When Cheryl Camak joined Fitts Agency as Bond Surety CSR, she quickly realized that the online bonds generation tool that she inherited did not meet the agency’s needs. Based in Tuscaloosa, AL, Fitts Agency’s bond business was growing rapidly, and it was all that Camak could do to keep up with the demands of the five agents in her group. After purchasing iAutomate: Erlon Surety, Camak finds the product’s seamless integration with her agency management system helped her handle the agency’s growth more efficiently and process professional bonds faster, all while maintaining a database of previous bond information.
The Fitts Agency has approximately 50 employees representing its commercial and personal lines as well as a bond business that represents more than 125 active contractor accounts. When Camak joined the company’s bond department, she discovered that the online bond program the agency used did not interface with its agency management system, The Agency Manager (TAM) developed by Applied Systems, Inc. “We had information on paper that could not be stored within our agency system, and could not be stored with the online bond generation program,” says Camak. “It was unorganized, and we could not access any bonds that we had generated in the past.” Another problem was the online program required frequent downloads of forms and other information, all within a rigid timetable. Camak decided to find a new program that would enable her to store and organize bond information more efficiently, expand beyond the online-only interface, and interface with TAM.
In November 2004, Fitts Agency purchased iAutomate: Erlon Surety, a software solution developed by the Insurance Automation Group that generates surety bonds while managing the entire surety workflow. iAutomate: Erlon Surety is the only bond system that is an Applied ConneXion Integrating Vendor, offering a seamless integration with TAM and Vision.
“iAutomate: Erlon Surety impressed me because it integrates with TAM,” says Camak. She now generates multiple bonds for more than one agent without retyping information, and also can automatically transfer bond information directly into TAM. “I don’t have to go out of the bond program, back into TAM, and recreate all of the information,” says Camak. “iAutomate: Erlon Surety is a nice workflow system.”
iAutomate: Erlon Surety also helps Fitts’s bond department reduce errors and omissions, not only because it reduces manual re-keying of information, but also because it contains a full database of common phrases and terms accessible through drop-down windows.
Bond turnaround time also has been slashed, according to Camak, “We can now process our bonds twice as fast as before.” Camak appreciates the feature that enables her to see bonds on the computer screen, make changes on the fly, and create professional bonds. “In the past, it was difficult to make changes to bond forms. Now, with iAutomate: Erlon Surety I can look at the bond and make any changes right then and there,” she says.
Perhaps the most important feature for Camak is iAutomate: Erlon Surety’s seamless integration with TAM. The two programs share information automatically, eliminating manual rekeying of data, and dramatically increasing productivity. iAutomate: Erlon surety captures and stores information that Fitts’s bond department could not access using the online bond generation program. “With Erlon, we have our history and our information, and it is protected,” says Camak.
“Our business was growing, and I was having a hard time keeping up,” says Camak. “We definitely can handle the growth more efficiently using iAutomate: Erlon Surety.”