The father embraced technology. So have the sons.
Forward thinking produces long-term success.
Over seven decades of operations, the family-owned Millward Agency has never shied away from change. In fact, the company has embraced it, retooling and revamping to meet business challenges and take advantage of opportunities.
Whether it was finding new business in niche industries, moving the headquarters to Utah in the wake of the California housing crisis, or obtaining licenses to sell insurance nationwide, maintaining the status quo has never been on the agenda for the Millward family.
Over the years, technology has increased efficiency at the agency and differentiated it from competitors. In 2004, the company even developed its own agency management system to automate their work flow and provide an added measure of data security.
Today, the company is helmed by CEO Weston Millward, who started working at the agency alongside his father in 1974, before purchasing the company from him in 1987. Commercial underwriting currently accounts for almost all of their business—Weston’s sons Wade, Travis, and Adam are agents at the firm and lead the management team. While their focus isn’t industry-specific, a significant percentage of their accounts are in the transportation and medical equipment sectors.
Wade Millward, who spearheads operations at the agency, was quick to see how Broker Buddha could benefit the company. He knew that our application would dramatically speed the collection of information and let his agents work more efficiently.
A platform for new business.
At the Millward Agency, one of the biggest hurdles to writing more business has been collecting the necessary information, especially with clients across the United States. Phone calls, emails, forms—there was so much back-and-forth to turn a prospect into an account.
“We were collecting data over the phone or sending PDFs or really bad Google spreadsheets. That didn’t work very well,” laughed Millward.
That’s changed with Broker Buddha.
“Once we got the Broker Buddha Web Link — I just call it the Magic Link — and integrated it into all our marketing efforts, we actually started getting submissions without even talking to people,” Millward said.
What was once a cumbersome process—send over a PDF, ask the potential client to download it, maybe move it to their desktop and print it, fill it in, scan it, return the completed PDF in an email attachment—is now as simple as inviting a prospect to click on a link and fill in the information.
“Many of our transportation industry clients complete the application on their phones,” added Millward. “If they’re on the road, they can get it done in their down time. The last thing they want to do is print or scan documents.”
Though based in Highland, Utah, the agency refuses to be limited by geography. They have always believed that if they provided consistently great service and expert advice, their book of business would include clients from all over the country.
“Using Broker Buddha has definitely helped with that — we get applications from all over and we can handle them just like they’re from the city we call home,” Millward said.
How much time does Broker Buddha save the agency?
Shortly after the agency implemented the platform, submissions started to roll in. And agents turned them into clients far faster than they ever have before.
How much faster? Wade did the math.
“In just a few months with Broker Buddha, we have had 96 applications come through it. Agents are spending at least 20 minutes less time processing each one. That means we’ve saved over 32 hours already.”
Of course, the agency hasn’t abandoned personal contact—this is a company that still knows the value of a phone call. But making the application process more efficient has eliminated tedious manual data entry. All that additional time can be devoted to other, more rewarding activities—new business and marketing efforts, rounds of golf with current clients, the chance to leave the office with enough time to squeeze in a revitalizing bike ride in sunny Utah.
“Even if we only get a partial application, it’s easy to follow up and quickly get the rest of the information we need to secure a new client. It’s been working out just great.”
Why Broker Buddha?
There is one obvious question.
Why would an agency that had successfully developed its own management system use Broker Buddha instead of building an application themselves?
“I know what it takes to build something out,” explained Millward. “It’s a significant, time-consuming investment that just didn’t make sense for us because Broker Buddha offered exactly what we needed. The way it made the application process so easy—and the way that would impact our new business efforts—made it very appealing to me.”
Millward and his team are justifiably proud of the tools they have developed themselves. But a company learns more than a few things after more than 70 years of operations, and implementing the Broker Buddha platform was the right decision for them.
Business without boundaries. Growth without the addition of costly resources. Speed without mistakes. With the help of the Broker Buddha platform, Wade Millward and his team see a promising future.
“It’s allowed us to take advantage of more opportunities because we’re able to work on more things at once,” Millward said. “Collecting information is so much more efficient and I’m thrilled that we’re not stuck dealing with dumb PDFs.”
Wednesday, May 29, 2019