January 10 2012

“There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” – Peter Drucker

Our industry is changing faster than ever. Regulation and legislation shift constantly. Clients and carriers ask agents to do more with less. Increased competition puts a premium on not just client acquisition, but on retention. The pace of acquisitions and mergers places pressure on agencies of all types, especially those wishing to stay independent.

Roles within the agency are changing just as quickly. While producers will always be tasked with aggressively chasing new business, the back office is changing. Even in the recent past, CSRs could be counted on to handle customer-focused services like renewals and account rounding while still having the time to do the policy-focused tasks like coverage checking, endorsement processing and certificate issuance.

Recently, we’ve found ourselves recommending a book to our friends and clients, “Doing What Matters” by Jim Kilts. Famous for turning around companies like Gillette, Kraft and Nabisco, Kilts suggests looking at an entire organization from the bottom up, identifying and making the most of “what matters” to the organization. He also urges leaders to look for alternate ways of addressing the things that still matter to the business, but don’t differentiate the company or drive growth.

So that’s why Patra’s here. We’ve built our company to provide specific services for our clients, removing the burden of “commodity” work in the back office and allowing staff to focus on the things that really matter: increasing retention by building relationships with your clients.

In the next few weeks and months, this section of our website will address some of the questions we’re commonly asked. Questions like, “What kind of outsource solution is right for my agency?” “What are Managed Services?” and “What should my back office look like?” We want to help agency leaders choose the solutions that will allow them to reach their goals, be it profitability, independence or efficiency.