Victoria “Tori” Van Dusen-Roos is the Chief Operations Officer of Diversified Brokerage Services. Tori currently serves on the Lifemark Partners Board of Directors as well as the NAILBA Board of Directors,following in the footsteps of her father and brother, both pastNAILBA Chairs and Board members. She also sits on the advisory council for a few different Insurance Companies and has served on numerous NAILBA committees over the years.
When I think about one word to define 2019, opportunity comes to mind. It’s funny. I just glanced at what Chip (my partner and brother, George “Chip” Van Dusen IV) wrote a couple weeks ago in ‘Looking Ahead to 2019’, and he said the same thing. I’m not trying to copy him, but we truly have some fantastic opportunities this year in operations.
Over the past several years we have been laser-focused on growth and development for our operational teams including leadership. We have hired a number of new employees, added new positions and strengthened our teams through our training platforms.
Our business continues to grow and while we would love to experience that growth solely through technology, our people have always been our best asset. DBS is in a very unique space in the insurance industry; our processes and products are complex, and the customers we serve are exceptional. We like to grow and develop our team members from key entry level positions to valued leaders throughout the company, and we have numerous success stories to support this ideology.
Our opportunity here is to continue to refine and improve upon the platforms we have already created and to build on the strengths of our teams, encouraging their growth and development in order to better serve our current and prospective new customers.
For 2019, we have a few key corporate goals for the year, and two of them have a heavy OPS focus. First, we are converting our current agency management system to a new one. We last converted systems in the late 90s and it has served us very well. We have been able to make changes to it and adopt new processes but with the onslaught of the cloud, mobile capabilities
and other technological advances we have come to the realization that we need a new system. This is a very big project to undertake but we have a fantastic team heading it up. Our Executive of Strategy and Innovation, Andrea Brown, is a co-chair of the committee along with Jason Thompson, our IT Manager. Andrea and Jason, along with our other leaders have put together a team
of individuals representing each department to be a part of the workflow process creation and testing of the new system. Implementation will come in the second or third quarter, and the entire company is excited and completely embracing this change. This change will be transformational for our business; the efficiencies and ability to better communicate with our customers is truly
amazing. I am hopeful this new system will allow us to realize my dream of being able to grow with technology and reallocate our staff to even more productive tasks to help our customers fulfill their clients’ needs.
Our second OPS related goal for 2019 is a strategic and process-driven study of our workflows and tasks to maximize efficiencies and capacity. We are looking to take
a Six Sigma approach, which is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement. While we believe we are a leader in the BGA space for service and support there is always room for improvement. We also believe the time to look at improving is not when you’ve fallen down but when you are continuing to soar so you can soar higher.
Challenges have a way of presenting themselves in any industry, and the life insurance industry is no different, but where I like to think we’re different is that we try to find the opportunity that exists with any challenge. We continue to see complexity of products and processes, and when you add in the wave of new underwriting processes every insurance company is attempting to launch, the entire process becomes much more complex. However, DBS has a long history of partnering with our carriers to help navigate that change, starting back in the 90s with our father, George Van Dusen III. Our leadership regularly participates on advisory councils for many different insurance carriers discussing product innovation to process improvements, and we also have
many individuals who are active Board members or who participate on committees and forums for industry groups such as AALU, NAILBA and TCHOU. We are also one of the first agencies to be asked or to raise our hand to participate in pilot programs. All of this enables us to be at the forefront of carrier changes, giving our recommendations for the best in class processes.
We celebrated our 50th Anniversary last year, so we’ve been doing some reflection about where we’ve been the last 50 years and where we’re headed as an organization. I also celebrated my 25th anniversary with the company in 2018, and during this time I honestly didn’t really think about the milestones we might reach along the way but instead have been focused on doing the best I can each and every day. We have been growing slow and steady, each year improving upon the past, and to me that is great success.
We are very blessed and grateful. And, we are prepared. We are prepared for the growth the future is going to bring and we are embracing the opportunities that arise from the challenges we might face.