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Secrets To Material Damage Success.

Byline: Ernie Bray

For over two decades I've witnessed claims leaders manage the material damage process in predictable cycles that ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. They would often switch their focus from DRP to staff, then to IAs and recently photo estimating and start it all over again. This continuous quest for the magic formula to provide the best customer service, lowest costs and speed has been going on for decades.

Having had the opportunity to begin my career working for insurers and now for nearly fourteen years at ACD, I have seen the industry from a much bigger perspective. ACD has consulted with countless insurers and analyzed their workflows and processes to help them drive efficiency.

I'm often asked, "What can we do to optimize our material damage department?" To break it down in the most simplistic terms, here's what we see that yields the most substantial results.

1. Evaluate and optimize your MOI (Method of Inspection) process. Too often insurers place all hopes and dreams searching for the magic bullet -- enter mobile self-service, photo estimating or desk writing to the rescue. This can quickly lead to a surge of supplements and declining service metrics if deployed indiscriminately. Others live largely by the DRP model. This is all well and good but unless you have the staff and resources to oversee a shop network, there are risks involved here as well. The best answer is a balanced approach that triages the right files to the right MOI that will yield the highest probability for success. This requires technological intelligence behind the process and a technology platform that can seamlessly move files within the workflow to the right MOI.

2. Have real-time access to actionable data and reporting. I can't tell you how many insurance claims managers I've met who have absolutely no idea of the performance metrics for their vendors, shops or staff. As the saying goes, you can't manage what you can't measure. Too often, managers operate by "feelings" versus results. Unfortunately, managing this way today can get you fired if the results don't add up. We've had managers tell us that various vendors and staff appraisers were performing great, but when we looked a their true metrics, it was a different story. Without live and real-time reporting you're putting your job at risk.

3. Eliminate fragmentation in all processes. You might be surprised but I've seen numerous claims departments have processes in place that require eight different browser tabs to be open to handle the material damage process. One for the core system, material damage coordination, salvage, rental, parts suppliers and the list can go on and on. Some even take on the colossal task of managing over 150 different independent appraisal companies! That's a whole lot of inefficiency. Adopting one unified platform that integrates all of these key functions and modernizes the process saves valuable time and massive amounts of money. And guess what, those managers become the superstars.

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Title Annotation:Vendor Showcase
Date:Mar 1, 2017
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