The Insurance Restoration Industry has been changing for years. So what will 2016 bring and how should you prepare for it? As we reflect back on 2015, which was relatively quiet from a weather perspective, but a big year for some large franchisors who made the commitment to embrace real-time transparent job management through the DASH platform. More than ever, restoration contractors find themselves at even keels with little competitive advantage. While we continue to see more companies embracing the DASH platform as their preferred claims management system, what can be done to draw differentiation through transparency and real-time management?

Today, claims performance not only means responding to claims quickly to prevent secondary damage and reduce claim severity, but more importantly it means reporting on those claims. The days of turning in handwritten reports that are illegible, open to improvised data, and take days to upload into the system are quickly coming to an end. More than ever, our society is not only embracing information at the speed of now, it is demanding it.

Today, managing time constraints and supporting mitigation efforts through proper reporting guidelines make up a larger part of a restoration contractors schedule. Only the companies that have managed to streamline these administrative requirements with the use of technology will prevail. As mentioned earlier, as we continue to move further into the digital age, how can restoration professionals create distance and differentiation with the ubiquitousness of technology?

Here are three things that you can do in 2016 to keep up with the wave:

Adopting a mobile-centric strategy
The speed at which information now travels is giving birth to new mobile technologies. No longer is information limited to a piece of paper or even a single computer or server. With the ever-growing administrative demands on restoration companies, leveraging mobile technology to improve productivity is critical to remain competitive. Does it make sense to have your project managers or field staff return to the office to complete tasks that could easily be done on location? Instead, update XactAnalysis, as well as all important job information, in real time. This can be done directly on-site with DASH’s native mobile app. Leveraging the power of mobile for your business is guaranteed ROI. If staying competitive is important to your business, consider leading your market in mobile capabilities and don’t lose your edge.

Real time claims management
As the restoration industry continues to move deeper with real-time collaboration and data analysis, having integrated tools and processes to acquire and transmit data in real-time is vital to leading service providers. Despite this fact, our industry remains challenged from legacy systems and processes where there exists a long history of operating on paper and having the ability to backdate information. It is a profound shift for our industry to move to real time claims management and remains a hurdle for most. However, by harnessing the power of the cloud paired with true mobile technology, restoration companies can unleash a host of process improvements for better managing their claims performance and data footprint.

Going paperless
When we stop and think of all the costs associated with managing paper, one would think that the decision to go paperless would be easy. However, as creatures of habit, it can be quite difficult to break away from this relationship with paper. Instead, we prefer carrying around file folders and paper forms from job to job, or having to call the office to get more of those forms printed. Is it easier to call the office for information instead of finding it at your fingertips? Is it cost efficient to bother the receptionist or claims coordinator to stop what they’re doing to go through a stack of files on your desk to find a specific client address or a phone number? Not to mention, all the time wasted having to spend a day filing those file folders alphabetically in a big filing cabinet that sits in a room that could be converted into an office space. Let’s think about that for moment.

While many are just catching up with the idea of paperless transactions and real-time mobile management, there are leaders in each market who have successfully used transparency (real time data acquisition and delivery) to change the game. They have put distance between themselves and the competition by realizing the efficiencies gained by implementing these technologies to differentiate themselves. What will 2016 look like for you?