Electronic Chat with Todd Greenbaum
Bill Sinn | April 11, 2019
Name: Todd Greenbaum
Title: President, CEO
Company: Input 1
Number of years in the insurance business?
Provide a little background on yourself. How did you get started with Input 1?
When I was 16, my grandfather asked me to write a piece of software to run a new business he had just started. I didn’t have any education in writing code but I liked it, so I took on the project. Throughout the rest of high school and while attending UCLA I finished the application and started to learn the operational aspects of the business. As the years progressed, I put together a team of people who helped me grow the business in all aspects (operations, accounting, sales, marketing, etc). I purchased the business from my grandfather in 1999. I’ve been working at Input 1 for my entire career.
How would you describe Input 1? What makes the company unique?
Input 1 is a technology-enabled billing and payments company. Our greatest asset is the discipline we exercise to ensure that we know the details of anything we get into. Insurance is a complex business and taking the time to understand (a) the operational details that safeguard the business and; (b) the needs of the carriers, agents and policyholders at a very granular level – means that our solutions address the business needs in a very strategic way for the long term.
What has been your vision – your overall strategy -- for making Input 1 the company it is today?
My vision has always been to bring our exceptionally disciplined and detailed set of services and technology to our customers and, in turn, help them improve their efficiencies and the welfare of their customers.
What challenges and barriers have you had to overcome?
Not taking on any outside capital means that we live and die by the sword. Since our war chest is smaller than other companies that have raised tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, we can afford fewer mistakes. So, we have to be right more often.
Optically, it can appear that larger companies are more capable or more sophisticated. In practice, if you’re an expert on your subject matter, you are great at what you do and your team is excited about the product, nothing could be further from the truth. It’s not always easy to convince prospective customers of this. We have to fight harder than our larger competitors in order to prove ourselves even though our solution may be significantly better than what our competitor is proposing and, often times, less expensive and can be implemented more quickly.
With all of that said, we love the challenge and when our customers see what we bring to the table, it is rewarding for everyone.
Looking back 30+ years, is there anything you would have changed or done differently?
If I could turn back the clock 10 years, I would have hired more sales people earlier on. We were too conservative in building out our sales and marketing effort. We should have invested more time and money in those initiatives, and although we are making excellent headway today, I believe we would have broader exposure today had we done that.
What part has technology played in the growth of the company?
Technology has been foundational to our organization since inception. You asked me earlier what my vision was, and I said it was to bring disciplined and detailed services and technology to our customers so that they can help their customers. This can’t be done without great technology.
Our clients look to us to help them grow their business by revolutionizing the customer experience and solving inefficiencies. We monitor customer requests and customer behavior and we identify non-value-added processes. We share our findings with our technology team and work with them so that our platform supports the business as it evolves, enriches the customer experience and lowers costs.
What do you think Input 1 does differently (or better) than other finance/billing companies?
We are not aware of any one company that has addressed every element of the billing and payments process. There are billing solutions that don’t handle payments and there are even more payment solutions that don’t handle billing. Moreover, in each of those disciplines, many solutions don’t handle all aspects. Billing solutions are rigid, and many payments solutions don’t integrate in a thoughtful and logical way.
We can solve the entire value chain. We can bill with unlimited flexibility. We can collect and process payments for anything billed. We can offer installment billing, pay in full and premium financing without having to source other vendors or partners. With our solution, it’s all in the box. This is very powerful – and it’s peak efficiency.
As a single provider of billing, payments and financing, our customers reduce integration headaches and operational redundancies and at the same time they receive a better price because they aren’t having to work with multiple vendors.
Has the insurtech revolution impacted your world in any way? If yes, how?
The insuretech revolution has reset the thinking that insurance carriers have about implementing better technology. It’s important because the insurance industry can no longer afford to lag behind banking and other financial service sectors.
As a technology-enabled service provider, this elevated awareness and interest has opened many doors. We are speaking to more companies than ever before about solving their efficiency problems and bringing valuable and intuitive digital components to the customer experience.
What major technology do you think will have the biggest impact to insurance over the next five years?
To me, IoT devices make a significant impact on the insurance landscape. It’s one thing, for example, to predict how an automobile driver of a certain profile will drive their vehicle, but it’s another thing entirely to know how they are driving. It’s one thing to develop a formula to predict leaks in the piping system of a home and it’s another thing entirely to know when it happens and be able to limit the damage.
While these are not new things, as IoT devices become more ubiquitous, the amount of data available to make risk-based pricing decisions is greater. This will reduce inefficiencies in the allocation of capital in the market. Reliable and targeted pricing will make insurance affordable for more people and more businesses.
If you could change one thing in the insurance world today, what would it be?
I would like to see even greater resources deployed to reduce fraudulent claims. Insurance fraud is, arguably, the most expensive component of an insurance premium. A material reduction in insurance fraud, aside from being the right thing to do, will make insurance more affordable and allow more people and businesses to be properly insured. From both a business and a moral standpoint, nothing is more important.
What is your passion outside of Input 1?
Music and wine. I am an amateur musician in a rock cover band and I own a small winery.
Do you have any words of advice for today’s insurance IT/business leaders?
Constant change is here to stay. Embrace it.
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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.
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