AUGIE Face to Face, September 24, 2017
Pictured left to right: Paul Hawkins, Andy Fogarty, Mike Skeele.
“Therefore, with that as an introduction I would like to ask Paul Hawkins and Mike Skeele, President of the users group to come forward and receive their award. We are pleased to present the AUGIE Andy Fogarty Industry Impact Award to HawkSoft & HawkSoft User Group For Outstanding Volunteerism in Furthering AUGIE’s Initiatives."
Paul Hawkins, CEO and founder of HawkSoft, is not easily surprised after a 40-year run in the insurance industry. But, even he was in genuine shock upon hearing his name called to receive the first AUGIE Andy Fogarty Industry Impact Award for Outstanding Volunteerism. It was a double honor and surprise when the award was presented by Andy Fogarty, who also had no idea that AUGIE had named the award on his behalf.
Andy Fogarty Award
The award recognizes individuals and organizations for their efforts to help AUGIE succeed. Volunteerism has made AUGIE’s initiatives successful throughout the years. AUGIE felt there was no better way to honor Andy Fogarty and remember his contribution than to name AUGIE’s new industry Impact Award after him. Andy, an industry veteran for more than 40 years, epitomizes volunteerism through his years of service at Ohio Casualty and serving as Chairman of the Board for ACORD.
This year’s impact award centered on the key word "Download,” the significance of its origin, and how technology has propelled the insurance sector forward. Andy was in the room when it all began and contributed to the process of standardizing Downloads (read Andy's history on Downloads here).
Voluntary initiatives by HawkSoft and members of the HawkSoft User Group (HUG) during the last few months have pushed the digital advancement of independent agents, IVANS, AUGIE, and the industry as a whole. HawkSoft’s efforts, along with the willing responsiveness of the HawkSoft users, support part of the larger mission to increase agent efficiency through the use of intelligent automation.
Our recipients today symbolize the concept of the action that the industry leaders took at Tarrytown, just as the developers of Download did. They pulled out all the stops, starting in June of this year, to encourage users of the HawkSoft agency management system to use the IVANS Connection Report as a tool to become more aware of current and potential download opportunities with their carriers.
HawkSoft and their User Group started a project in June of this year to use the IVANS report. This led to
- 93% increase in the number of HawkSoft users that have logged into their IVANS Connections Report
- 150% increase in the number of HawkSoft users customizing the report to increase the number of downloads they receive from carriers
AUGIE Face to Face Meeting
How it all began…
In November 2016, IVANS announced IVANS Exchange 2017, an online tool that improved automated connections and usability for the agent. Part of this release included security enhancements which required users to update their passwords as many were old and insecure. In Q1/2017, IVANS began a phased notification process to agencies. They communicated that agents had until year-end to update their passwords.
Year-end feels like forever and a day away in the springtime. HawkSoft had a hunch that its customers, like many of us, might put this off, forget, or not even read the email notifications. This meant come January 1, 2018, customers who had not changed their passwords would have a rude awakening - no downloads. Zero.
So it began. During the smoldering hot days of summer, a customer service team and a few teenagers hired on as temporary employees, took on a voluntary initiative by doing what they do best – being on the phone.
Investing resources without a clear ROI never felt so good
You read that headline right. HawkSoft saw this as an opportunity to help two long-time valued partners: IVANS and independent agencies. HawkSoft began the endeavor by having their 20-person Customer Service Team place outbound phone calls to agencies signed up with IVANS Exchange to update their passwords. Each day one CSR would break from their normal daily tasks and dedicate 5-6 hours of making phone calls to help in this IVANS initiative.
After a few weeks, they realized that they needed help. HawkSoft planned to hire temp employees looking to break into the Insurance industry. But as is customary with HawkSoft’s family-friendly environment, employees jump in to help.
In this case, teenager kids of our employees.
“They started to come out of the woodwork,” says Aedan James, Director of Customer Service. “Rather than use a temp agency, we decided to employ our own employees’ teenagers. Although they may have been a little skeptical at first about making calls about insurance, our temp employees ultimately had a vested interest in doing a good job to help their parents’ place of work.”
Offering TLC on every outbound phone call
HawkSoft’s outreach went beyond just password-reset initiatives. The HawkSoft brand has a 94% support satisfaction rate - an industry benchmark. We always go beyond what’s expected. This opportunity was no different.
“The IVANS Exchange website provides many features an agency will find helpful. We wanted to help our customers with the IVANS password initiative, but we also wanted to educate them about the vast capabilities IVANS offers to increase efficiencies with carrier downloads. Many agencies are unaware of the automation available to them,” says Aedan.
“We designed a personalized tour of the IVANS Connection dashboard and showed them how to customize which downloads to receive, how to re-send downloads to themselves, and more. We showed agencies how to save precious time, eliminate manual data-entry and errors, and free their staff to focus on high-impact activities like policyholder outreach. Many agencies that were not using IVANS Exchange came on board because of our team’s educational efforts.”
Meet “Team Legacy”
As children of HawkSoft’s employees, James Hansen (Paul Hawkins’ grandson and Jason Hansen’s son), Tanner Moyes (Paul Moyes’ son), and Lara Horst (Peter Horst’s daughter), the three quickly became internally dubbed as “Team Legacy”. They gave up their summer vacation to help with HawkSoft’s customer service initiative and make hundreds of phone calls (and a few extra bucks). Little did they know that their efforts, along with the Customer Service Team's support, would generate an honorable award.
Team Legacy, pictured left to right: Tanner Moyes, James Hansen, Lara Horst
Tanner, one of the lucky team members says, “When I was younger and my Dad was an insurance agent, I always tuned out his talk about work. So all I knew was when you needed insurance, you call your insurance agent. I was pretty nervous to call strangers since I didn’t know much about insurance. It was hard at first, and I even froze up on my first call!”
After a few months of talking with agents and realizing they appreciated his help, Tanner’s tune changed. “I became comfortable speaking with agents, and I felt like I was making a difference.”
Since his summer project ended, Tanner has been hired as a full-time customer service representative and will continue to contribute to HawkSoft and the insurance industry. “I guess this insurance stuff isn’t too bad. I prefer working here over the hot days at a gas station. It’s a good social environment and everyone gets along. I like that and I’m happy to be working here as a permanent employee,” says Tanner.
Lara originally told her dad, “Nobody likes insurance people!” It didn’t take long for her perception to change. “Most were so friendly and wanted to help you, or, were very open to allowing you to help them.” She enjoyed seeing her call list get shorter and shorter. She felt that “little feeling of accomplishment” when agents showed excitement to learn how to customize IVANS Exchange to benefit their agencies and staff.
James Hansen’s first thought was, “Am I qualified?”
Confused at the beginning of the project, James felt comfortable by the end. “I figured out how to change my approach to get better responses.”
HawkSoft’s Customer Service Team and Team Legacy, along with the support of HUG members, have achieved tremendous results by increasing the number of agents using IVANS Exchange and customized downloads.
More than just an award - For The Good Of All
Paul Hawkins is honored to have received this award and is proud of the Customer Service Team, Team Legacy and HUG for helping the industry leverage digital technology. However, when Paul reflects on the meaning behind this award, he is more touched with how the actions of this initiative have impacted the lives of so many individuals across the insurance industry - agents, carriers, associations, and HawkSoft’s own employee family. It speaks to the very heart of HawkSoft’s core values, specifically doing something For the Good of All.
“Our efforts not only impacted IVANS’ specific need to have passwords updated, but the overall outreach helped agents increase their efficiency by better utilizing IVANS Exchange, furthered AUGIE’s initiatives to advance digitization, and positively influenced our younger generation by introducing them to the insurance industry. We saw tremendous growth in our young team’s confidence. It was an initiative that was the right thing to do and was for the good of all,” says Paul Hawkins.
Thank you AUGIE for your vision and mission. It is with great honor that HawkSoft accepts this award.
Jim Armitage, Chairman, AUGIE
We would like to take this time to thank a few individuals who have worked with AUGIE since its inception and supported it throughout the years. These individuals were volunteers on the ACORD Board, and also active participants of AUGIE. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for their years of service.
- Keith Savino
- Andy Fogarty
- Bob Slocum – who unfortunately wasn’t able to join us.
We would also like to announce a 4th the award. Volunteerism is what has made AUGIE successful throughout the years. There is one volunteer who has been working in our industry for over 40 years. We could think of no better way to continue to remember his contribution then to name AUGIE’s new industry Impact Award after him. We have asked him to hand out this award to the recipient, and provide a short summary of highlights that he remembered throughout the year. We didn’t tell him that we also have named this award on his behalf.
“The Andy Fogarty Industry Impact Award, has now been established in honor of Andy Fogarty, a 40+ year participant of the Independent Agent distribution channel who worked at Ohio Casualty, was the ACORD chairman of the Board, an ACORD Board member and who continues to support AUGIE, and the industry long after he has officially retired.”
It will be given out in to individuals or organizations each year in recognition of their efforts to help AUGIE succeed.
Andy, will you please join us to present the award and share your comments.
(Andy will come up and say the following)
Good afternoon, it is a thrill for me to be with the AUGIE Group again. Your presence here today continues to demonstrate the importance of AUGIE to the Insurance Industry, contrary to the opinion of some.
When I was asked to present the "First AUGIE Impact Award" I, was both elated and humbled, since I was there when AUGIE was established.
The Award today will be centered on a word we all know and love (I think) "Download". A word we all know the meaning of but probably know very little of its origin and importance at the time it was created in 1990.
Before we name the recipients of the Award, I have been asked to give you a brief history as to how the word Download came about.
In 1983, Digital Equipment Corp developed the first PC. Agents became aware of that invention and wanted to do away with the paper and send their transactions electronically. However, the technology was cumbersome and expensive to do what they wanted, Single Entry Multiple Company Interface. Providing a common entry format for all vendors and carriers in those days, there were at least 30 vendors.
The inability to develop a Standard solution to the process caused turmoil throughout the Industry. That led to a meeting in 1990 in Tarrytown, York that I attended with many Carriers, agents and vendors. It was decided, based on the pressure to do something, that half a loaf was better than no loaf at all, so the idea of Download surfaced as a way of getting company processed data electronically to the agent.
A vendor named BWC was a key player in the industry. They developed the software that translated company system data, to the send to agency systems. Download was the finger in the dyke until the Internet came along as well as new technology to complete the process that we currently employ.
Our recipients today symbolize the concept of the action that the Industry leaders took at Tarrytown, just as the developers of Download did. They pulled out all the stops, starting in June of this year, to encourage users of the HawkSoft Agency management System to use the IVANS Connection Report as a tool to become more aware of current and potential download opportunities with their carriers.
HawkSoft Systems and their User Group started a project in June of this year to use the IVANS report. There has been a 93% increase in the number of HawkSoft users that have logged into their IVANS Connections Report and over 150% increase in the number of HawkSoft users customizing the report to increase the amount of download they receive from their carriers.
Therefore, with that as an introduction I would like to ask Paul Hawkins and Mike Skeele, President of the users group to come forward and receive their award. We are pleased to present the:
AUGIE Andy Fogarty Industry Impact Award to HawkSoft & HawkSoft User Group
For outstanding volunteerism in furthering AUGIE’s initiatives