for comprehensive document management is that, while these documents have nothing to do with individual customers or policies, they are vital to a smooth operation of your business. Our software allows you to set rules and processes about how documents are handled that can be customized to the type of document. For example, a simple process around Accounts Payable would collect four pieces of information; the vendor name, the bill amount, the due date, and the invoice number. Docstar can prompt for this information and, in a few seconds, automate the filing of these documents and allow you to add your scanned bills to the shredder bin. In addition, once filed they can be easily retrieved by any of the stored criteria.
For those who are “paperless” now, look in the drawers of the cabinets that remain to ensure that you are leveraging the technology that you already own. For those of you considering better document management, ensure that your process can go beyond attaching documents to customers and policies. I think even my Mississippi prospect would agree that the 3 – 5 seconds to find a file in Docstar is better than his CSR could ever do!
Do you have paper that needs to disappear? Let us know your questions. Have you solved this problem? Let us know your solution.