Selecting the Right Employee Benefits Core System Solution

Choosing the right group benefits solution is critical for any insurer, as it significantly affects the user experience, your business efficiency, and ultimately, your success.  

With the rapid pace of technological advancements and escalating expectations of all the stakeholders involved in the digital experience — insureds, customers, brokers, partners, and internal users — selecting a core system that meets your organization’s needs and keeps up with industry trends is essential.  

Here’s an overview of the steps to ensure you select the right group and voluntary benefits solution.  

Assess Your Organization’s Core System Needs 

Before diving into the selection process, it’s crucial to assess your organization’s specific requirements. Start by listing and prioritizing the problems you are trying to solve, and the pain points you want to address.  

Next, consider which features and functionality your employee benefits solution needs to support your business processes. Consider your company’s longer-term goals: Organic growth? Adding new markets, products, or distribution methods?  

Bear in mind that even a “point solution” is likely to have downstream impact on other departments, business processes, and reporting. Planning ahead and communicating with your colleagues makes that impact more likely positive.  

Additionally, you should list future challenges your company will likely face and determine how a new group benefits solution will position you to address them.

Evaluate Core System Features and Capabilities 

Vendor reviews can be overwhelming. When evaluating group benefits solution options, prioritize capabilities that align with your company’s needs.  

Ensure the group or voluntary benefits solution offers scalability, openness, and flexibility to accommodate growth and changes in your business. Cloud-based core systems with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery options are typically more cost-effective than on-premises and cloud-hosted software. These distinctions also can indicate whether the system was built on more contemporary architecture. 

Customization options are essential. Does the vendor offer a “you-build-it-and-they-will-come” platform or is it purpose-built for the group and voluntary benefits market? These different vendor approaches can significantly alter the length and cost of your deployment.  

How will the new system integrate with your existing systems and processes? Application programming interfaces (APIs) in purpose-built employee benefits solutions can accelerate integrations via experienced staff and prepackaged content and software development kits, minimizing disruptions and ensuring seamless operations. 

Choose a group benefits solution that you can configure — and reconfigure — to your requirements, allowing for a more effective and efficient solution now and later. No-code/low-code tools and preconfigured group and voluntary benefits content can save time and effort on your implementation and liberate resources and talent for other purposes and projects. 

Choose the Right Vendor 

Choosing the right vendor is as important as the right group benefits solution. Start with the obvious: Is the vendor adding new customer logos? Expanding within its customer base? Are they thriving or treading water?  

Research the vendor’s reputation and industry expertise. Look for analyst reports, case studies, and customer references, and reach out to your professional network to gauge the quality of their products and services, and their actual impact on customers’ business. 

Quality customer support, service level agreements (SLAs), and ongoing assistance are critical factors in your decision. Ensure the vendor offers comprehensive support during and after implementation to help your company maximize the benefits of the group benefits solution. 

Inquire about the vendor’s implementation process and timeline. This information can help you understand how long it will take to transition to the new system fully and what resources you will need throughout the process. 

Lastly, consider the vendor’s commitment to innovation and staying up to date with industry trends. A vendor that continuously invests in research and development will ensure your group benefits solution remains relevant and effective over time. Selecting a vendor focused on employee benefits maximizes that value and ensures research and development resources are not diluted among other insurance verticals. 

Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination 

Choosing the right group benefits solution is a crucial decision for your company’s success. By carefully assessing your needs, evaluating group benefits solution features and capabilities, and choosing the right vendor, you can position your company — and yourself — for measurable success. But success is a journey, not a destination. 

Ensure your group benefits solution remains effective and relevant by regularly reviewing and optimizing your core system’s performance, staying informed about industry advancements, and maintaining a strong relationship with your vendor.  

Ultimately, investing time and effort up front can yield significant benefits. From increased efficiency and productivity to better decision-making and enhanced customer satisfaction, the right group benefits solution can drive your company’s success and make you future-ready to stay ahead of the competition. 

For a deeper exploration of core system considerations, download our white paper, “Build vs. Buy. 

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