Headquarters: Penticton, BC
Years as an Applied customer
The challenges of multiple locations and manual processes
First West Insurance was operating four systems across its regional brands. Managing operations on different brokerage management systems for each office hampered operational efficiency and visibility from branch to branch. Staff did not have access to the same client and policy information across locations and spent unnecessary time on manual processes. First West required a solution to provide automation and a single view of the customer, regardless of location.
The success of our journey in Applied Epic was really built around the approach that we took to engage the teams.
Vice President of Sales
The conversion to the fastest growing and most widely used management system in the world
The entire First West team embarked on a 16-month enterprise-wide conversion to the fastest growing and most widely used management system in the world, Applied Epic, using a phased approach across the brokerage's divisions: Valley First Insurance in the B.C. Interior, Envision Insurance in the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions, and Island Savings Insurance on Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. Its success is also further proof of the strength of the First West model— regional office champions all contributed expertise during the conversion project. Applied Epic provides First West with a single view of their business and powerful automation capabilities, streamlining workflows and enabling staff to better manage operations, providing all employees greater visibility into policies regardless of location, and enhancing the customer journey.
Effective change management: Employee engagement and continuous learning
Effective change management requires participation from all stakeholders in the organization. First West sought to gamify the implementation process in order to ensure engagement. “The success of implementing Applied Epic was built on the approach we took to engage the teams,” said Tim Mackie, vice president of Sales, First West Insurance. “Creating the theme, ‘The Amazing Epic,’ enabled everyone to go through the journey together, and made it fun to help build team morale and retention of the information being taught."
Before focusing on making the process of learning entertaining and engaging, the brokerage first needed their leaders to champion the change. “We invested heavily in our leaders to make sure they were supporting and engaging employees,” continued Mackie. “We even spent a day with each of our leaders to build change resiliency.” Taking extra time with leaders before implementing with staff is critical to making sure the team is on the same page. Once leaders were on board with the benefits of Applied Epic for their department and the overall organization, they were ready to lead a dynamic learning environment for the rest of the staff.
Channeling the show, The Amazing Race, teams had “pit stops” and “detours” where they completed learning modules for Applied Epic. “We decided to build our own e-learning modules to build engagement,” explained Mackie. “As staff changes and the technology changes, we will be able to modify the modules to continuously prepare our employees.” Continuous learning is essential for proper implementation and consistent business growth. Now that the brokerage has implemented Applied Epic, First West benefits from a single view of the entire business across locations and automation, enabling more time to focus on the business of selling insurance.
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