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IIABA Unveils Best Practices Guide to Electronic Information Management at InfoXchange Workshop

New Tool Eases Transition to Paperless Environment for Agencies and Brokerages



LAS VEGAS, Sept. 23 - A new, cutting-edge workbook designed to assist agents and brokers in implementing effective electronic information management solutions was unveiled today by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) at its Convention & InfoXchange in Las Vegas.

The Best Practices Guide to Agency Electronic Information Management was developed by Laura Nettles of Atlanta-based Nettles Consulting Group in close coordination with IIABA’s joint Agents Council for Technology (ACT)/Council for Best Practices Work Group.

The product is designed to be used electronically. The workbook, which will be available for download from the IIABA Web site next week, allows for easy use throughout an agency and is easily navigable. When terms are highlighted in blue, the reader can click on them and move directly to the relevant section being identified.

“The transition to electronic information is a major trend within the agent and broker community today, and we believe this product will be a valued tool for agencies to use as they make the transition to a paperless environment,” said ACT Executive Director Jeffrey M. Yates.

IIABA Vice President of Education & Research Madelyn Flannagan, who oversees the association’s highly regarded Best Practices initiative, added: “This workbook is an important addition to the Best Practices series of tools designed to help agents and brokers enhance the value of their businesses by assessing their current information management situation and then providing them with practical steps to improve their coordinated management of information.”

Nettles today taught a Convention & InfoXchange seminar introducing the new guide. The practical business workshop helped familiarize attendees with electronic information management, including the selection and implementation of document management solutions, standards and guidelines for electronic filing, and procedures for handling historical documents. With more than a decade of extensive agency operations experience, Nettles is an authority on analyzing and creating independent agency workflows that integrate technology into everyday activities.

“The Best Practices Guide to Agency Electronic Information Management focuses on ensuring that agencies and brokerages have a solid foundation upon which to build an electronic information implementation,” Nettles said. “By using existing technology and preparing for new technology, the workbook guides the agency through the different filing and document management options available today.” 

The purpose of the workbook is to provide management and staff with practical solutions to electronic information management issues. The opening section assists the agency in “Building a Firm Foundation” upon which to effectively implement electronic information management solutions. Included in the guide are a feature implementation checklist, database auditing guidelines, task force guidelines and workflow guidelines.

Once a foundation is in place, the workbook details electronic filing options that are available to most agencies with little or no hard-dollar cost for implementation. These include attachment features, transactional filing/electronic transactional filing, document imaging, third-party software and carrier interface. Furthermore, a “Document Management” section helps agencies implement information management solutions that take them as close to paperless as possible with today’s technology.

“ACT and the Council for Best Practices are committed to providing tools to assist agencies and brokerages in implementing new electronic information management tools in an effective manner,” said Yates. “Effective management of electronic information increases agency productivity; it streamlines the processes, eliminates redundancy and clerical tasks; and frees up staff resources for value-added client service and sales.”

The Convention & InfoXchange is IIABA’s showcase meeting taking place in Las Vegas from Sept. 21-24. The event features a compelling company CEO roundtable; several prominent guest speakers and panelists; a variety of innovative continuing-education (CE) classes and other cutting-edge workshops; the largest exhibit hall in the insurance industry; numerous networking opportunities; and many other exciting events.

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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