Pearl & Associates

Company: StaffwareCustomer: Pearl & AssociatesSubmitted by: Spreckley Partners LtdDate: December 2000Pearl & Associates Ltd. has carved out a successful niche in the insurance industry as a broker, marketer and third party administrator. Headquartered in Peoria Heights, Ill.

, the company sells and administers a range of insurance products, mainly by marketing to membership-based associations and professional groups such as lawyers. How effectively the sales and marketing process is operating can make or break the business.John P. Pearl started the company in 1953. Today Pearl & Associates ranks in the top ten mass marketing, third party administrators in the United States. Gary Pearl is now Pearl’s CEO and carries forward his father’s reputation as an innovator.

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“Innovation is key to our companies philosophy and successæstaying ahead of the market and our customers’ needsæ is a traditional legacy for the company,” said Pearl, president and CEO. Along with success and growth, Pearl & Associates became challenged with organizational structure to support innovation. “With three divisions and separate sales and administrative systems, it was lagging behind in providing customer- and product-specific information for sales and marketing action and management review.””The systems we had in place were not keeping up with the company’s growth or the need for real-time, shared information,” said Pearl.The challenge for Pearl & Associates was to find a system to manage customer-focused applications while continuing to utilize its legacy databases.

The solution was to plan for the future with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) so the company would have a firm but flexible foundation for another 47 years of business.

The Solution

Pearl & Associates’ management team put together business and IT requirements, which would drive the selection of the right CRM solution. Through an extensive selection process and evaluation of multiple products, Staffware eCRM was selected. “In our search for a CRM solution, Staffware eCRM was a clear leader as it provided functionality right out of the box,” said Pearl. “Unlike other CRM vendors, Staffware allows you to easily configure and maintain the system.

“Pearl’s key requirements were integration and communication with their existing legacy databases. This required a merger with Staffware’s database-independent client management system. This meant Pearl ; Associates could save prior investments and present resources.For Pearl ; Associates’ field force, it was important that the CRM system allow for easy access to and understanding of complicated rate structure and qualifying information. Staffware eCRM —which was easily customized to Pearl & Associates’ multi-faceted sales process—provides contact profile, history and n-tiered relationships along with automated quotes and contract generation and other sales- and management- support features.

With Staffware eCRM, customer application entries, policy renewals and cancellations and policy renewal solicitations were simplified, allowing the field force to reach new customers with the time saved.”In addition to a more efficient sales process, I can push a button and see what the sales are today and how much it cost to get them,” said Pearl. “This is a great management tool.”The Staffware Executive Information System gives Pearl ; Associates valuable informationæ in an easy-to-understand graphical format æon performance, productivity, costs, and other measurements that make it possible to strategically plan for the future or move on a dime.Because Pearl ; Associates handles its own marketing program, including direct mail, advertising, company Web site and telemarketing, it is vital to track the marketing process for sales interaction and for management control. “The Staffware Marketing Automation module not only tracks every lead, it allows me to assess the success of a campaign,” said Pearl.

“Did that advertisement or mailing work? I can quickly determine if it did or didn’t, and change accordingly.”

The Future

Important to Pearl ; Associates is that Staffware works hand-in-glove with the company on customization, training and the company’s goal of integrating and implementing Staffware in an enterprise-wide commitment. Yet, the system is being maintained and guided by Pearl & Associates.Looking forward, Pearl & Associates will be integrating Staffware Customer Service Automation with its sales and marketing system. “Having an immediately accessible and comprehensive historical record will allow us to improve customer care and cross-sell the variety of products we offer,” said Pearl.

In conjunction with Staffware, Pearl & Associates is developing an e-business strategy that includes servicing via its Web site the 5000 to 7000 independent agents marketing the company’s products.Pearl ; Associates operates in a highly competitive and complex market. The investments and strategic mission of Staffware eCRM will enable a competitive advantage for Pearl in the future. “Staying nimble, being proactive to customer and market needs is key to our continued growth,” said Pearl “Staffware is key to helping us manage and facilitate our growth.”