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5 Essential Steps to Complete Your Own Business Process Reengineering

December 23, 2018

Editor’s Note: In the first part of our series on business process reengineering, we examined how Dunkin’ (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) remade and reengineered itself several times. Now, in Part II, we look at 5 essential steps you need to in order to complete your own business process reengineering.

While there is no question that Dunkin’ has benefited from process reengineering, there are other notable success stories including National Geographic, Fort Motor Company, Netflix, Xerox, Hyundai, Old Spice, KFC, and Kelly Blue Book, to name a few.  In each case, according to branding expert Jim Motevelli, the following lessons were learned[1]:

  1. Forget the Sacred Cow.  Even the most respected business cannot rest on its laurels.
  2. Change the concept. Take a step back. Does your basic process model need a makeover?
  3. Think long-term. Delayed gratification can pay off big time.
  4. Look ahead. Search for new platforms and learn to work effectively within them.

Bobby Reagan of Reagan Consulting (, a national insurance consultancy, states, “One of the most important skill sets that insurance agency principals will need to have in the coming years is the ability to adapt and to bring about change that may represent new ways of doing business or ways to bring about needed performance improvement.  As we all know, this is not easily done and requires the ability to cast and sell vision, increase and/or elevate staffing, adapt or reinvent procedures, embrace and expand the use of technology, and much more.  Employees naturally resist change but the resistance to change will be deadly.  Those that can overcome this resistance and achieve needed change will have a material competitive advantage.”

If business process reengineering is to work, an organization must transform[2] from:

  1. Boss to customer focus
  2. Controlled workers to empowered, involved process owners and decision makers
  3. Activity-based work to a results orientation
  4. Scorekeeping to leading and teaching
  5. Functional to process orientation
  6. Complex to simple, streamlined processes
  7. Guarding the status quo to inventing new systems and processes and looking toward the future

Business Process Reengineering Case Studies

I have the honor of working hand-in-hand with a number of agencies that have chosen to utilize Beyond Insurance as a partner in business process reengineering.  While there are many wonderful case studies, I am highlighting RiskSOURCE Clark Theders (West Chester, OH) and Sterling Insurance Group (Sterling Heights, MI).

In 2009, Jonathan Theders, CRA, CHSP, CEO of RiskSOURCE Clark Theders (, felt frustrated and stuck in the commodity trap.

“It was the realization of what we didn’t like about the business (i.e., bid, quote, hope, and pray), that made us realize we needed to reinvent ourselves,” says Theders.  “In January 2010, we drew a line in the sand and committed to hold ourselves to a higher standard…to institute a process, not product-oriented approach to client acquisition and retention, entitled RiskSOURCE™.  The past seven years have been transformational.  While a 98 percent new business hit ratio and only one lost client are great, it is our daily satisfaction of going beyond insurance to gain trusted advisor status that fuels our passion for the future.”

RiskSOURCE Clark Theders was recognized as the 2011 Rough Notes magazine “Agency of the Year.”

After losing a close friend’s account on product and price, Joe Haney, CRA, CEO of Sterling Insurance Group ( reached his breaking point.  Like Theders, he made a conscious decision to redesign and reinvent how his firm performed its daily work.  After instituting RiskPath™ — a proprietary client acquisition and retention platform, the firm coined a term, Rethink™.

“Rethink™ represented a challenge to my staff, clients, prospects, and carriers to change the game so Sterling Insurance Group may deliver a more meaningful customer experience,” says Haney.  “Since we chose to reengineer ourselves, we have seen a noticeable improvement in key performance metrics, our ability to attract and retain talent, and our corporate culture.  RiskPath™ and Rethink™ allow our people to feel better about ourselves.  We are having fun again.”

Five Steps to Business Process Reengineering

I would like to suggest five essential steps to business process reengineering:

Step One – Self-Examination:  While you may have a gut feeling that business process reengineering is needed for your agency, I suggest a diagnostic process focused on an examination of key performance indicators, most noteworthy, organic agency growth and customer experience benchmarking.

Beyond Insurance has a complimentary Organic Growth Agency Survey focused on process reengineering.  You are welcome to contact Matt O’Neill, Managing Director of the Beyond Insurance Institute,, or go to

Step Two – Business Visioning and Goal Setting: Your ability to create a future vision of success is essential to organizational growth.  Visioning will allow you to see yourself at some point in the future, while goals offer a roadmap to reach these visions.  Step Two answers the question, “What is the purpose of reengineering and why are we considering doing it?”

Step Three – Pinpointing Opportunities:  Your decision to reengineer will pay dividends when you are laser-focused on the identification of areas for improvement.

Step Four – All on Board:  Before business process reengineering begins, it is critical that you garner employee buy-in to the future vision and opportunities.  As a leader, you should encourage your team to feel comfortable and confident in voicing opinions.

Step Five – Strategy Map:  A requirement for your agency transformation is a strategy map that spells out the process of reengineering.  Whatever the issue at hand, it should also be judged objectively against industry standards including metrics and best practices.

In today’s increasingly competitive environment, you are wise to rethink who you are and where you want to go.  If your path is fruitful and on target, congratulations.  If not, business process reengineering may be the answer.

About the Author

Scott Addis, CPCU, CRA, CBWA is the CEO of Beyond Insurance and is recognized as an industry leader having been named a Philadelphia finalist for Inc. Magazine’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” award as well as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America.” Beyond Insurance is a consulting firm that offers leadership training, cultural transformation, and talent and tactical development for enlightened professionals who are looking to take their practice to the next level.  Since 2007, the proven and repeatable processes of Beyond Insurance have transformed individuals and organizations as measured by enhanced organic growth, productivity, profitability, and value in the marketplace.



[1] Motavelli, Jim. “About Face: Companies that Reinvented Themselves.” Success magazine, 19 November 2013.


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