At a Glance
Upon completion of a project with a client of Renoir’s in the automobile industry to improve branch performance, sales and new agency recruitments, the following results were seen:
- Increase in new agency recruitment: 24%
- Increase in new sales from new agencies recruited: 34%
- New agency recruitment turnaround time down to 9 days for new agents and 3 days for second inclusion
Our client is one of the largest motor and general insurance companies in Southeast Asia with more than four million policy holders nationwide. The company generates business from a comprehensive range of general insurance solutions distributed through a network of 29 insurance branches servicing 7,000 agents and dealers, as well as through its 191 branches nationwide.
Renoir was engaged to conduct an analysis in several of the client’s branches, looking into its branch structures, productivity levels and agent servicing levels. Some of the main findings were:
- There was a need for a clear distinction between administrative time versus agent-facing time. This resulted in a lack of visit plans and subsequent visits were mainly to drop off documents.
- The current branch model did not facilitate active supervision, planning, reporting, reviewing and making corrective action through daily review meetings.
- Processes to find new agents were weak and new agent turnaround times were too slow.
- Standards of service levels to agents – issue resolution time, news, updates, etc.– differed between branches and service level processes were unclear.
What We Did
As a result of these findings, the client commenced a 42-week project in partnership with Renoir. The project was created to reach the following objectives:
- Implement Account Management systems and practices
- Define a model for the optimum branch.
- Generate more available time and increase the effectiveness of time in front of agents.
- Increase the acquisition of new agents.
- Create an “Agency Book” for ease of communication between the client and its agents.
- Instill the behavioural changes in order to ensure sustainability of the new systems and processes.
The initial 4-week Renoir Focus Process® phase focused on the identification and qualification of opportunities for an optimum branch model that would achieve the above objectives. Once accepted, the project team implemented the ‘New Way of Working’ in a pilot branch before its consequent roll-out into 8 other branches within Peninsula Malaysia.
The following steps were implemented by Renoir to boost new agency recruits and improve performance:
Improved organisational design and role allocation
The Project’s main impact was the creation of a dedicated new agency acquisition role that differed from the standard marketing role. Thus, the Agent Acquisition Specialist (AAS) would not be bogged down by having to service existing agents and instead could focus solely on recruiting new agents.
Business generated from newly recruited agents was able to make up for the shortfall from existing agents. In addition, job descriptions were enhanced, enabling the Head of Sales to manage more effectively the day-to-day activities of marketing staff, thus freeing up the Branch Manager to focus on the overall local market strategy and building key relationships with their agents.
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Revised span of control
Administrative work was managed through Marketing Support, allowing the marketers more effective time in front of their agents. A new span of control policy was also implemented, so that the number of Heads of Sales required and their corresponding Marketing staff within a branch would be kept at an effective level according to branch size.
Comprehensive training and a Sales Visit Plan
In conjunction with this new branch model, branch staff and managers were trained in the New Way of Working to more effectively conduct their day-to-day activities and use continuous improvement practices so that each branch continued to develop and enhance their marketing effectiveness.
One of the tools introduced was the Sales Visit Plan which was utilized to enable each marketer to plan their daily agent visits. The Head of Sales and Branch Managers are then also able to review with marketers their plan and check whether they have included all of their agents. The Daily Review Meeting enables the Head of Sales to review agent issues with the marketers, utilize the time to coach them and facilitate increased service levels to the agents. All agents’ issues raised with the respective HQ departments are noted in an Action Log which is then compiled into a list and sent weekly to Department Heads to speed up the resolution process.
Performance monitoring mechanisms
As part of the effort to increase service levels, numerous other tools were implemented, such as the Agency Book. This communication folder stored any updates or memos provided by the client. An Agency Dashboard was also enhanced, allowing agents to keep track of their performance.
To increase recruitment rates, the Agency Recruitment Pack was developed to help the AAS and marketers alike. As a result of these new tools, the turnaround time for new agency recruitment application has been dramatically reduced through redefinition of these processes.
Of key importance was that these changes would be sustainable. Systematic audits and pulse checks by the Distribution Transformation Program team were developed to ensure that the new structure and new way of working were understood and that all staff were able to increase their service levels to their agents.
“It is more important to me that the changed behaviours and new ways of work are sustainable and embedded in the culture of the organisation. Our project with Renoir ensured that.”
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