ProAgWorks – the Agents’ View

If you’ve read the “Happy Birthday, ProAgWorks!” article in the latest edition of our “In the Field” newsletter, you’ll recognize that this is the extension of that article. If you haven’t, you can take a look now. Here’s the link to our online version of the newsletter. Follow the link and click on your region to open your newsletter.

When new policies are being issued or claims are pouring in, every agent will tell you that their policy processing system simply has to work. That’s the reason ProAg® introduced the ProAgWorks® system one year ago. Was it a success? We asked agents for their opinion.

Larry Turner, owner of C.I.S. (Crop Insurance Solutions) in Dumas, TX, has been in the crop insurance business since 1985 and worked with ProAg since 2003. C.I.S. is a full-line independent insurance agency with six employees, but Larry is the sole crop insurance agent.

“I like the new system,” Turner states. “I was fortunate in that I had a year of experience with a very similar system, so for me there was hardly a learning curve at all. It’s a vast improvement over the past system.”

Jeremy Ryan, with Andrew Avery Insurance in Bainbridge, GA, agrees with Larry. The agency covers producers in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, and processes a wide variety of crops. They’ve worked with ProAg since 2009. “We like it. It’s definitely an improvement,” Ryan says of ProAgWorks. “We process hundreds and hundreds of policies at sales closing, and to make our life easier, the system has to be simple and it has to be fast.”

Favorite features
Larry Braun owns the LB Agency in Warner, SD, and serves insureds in North and South Dakota. “What I like best about the ProAgWorks system is the fact that you can see everything on one screen,” he comments. “We can see our accounts and which claims are open.”

“One of the biggest pluses for me is the quick AR and PR fields, where you can go in there, process your zero-acre units, key in your acres or production, put in a date, and go,” adds Turner.“It’s also the fact that I’m very comfortable with the integrity of the data. With the previous system, I was never certain that data I entered would stick. I don’t have that concern with ProAgWorks.”

Future upgrades
As we all know, no major new system introduction will be completely free of bugs. There have been a few wrinkles to iron out, as well as a wish list of features that agents hope to see in the near future.

“We haven’t encountered a lot of issues, but when there has been something, the help desk has been good to work with us to resolve it,” notes Turner. “One of the biggest improvements they could make would be to add the ability to scan document bar codes and automatically attach them to the correct policy. That would be good.”

Both Braun and Ryan would like to be able to tie their precision ag data into the system in the future. “We’re really looking forward to them tying in the mapping function,” Ryan says. “That will be a great tool for us, particularly at acreage reporting time.”

Those upgrade goals have been heard by ProAg developers. German Mendoza, senior vice president of information technology, notes that batch scanning capability and mapping functionality are at the top of their priority list for future improvements.

Ultimately, the ProAgWorks processing system, like all software systems, will continue to evolve to meet the needs of agents and insureds. But the agents we spoke with agree that it is a positive change.

“The new processing system is great,” Braun confirms. “It’s a big step in the right direction.”

“With the time constraints we have, we don’t have time for a work around,” Turner concludes. “The system either works or it doesn’t. ProAgWorks works.”

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