Agency Management System

Your response to industry hot topics.

Moderators: Josh, independent guy

Post Reply
Gabriel
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:23 pm

Agency Management System

Post by Gabriel » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:24 pm

Yes. I have used the search to look for which CRM system would be the best to use in terms of ease of use, lead management, etc. And all I could find were ancient posts (2010 and below). Since technology moves at the speed of light these days, I was wondering which Agency management system is out there and which one you guys recommend. Thank you ahead of time for the replies

LLB
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:35 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by LLB » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:54 am

I worked with the AMS system for a few years, then the agency merged with one that was with TAM and they switched to EPIC. EPIC was and EPIC mess. They had over 6000 problems/issues that they did not bother to tell us about when they sold the system. They were selling a product that was not fully functional. We ran into problem after problem and you had to input codes and attach only to certain things, was not functional and had to search to find things you needed. (A nightmare) work was not getting done, the Agency did training for a year and kept changing how we did things to accommodate to the system, instead of the other way around. They lost many good Agents because of this MESS.
I then left the Agency and now work with another Agency that works with AMS (Thank Goodness)!!! You cannot go wrong with AMS. It is user friendly, not a million codes to put in and work around from your elbow to your thumb. If you want happy CSR's and user friendly input without work getting piled up and get the necessary reports you need, then you need to go with AMS360. It is a dream to work with. Also they have two different views for the system the Classic view (which I'm used to) and the Next Generation view. The Next Generation View does not (In my opinion) give me all the 'front page' information I want, so therefore I stick with the Classic View. I don't know much about any of the other systems out there but by far this is my pick over TAM and EPIC. I have also spoken with others industry wide and AMS360 is the top one and the feedback from CSR's on the EPIC is not a good one. Good Luck in your search!

owsyrep
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:42 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by owsyrep » Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:27 pm

Hi Gabriel

Before I go on I will say I represent a startup called Owsy focused on building tools for small businesses. Our primary product is focused on MGA's and you can learn more about it here http://www.bindhq.com (retailer product coming soon).

Some of the staff members on our team have worked at insurance companies (wholesalers, MGA's, retailers) for the past couple of years and based on their assessment I would recommend the following:

If you're starting a large agency and have the resources to spend $$$, I suggest researching Vertafore's tools. The firm has gotten much better at focusing on their customers needs and is working hard at making sure their disparate solutions work well together. AMS360 is the standard within the industry for retailers and the combination of AIM/Imageright is the configuration we find most common on the MGA side. While all of these tools have aged a bit, they still "get the job done".

The second most popular tool in the space is probably TAM, from what my personal experience I found the tool capable of managing prospects and serving a businesses normal day to day duties just fine. I found the experience clunky but the delivery options (cloud desktop, monthly fee etc. ) still make it an interesting option for small to mid size agencies that don't have the capital to spend on more robust solutions.

There are some up and comers worth mentioning on the retail side that lack the features of the two listed above but offer interesting value propositions

QQ Catalyst: has a strong user base in the southeast and seems pretty user friendly
Ezlynx: has released an agency management system as well
Hawksoft: has actually been around for a while and lets you install it on-site or in the cloud.

As for us, we’re working on software based on where we feel this industry is headed, working from anywhere, deep email integration, reporting on every screen. If you’d like to learn more or talk to an exisitng user send a note via our website http://bindhq.com/contact.html

GCIA
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:54 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by GCIA » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:13 am

Hi there, we are looking into moving from AMS360 to Nexsure, I was searching for reviews on Nexsure but seems the only ones I found were from 2010, anyone that would like to share reviews on Nexsure? we would like to know the pros and cons on the system.

Thanks in advance!

gforaker
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:58 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by gforaker » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:38 am

Since you are already talking to Nexsure, I think I would get names of 5 agencies in your state which are customers and ask several of them and go see the agency without the salesman along.

Applied Systems Epic is the fasted growing system out there and in spite of a few people here who may not have all of the information, I would take a close look at them. I do not know of anyone unhappy with that purchase. They will not be the cheapest, though. The above negative poster has no other posts and is likely a troll.

jwcunni13
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:31 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by jwcunni13 » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:48 am

Hi my name is Jeremy. I work for Advantage CRM. The soft ware that we have is called X2 and its a lot cheaper than salesforce and most other software but still has the capacity for cloud storage and total customization. Its great for small to medium sized businesses.

There are a lot of horror stories with CRM software that is why I would like to invite you all to a webinar that will show you what it can do for you. Our next webinar is on April 2nd at 9am mountain time but we hold webinars frequently. Send me an email if you have questions or if you would like to attend. My email is jcunningham@accelas.net

KPIA
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 11:51 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by KPIA » Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:23 pm

I actually logged on to warn everyone about the system we just bought, but for now, I will piggyback on your thread if that's OK

Our system (AMS Prime) is being discontinued by Vertafore so we let them demo and ultimately bought AMS360 and it is turning out to be one of my biggest regrets since opening my business 20 years ago. It is unfathomable some of the flaws in this program. Does it seem reasonable to anyone that this software cannot even calculate Annualized Premium on the Book of Business report? I mean, it can't even tell you the size of your book. Really?

Also, download is a flat-out joke. Rather than suspend many transactions that download if they don't match up it'll either create a new policy (which cannot be merged with the correct policy, thereby creating permanently duplicated policies) OR it will delete the downloaded policy altogether leaving you completely unaware that the data on that policy is not correct unless you make it a routine procedure each morning to read the technical IVANS download jibberish reports.

So far, there is nothing we have used in this new system that is not a step backwards in the managing of our business. Our workflow is harder, data transparency is horrific and we have dramatically LESS insight into our business than we had just two weeks ago.

I am hearing that Hawksoft is the way to go and I now wish I had listened to those who recommended it to me.
Kevin M. Kennedy
KPIA - Kennedy Professional Insurance Agency
www.kpia.com

OldIndyAgent
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by OldIndyAgent » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:38 am

Honestly, if you liked your previous system, you should have stayed with it. AMS has had customers stay on platforms 10+ years and just quit paying support. Not something they really talk about. They have customers on systems they haven't supported since 2000...you just don't get updates.

Gabriel
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:23 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Gabriel » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:36 am

Has anyone had any experience with RadiusBob?
http://www.radiusbob.com/

kaniki
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:44 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by kaniki » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:52 pm

I am using Instar and monthly fee is going up and up and now by the end of the year we have to change to another system.
To keep using Instar I need someone to help me with the code that I received from Vertafore every quarter to keep the Instar going. what will happen at the end of the year when the support no more support us and do not send the code?
I don't know. Can anyone help me ? or is anyone else having this same problems?
Anyone know or suggest a management system that is easy to convert from Instar?
How about Hawksoft? anyone experience going from Instar to Hawksoft? who is your contact at Hawksoft?

Feelgoodtre
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Feelgoodtre » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:13 pm

Man am I glad I hopped in here...

Our agency is also in the "looking for a new management system." We to are on AMS Prime, and have been for 17 years now. Change is daunting, and I want to get it right.

AMS Prime is being discontinued at the end of 2016, I'm looking now before that time so to avoid the crunch. I read the post from someone that said "if you like your system, just keep using it even after support ends..." That's well and good, but if support ends, does that not mean that I will NO longer be able to download policy/customer info from IVANS? And if that is the case, well then just continuing on with the same old system will not work.

We have looked at the following:

AMS360 - I think I like it, but am nervous about the issues people have stated, and the cost is outrageous.
TAM - no way, not an option seems very old to me, and that was a year ago when we did the actual demo.
QQ Solutions - seems like a very nice option, but I am concerned if our agency can grow with it
Nexsure - for the cost, it seems like a great system, but I am concerned if our agency can grow with it
EZ Lynx - not doing it, they literally will not do a demo, just provide a person with a name and password and ask you to run two systems to give it a shot. Who the heck has time to run two systems? So, nope, not going with them.
Agency Matrix - nice system, but extremely limited as far as commercial lines management is concerned, so nope.
EPIC - still waiting for Applied to get back to us to setup a demo, has been a week now...

Out of those I favor:

AMS360 - honestly the complete, 99%, data conversion from Prime is a HUGE plus, but not a deal maker. I know we can grow with it. I know it does personal and commercial lines well. But I also looking for something to help integrate our life and investments side. It seems cumbersome when it comes to that...
QQ Solutions - I like this system, but am very nervous I will outgrow it very quickly. I'm nervous about what it really does and need some feedback from those that use it.
Nexsure - I really like this system. Seems as though it manages both personal and commercial lines well. Seems as though it would integrate our life, health, and investments better than any other system. But, I am nervous because I just don't see it being used.

Obviously, at least it seems to be the case, that 90% of agency's that use a system are on either an Applied or Vertafore system. So it's really difficult to get a good feel for QQ and Nexsure.

We are a small agency, and currently only use a management system for the PC business, which I manage and am the only producer for with one FT CSR. We have about $1,600,000 in premium on the books, and that is split 65-70% personal, 30-35% commercial. We write a ton of life and investments, on an individual basis. I, without speaking to our agency owner, would value that book at around $4,000,000. There are two producers, neither who care about or really even use a computer, they rely on their assistants for that. For those two agents there are 3 CSRs.

The 3 CSRs that assist the two life agents/financial advisors, would like to get onto an actual system. And if we did that, we would want to integrate them with the PC, obviously. I am also looking to bring on another PC producer in the next 6-9 months. My book has become the size that management takes a lot of time, and I am loosing out on new business because of it.

So, my question to you is this. What do you believe is the best 5-10 user system out there for the money that can do PC, Life, Health, and investments.

Sorry for the long post, but this is a HUGE decision I have to make, and I have to get it right!

OldIndyAgent
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:07 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by OldIndyAgent » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:54 am

IVANS doesn't give a crapola about AMS. Call them. I bet they will continue to support ALL of these systems with download long after the vendors stop.

Only thing, you will be not be paying $$$ a month. Was AMS really doing that much to earn it anyway?

Feelgoodtre
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:22 pm

Re: Agency Management System

Post by Feelgoodtre » Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:15 am

Doesn't Vertafore own IVANS though?

TheInsKid
Insurance Journal Addict
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 9:01 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by TheInsKid » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:35 pm

Applied Systems purchased IVANS and there are other options for download that are available as well.

CLC
Insurance Journal Fan
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:23 am

Re: Agency Management System

Post by CLC » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:34 am

Kaniki, not sure why you think InStar is not being supported past 12/31/15 because no end-of-service date has been announced. When a date is communicated, we will have at least 15 months of service, maybe longer.

Post Reply