ORBiT aims to help brokers get up to speed on workflow efficiency

The Organization for Real-Time Brokers in Transition (ORBiT) started in late 2008, as a group of concerned brokers and associated businesses came together to discuss what they saw as a problem plaguing the broker channel: complacency.

Worried that brokers had been sidelined in discussions about workflows, standards and technology, ORBiT convened working groups touching on a range of processes. Today, password management, real-time payment and inquiry issues top the list.

Although ORBiT began with many more working groups, the organization streamlined its operations quickly. “That surprised us, that it happened so soon,” says Wendy Watson, VP operations at Waterloo, Ont.-based brokerage The Precept Group Inc., and ORBiT co-chair.

Industry observers welcome ORBiT’s advent. In the past, brokers had “no consistent voice,” says Katherine Evans, VP and CFO at York Fire & Casualty Insurance Co. “Insurance companies can’t respond to that. You can’t have 1,000 solutions. I think ORBiT has helped to focus this, and at least get the right people in the room.”

While it started in Ontario, ORBiT is making its mark across the country. “We’ve had ICBC approach us,” Watson says. “We’ve had brokerages from Manitoba approach us.”

The group welcomes all brokers, but it’s also looking for particular BMS users to take part. “We’re really struggling to get CIM-Data brokers,” Watson says. “That means they’re not going to have a voice.”

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the February 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance magazine.

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Transcontinental Media G.P.