Benchmarking can be a powerful tool to strengthen business, stay on top of trends and determine best practice. For leading aggregator, Astute
, providing a platform for brokers to get together and compare notes is an important part of what they offer members.
For Brad Wood
, director of Astute, benchmarking isn’t just about gathering statistics. He told Australian Broker
that it is about getting brokers and businesses together to open up a discussion.
“One of the things we find is that each members’ business is different, which is why we find our more informal, open-discussion-based format works better for our members than the hard data you can get out of more formal benchmarking formats. Every business wants to improve and it is the sharing of ideas – of how brokers have achieved their own success – which allows us to develop best practice and better business," Wood said.
Wood said benchmarking and peer-to-peer business sharing can vary in structure from one broker to another.
“There is no one way of achieving it. Each person does it in their own way and at their own pace. Businesses all have their own ambitions and Astute’s business development days are there to facilitate people to benchmark against each other, learn from each other, ask questions and hear success stories.”
Astute runs at least three business development days each quarter in each state, as well as a national conference at the end of each year. Wood said that the company's brokers see significant benefits in benchmarking, and he encouraged more aggregators and brokers to get involved.
“Our members are very open to sharing ideas. The market for brokers is big at the end of the day, so there is no concern about ‘stealing’ clients. They are there – and are keen – to help each other. A lot of our members will even go and visit other members who are interstate. We had one broker in Brisbane fly to Sydney and visit four or five offices just to see how they operate day-to-day, and compare this to his business and get ideas. Our members certainly see the benefit in being open and benchmarking against each other.”