Are cultural, communication, technical, or operational challenges holding you back from your full potential? Here’s how to choose the right insurance software vendor.
Choosing the right software partner is crucial for insurance adjusting firms. But it may be difficult to sift through the abundance of marketing vendors use to tout years of experience, portfolios of client work, and size of their development teams.
It’s not uncommon for a seemingly good vendor to implement the wrong software, deliver bad code, or implement good software incorrectly. Sometimes, integrations and code work well initially, but then you discover that the software is hard to maintain or inflexible when adding new features.
When this happens, the insurance adjusting firm may look for a different vendor to fix the issue—who then builds new software from scratch to solve foundational problems. This results in wasted time and money.
This article delves into how to choose a reliable insurance software vendor and see through the reassuring slogans and pretty pictures. You’ll also learn how to set clear expectations from the onset.
Vendors in insurance software: key factors in assessing compatibility
When choosing a software vendor, you should judge compatibility based on these four criteria:
1. Cultural alignment
An insurance software vendor is more or less an extension of your team. Expertise is crucial if you work with a strategic partner to fill gaps in capabilities. However, relying solely on expertise may lead to wasted resources and eventual frustration if cultural differences necessitate a vendor switch.
Your vendor should share the same values as your company. After all, how can you uphold virtues to customers if your vendors are undermining them?
They should also share your philosophical ideology in terms of operations and decision-making. This minimizes friction. It’s also easier to build lasting relationships when companies see the world through the same lenses as you do.
In addition, employees from both sides should believe in the relationship and be willing to work together to achieve common objectives.
2. Communication styles
Open, effective, and regular communication creates mutual understanding and a win-win outcome for you and the software vendor. It ensures messages are conveyed clearly and concisely, reduces back-and-forth doubt-clearing sessions, and streamlines goals and objectives. The result? A faster process with less friction.
Look for insurance software vendors that provide channels for two-way communication. The willingness to openly and promptly share relevant information for decision-making is non-negotiable. This includes the company’s expertise, processes, standards, and regular product updates such as weekly time and burndown reports.
In addition to the vendor’s representative, you should have direct access to the developers and designers so that nothing gets lost in translation. Too many communication layers can stifle progress and result in a product that doesn’t meet your business objectives.
3. Technical expertise
Prospective vendors in insurance software must demonstrate strong credibility and capabilities to prove they can do the job and deliver on schedule.This includes a dedicated engineering team and partner certifications relevant to the project.
They should have multiple years of experience, a solid (and current) technology stack, and a portfolio of projects similar to yours. You can verify this information from case studies on their website and industry review websites like Clutch, G2, or Capterra.
Remember to ask about the level of scalability and customization their software solution offers. As you grow or expand into new markets, your systems should be able to adapt. The last thing you want is to invest in a new solution one or two years down the road when existing software can’t meet emerging needs.
4. Operational processes
You should also evaluate the vendor’s workflow before development starts. Good software development companies use an agile methodology that divides projects into sprints. This helps them discover areas of improvement and make critical changes early.
They also follow these best practices:
- Rigorous documentation management
- Regular code refactoring
- Version control
- Continuous integration
- Code reviews
- Test-driven development
During the evaluation process, ask about the vendor’s development, management, and testing tools. Don’t overlook ongoing operation and maintenance. Ensure the vendor offers post-development support in case you experience any bugs in the future.
Insurance software vendors: setting clear expectations from the onset
Before outsourcing, you should understand what a vendor promises regarding standards and services. This information can be found in the Service Level Agreement (SLA).
An SLA clarifies deliverables, timelines, costs, and resolution mechanisms. It provides metrics for evaluating a project’s success (or failure) and explains penalties and remedies if the agreed-on service levels aren’t reached.
It essentially helps you answer these key questions:
- Deliverables: What is the scope of services, and how will they be delivered? What isn’t covered in the agreement?
- Performance: Who reports performance, how frequently, using which metrics, and what information are you entitled to?
- Issue reporting: How should you reach the vendor when you have a problem? By email, phone, SMS, chat, or helpdesk portal? What steps will be followed to resolve the issue? What are the timeframes for issue resolution?
- Penalties: What are the consequences of failing to uphold the commitment? What steps should be followed in case of violations by the vendor?
By answering these questions, an SLA eliminates ambiguity surrounding the vendor’s accountability, reduces the likelihood of discrepancies, and ensures you get help promptly when needed.
Get in touch with Susco to learn more about fostering lasting vendor relationships
Finding the right insurance software partner takes time and effort. But it’s well worth it. Compatibility fosters growth and adaptability for your insurance firm and a lasting relationship with vendors. You get to focus on critical business objectives and gain a competitive edge.
No more being burdened by cultural, communication, technical, or operational challenges.
At Susco, we believe in building relationships that go beyond the development cycle. We lead with these core values: growth, communication, action, teamwork, and efficiency.
If you have additional questions about Insurance software vendors or want to add Susco to your shortlist, don’t hesitate to reach out. Start the conversation with a free one-hour interview. Let’s grow together.