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 become available.

Week 1 – Thursday, Jan. 30 at noon to Wednesday, Feb. 5 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. 5 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 – Thurs., Jan. 30) Kickoff Webinar (Simulation Introduction and Overview)

How to Launch the Simulation (REVIEW OF POINTS DISCUSSED BETWEEN TEAM LIAISONS AND MAX HERNANDEZ DURING EACH TEAM’S COMPUTER-TEST)

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. 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.
  3. Login with your username and password (provided to the team’s liaison).
  4. At this point the simulation should appear in a Window.
  5. 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

Analyze your company’s current “As-Is” condition. What Strengths do you see in the agency? What are some Opportunities that you can take advantage of? Identify Weaknesses that you may want to work on and find a couple of Threats that might affect your agency.

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

We suggest spending about 1 hour or so with your team to complete this task. The simulation will be accessible starting Thursday, Jan. 30 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 – For now it is important that you 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 you begin making decisions.

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, you should first take 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 SWOT/MOST worksheet above will help you structure your plan. Also see the Sample Brokerage Challenge MOST below.

 

Round 1: Begin Competition

OK, now you can dive into the simulation! As a team, take 2 to 3 hours to enter all your decisions into the simulation for Round 1. Make sure to analyze each screen in the simulation!

The simulation will be accessible from Thursday, Jan. 30 at noon CST to Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 3pm CST.

Results will be posted in the LinkedIn Group

Join the group so you can see the results, post pictures, make fun of your competitors, whatever!

Let the games begin!

Week 2 – Thurs., Feb. 6 at 3pm CST to Wed., Feb. 12 at 3pm CST

Overview of financial reporting for insurance agencies. We will review the Income Statement showing Revenue, Expenses, and Profit, and the Balance Sheet showing Assets, Liabilities, and Equity.

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. 12 at 3pm CST)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 3pm CST on Tues., Feb. 11)
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. You don’t need to turn anything in, this is for YOU!

Financial Reporting Review and Round 1 Results

Experienced Producers – Skills, Competencies, and Bidding

The sheet shows the competencies of experienced producers that you can bid-on to hire this year if you’d like to. 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!).

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

Review the information and determine which, if any, you would like to hire. Then, fill in the blanks (team name, bonus offer, number of FTEs desired) to submit a competitive bid for the producer. The team that submits the best signing bonus offer for each producer will “win” that producer. Minimum bid: $60,000 per FTE.

Submit the form to dsemb@prisim.com by 3pm CST on Tues., Feb. 11.

Best of luck in Round 2!

Week 3 – Thurs., Feb. 13 at 3pm CST to Wed., Feb. 19 at 3pm CST

The overall theme for this week will be KPIs and 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 their 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
Round 2 Results and KPIs Video (~ 15 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team) – (Complete by Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 3pm CST)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 3pm CST Tuesday, Feb. 18)
Fill-in and Send us Your Scoring Sheet (submit this form by Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 3pm CST)

This Week’s Activities

Reflections on what you’ve learned

At this point we have covered 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 career and write them down! Don’t leave it to chance – 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

Video-Debrief of Round 2 Results, and Overview of Agency KPIs and Financial Metrics

Fill out and Email Your Completed 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 your completed form to dsemb@prisim.com by 3pm CST Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Read the fine print on the form! We also describe the form in the Round 2 Results and KPIs Video. If in doubt, contact us at dsemb@prisim.com

Experienced Hires Qualifications & Bid

Fill out the information below and submit this form to dsemb@prisim.com by 3pm CST Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Round 3 Competition

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

The simulation will be accessible from Thursday, Feb. 13 at 3pm CST to Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 3pm CST.

Best of luck in Round 3!

Week 4 – Thurs., Feb. 20 at 3pm CST to Tue., Feb. 25 at 3pm CST

Final round of the competition!

Summary of this Week’s Activities

SELF-STUDY
Reflections on what you’ve learned (~ 5 min)
ACTIVE SIMULATION TIME (Work as a team)
Experienced Hires Bid (submit this form by 5pm CST on Monday, Feb. 24)
Round 4 Competition (Final Round) (~ 2 hr) (complete by Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 3pm CST)
Final Presentation (Work as a team but chose one presenter) – (Be ready to present on Thursday, Feb. 27 at Noon CST)
Final Presentation – Name of Presenter (submit by 3pm CST on Wednesday, Feb. 26)
Final Presentation and 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. As before, 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.

Results: Round 3

Prepare Final Presentation and Individual Key Learnings

On Thursday, Feb. 27, during the Final 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 give a high-level verbal overview of their company’s strategy and approach (no PowerPoints, just verbal). See the document below (section “Final Debrief”) for some ideas of what to cover. We may also ask you some questions about your strategy, team dynamics, etc…

The presenter will also prepare and read a list summarizing one brief bullet-point of a key learning/takeaway from each team member. The list should take no more than 45-seconds in 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 dsemb@prisim.com stating which team member will be presenting during the Final Debrief during the Live Webinar (submit by 3pm CST on Wednesday, Feb. 26)

Experienced Hires Qualifications & Bid – Last Chance!

Fill out the information below and submit this form to dsemb@prisim.com by 5pm CST on Monday, Feb. 24.

Round 4 Competition

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

Next Steps – After the Competition

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