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Industry Leader Interview – Mark Orton, Prism Network

A nationwide company based in the Midlands – Prism Network serves both the commercial and domestic market – focussing on disaster recovery and repairs within the building and motor insurance areas.


1. How did you get to where you are today? 

 In a nutshell? Perseverance, a burning desire to succeed, a commercial mindset and an obsession with improving customer experience.

I graduated from the University of Bedfordshire with a degree in Leisure Management.

My university experience ignited my passion for sport, but I quickly realised there was no money in it for me. Hungry to succeed, I thrived in a number of roles including retail branch management and software IT sales – until I started buying and selling properties, becoming self-employed at 27 as a bona fide property developer.

This led to a move to New Zealand in 2005, managing large-scale land development, in a country that shared the same native tongue!

Hit hard by the 2008 market crash, I came back to the UK. Against the background of the economy – I saw the opportunities in the insurance sector – so in 2010, I set up Prism Network.  

2.What’s the biggest challenge facing your sector of the industry?

Undoubtedly, it’s the need to adapt to the ever-rising expectations of our customers, which incidentally are being met by organisations beyond the insurance sector.

Customers are comparing the experience they get from companies like mine, to the brands that most deliver against their needs and wants, like Amazon for example.

It’s a huge challenge – but one that excites me.

3. How are you and your business dealing with this? 

Experience has taught us that all parties want us to move with a sense of urgency – whether that’s the insurance company or the policy holder. So, with that in mind, we always work at pace, knowing the first 24 hours after a flood, or a motor accident, can radically shape the final outcome for our customers.

Secondly, we continually look to exploit technology to enhance the customer journey. For example, mobile video capability to capture what’s happened at an incident – speeding things up and reducing fraud. And also using apps to keep our customers updated every step of the way.

And finally, we work hard to streamline our processes – reducing the number of people involved in a claim. This cuts down costs too, which makes everybody happy.

4. Out of your business achievements, what are you most proud of and why? 

Setting up Prism Network eight years ago and watching it grow and thrive exponentially into the company it is today.

I was a relative late-comer to the insurance sector back then, so I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved in an industry that was new to me.

But I’ve always been obsessed with making the customer experience a great one – whatever business I’ve been in, and that’s a key contributor to the success of Prism Network.

5.What advice would you give to anyone starting out in the industry?

In my experience, the insurance sector is occupied by people who’ve been there a long time. This is fantastic from a knowledge perspective – I come across lots of very experienced and savvy individuals who are experts in their field.

However, there’s immense value in being able to look things with a fresh pair of eyes. So, my tip would be to question everything, don’t accept the status quo and be prepared to adapt.

6. If you could change anything what would you do to make the insurance industry “Better tomorrow”?

I’d like to see the insurance industry focus on revolutionising the customer journey – just like the aviation sector have.

The opportunity to differentiate ourselves through a stronger customer experience is huge and growing.

Key to doing this, is understanding our customers better through intelligent data, exploiting technological advancements, and stripping out the layers of process involved in the customer journey.

All of that will not only boost customer satisfaction levels, but also boost profitability too. It goes hand in hand.

7. What’s your top tip for being productive?

I like to think I’m productive because I’m constantly reviewing my ‘to-do’ list against my objectives. There’s no point doing a task that doesn’t fulfil your objectives. This allows me to prioritise effectively too.

Secondly, I’ve built a team of people around me, who I trust implicitly. That allows me to delegate with confidence – and empowers them to do a great job.

8. What gadget can’t you live without?

My smart phone. It’s the door to my life – let alone my business. Like most people, it helps me to know everything, from where I’m supposed to be, to what the weather will be like!

9.Talent or Perseverance?  

If forced to pick one, it would be ‘perseverance’ – but within a framework of training and support.

I think people who’ve got the grit and determination to succeed, can thrive in most situations.

10. What do you do to switch off or escape from work?

Firstly, I’m a father of three school-aged children, so seeing to their needs and ferrying them from cheerleading to football, keeps me very busy indeed!

Secondly, staying on the theme of sport, I’m a qualified UEFA football coach and a regular at my local gym.

And finally, I love to travel, and aim to see at least two new countries each year. Later in 2018, I’ll be heading to Bali, which I’m very much looking forward to.