Sircon Impacts Insurance Industry
Internet technology has changed the way we live our lives. Online services have made everything from research to shopping faster and easier. Through the Web, Sircon has brought that same efficiency to the insurance industry. Recently named one of the Michigan 50 companies to watch, Sircon is utilizing today’s Internet technology to develop a nationally known powerhouse of services.“Even though Sircon is this Lansing-based company, we’re national. Our customers are nationwide. We just happen to be headquartered here,” Robert Nero, president and CEO of Sircon, said. “We are all about online services. We are exclusively in insurance and almost all of our revenue is derived from online services.”
Producer lifecycle management, or PLM, is the most popular of these online services. Made up of several separate concentrations (such as contracting, licensing, appointment renewals and continuing education), the full-service model helps producers acquire and maintain all the necessary requirements to sell and operate within the insurance industry. Producers, or insurance salesmen, use Sircon on the Internet as their vehicle for fast and convenient service. As a result, Sircon is viewed nationally as the leader and innovator of PLM.
“There is a wide range of ways in which the industry interacts with these producers,” Nero said. “We offer a way through all that which makes it very convenient, very efficient, very fast and very agreeable both for the industry and the producers.”
The insurance industry is made up of four different entities; in addition to the individual producers, there are insurance carriers, regulators and agencies. Sircon provides service to them all. Currently, the company has the more producers nationwide than any other provider, and services 1,500 insurance carriers throughout the country.
Even well-known, national names are turning to Sircon for help. In a case study released by Sircon, GEICO insurance company sought to find a technology solutions provider to computerize a handful of labor-intensive processes. The key was to find one provider to automate and supply technology, a provider that could deliver speed and accuracy while maintaining their high level of customer service. The solution was simple—Sircon. With the help of Sircon’s software platform, GEICO’s data are now 98 percent compatible, which translates to fewer submission errors and fewer chances for a market conduct filing.
With such growth and recognition, it may be difficult to believe that the company got its start just 13 short years ago. In 1994 Sircon began as Innovative IT Solutions, developing a suite of software solutions. By 1997 the company had developed a service tailored to expedite key processes on the commercial side of the industry. And there Sircon found their niche. Last year alone, Sircon increased their customer base by 37 percent.
The growth and success of the company is a result of the Internet’s own accessibility and growth. “The Web has been a major advantage to the industry,” Nero said. “Using the Web, [customers] are able to accomplish things today with us in hours or minutes that used to take weeks.”
For Sircon, growth is not an option, it is a consequence. By simply continuing to meet the needs and demands of their customers, Sircon’s services have continued to expand and increase.
According to Nero, the growth of the company is not the issue. The challenge lies in recruiting. With a current staff of 90, Sircon is looking to hire new employees this year. However, the lack of recruits and required talent is making hiring a difficult task.
“We spend a lot of time thinking about recruiting,” Nero said. “At the core of our company is pretty solid technology, so we’re always looking for developers; at the moment we’re looking for Web talent. We are recruiting very actively right now, using all the means at our disposal.”
One of the means utilized is Michigan State University. Sircon has developed an internship program where students from MSU work for the company for a short time. While there, the students gain experience in working with technology and possibly the opportunity at a job position.
“It’s a great opportunity for them and for us to be able to evaluate talent,” Scott Morrison, Sircon vice president of marketing, said. “It provides a base for us because we have recruited and hired some of those students after they graduated.”
While some people think there is not much career opportunity in IT, others, like Nero, believe it is still a terrific career—especially in Michigan. And with the current depletion of the state’s automotive industry, Michigan ITs may just be the state’s answer for a growing economy.
“Michigan probably has far more companies like us than is generally known. Far more jobs are being created in companies of our size when added up in total than in the biggest companies that you can name,” Nero said. “Companies like Sircon really [are] the center of job creation in Michigan.”
Robert Nero, president and CEO
2112 University Park Dr., Okemos