From an efficiency standpoint, it’s a pain to attach every email you send or receive. There is an Outlook plugin that helps, but other systems allow you to drag and drop emails, which is MUCH faster. Same with attaching files—I wish you could drag and drop, but you cannot. When you set-up a plan, you have to put the expected premium and commissions. Once commissions have been posted, you cannot go back and change this without un-posting and re-posting commission statements, which is tedious. This comes up in you make a mistake when you set-up the plan, so you have to be careful projecting premium/commissions (especially when you get a BOR mid-year or have a multi-year rate guarantee). Our biggest pain-point is the reporting. Our old system would capture expected AND actual premium and revenue for each plan, which gave us a very accurate book of business (BOB) report. BrokerageBuilder only pulls *expected* premium/commissions, so when your premium/commissions change (acquisition, new hires, layoffs), it’s not reflected. When you get a BOR mid-year, the premium/ commissions is always off. For example, when we get a BOR for an account that renews in 4 months, the reports will show the 4 months of premium/commissions as an annual amount, so producers think we are under-reporting premium/commissions, but it’s just the system not being sophisticated enough to calculate this properly. I have to run 4 separate BOB reports (plans with monthly, annual, quarterly and semi-annual premium/commission), then clean the reports up, then merge them together, then sub-total each producer (and we have 35-40 producers). It’s a huge pain and never truly accurate. It causes a lot of grief for our accounting department, the producers, and me. We were told, after the fact, that many P&C agencies post commissions in their P&C system and not BrokerageBuilder because of the reporting limitations. Overall, the reporting has not worked well for us.
It’s a good system for many brokers, but I think it’s getting outpaced by other systems. Zywave needs to make some changes quickly or they will lose a lot of business from brokers that have P&C and Benefits departments. More and more firms are combining systems and moving their Benefits department away from a Benefits only system like BrokerageBuilder. Having two systems just doesn’t make sense anymore if you are a large firm with P&C and Benefits departments. The reporting is cumbersome and we never fully-trust it. A lot of the reports we asked for did not exist and had to be created. We felt these were standard reports: book of business reports, new business reports, etc.
We made the change to BrokerageBuilder six years ago, and it was a step-up from our prior system. We’re housing our client info electronically and can access it from anywhere. We like the system, except for the reporting and attaching emails.