CIS Group

An Attitude to Outwork Any Problem

CIS Group empowers insurance carriers and finance companies with superior field operations and data collection. With a track record of conducting over 55 million property inspections and claims across the United States, CIS Group presently caters to most major property and casualty insurance companies in the U.S. 

In 1994, Michael Stanley, founder of CIS Group, was working as regional production manager inside the offices of a top three insurance carrier. The carrier was facing challenges within their underwriting division, specifically around cost and resource management, and was considering outsourcing the on-site underwriting risk assessment. 

The carrier approached Michael and inquired about his interest in launching a company to support their field underwriting division. Michael Stanley, his wife Summer and another founding partner, established CIS Group in the fall of 1995 with the mission statement, "One at a Time. On Time. Every Time" that continues to ring true nearly 30 years later. By embracing every opportunity that came their way and investing their earnings back into the company, they transformed their small business into the most extensive provider of insurance underwriting field and appraisal services nationwide.

Company Culture Can Change as Middle Market Companies Grow

CIS Group began as a small, family-run business, and several team members have been employed there since day one, including most of the executive team and senior leaders. As the company grew and entered the middle market, its culture naturally evolved. Similar to many middle market companies, balancing its core values with the demands of a more corporate atmosphere is a challenge that CIS Group faced as it grew. CIS Group’s culture was nurtured in a small business, family-owned environment and built on adaptability.
In 2012, CIS Group acquired Alamo Claim Services and began to offer independent claims adjusting services. These services included everything from inside desk to catastrophe claims adjusting. With the addition of an independent claims adjusting vertical, CIS Group was ,and is to this day, uniquely positioned in the insurance field services space by offering complete insurance policy life cycle solutions.
The foundation of adaptability has been advantageous for the company as they have grown their clientele base to include Fortune 500 companies. As CIS Group began working with high-profile, higher-risk clients,  the company was forced to be flexible in complying with strict rules and regulations of those clients.  

CIS Group Learns from Working with Larger Companies

Working primarily with large Fortune 500 and Fortune 50 companies has been a valuable experience for CIS Group, allowing them to learn and adopt effective business practices. Being challenged by these companies has helped CIS Group to grow in numerous ways. For instance, they have benefited significantly from the training received from larger companies. This training will undoubtedly be useful as they work with other companies that require similar training in the future. Larger companies typically have refined their processes, which directly contributes to their success. Middle market companies can learn and grow from that example.

 Similarly, large-sized companies value working with middle market companies, because they appreciate the feedback and support that smaller companies offer for their initiatives. 


Thinking Creatively Inside the Box

The box is what CIS Group does, and it’s what they’re good at. CIS Group works hard to exploit every efficiency that can be actively managed inside the box. The company has a strong understanding of what they do well for their middle market clients and focuses on staying ‘inside the box’. That is, CIS Group stays centered on creativity and evolving within their expertise. They focus on enhancing and expanding their capabilities within their niche. For middle market companies, this approach is particularly important as they excel in their respective areas.

“The ability to consistently perform well and explore innovative solutions within their specialty is critical to their growth and progress.” – Michael Stanley

As a middle market company themselves, it’s important for CIS Group to differentiate themselves in order to stay competitive. To do this, they’ve organized their company into several client verticals:

Claims Management: This vertical focuses on specialty claims, inside resource management and hybrid claims services. Specialty claims, specifically property claim appraisals, is their fastest growing line and represents significant opportunity within the market.

Underwriting Field Services: This is CIS Group’s, primary differentiator in the market. Financial and IT infrastructure requirements prevent smaller firms from competing for large national contracts. Through digital transformation, including predictive analytics and AI, CIS Group can leverage these new technologies for their underwriting algorithms. Along with aerial imagery and DIY applications, these digital transformations are replacing the need for traditional on-site field inspections.

Advice For Fellow Middle Market Companies

“To stay ahead of the curve, it's essential to invest in fundamental aspects such as human resource functions, accounting controls and risk management systems. It's crucial to maintain a balance between managerial capability and capacity while doing so. Additionally, effective leadership is critical. Misaligned or dysfunctional leadership can lead to underperformance. CIS Group understands the significance of having strong management for day-to-day operations. They provide their employees with goals, boundaries and training, allowing them to focus on producing quality work.” – Michael Stanley

What’s Next for CIS Group

“CIS Group is well-positioned and ready for our next chapter. While the demand shock of the pandemic and supply chain challenges that followed were certainly challenging, CIS Group emerged a leaner, more predictable company with a more diversified revenue stream. Successfully navigating the most challenging, unprecedented event of our careers brought great confidence to the organization -  confidence in our process, our strategy and our team.” – Chris Long, Chief Strategy Officer, CIS Group