2020 Selective Agency Management Competition

Welcome to the Business War Game for Insurance Agencies! Over the next few weeks you’ll be introduced to the fundamental business tools needed to achieve long-term profitability and competitive advantage. You’ll be challenged to apply these tools in a computer-simulated environment (a “virtual” Agency), where your performance will be evaluated by a marketplace that has been created by competing participant teams.

To begin, we recommend taking a few minutes to explore the course agenda below. Review the material we’ll cover each week and the assignments/tasks you’ll need to complete.

Good luck and we hope you enjoy the competition!

Agenda Overview

Pre-Work

Complete before Jan. 30

Please make sure to complete the pre-work prior to the first webinar. Be sure to read the “Business Simulation Case Study Guide” so you better understand the business challenge ahead of you!
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Live kickoff webinar

Jan. 30

Live kickoff webinar (Mandatory Attendance Noon Central Time). Introduction and overview of the business challenge and the simulation.
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Week 1

Jan. 31 – Feb. 7

SWOT analysis of your agency. Strategy and long term planning.
Jan. 31 at noon to Feb. 5 at 3pm CST – Simulation available.
Feb. 5 at 3PM CST – ROUND 1 DECISIONS DUE.

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Week 2

Feb. 10 – Feb. 14

Financial reporting review.

Feb. 7 at noon to Feb. 12 at 3pm CST – Simulation available.
Feb. 12 at 3pm CST – ROUND 2 DECISIONS DUE.

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Week 3

Feb. 17 – Feb. 21

Important Agency Metrics and Measures.
Feb. 14 at noon to Feb. 19 at 3pm CST – Simulation available.
Feb. 19 at 3pm CST – ROUND 3 DECISIONS DUE.

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Week 4

Feb. 24 – Feb. 27

Final round of competition and exercise debrief.
Feb. 21 at noon CST to Feb. 25 at 3pm CST. – Simulation available
Feb. 25 at 3pm CST – ROUND 4 DECISIONS DUE.

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Final Live Webinar

Feb. 27

Final Live Webinar and results/awards (Mandatory Attendance Noon Central Time). Teams prepared to present Final Debrief (Individual Key Learnings).
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Important Dates

Mon., January 20-Wed., January 29

PriSim and Team Liaisons coordinate computer tests.

Thurs., January 30
Noon Central Time

Live Kickoff Webinar (Mandatory Attendance). Mandatory Pre-work needs to completed.

Thurs., February 27
Noon Central Time

Final Live Webinar and results/awards (Mandatory Attendance). Teams prepared to present Final Debrief (Individual Key Learnings).

Pre-work – Complete prior to Jan. 30

Introduction to the business challenge ahead of you!

In your upcoming competition, you and a team of highly trained professionals will assume control of a struggling insurance agency. Your mission: turn the business around!

The Board is relying upon your business and leadership skills to rejuvenate growth and profitability.

Below, please find a number of readings that will better prepare you for your mission.

Course Objectives

You will learn about:

  • The “whole” picture (a “Total Agency” perspective & the need for coordinated decision-making)
  • How an agency makes money (i.e., financial reports, metrics)
  • Long-term positioning (i.e., strategy)
  • Customers & their lifetime value
  • External forces (i.e. markets, competitors)
  • About the need for management & leadership
  • The advantages of teams

Welcome!


Required Reading

NOTE: You will be competing in the Classic Version of the simulation.

Recommended Reading

  • (Read) Ask the Dumb Questions – This article encourages leaders and decision-makers not to fear looking incompetent as a result of “asking the dumb questions”. A healthy willingness to say, “I don’t understand” could be as crucial to your success as anything else.

On January 30 the following course materials for Week 1 will be updated and will become available.

Week 1 – Sunday, Feb. 3 at noon to Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3pm CST

We will explore some general business concepts and review the main objectives of the course. You’ll be introduced to the Brokerage Challenge™ simulation and competition. What is strategy? What are the 5 most important questions you should be able to answer about your agency? These and many other questions will be answered during our strategy overview. You’ll walk away with tools that will help you plan for the future.

Summary of this Week’s Activities

LIVE (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)
Kickoff Webinar
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team)
Watch “As-Is”/Situation Analysis Video (~ 5 min)
Round 0: “As-Is”/Situation Analysis – Conduct a SWOT Analysis (~ 1 hr)
SELF-STUDY
Watch Strategy and Long-term Planning Video (~ 30 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team) – (Complete before Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3pm CST.)
“To-Be”/Action Planning – Complete a MOST Analysis (~ 45 min)
Round 1: Begin Competition (~ 2-3 hrs)
PLANNING DOCS
Complete SWOT Analysis and MOST

This Week’s Activities

Introduction

(Live – Friday, Feb. 1) Kickoff Webinar (Simulation Introduction and Overview)

PDF version of the simulation screens

You may find it helpful to download and print the PDF version of the simulation screens.

How-to Launch the Simulation

The simulation can only be launched on one computer. That is, every time you want to access the simulation you will have to do it as a team on the specific computer you’ve designated for this purpose. To launch the simulation, follow these steps:

  1. Set the resolution of your local machine to 1024×768. This can be done following these steps:
    1. Right click on the local machine’s desktop
    2. Click “Screen Resolution”
    3. Change “Resolution” to “1024×768”
    4. Click “OK” and then “Keep Changes”
  2. Download to the local machine’s Desktop the “WorkSpaces Client” for Windows:

    https://clients.amazonworkspaces.com/
  3. Launch the client (double click it). NOTE: The first time login in you’ll need to enter the registration code provided to the team’s liaison.
  4. Login with your username and password (provided to the team’s liaison).
  5. At this point the simulation should appear in a Window.
  6. If there is any issue connecting to your WorkSpace, the team liaison should contact PriSim.

“As-Is”/Situation Analysis Overview Video

Round 0: “As-Is”/Situation Analysis – Conduct a SWOT Analysis

With your teammates, analyze the Simulation Screen PDF document linked below to get a better understanding of the simulated agency’s current “As-Is” condition. What Strengths do you see in the agency? What are some Opportunities that you have? Identify Weaknesses that you may want to work on and find a couple of Threats that that might affect your agency.

You can write these down in the SWOT worksheet provided below.

We suggest spending between 1 hour or so with your team to complete this task. The simulation will be accessible starting Sunday, Feb. 3 at noon CST. Complete this task before you view the Strategy and Long Term Planning video as it will better prepare you for it.

Don’t enter decisions into the simulation yet – first it is important that you understand the current state of your business. You’ll have time for that during Round 1 (later this week). For now it is important for you to understand the current state of the business.

If you did change something in the simulation, you can just do a “Restore to Beginning of Round” to reset it before you begin your decision-making.

Strategy and Long-term Planning

“To-Be”/Action Planning – Develop a MOST for your Company

We know the first thing you’ll want to do is to enter your decisions. However, with your team take between 30 to 45 min to develop your MOST. You’ll find this will help your team to focus on the direction you want to take your agency. The MOST worksheet below will help you structure your thoughts.

Round 1: Begin Competition

OK, now you can dive into the simulation! It’s competition time! As a team, take around 2 to 3 hours to enter all your decisions into the simulation for Round 1. Make sure to visit every single screen in the sumulation!

The simulation will be accessible from Sunday, Feb. 3 at noon CST to Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 3pm CST.

Let the games begin!

Week 2 – Fri., Feb. 8 at 10am CST to Wed., Feb. 13 at 3pm CST

Overview of financial reporting for insurance agencies. We will start by discussing the difference between Cash and Profit. Then we will review the Income Statement showing Revenue, Expenses, and Profit, and the Balance Sheet showing Assets, Liabilities, and Equity. We will use the actual results of the last Round to illustrate the financial concepts.

Summary of this Week’s Activities

SELF-STUDY – (Complete before making decisions)
Reflections on what you’ve learned (~ 5 min)
Results: Round 1
Financial Reporting Review & Teams’ Results (~ 25 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team) – (Complete before Wed., Feb. 13 at 3pm CST)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 5pm CST on Tues., Feb. 12)
Round 2 Competition (~ 2 hr)

This Week’s Activitites

Reflections on what you’ve learned

At this point we have covered the basic principles of strategy and long term planning. You have learned the 5 five most important questions any business leader should be able to answer. We have discussed the importance of being focused and why it is so critical in an organization.

Take a moment to reflect on how these concepts and ideas might be useful to you in the real world and write them down. You will find that the simple act of writing down your thoughts will cement them in your mind and prompt you to work on them after the course.

Results: Round 1

Financial Reporting Review & Teams’ Results

Experienced Hires – Skills and Competencies

This sheet provides you with the qualifications of experienced producers that can be hired this year. In prior years these producers worked for your competitors, or elsewhere in the market, and they are now looking for greener pastures (and better management!).

In the upper right corner of the sheet you can see how many Personal Lines (PL) and Commercial/Benefits Lines (CL) producers are in the market looking from employment. Please note: experienced producers do NOT come with their book of business from their old agency/brokerage. The remainder of the attached sheet gives you valuable information regarding each producer’s skill set with respect to lead sources, customer segments, and other competencies.

Experienced Hires Bid

Review the information on the producers available (i.e. Experienced Hires – Skills and Competencies) this year and determine which, if any, you would like to hire. Then, fill out the form below to submit a competitive bid for the producer(s). The team that submits the best signing bonus offer to a producer will “win” that producer.

Fill out the information below and submit this form to simsupport@prisim.com by 5pm CST on Tues., Feb. 12. Minimum bid: $60,000 per FTE.

Round 2 Competition

Round 1 is now complete. The simulation has been advanced to the next round of competition.

The simulation will be accessible from Friday, Feb. 8 at 10am CST to Wednesday, Feb. 13 at 3pm CST.

Best of luck in Round 2.

Week 3 – Fri., Feb. 15 at 10am CST to Wed., Feb. 20 at 3pm CST

Overview of key financial ratios for insurance agencies. We will review some common metrics that insurance agencies use to gain insights into the effectiveness of their business, and the strengths, weaknesses, and improvement opportunities in performance.

Summary of this Week’s Activities

SELF-STUDY – (Complete before beginning Round 3)
Reflections on what you’ve learned (~ 5 min)
Results: Round 2
Important Agency Metrics and Measures & Teams’ Results (~ 15 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team) – (Complete by Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3pm CST)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 5pm CST Tuesday, Feb. 19)
Fill-in and Send us Your Scoring Sheet (submit this form by Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3pm CST)
Round 3 Competition (~ 2 hr)

This Week’s Activities

Reflections on what you’ve learned

At this point we have covered a several business concepts and ideas in the course.

Take a moment to reflect on how these concepts and ideas might be useful to you in your real world job and write them down. You will find that the simple act of writing down your thoughts will cement them in your mind and prompt you to work on them after the course.

Results: Round 2

Important Agency Metrics and Measures

Fill out and Send Scoring Sheet

Using the measures in the form below and the process described in the link, tell us how you want your company’s performance to be assessed. Email us your completed form. Assign a 0%-50% percentage-weighting to your chosen metrics – you do not need to choose them all! 50% is the highest ranking you can give any one measure. At least 25% of score has to be in a profit oriented measure (see *). NOTE: You are expected to leave a sustainable company after the final round or risk disqualification. Revenues CANNOT drop by more than 20% and attrition CANNOT be higher than 20% in the final round! Averages over all years can also be used. (If in doubt talk to PriSim).

Fill out the information below and submit this form to simsupport@prisim.com by 3pm CST Wednesday, Feb. 20

Experienced Hires Qualifications & Bid

Fill out the information below and submit this form to simsupport@prisim.com by 5pm CST Tuesday, Feb. 19. Minimum bid: $60,000 per FTE.

Round 3 Competition

Round 2 is now complete. The simulation has been advanced to the next round of competition.

The simulation will be accessible from Friday, Feb. 15 at 10am CST to Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 3pm CST.

Best of luck in Round 3.

On February 22 the course materials for Week 4 will become available.

Week 4 – Fri., Feb. 22 at 10am CST to Tue., Feb. 26 at 3pm CST

Final round of competition and exercise debrief.

Summary of this Week’s Activities

SELF-STUDY
Reflections on what you’ve learned (~ 5 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team) – (Complete before Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3pm CST)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 5pm CST on Monday, Feb. 25)
Round 4 Competition (Final Round) (~ 2 hr)
Final Debrief (Work as a team to create & chose one presenter) – (Ready to present on Thursday, Feb. 28 at Noon CST)
Final Debrief Presenter (submit by 3pm CST on Tuesday, Feb. 26)
Final Debrief & Individual Key Learnings

This Week’s Activities

Reflections on what you’ve learned

At this point we have covered many business concepts and ideas in the course.

It is now time to take a moment to reflect on what these concepts/ideas mean to you and how you think they might be useful to you in your current or future role. Then, write down a few notes. You will find that the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help you remember them and prompt you to work on them after the course.

Results: Round 3

Prepare Final Debrief & Individual Key Learnings

On Thursday, Feb. 28, during the Live Webinar, the team’s liaison will be responsible for the team’s final presentation. He/She (or someone he/she assigns) will have 2 to 3 minutes to debrief the competition. The presenter will talk live during Monday’s meeting (no PPTX needed). See the document below (section “Final Debrief”) for some ideas of what to cover. Be ready to answer questions about your strategy, team dynamics, etc…

The presenter will also prepare and read a list summarizing one brief key learning/takeaway from each team member. The list should take no more than 45-seconds total to read. These takeaways should NOT be learnings about the “game”, they need to tie to the real world. See the document below (section “Individual Learning Applications”) for more details.

Send an email to simsupport@prisim.com stating which team member will be presenting during the Final Debrief during the Live Webinar (submit by 3pm CST on Tuesday, Feb. 26)

Experienced Hires Qualifications & Bid – Last Chance!

Fill out the information below and submit this form to simsupport@prisim.com by 5pm CST on Monday, Feb. 25. Minimum bid: $60,000 per FTE.

Round 4 Competition

This is the final round of the competition! The simulation has been advanced. Best of luck in Round 4.


(Connect) to the Simulation: “How-to Access Simulation”

Evaluations

We would appreciate your feedback. Thank you for taking time to complete the following evaluation.

Week 5 – Thursday Feb. 28 and ongoing!

Final Live Webinar and results/awards.

Next Steps – After Class

Going forward, you can keep building your financial skills with PriSim!