Adrian Thornycroft blog: embrace the change and join the digital journey

Welcome to my first LM TOM blog – I’m picking up the baton from Shirine Khoury-Haq to update you about the programme in my role as LM TOM Programme Director. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many of you since 2015 when I joined the programme and it has been an interesting and rewarding journey. Like most journeys, the LM TOM’s has not been completely smooth and we still have some way to go. But we have made great progress.

The LM TOM is all about change, of which there’s been a fair amount recently, and not just in terms of new technology. Clare Lebecq became the CEO of LMG late last year, Sheila Cameron was appointed as CEO at the LMA in January, we have several new LM TOM Steering Board members and John Neal took over the sponsorship of the LM TOM on an interim basis following the departure of Shirine.

Take stock
Understandably, John decided that it was time to take stock of where the programme is, what it has achieved and what it still needs to do. He decided the best way to do this was to ask Deloitte to carry out an independent review. The hard work we’ve all put into the programme in phase one has been recognised in the review with Deloitte describing the LM TOM as a unique and powerful coming together of the market around a common cause – the need to modernise.

There has been a massive shift in the way that the market works with PPL - forty per cent of risks are now bound electronically and we are able to use SDC to get the data off these slips. We’re also making a big difference to coverholder business by processing delegated authority business more efficiently through DA SATS.

The LM TOM is a transformative programme to digitalise the market. It’s not just about new technology though, it’s about learning new skills to make our jobs easier and more efficient so that we can be more productive and more creative, give a  faster and better service and seize new business opportunities. Now we have solutions like PPL, SDC and DA SATS we can adapt our working practices to achieve this.

Business benefits
I’m delighted to say that some firms have done this and are seeing the business benefits, but, as the Deloitte review highlighted, we do need greater focus on integration and achieving business benefits. For example, while SDC provides standardised data to multiple systems and processes across the market we have been getting feedback that some in the market think SDC doesn’t work because the data doesn’t always flow into systems. We have investigated this and understand that there are several reasons why some of the data coming through isn’t meeting the standards set by the MRC guidelines. We are working on sensible solutions to resolve this – and I will share further details when we have more clarity.

Amazing effort
Thank you for the amazing effort to drive usage of  PPL but at the same time, and with the greatest respect, I must point out that to get the benefits you will need to use it for the full placement process, not to just back-load risks at the final stage of the process. We do hear that, while PPL is fit for purpose as a placing platform, it isn’t perfect and will continue to listen to feedback to improve it further.

It will make it so much easier to share the data across the market once coverholders upload data to DA SATS. We’re going to make DA SATS a dual platform for managing agents and the company market and we’ll get this done as soon as possible. And we are also working alongside firms that use an alternative reporting platform so that DA SATS can be used to ensure a seamless flow of data.

Get ready for adoption
Chorus, which is replacing Atlas and BAR, will be launched in Q3 of this year. We’ve worked closely with Lloyd’s on this solution and we’re hosting events, workshops and training sessions to get the market ready for adoption.

Claims, as you know, is the subject of much discussion. We need to make sure that we get the right solution for the market so we are going to work on this with an independent, strategic partner.

New skills
Change isn’t easy - a lot of us will have to develop new skills and get creative to get the best out of a digital market. But perhaps an example to show it can be done - one of my hobbies is leading a trail running group and it wasn’t that long ago that organising a new 10-mile run meant plotting a route on a map, sending out detailed directions to everyone on where to meet and taking the map with me. Laborious, time-consuming and confusing. Now, I can find and create new routes in minutes and use my phone to navigate using Strava, pin drop the meeting place on Google Maps and share it on the WhatsApp group. Easy, quick and fun. And we don’t have the endless ‘opinions’ about which turn to take because we don’t get lost.

So embrace the change, join London’s digital journey and don’t get left behind. This really is an opportunity to transform the market so make sure you are with us – it’s never too late to join the journey.