WIN Magazine - Spring 2016 - (Page 34)

FEATURE USING TECHNOLOGY COMMUNITIES TO FOSTER INNOVATION IN THE E&S WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTION MODEL BY SCOTT MONTNEY O VER THE PAST decade, Cochrane & Company has been involved in many technology driven projects intended to automate a particular business process. Like many wholesalers across the country, the number of information processing applications present in our business is bewildering. Some of these systems are key to our operations - our agency management, our imaging systems as well as seemingly unrelated but critical systems such as email and telephone services. Beyond these so-called core systems, many more business applications sit in the peripheral of our workflows, waiting to be utilized as our underwriting teams make determinations as to which insurance products and by extension, which carrier markets, may serve a particular customers needs the best. These business applications, typically being focused on quote and policy generation, are also critical to our business. However, having less control over the choice of these applications, we often utilize them as silos of data. Key information locked away in separate repositories with little hope of data sharing between the applications in our workflows. Many of the business process automation projects undertaken by Cochrane & Company are focused here - on these information silos dotting the fringe of our business process workflows. In more recent years, Cochrane & Company has participated in various projects born from the collaboration with our pier groups involved in the E&S Joint Working Group (JWG) as well as those attending industry events such as the AAMGA automation and technology conference. I have also had the personal pleasure of sitting on technology focused advisory boards with a number of markets that Cochrane & Company represents. This collaboration has proven to be very valuable to Cochrane & Company in two specific ways. First, viewing the myriad of applications needing the same data entry requirements as individual problems to be solved with individual solutions is predisposed to perpetuating the problem we are attempting to solve - the elimination of data processing silos. Having a community of similarly focused 3 4 | v i e w t h i s i s s u e a t | colleagues to discuss problematic issues and brainstorm effective and industry focused solutions has led to the creation of open data formats and more flexible business processing systems. The open formats and open systems are the foundation of the second significant benefit Cochrane & Company has received by engaging with technology focused communities. The shift towards open data standards and open systems has created opportunities for Cochrane & Company to innovate around and, more importantly, within our own preferred workflows. As a case in point, just over four years ago Cochrane & Company started a small data import project with a large commercial auto market intending to accomplish one simple task - eliminate the need to rekey required data fields into the carrier's proprietary web portal based quote system. This particular system required a minimum of 26 data fields, spread across three separate screens, for each vehicle being rated. This data integration project, while not directly related to an active E&S JWG initiative did utilize the ACORD data format Cochrane & Company had used as

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WIN Magazine - Spring 2016

Surviving the Cyber-Liability Avalanche: How Contracts with Business Partners and Vendors Expose Companies to Cyber Liability
Data and Analytics: Another Dimension to Underwriting in the Specialty Insurance Market
Embracing New Technologies & Attraction Marketing Strategies
How the Cloud Levels the Playing Field for MGAs
Staying Agile in an Era of Disruption
Standardizing the Non-Standard Industry: E&S Working Group Champions Automation and Efficiencies
Using Technology Communities to Foster Innovation in the E&S Wholesale Distribution Model
Autonomous Vehicles: Considerations for Personal and Commercial Lines Insurers
AAMGA 2016 HeatMap of Emerging Issues and Trends: Challenges and Opportunities for the Specialty Insurance Industry
A Personal Note on Leadership: There’s Hope in the Young
In the WIN-ner’s Circle: Jim Mastowski and Coryn Mastowski Thalmann of Jimcor Agencies
Index of Advertisers

WIN Magazine - Spring 2016