Customer Spotlight: Vol. 1: James Russell Insurance, “We did not realize how much paper was costing us until we switched to etfile.”

Climbing the Paper Wall- Vol. 1 Case Study: James Russell Insurance

James Russell, President of Russell Insurance Group

Q: Can you provide us with your organization’s background and how you got involved with etfile?

Our offices are in a rural area of Nova Scotia, and finding skilled brokers is a big issue. We have a number of offices in small towns on the coast line and each has brokers with individual skills that we needed to better use if we were able to direct calls, provide backup, but not having the files, especially for commercial was an issue because it was easily mismanaged.

We attended TENCON in 2004 because they announced document management was on its way up (and quite a few doc mgmt. companies would be there).  We heard from Applied that they were integrating with etfile, and decided to wait for that to happen. As soon as it was available we purchased the program, and the first year we scanned about 1 million pages. Once it’s scanned we verify that it’s there and then shred the paper version, because there was no reason to save it for a week or a month.

Q: How has etfile helped your organization accomplish its goals?

etfile gives us the ability to share documents between offices so we can transfer phone calls between offices to match-up the person with the client who calls. And they can access a particular file without physically being at that office.

We’ve never lost a document, couldn’t say that when we had paper. We calculated the amount we were saving at that time when we had two offices, and it amounted to about $60,000 per year.

We did not realize how much paper was costing us until we switched to etfile. It made the decision much easier to go paperless. We sold our filing cabinets and gained a whole bunch of space. We now have five offices, and two people working from home.

On the subject of cost savings and space we’ve gained, etfile gave us more room to put employees and gave us the ability to grow. It’s also made our organization more efficient and easier to look after our clients – when someone calls and we need to access a policy, we have it on-hand immediately. We don’t have to leave the desk to print or send copies. Everything is done within etfile. It has made life easier. Our employee who does all the scanning has said that she would tutor scan paper for five offices, then file paper for one. It is a joy. etfile has enabled us to increase our volume, and increase our employee efficiency, and they have become that way without even realizing it. We used to have piles of paper on peoples desks, and they don’t have that anymore.

Q: Can you tell me your or your organization’s experience with our support team?

etfile had made all of our processes modernized and it works really well. Along the way we hired an IT person and trained them on the process and your product to know the ins-and-outs. I don’t even hear about it anymore, and he has a really good rapport with your support team. He doesn’t often call you guys, but when Applied has an upgrade or something does happen he’ll call up and you are always quick to fix it. The learning curve has been very short, and your product works.

Q: We were speaking briefly earlier and you said that when you found out how much money you could save with etfile, someone was telling you not to let the “cat out of the bag?”

A friend of mine was taking a different route, and thought it was a competitive advantage, so he didn’t want to tell any other brokers about this, and enjoy it for a few years before everyone catches on.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say about etfile?

Well, we hope you don’t do away with the program. We’ll be with you as long as you keep providing your services.


For More Information let us know if you’d like a short demo by contacting us here, or calling (508) 475-4560.