There was a time when daily planners were in the hands of every major business owner. They were used to schedule important events, plan out days to improve productivity, and to track an ever-growing list of To-Dos. These planners were very effective individually, but not collectively; how do you share a single daily planner between a small office of 5 people? How effective would that planner be in an office of 10 people? An office of 50? The solution is to find a program that can share even more information in one single location, accessible at any time from anywhere!
Here are 6 reasons why a restoration management database system is essential to your business’ growth:

1. All-In-One Solution

Often, database software wraps features that you already use into one convenient location. For example, you may use a spreadsheet to track job information, an office calendar to keep track of dates and appointments, a filing cabinet to store all job notes, important documents and photos, and you may even collect countless sticky notes as reminders or “To Dos”. How much more efficient would it be to have immediate access to all of that information in one secure location that you could access at any time of day, from any place in the world, all from your computer or smartphone? The future has indeed arrived, as has this convenience.

2. Competitive Advantage

Compare your business practices to a similar competitor. Now, imagine your company receiving more referrals, working faster, completing jobs more efficiently, lowering costs, increasing your revenue, and building deeper trust from insurance adjusters and agents for even more referrals! Would all that give you a competitive advantage? Using a quality restoration management system can easily propel your business practices forward, helping you to “beat the pants” off your competitors.

3. Report Generation

By using a database solution, you can very easily run reports on a great deal of information, all in the blink of an eye! In seconds, you can find out how much money is coming in, what your close ratios are, where the bulk of your referrals are coming from, what types of damages are most common, and so much more. Today, reports are essential to running a successful business, and with a software solution, you may never have to touch a calculator again!

4. You’ve already written it down once. Why write it down again?

Most restoration software packages today offer integration with several other industry tools, such as Xactimate, QuickBooks, and more. Usually, you can enter job information into your software, which in turn automatically pushes the information into other programs based on the settings you provide. This obviously saves you time and money as you avoid double-entry, spelling or numeration errors in transferring information, and more.

5. Permanent Notes

Many restoration management software systems have the ability to store permanent notes for jobs, which can be very useful for several reasons. Often, these notes are time- and date-stamped, meaning that once they are created they cannot be altered or removed. You may use these notes for inter-office communications, email and phone conversations with the customer, to track milestones, and more. In doing this, you can safeguard your company against misunderstandings, as this information cannot be changed! Some companies have even used this as defense in small claims due to miscommunications. By keeping these kinds of notes, you have reliable ammunition going into any situation.

6. Safe and Secure

Let’s face it. We work in an environment where disaster is an everyday part of life. But what would become of your business if your office suffered a similar disaster that resulted in a total loss? Would you know where to pick up the pieces and move on, or would it fatally cripple your workflow? As many restoration management software packages are web-based, your information is not stored in-house; it is stored in a very secure location, accessible from anywhere at anytime. Even if you experience a disaster in your own office, your information will remain untouched, which would be a huge relief. Here’s a very good example:

In August 2011, Hurricane Irene wreaked her havoc along the eastern seaboard of the United States, causing an estimated $19 billion in damage. As professional restoration contractors, Fast Pro Restoration had initially planned on helping people recover from a tragedy, but ironically found themselves in a disaster situation as well as their business was nearly rendered inoperable! While their equipment and vehicles were unharmed, one wall in their office was caved in, and there was significant flooding – the solution? They set up shop in a local hotel lobby and connected to their web-based restoration management software through laptops and smartphones. In an instant, everything was accessible… all of their jobs and files, contacts, notes, pictures, estimates, schedules, job costing… EVERYTHING! They were able to quickly and effectively view everything they needed to start helping the community to rebuild their lives.
Using a restoration management database system is often much more effective, more accessible, and also easier than you may think! Many restoration companies are gravitating towards this kind of system, allowing them to use technology to their advantage over the competition. If you are interested in using software to improve your workflow, be sure to find something that works well for your whole office. It should be simple enough that you aren’t spending more time in training than working, and it should also be affordable enough that it doesn’t become your primary office expense. Many software packages offer a free 30-day trial, which is more than enough to measure the effects. Are you ready to have the advantage over competitors in your market?