Conducting annual business reviews is essential to any company, but in the restoration industry, it’s the key to success.
When your business thrives on disaster, you need to ensure you’re providing the best service possible, and that you’re learning from each job. Unfortunately, this is a point many companies miss. They stick to “the way we’ve always done it.” They’re happy with mediocrity.
But as they struggle to remain relevant in the market, you’re looking at your past and planning for the future. You’re building the business with your know-how, and you’re seeking advice from restoration industry experts. And that’s why you’re going to be successful.
What’s Behind and Ahead for the Restoration Industry
Understanding what’s come and gone, as well as the way ahead, is critical to success in any industry. We’ve gathered some of the lessons learned in 2018 and predictions for 2019 that have and will continue to impact the restoration industry.
2018 Lessons Learned
The previous year brought plenty of growth to the restoration industry. Restoration and Remediation Magazine conducted research, finding nearly 60% of companies surveyed saw increased revenue.
And while the profits are nice, there was a reason for all the work. Understanding the lessons learned from 2018 will help prepare your company to meet the challenges of the industry.
Disasters Will Strike
Weather has always been difficult to predict, and although forecasting methods have become more reliable, nature’s plans remain a mystery. According to data from NOAA, 2018 featured some of the most devastating disasters to date, with the first half of the year alone seeing over $6 billion in damage across the United States.
The year set records with tornadoes slamming multiple states, a hurricane carving its way from Florida to Michigan, and Death Valley maintaining over 125 degrees for five days straight. Include the devastating wildfires in California and the floods that swamped the east coast, and you’ve found more reason to need the restoration industry.
Technology Is a Requirement
As the world continues into the digital age, the restoration industry is preparing to follow, requiring tools for better documentation, accountability, and customer relationship management (CRM).
We have continued to expand our suite of products that include DASH, Luxor, MICA and Moisture Mapper to create an all-in-one restoration job management software solution. By expanding our platform, contractors found more benefits, including a decrease in repeat data-entry and improved access for everyone involved in a claim.
Recent improvements in computational structure increased the possibilities of weather forecasting. The World Weather Attribution (WWA) project used state-of-the-art climate models to show Hurricane Harvey was made three times as likely to happen because of climate change. The project was able to include variables such as solar radiation, carbon emissions, and aerosols in the atmosphere.
Preparation is Essential
As you’ve already read, disaster can strike at any time, and although we are getting better at seeing it coming, you should always be prepared for these events.
Few were ready for the extent of the California wildfires and flooding on the east coast. Ensuring you have all the processes and systems necessary to allow your mitigation firm to respond is essential. All equipment should be properly maintained as job and field management tools are becoming a baseline requirement to sustain business.
4 Predictions for 2019
While lessons learned provide great insight into how the restoration industry will continue to develop, these four predictions are what the experts at Next Gear Solutions see coming for 2019.
1. Management Demographics Will Change
In 2018, the average age of business owners in general construction trades was 48. This generation was introduced to a mobile world in their 20’s, and over the next decade, the management demographic will be transitioning to one who has only known the connected world. This will drive technological advances into every area within the restoration industry.
2. Tech Will Advance Further
The internet of things will continue to migrate into the world of mitigation with data becoming increasingly automated. Machine learning will transform the way buildings are restored as equipment grows more connected.
Tools like DASH will become necessary for project managers on the go, especially for those working multiple sites.
3. Weather Patterns Will Changes
Extreme late winter events will continue to occur across the north-east of the US and in northern Europe. Late season anomalies with the North Atlantic sea surface are driving these changes, but fortunately, technology will begin to predict storms better than before.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season will yield a slow and below average start as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains idle. The year, however, will likely see unexpected and rapid development of systems in and near the Gulf of Mexico later in the season. These storms will also bring a greater intensification of systems.
4. Industry Standards Will Improve
With any industry, as more services are available, the value provided naturally increases because of market competition. The restoration industry is no different.
Pressure for standardization and open exchange of data will prompt the beginning of a new era in documentation, platform compatibility, and reporting methods. Although the process will take much longer to fully mature, it will serve as a benchmark for future developments.
Using this Information
Understanding how the past affects the industry and knowing what you can look forward to will help drive your business strategy. Study your own systems to learn how you can better prepare for 2019.
If you want to truly set your business up for success, consider upgrading your job tracking software to one that works for you. With DASH, tracking everything becomes intuitive. Create jobs, track your equipment, upload photos, and take voice notes directly in a job’s file. Stop wasting time, hauling mounds of paperwork between your office and jobs. Try a free demo of DASH and see how successful cloud-based project management can make you.
About the Author:
Brandon Burton is the VP of Technical Application at Next Gear Solutions. As a 20+ year veteran of the cleaning and restoration industry, Brandon has focused his passion for the sciences of restoration on advocacy for technical accuracy and efficiency in the water loss mitigation market. He currently serves as the Vice Chair for the ANSI/IICRC S500 Consensus Body.