In 1987, when we exceeded one thousand agencies reporting their operating results, Agency Consulting Group, Inc. began publishing its Composite Group Analysis each Fall. Data would be gathered from July of one year through June of the next and the Composite Groups would be published in September or October. Times have certainly changed!
This year we expect to reach the three thousandth agency reporting their annual results. The agencies reported their results in order to receive a personalized comparison of their performance against that of the appropriate Composite Group of agencies of similar size. The process was manually input from operating statements and was quite time-consuming. The results provided marked the agency’s performance against the Composite Group as fixed in the period of July through June.
This year we have automated the Benchmarking process on the Internet through the auspices of George Nordhaus’ IMMS (Insurance Marketing & Management Services – www.imms.com). This service is currently available to IMMS members. The Benchmarking Service permits an agency to email their operating statement to Agency Consulting Group, Inc. in a form on the Internet. The form is automatically fed into the Composite Group database and generates a return e-mail that benchmarks the agency against the appropriate Composite Group. As usual, no agency identifier is maintained in the database (to assure the confidentiality of agency information). We will soon have the Benchmarking process available through our own website, www.agencyconsulting.com. In the meantime, we have included a Benchmarking Input Form in this issue. Send it to Agency Consulting Group, Inc. with your check for $150 to receive your Benchmarking Analysis within 24 hours (by e-mail) or by return mail. IMMS members receive a further discount (see IMMS website, www.imms.com).
This process of automation has accomplished three things. First, it has made the Benchmarking process and the Composite Group database available to thousands of agents who have never had access to this data before. Second, it has permitted us to lower the cost to a small fraction of what we had to charge when the process was manually managed in our office. And, finally, it has permitted the database to become live and accurate, changing on a daily basis with current information on every agency.
We will still publish our Composite Groups annually for those agencies and associations who do not access this data on the Internet.