CTC Transportation Insurance Services (CTC) is one of the largest and fastest growing insurance companies in the nation. Quickbase has been a key facilitator of its accelerated trajectory since 2015, helping to nearly double the number of policies written in that time.
We sat down with CTC’s Lucas Perea, head of IT, and his colleague Stephanie Devine who is the lead developer, to learn how they are using Quickbase to drive a more efficient, agile, and innovative business.
The advantages and challenges of a diverse infrastructure
CTC’s thriving insurance business is a collaborative of companies it owns and works with including: other carriers, a finance firm, risk retention and management groups, an insurance ratings company and a surplus lines program management firm. Together, they enable CTC to provide a broad and competitive range of quality insurance services. Yet CTC’s diverse infrastructure was also hindering the staff’s ability to efficiently track, manage, and report on all the heavily regulated data housed and exchanged by the firm.
Lucas: The trucking insurance business is surrounded by regulation and keeping flawless, long-term records on every transaction across all parts of our business is critical. We must also stay in compliance with continually evolving rules and regulations. Manually integrating data across different point and proprietary systems or making any kind of changes or updates to these core platforms was very difficult. What we needed was a solution that could help us to bridge the gaps between systems and data sources and enable us to easily keep pace with change.
Stephanie: Before Quickbase there was a lot of frustration. We were using spreadsheets and doing a lot of data reentry to share information and collaborate. People were desperate for a better, more efficient, and more connected way to work.
A custom approach without the downsides of traditional development
CTC’s operational complexity made it unlikely that the team would find an out-of-the-box solution capable of standardizing, integrating, and automating the company’s data collection, storage, and processing needs. A custom-built solution was the answer, but past experience with externally sourced, traditionally developed solutions had made CTC executives less inclined to take that road again.
Lucas needed to find another way, and it turned out to be Quickbase—a no-code platform that offered the simplicity and flexibility to build tailored solutions without all the expense and risk of traditional app development.
Lucas: As a Managing General Agency we’re unique, and I knew our solution had to be as well. When I first learned about Quickbase, I wasn’t sure it was the right solution for us until I went to my first EMPOWER convention and was wowed by what it could do. The next year I persuaded our CFO and COO to come with me to the convention.
Somewhere between attending the first and second sessions they were just as sold on Quickbase’s capabilities. They also saw a simpler and more cost-efficient way to solve our challenges with apps we could quickly build ourselves as we needed them. And they recognized the platform’s potential to help us drive an increasingly profitable business with fewer risks and more opportunities for innovation and growth.
Keeping CTC’s workforce productive and connected
Fast forward three years, and virtually every staff member is benefitting from an easier, faster, and more collaborative way to work. At the core of CTC’s secure online Quickbase platform is the Master Policy Register App. It, along with other Quickbase apps, seamless integrations, and automated workflows, have made it possible to optimize all aspects of the business, including enhancing the quality and speed of service to insureds.
Lucas: Insurance is an industry where everything is centered on policy, so any change made by one department will affect all other departments. That means data must be highly integrated and able to easily move back and forth for us to operate effectively. Quickbase’s ability to support the automated extraction and unification of data from multiple internal and external systems now makes it faster and easier to track and manage activity across thousands of policies.
Stephanie: Automated alerts and notifications built into our Quickbase apps also make sure our users hit all the steps in a process, which standardizes and streamlines everything and enables us to deliver fast and consistent service—whether it’s underwriting a policy or addressing a pending cancellation. And Quickbase’s simplicity makes it easy for new hires to ramp up fast.
The platform’s centralized database has made it possible for us to broadcast up-to-the-minute, curated content across TVs installed in each department as well. Employees get a live view of everything from sales figures by region, to action items, to who’s visiting the department. We even have a ticker on the bottom that shows things like upcoming CTC events. It really helps foster a sense of community.
Making things happen with the right reports
Quickbase’s extensive reporting capabilities are also playing key roles in helping the company do everything from delivering winning presentations to providing senior management with custom views of the business for better decision making.
Stephanie: If someone is looking to present to a potential new investor or carrier, we have formula fields to quickly calculate everything there is to know about a program or initiative. From there, we can create convincing visuals using Quickbase’s many chart and graph options.
Lucas: We can also put reports in senior management’s hands that they wouldn’t have imagined possible years ago. The added visibility helps them see the business from all angles for better decision making.
Reducing risk, raising profitability
Reducing risk is an important goal for any business, but for those in the insurance industry it is critical to a company’s viability. If a business cannot show that it is profitable and able to pay claims, then regulators can deem it unstable and force it to shut down. Quickbase has enabled CTC to continue to improve its profitability margins by minimizing losses in a number of ways.
Lucas: One of our biggest risk reducers is our Master Policy Register app which provides one place to reference data for underwriting and policy management. Before we built it, our underwriters had to log into multiple systems just to get the full picture on a policy. Now they can quickly analyze merged policy data and get immediate insight on whether a potential insured will be a good risk.
Stephanie: Another thing we’re doing is helping existing policy holders remain in good standing with things like free electronic driver logs.
The app also interfaces with the Department of Transportation on things like inspections and violations. That information is combined with policy reviews and our records on past claims, cancellations, etc. Because we’ve moved all these workflows into Quickbase, we have so much more transparency throughout our company. It enables us to automatically flag an inspector to schedule a visit with an insured if, for example, a lot of violations start popping up.
Endless possibilities for innovation and competitive gain
Improvement and innovation are always on the agenda, and it’s not just the Quickbase admin and executives who see all the possibilities. More people in all areas of the business are stepping forward with their own ideas about how Quickbase could make their work lives easier.
Stephanie: We’re at that point now where the house is built and they’re like, “Ah, this painting would look really good right there.” My inbox is proof positive that Quickbase is successful within our company. It’s always full because someone’s always thinking of some new way to use it.
We’re currently working on a project that will add a new button on everyone’s home page that is connected to a project management app for Quickbase development. That will make it even easier for users to request app changes and updates. Quickbase helps us stay nimble and innovative without having to rely on another provider.
Lucas: Another idea we have is to use Quickbase data to power a CTC virtual assistant (like Amazon Echo and Alexa devices). This will enable underwriters and agents to quickly get rough quotes with voice commands. Insurance isn’t always the most exciting subject, but we try to keep it fun and interesting. Quickbase is helping us stand out in many ways.