50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2018
A Revolutionary Surety Bond Processing System That Significantly Reduces the Cost of Executing and Managing Surety Bonds Efficiently
Dennis Steckler, Founder & CEO
Patrick McGinty, Co-Founder & President
“We digitally connect the world of surety by enabling seamless communication among and between obligees, principals, and sureties.”
Founded in 1999, InSure Vision Technologies (IVT) had grown to be the largest network in the industry. It was the developer of a web-based surety bond processing system, SurePath that gives agents and clients an easy-to-use interface and also provides the latest in technology and interactive internet services.
Since its inception, IVT had developed several US-based cloud-based networks under the brand name, “SurePath”. For 19 years, SurePath had been a dominant and widely used surety bond processing network in the insurance industry. In 2017, IVT was acquired by the Steckler Group and renamed as SuretyWave. In addition, SuretyWave executives began to transform SurePath into a “digital pure play” business model.
Building upon the original IVT business model and extending it to the digital world with new technologies, SuretyWave acknowledges the vision and market success that IVT founders, Pam Stocks, and Bev Hall, made in ebonding and are pleased to have them on its advisory board.
After the acquisition of IVT, SuretyWave started its journey with a brick and mortar business and within three months began virtualizing the business with all employees working remotely, reducing company expenses and improving worker productivity by eliminating lost time to commuting.
SuretyWave removed the technology responsibilities out of the company and created an IT services company to support SurePath and other clients in its sister company, Digital Business Creations. The company’s next project was to put the older version of SurePath on a Microsoft Azure cloud platform that would provide the company with an agile operating platform for further digital expansions and stronger security and reliability. Next, SuretyWave’s IT organization began rewriting a more automated and intelligent SurePath in.Net.
In-Conversation with the Co-Founders, Dennis Steckler and Patrick McGinty:
Q. In this modern business world, what do you exactly mean by “A Smart Company”?
Every business is complicated but if you are fortunate enough to be staffed with dedicated staff that work day in and out to deliver the state-of-art products and services, keeping customers at the center, then you can call it a Smart Company.
In the insurance industry, there is a catchphrase that an agent always selects the company that is “easiest to do business with.” And today, being customer-centric and the easiest to deliver bonds to stakeholders require adaptive digital technologies such as omnichannel, cloud, blockchain, XBRL standards, analytics, and mobility. All of these technologies combined with delivering surety bond processing on a 24/7 SaaS subscription basis, provides a casual, yet professional experience to our entire SurePath user base.
Q. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you formulate your own core values?
Transforming a stodgy specialty insurance sector into a digital ecosystem that supports surety bond transactions, SuretyWave is leading the industry. With our quarterly “Town Halls,” we are changing our relationships with our customers into “client partners.” Our system slate continuously adds whatever our client partners want to add to SurePath Digital.
We are taking work-in-progress (WIP) reports from contractors (principals) and transitioning them into XBRL. To handle the US financial transactions, we use a tool that converts MS Excel and PDF WIP reports into XBRL for HTML financial analytics. To visually see the construction progress at moments in time, we are also planning to add video-equipped WIP reports.
Q. What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
In the 20 years journey of SurePath, it has always had loyal customers that are growing in excitement based on what they see as technology enhancements. While SurePath was intentionally developed for agents and brokers (distribution), the sureties (underwriters) are now coming to SuretyWave for surety technology services.
Q. What makes your brand one of the SMARTEST?
At SuretyWave, we keep customer at the top of our priority list and we always listen to our customers, which definitely makes us one of the smartest companies.
Also, we are pushing the envelope on innovation and are entertaining new investment to get them to market quickly. Our proprietary product, SurePath Digital is another factor that makes us a smart company. It is already a brand in the surety processing market and we believe that we are the next wave of surety bond processing in the industry. The SurePath Digital’s platform makes it easier for our employees to respond to customer service questions and our IT team to create new features anywhere in the world.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be launched? Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We are adding new features to our current proprietary product, SurePath system and we will be launching the updated SurePath Digital in October 2018; Latin America 4Q2018.
Looking in the future, with new innovations in development, we believe that SurePath Digital will be the “destination point” for surety bond solution to the construction and surety markets globally