By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

No, I don’t mean my relationship status on social media. I’m talking insurance systems. My cohorts and I live almost every day of our lives eyeballs deep in insurance software implementations. It’s not glamorous or sexy, but as long as people need the help, this is where we’ll be.

One thing for sure is that implementing and testing an insurance system isn’t getting any easier. System sales activity is running at a high level and will continue to grow for the near future. Capital is flowing, and systems are being sold. Companies that have been putting off buying new systems for years are finally moving forward. At the same time, existing implementations continue to struggle, and some companies are jumping ship to new vendors.

But just signing the contract and buying a new system doesn’t make everything okay. All of your problems won’t miraculously disappear. Your new software vendor needs to know how to configure the system for your company. Your company needs to learn how to use the system you just bought. And before any of that, there needs to be some very in depth conversations about rates, rules, forms, print, and user interfaces, just to name a few.

It’s complicated. But it doesn’t have to be. Your software vendor isn’t an expert on the nuances of how you do business. And no one at your company is an expert on the system you just bought. You need someone to bridge the gap. Luckily, there’s plenty of help out there. You just need to look around.

Find a company to help you that makes you feel comfortable. Outside help doesn’t have to come in the form of cold, overly structured, know-it-alls. Find someone who shares your values, your style, and your approach. You don’t need a drill sergeant, you need a partner. I think this fact might be lost in some implementation companies, so make sure you do your homework.

I know bringing in another company to help you, after you’ve just contracted to spend a whole lot of money on a system, might seem like something you’d rather not do. But the choice is yours: Spend it now and have success, or spend more later doing it all over again.

The failed implementations are out there everywhere. Just ask around. The stories aren’t pretty, and the amount of money wasted is immense.

So find your system, hire your partner, and decrease the complication in your implementation.