Insurance

Distribution Channel Optimization

Architecting distribution strategies and constructing and managing distribution networks to maximize production

Bridge Strategy Group has deep experience working with P&C carriers to optimize distribution channels - maximizing production at the minimum cost. We work with personal and commercial lines carriers and understand the unique dynamics that exist within each line of business. Our work is informed not only by our experience serving carriers but also by know-how acquired serving some of the largest and most sophisticated brokers and agents in the U.S.

Our services address all aspects of distribution, from architecting distribution strategies to constructing and managing distribution networks and support operations to determining how best to employ technology. The following are examples of the issues we've tackled with our clients.

 

iSSUES wE HaVE tACKLED 

Strategy

  • Which channels should we utilize to maximize revenue?
  • What role should the on-line channel play within our overall channel strategy? What on-line capabilities do competitors offer that put us at a competitive disadvantage?
  • How can we minimize and manage channel conflict when introducing new channels?
  • Should we institute different strategies and programs for higher performing agents/brokers? What are the elements of such a program?
  • How can we incent channel partners to align with our goals and objectives (e.g., growth, quality of risk, and retention)?

Operations

  • How do we increase the production of both higher and lower performing agents-brokers?
  • Where and how can we reduce overall channel cost?
  • How can channels be better integrated and made more seamless?
  • What sales support best practices are relevant to my business?
  • How can we best engage our channel partners in product development, lead management, and underwriting?
  • What can be done to increase the frequency of straight-through processing?
  • How do we increase the selling effectiveness of our inbound and outbound call centers? Would we be better off employing universal or specialist agents in our call center?

Technology

  • How should technology be utilized to enhance carrier/agent-broker interaction?
  • Is our technology supporting new business generation and renewal outdated?
  • Is our IT spending on new business generation and renewal greater or less than that of our peers? How can we maximize return on channel technology investment?
  • How do we go about replacing the new business generation and renewal systems currently in use?

GETTING STARTED — DISTRIBUTION PERFORMANCE DIAGNOSTIC

We have developed a highly efficient methodology for assessing the performance of a carrier's distribution system. The methodology is designed to benchmark distribution effectiveness from a production standpoint (e.g., hit rate) as well as its overall efficiency (e.g., cost per unit sold). The assessment typically takes two to four weeks to complete and requires a carrier to: 1) complete a detailed questionnaire; 2) supply available performance data; and 3) allow our staff to observe and interview key individuals within the business development, broker/agency management and IT organizations. The performance diagnostic is a low cost way of quickly identifying distribution channel improvement opportunities.

REPRESENTATIVE CLIENT EXPERIENCES

  • For a national specialty insurer, developed a comprehensive channel renewal and agency management program in an effort to stem eroding market share by aligning carrier and agent interests, enhancing carrier-agent collaboration, and streamlining operating processes
  • For a regional personal lines insurer, developed a digital strategy, including the vision, objectives and core capabilities for their online offering, with the goal of increasing sales and improving customer and agent service
  • For a national personal lines insurer dedicated to traditional agent channel, developed strategic frameworks for evaluating alternative distribution channels
  • For a leading direct insurer, conducted research to assess the effectiveness of its call center in acquiring target customers and implemented selling practices that contributed to long-term retention
  • For a global property and casualty insurer, designed and implemented an electronic workspace to enable collaborative design of insurance programs and development of proposals by carrier and broker partners