MORE THAN JUST OVERHEAD
Insurance and Risk Management, rather than being just another cost you have to cover, can help business owners reach their objectives, believes Dan Workmeister, vice president of Consolidated. With a fresh brand and emerging technology strategy, Consolidated is getting ready to support business owners for many years to come.
Q: Many people think of insurance as a necessary evil rather than a tool for growth. What’s your view on that?
A: At Consolidated, we do not view insurance and risk management as just another overhead expense. We believe you will reach your objectives in the most cost-efficient way when you have a solid risk-management plan with insurance coverage that will provide “a check in the right amount.” Risks to individuals and businesses are lurking around each and every corner. A proactive approach is absolutely necessary. If you prevent unfortunate situations from occurring in the first place, have a plan for mitigating them when they do occur, and are reimbursed by your insurance carrier if necessary, you have a much greater chance of success.
Q: Consolidated has recently undergone a rebranding. How has the brand changed?
A: It was more of a refresh than a change. We operate differently than the traditional insurance agent. This needed to be reflected in our brand. Before we went through the process, we sometimes struggled with clearly articulating how we are different. The refreshing of our brand brought tremendous clarity to the organization.
Q: Why did you decide the change in branding was needed?
A: There are 40 people who work at Consolidated. All of us need to be focused on delivering an exceptional and consistent client experience. This cannot be done without clarity around what we do, how we do it, and why we do it.
Q: How are you getting employees on board with the new brand?
A: We started the process by assembling a committee of employees from different departments and of all different ages. There was employee engagement in the process from the very beginning. A communication strategy was developed with a timeline to make sure the right information was communicated to our staff at the right time. Our office has been redesigned and is a consistent reminder of how we serve our community, which consists of our clients, prospective clients, strategic partners and insurance carriers. My partner, Betsy Korpela, holds customer-experience meetings twice a month where we work on new and better ways to give our clients the attention they deserve.
Q: Technology is changing almost every industry in the country. What role do you see for technology in Consolidated’s future and in the future of your clients?
A: We are looking to use technology to educate our clients and give them access to information when they want it. The days of making your clients come to you for everything during business hours are past.
People want information at times convenient for them. Consolidated is moving toward making this a reality. We are not 100 percent there, but the organization is moving in the right direction.
Q: Throughout your career, you’ve stayed in the Baltimore area. What do you like about working here?
A: I enjoy working in Baltimore because there is not a day that goes by without someone asking me, “Are you related to this Workmeister or that Workmeister?”
I love it and get a kick out of knowing that one day people will be asking my kids, cousins, nieces and nephews “Are you related to Dan Workmeister?”
My family is from Baltimore. We have been here for as long as any of us can remember. It just feels right.
Q: What advice do you have for other executives?
A: Many situations do not call for delegation or a strategy meeting. There are times when the best thing to do is put your head down and work.