Rogers & Gray
Rogers & Gray Insurance, one of the ten largest independent insurance agencies in Massachusetts.
Vertical Software Provider:
“There’s no fear. We know if we need a new kind of report or analysis, the MITS technology can do it, and it will be accurate. Knowing this gives us the confidence to ask more questions and manage more effectively.”
Rogers & Gray Fuels Rapid Growth With Easy-to-Use,
Self-Service Reporting and Analytics
Large independent insurance agency complements agency management solution with powerful business
Rogers & Gray Insurance, one of the ten largest independent insurance agencies in Massachusetts, provides more than 20,000 clients with commercial, personal and health insurance coverage. Founded in 1906 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the company’s nine locations continue to experience rapid growth despite a challenging economy, annually earning more than $100 million in premiums while helping individuals and businesses manage risk.
Rogers & Gray uses the Vertafore Sagitta agency management software solution to track and manage its business. During recent years of rapid growth, the company began developing and using a large number of reports, supplementing the Sagitta Report Builder tool with the Crystal Reports solution. “Our information requirements go beyond what you might expect with a smaller agency,” says David Gomes, CFO at Rogers & Gray. The agency’s four principals and four regional managers needed up-to-date information on policies in force, production (sales), customers and a wide range of operational trends.
The agency works hard to take advantage of the information in its Sagitta system. “We want much more than just production reports,” says Gomes. “We analyze policy sizes and numbers, which policies are mono-line and which are multiple, and the breakdown of home vs. automobile policies. We look at this information in a lot of different ways.” These analyses help the firm optimize production and costs across all nine locations.
Over the years, a key individual at Rogers & Gray became the go-to person for reporting and analysis; over a long career with the company, she accumulated unrivaled knowledge of both the reporting tools and the Sagitta-based data needed to fuel those reports. “Even with her expertise, the process was cumbersome,” says Gomes. “She had learned how to use a complex language to program the system. When a new report was needed, we had to depend on this one person to make it happen.”
When this power user retired a few years ago, it was necessary to retain her services on a contract basis. Gomes knew the company would need to revisit its reporting strategy—both in terms of the tools used and the expertise needed to use them.
Finding a Powerful, but More Manageable Reporting Solution
Gomes and his team learned about MITS—the premier provider of Business Intelligence solutions—at an AMS conference, and began to explore its solutions. MITS Discover is a full-featured, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) Business Intelligence solution that gives business users fast access to summarized information, then lets them drill down into the details for further analysis. A second solution, MITS Report, enables point-and-click, web-accessible interactive operational reporting.
The Rogers & Gray team completed a due-diligence evaluation of the MITS solutions, combining real-world agency management scenarios with older data from their Sagitta system. “We asked the MITS people to mimic some of our existing reports to see how effective the solution was,” says Gomes.
The results were promising, and the MITS team committed to assisting with whatever customization the agency would need. Soon, MITS Discover and MITS Report were installed on a new server at Rogers & Gray. Gomes says, “We manage a lot of data. So we felt an investment in new hardware for this project was important.”
With considerable on-site assistance from a Wilmington, MA-based MITS engineer, Rogers & Gray set about building analytics applications and reports to replace and expand on what the old solution offered. The company’s long-time reporting guru also played a key role, bringing in-depth knowledge of both reporting requirements and the underlying data to the task.
Toward a Complete Insurance Agency Business Intelligence Solution
The team spent a month configuring the system to address Rogers & Gray’s information requirements—some, perhaps, unique to the large agency’s needs, but many reflecting the management needs of virtually all insurance agencies. “We knew that MITS solutions were used in many industries,” says Gomes. “So we worked closely with MITS to tell them what insurance agencies need to see.”
Progress has been gratifying, says Gomes. “In just three months, we’re a good 90 to 95 percent of the way there.” Analyses and reports on policy production, retention rates, cancellation trends, and scores of other key insurance agency metrics were built into the solution—and Gomes thinks other agencies will benefit from the work. “After what we and the MITS team have done, other agencies should expect a very usable solution from the very beginning,” says Gomes, allowing that any business will need to address its unique needs as well.
“We’re very pleased with the solution,” Gomes reports. “One of our key requirements was to have reporting and analytics that people could quickly learn to use. This reduces our risk and removes a bottleneck from getting our information needs met.”
Gomes says his contractor-reporting guru has been enthusiastic, as well. It’s not unusual, she says, to have a new report or analysis application—once requiring hours to create—completely done in 30 minutes, ready for re-use at any time when the need arises. In addition to speed and efficiency, Gomes points out that “There’s no fear. We know if we need a new kind of report or analysis, the MITS technology can do it, and it will be accurate. Knowing this gives us the confidence to ask more questions and manage more effectively.”
The company’s four Principals are expected to become key users of the solution. Each will have a personalized directory of key reports that can call up instantly. Items of interest can be investigated on-the-fly with point-and-click drill-down capabilities. “Now they’ll be empowered,” says Gomes, “instead of waiting from someone else to put a report together. We’re cutting the inefficiency out of our reporting process.”
Other members of the management team will use the new capabilities extensively. “Our managers will be able to find out what policies we lost, what we gained, who is producing and who isn’t—everything they need to know to keep growing the business.”
Gomes repeatedly sings the praises of the MITS engineering team. “They’ve been very responsive. We’ve thrown them some curve balls along the way, and they’ve delivered every time.”
A few final design adjustments will be completed next, then the solution will be rolled out to the management team. “We expect training to take just a few hours for everyone,” says Gomes. “The system is really easy to use. We’re looking forward to a nice, long, productive relationship with MITS.”
Please contact Mickey Lass for additional information about MITS products for Vertafore.