“Let experts be experts so you can be an expert.”
A very successful entrepreneur and former mentor once said that to me when I was stuck on an operational problem that was core to our business but wasn’t a core skillset.
What he was getting at was twofold:
- It’s better to outsource or delegate important business functions that require specialized knowledge rather than try to perform them yourself if they require expertise or knowledge that you or the business do not have
- It’s better for you and the business to focus on the core product or service than to try and perform functions that take time away from that focus
Because specialists can do it faster, more efficiently, and with much more accuracy than you can.
While outsourcing or delegation might cost more than doing it yourself, the time invested in the core product or service will more than make up for the added expense. Investment in the core product will only lead to increased sales and/or customer retention (assuming you have a viable product/market fit and are actually marketing your product or service effectively).
I have come to understand this to be sage advice indeed.
It’s especially relevant for startups, small businesses, and those in an aggressive growth stage when focus on the “right” things can make-or-break the long term success of scaling the business. But I’ve also found it to be very relevant to medium and large-sized organizations as well.
What can happen is businesses start a function in-house when it’s not yet clear if that function is mission-critical or when that function is known to be critical to the success of the business and outsourcing it is considered too risky or, as is the case in many growth scenarios, the business simply can’t afford to outsource or delegate the function at first.
The problem with all these scenarios is that the function becomes embedded within the business as it makes investments of time, money, and experience to maintain, if not grow, the function. In many business contexts, this inevitably leads to the function becoming a distraction from the core business—either due to operational demands or simply due to the overhead of maintaining the function with internal resources that are distracted by the core business.
This loss of focus results in forfeiture of the potential value that could be created if it were not for that distraction, therefore costing you and the business more than it’s worth.
At the end of the day, only you can make the judgement to outsource and knowing your core value is the primary context and input to that decision process.
However, there’s one area where business process outsourcing almost always makes sense—high-volume, data-driven print and mailing fulfillment logistics. In particular, we’ve found this to be highly valuable in the insurance industry where document generation is a critical daily requirement and can have significant implications on compliance, risk, profits, and expenses. With the right, data- and tech-savvy print vendor, businesses can optimize business operations and focus on their core product or service.
Variable data is complicated by itself. Taking 10’s or 100’s of thousands of records every day and turning them into accurate printed documents is very complicated. Taking all those and then getting them mailed on time to avoid coverage issues and maintain compliance is next level complicated.
The benefits to outsourcing your insurance document print logistics are significant.
The Banjo platform is designed to help insurance companies manage high-volume, data-driven document generation and delivery so they can focus on what matters—serving customers and agents.
Reduces IT Expenses
Banjo frees up IT resources to focus on more important priorities. Banjo can greatly reduce time spent on document creation, generation and revisions. IT resources stay focused on the priorities that drive the business.
Current, filed, approved versions of all forms generate, display, and get mailed accurately and on-time keeping the carrier compliant.
Makes for Happier Agents
Customers call the agents first to complain. Banjo provides customers timely communications from the carrier keeping the customer informed. This reduces calls to the agents and escalations to the carriers.
Opens Marketing Channels
Banjo’s flexibility allows for carriers and agents to easily add promotional or “risk reduction” marketing materials to mail that is already being sent. This leverages the “unused” portion of first-class mail postage allowing promotional materials to ride for free.
Avoids Market Conduct Exams
Banjo’s reliability keeps carriers compliant. Claims communications, cancelations, bills, etc. are all mailed on time reducing violations.
Reduces the Frequency of Fines
Fewer violations means fewer fines and increased profit.
Increases Customer Retention
On-time notifications and marketing communications reduce non-pay cancels and equity issues.
Reduces Claim Counts
Timely billing and notifications reduces frequency because carriers are not extending free coverage to comply with statutory notice dates.
Reduces Department of Insurance (DOI) Complaints & Lowers Loss Ratios
Fewer claim counts and higher retention lowers loss ratios and increases profit.
Lowers Complaint Ratio
Customer communication regarding claims handling, billing, and coverage keeps customers informed. Informed customers file far fewer complaints
Reduces In-bound Calls to Customer Service
All of these benefits add up to a reduction in call volume to all departments.
Every day, Banjo helps a mid-west, non-standard auto insurance carrier deliver 10’s of thousands of insurance documents.
American Access Casualty Company used to be a classic example of a company that didn’t outsource a critical business process that wasn’t a core skill set or core to its operational capabilities. Originally, it had an in-house print operation that was supporting its document generation needs. It ultimately did realize it needed to outsource but it’s first partner—a large, well-established, and incumbent print provider—was unable to meet the volume, accuracy, and turn-around requirements of the business.
“Our previous vendor was incapable of handling the complexity of our most important business requirements nor was it able to manage the volume effectively. Not only did the More Vang team demonstrate, within a matter of days, that they could meet our requirements, they also gave us ideas for improving our processes and enhancing our product value.”John Finucane, Underwriting Manager, American Access Casualty Company
After encountering more than a few compliance issues and delays in sending out cancellations that opened them up to more than a moderate amount of risk, AACC decided it was time to find a vendor that could handle its business requirements.
Every day of the week (except Sundays) at 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Banjo receives anywhere from 25,000 to 60,000 records from AACC. And every day, Banjo processes those records and generates the appropriate insurance documents for each individual customer by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time in order to meet our Service Level Agreement with AACC. It then automatically passes those generated documents off to our in-house print facility for printing and mailing. It finishes up by generating a Proof of Mail (POM) file and uploading that file along with all the generated PDF insurance documents back to the customer for attachment to their individual policies.
Since Banjo began processing AACC’s data and generating its statements, renewals, declarations, cancellations, and other insurance documents, it has never breached its SLA with AACC. Banjo helps AACC reap the benefits of outsourcing its high-volume variable data processing, document generation, and mailing requirements to keep it in compliance, lower its risk, and increase its profits.
To read more about how Banjo helped AACC, read the case study.