We had our Annual Internal Conference in June at which we discussed the importance of building a business that is ready for the future, aware of the environment it is trading within and, above all else, client centric. A business that stays relevant.
We left the conference to the sad news that House of Fraser was shutting the doors to 31 of its 59 stores, affecting 6,000 jobs. It had not evolved with the times, it had not kept pace with what its clients wanted or, perhaps more to the point, how they wanted to access it.
Like the retail world for House of Fraser, the broking world, and the insurance sector generally, isn’t getting any easier. There are challenging forces at work out there that require us to pause for thought as we forge a path into the future for our businesses.
Those Challenges Include:
- The economic environment remains frustratingly counterintuitive; despite continued low investment returns and, for many, some of the worst underwriting years on record, rates remain stubbornly low
- The competitive landscape is also a conundrum, with many brokers (and insurers) competing on price to achieve organic (client number) growth at the expense of their bottom line. Whilst acquisitions are also tough with the new age consolidators looking to squeeze insurers for higher commissions to support their feeding frenzy
- Regulatory pressures continue to distract us, with GDPR sorted (for some) and the Senior Manager Certification Regime suddenly on the horizon, with the potential threat of greater transparency from increased commission disclosure also breathing down our necks
- The Political picture brings no relief with the muddle that is more commonly known as Brexit creating heightened uncertainty at home, it is no surprise that investment in the UK economy is under scrutiny causing fears of a slowdown for UK Plc
- Then there is technology, the ultimate disruptor, gaining momentum with big data, analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning set to make 11 million roles (30% of the workforce) across the UK obsolete
As House of Fraser knows, staying relevant is getting increasingly tough. There is more and more to think about to ensure that our businesses stay on track strategically. If we get too distracted in the day to day, the here and now, then we won’t be ready when tomorrow arrives. However, if we don’t manage the here and now, then there might be no tomorrow.
Thankfully at our conference we also went through our plans, vision and strategic plans, but also the various here and now initiatives that will ensure we steer safely through these difficult waters.
They are exciting plans that will see us grow our geographical foot print, extend our specialisms and increase our headcount, whilst constantly evolving and so remaining relevant to and valued by our clients.
If you are less sure about your own business or succession plans and are looking for some certainty or support but in a world that keeps people and clients at the heart of what it does, then perhaps becoming part of the Tasker Insurance Group is an option to explore. Please feel free to message us and we can discuss the options available for you to join us and be part of these plans.