With the insurance landscape continually changing and updating, there is a belief that a vendor software solution can help insurers maintain a competitive advantage in this competitive market. But how do insurers choose which vendor to go with?
Before deciding that a vendor solution is right for your business, get your team together and write down the list of problems you are looking to solve. This will ensure that a vendor solution can solve your problem and that you pick the vendor that will best meet the needs of the whole team. Separate this list of problems into categories, and develop a checklist of issues to use in the following three steps.
Once a list of problems has been created, it is time to start researching vendors. Different vendors offer different solutions that help solve various issues. Based on the problems listed, create a checklist of research data to collect from each vendor. For example, if one problem for your team is increasing pressure on call centers, the business might consider implementing mobile portals allowing claimants to review their claim status online. So each vendor who provides mobile portals will be considered for stage two.
Grading vendors on a uniform scale will provide you with an overview of what’s available from each. When a particular vendor doesn’t meet your needs they can be eliminated based on the set criteria. Other vendor issues insurers may include are experience, scalability of the solution, technology platform used, industry standard compliance, and regularity of technology updates, among others.
Request for information (RFI)
Once a list of potential vendors has been created, it’s time to formally ask vendors for some additional information. To accurately collect the information you require, it is important to provide each vendor with a clear and concise list of business goals, and objectives to be achieved through the investment. Rather than simply asking yes or no questions, provide a list of items that are necessary from the upgrade, and ask the vendor to detail how they can provide this through the implementation of their solution. Provide a date by which all RFI’s shall be returned, noting that the punctuality of the return will display the precision of the vendor’s team.
When responses have been collected, it is important to use a uniform scoring system to rank the vendors in terms of suitability to meet your objectives.
Vendor Demonstration and Proof of Concept
After the vendor scoring, based on the RFI responses, the potential vendors will most likely be whittled down to two, or three options at most. This stage involves a product demonstration from the vendor. This also presents the opportunity to engage in a high-level conversation regarding product functionality, processes, and capabilities. Engaging with the vendor team at this stage also allows a relationship to develop. This relationship will last as long as the new software solution so is important to develop it early in the process.
With new technology upgrades continually being talked about in the insurance world, it is important to consider upgrading your legacy system to take these into account. To implement new technology, such as mobile capabilities and data analytics, system integration is important. To properly implement mobile or analytical technology, information must flow begin each step of the claims process, from intake to payment. If you are still operating using legacy systems now is the time to consider an upgrade.