For over twenty five years, Kevin Cotter has been on the information technology fast-track, ensuring that Amica Insurance’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems stay in step with changing consumer demands. His task has been all the more daunting considering the financial systems he designs and maintains must be seamlessly integrated with Amica’s forty-one branch offices strategically placed throughout the United States.
Nevertheless, Cotter and the Amica team of IS professionals are the heart and soul of the company that J.D. Power and Associates ranks as the “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among National Auto Insurers” in its 2003 National Automotive Insurance Satisfaction StudySM. Amica is also ranked highest in on-line customer respect by the Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting organization responsible for evaluating on-line customer treatment.
Yet for all the accolades, Amica recognized that the scope of their product line was causing them to miss out on significant opportunities to service their customers. Rather than jump into areas of risk outside of their core competency, Amica chose to form strategic partnerships with other carriers having expertise in higher risk insurance.
From a marketing standpoint, the strategy was a winner. On the operations side, integrating the technology used to manage the branch office systems with the carrier systems was problematic. Cotter was charged with finding a solution.
“I investigated the agency management systems available from the two major vendors in the market and was distressed about the state of technology. The available systems were not state of the art,” Cotter says. “Their programming is archaic, same as the database behind the system.”
Cotter thought about developing an in-house solution, but decided the cost of integrating an agency management solution with Amica’s ERP system would place too much demand on the insurer’s IS resources.
Fortunately, at last year’s ACORD Conference Cotter ran into a long-time associate who told him about XDimensional Technologies, a rapidly emerging, state-of-the-art software development company. After taking in a demonstration of XDimensional’s Nexsure™ agency management system, Cotter knew he’d found what he was looking for.
“It [Nexsure] is exactly what we were hoping to find. We recognize that browser-based applications are the direction the industry is going. It allows our programmers and IS personnel to be completely hands-off. There’s no system maintenance or upkeep demands that would drain our labor force. The Nexsure model didn’t come with those types of burdens. The ASP [Application Service Provider], Microsoft® .Net model impressed us.”
Nexsure allows Amica branch managers to run their corporate-owned offices like independent agencies, giving them the ability to pursue new business lines that complement their base insurance business. As a result, they’ll be able to meet a wider breadth of their customer needs.
“Nexsure affords us the opportunity to maintain the customer relationship, even though some lines of business may be underwritten by a partner firm,” adds Cotter. “We’ll be able to build long-term customer relationships without forcing our customers to look elsewhere for some of their more non-traditional insurance needs.”
The intuitive design of Nexsure, which allows users to naturally develop any line of business from the initial customer contact, through policy endorsement to adding additional lines of business to a client’s portfolio was extremely attractive to Cotter.
“Talking with individuals from XDimensional, it became clear they are well-versed in how the agency business works and have developed a product that reflects that. We’ve been able to learn from them in a mentoring style and like the fact that the service and agency automation they provide is turnkey,” Cotter says.
Connectivity and real-time transaction capabilities for billing, policy queries and the like were also major reasons Cotter selected Nexsure as the agency automation tool for Amica. “Having a united front where our agents can go to a system that allows them to look at the information we have on the carrier side is a real plus. Nexsure is poised to do everything today. There’s no need to patch and devise fixes to get to real-time.”
Moreover, “it [Nexsure] gives us a standard look and unites us to all of our partners in a common fashion. And our agents don’t have to labor with different links and passwords to access all of our carrier partners.”
As technological advances escalate consumer expectations and place increased demand on customer service, Amica has found a way in Nexsure to keep pace. “We look at this as a long-term investment and commitment,” Cotter says. “We’re impressed with Nexsure and the backgrounds of the people at XDimensional. The model they’re developing is where the business is heading.”
About XDimensional Technologies, Inc.
XDimensional Technologies, Inc. (www.xdimensional.com) based in Brea, CA, develops and markets Nexsure™, a hosted insurance agency management solution that connects agents, carriers, brokers and policyholders driving efficient business production, superior customer service and insightful business management. Nexsure offers robust contact management, sales force automation, advanced work flow, standard (property and casualty, life and health, benefits) and custom lines of business, policy life cycle management, CRM, and multi-office accounting and reporting. Nexsure is a scalable, web-based Microsoft .NET application with built in web services, data processing and transactional capabilities. Nexsure provides unmatched ease of use, scalability and information availability to help insurance agencies achieve their business goals. XDimensional Corporate Headquarters is located at 145 S. State College Blvd, Suite 160, Brea, CA 92821, tel: 714-672-8960,
Mr. Warren Long, VP Marketing
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