Season 7 – Episode 4: Benchmarking with Carey Wallace

In this episode, host Tom Reid and his colleagues Steve Earle, Adam Mitchell, and Jeff Roy are joined by Carey Wallace, founder of Agency Focus. The episode focuses on key performance indicators (KPIs), metric tracking, the impact of compensation structure, and the efficiency of Canadian brokerages.

Carey shares insights from her experience as a fractional CFO and consultant for independent insurance agents, highlighting the importance of growth, profitability, and customer retention in agency performance. The conversation covers various topics related to the insurance industry, including data entry and technology, specialization, differences between personal lines and commercial lines, revenue metrics and contingencies, growth and profitability in 2023, inflation and premiums, challenges with contingencies and carrier relationships, leading and lagging indicators, and the importance of knowing your numbers.

Takeaways

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as growth, revenue retention, profitability, policies per customer, and revenue per employee are crucial for measuring agency performance.
  • Tracking metrics and implementing them in a dashboard can be challenging, but using customer relationship management (CRM) tools and third-party tools like Donna by ARIUS Analytics can help agencies monitor and improve their performance.
  • Compensation structure is an important factor in agency profitability, and agencies should aim to allocate around 47% of their total revenue to compensation.
  • The size of an agency can impact its metrics, with larger agencies having more capacity for automation and technology investments.
  • The insurance industry is seeing a rise in startups, facilitated by aggregator systems and alliances, but not all startups are created equal. Data entry is a significant aspect of the insurance industry, and technology, such as RPA and virtual assistants, is being utilized to minimize the manual work involved.
  • There are differences in metrics and benchmarks between personal lines and commercial lines, with the complexity and size of accounts affecting the workload and efficiency.
  • ┬áSpecialization can drive efficiency and profitability, but it also comes with risks, such as over-reliance on specific carriers.
  • Understanding leading and lagging indicators is crucial for managing a business effectively, as lagging indicators, such as financial statements, provide historical information, while leading indicators, such as new business metrics, help predict future performance.
  • Knowing and analyzing key numbers and metrics is essential for making informed decisions and improving the performance of an insurance agency.