When providing restoration services, there are many steps that must be followed in the process. To ensure a successful restoration in a timely manner, there is a lot of planning that needs done. A few things that must be considered are, how extensive is the damage? How soon can restoration efforts begin? What is a timeline for repairs? What equipment will need to be used and when? Which technicians will be available to respond? What repairs will need done? What will be replaced? Then there are the actual restoration steps that have to be planned, for example: water damage restoration follows these general actions:
When the restoration team arrives on the scene, they will perform a visual inspection. First, the source of the water has to be identified and stopped. Then, many companies utilize moisture meters and infrared cameras to determine the extent of the damage. With this information, a course of action can be planned and restoration efforts can begin.
Prepare the area for restoration.
Most projects will require services to move, pack out, or protect furniture and other belongings from the area to prevent them from sustaining any further damage. It is also to ensure no other dangers are present in the flooded area, like electrical issues. Once the area is cleared out and safe to enter, the next step can begin.
Water removal and drying.
All excess water and moisture must be removed and dried as quickly as possible. Mold growth can begin within 24 hours after water damage, so the drying process needs to be quick and efficient. By using commercial-grade air movers and desiccant dehumidifiers, adequate drying can be achieved. Many companies also utilize thermal or infrared imaging to detect excess moisture that gets trapped in materials. Utilizing the best equipment will produce the best results, and getting the right equipment on the scene at the right time will make or break the restoration process.
Even after everything is dried, mold spores could still be present. To mitigate all risks of mold, many companies will apply antimicrobial to prevent mold growth. This step also requires monitoring moisture levels daily during the drying process to ensure complete and thorough drying. We follow the whole process through to make sure there is no moisture left. To ensure this happens, precise planning and scheduling are necessary.
This is just a brief rundown of a restoration process, and it is still pretty overwhelming as is. Imagine how much more difficult the restoration process is without the proper management, scheduling, and documentation. Effective scheduling of inventory and staff are a must when planning a successful restoration, not to mention proper record keeping of costs and hours just to name a few. This is why iRestore has developed a restoration project management software. We have had years of experience in restoration services, and have learned the hard way how to better manage each project. This software was created for restoration companies by a restoration company, so every possible service you could need, from charting, scheduling, and even document storage, is included. Our software will help you keep track of each and every step in the process, and make sure no detail is overlooked. We know how hard restoration work is, so let us help make it a little easier by providing you with the right management software to make each restoration project organized and successful.
Every time your office line rings, you have a client with a big problem- it’s the nature of the restoration business. Your reputation is at stake; you and your team will work as hard as you can to keep the client safe and satisfied. But what if you had better tools for your team?
From flood to fire restoration jobs, you can now manage everything systematically in your business with IRestore restoration project management. This robust relationship management system (CRM) allows you to easily manage all of your relationships at both a company level and individual level, including your previous customers and subcontractors.
IRestore is a vertical market software designed for the insurance restoration industry. Utilizing the latest in iPhone and iPad technology, our software brings the data from the field in real time. Out in the field, you will enjoy instant access to all information, including your job-related activity and the ability to quickly create a voice-to-text note about your visit in seconds. Back in the office, this system gives you the tools to build long-term relationships and strategic success and growth. The continuously changing needs and demands of the service based industry creates opportunities, and this constantly evolving software can help you capitalize.
Notes are a breeze with access to all of our platforms: Phone, iPad, laptop, and desktop. Referral and contact reports help keep a pulse on your revenue streams and relationships. The mapping feature can help your team organize routes and see hidden patterns.
Whether you want to use the efficient barcode feature or track your equipment with a number system, you and your team will find equipment tracking a breeze with our user-friendly interface that can be implemented across all platforms. This is a true management system that allows for useful reporting, equipment data, and repair and maintenance records. Some features for equipment management are:
Repairs and Maintenance can be easily tracked and documented
Our fully integrated tracking system allows you to assign equipment to jobs, storage, vehicles, and employees
All assigned equipment not “pulled” on the last day of a job is kept track of to help ensure that no equipment is left behind
The flexible equipment reporting feature allows you to monitor and evaluate your inventory anytime and in many useful ways
Create detailed logs by pulling information based on a specific date/time to make custom invoices, estimates, and supporting documentation
The IRestore Barcode system creates consecutive scanning, allowing for fast and efficient equipment transfers. Keep track of equipment’s serial number, purchase date, price, and more
Keep track of all of your hard assets with this system. Assigning phones, devices, computers, meters and anything else allows you to assign responsibility to individual employees and easily review in our HR feature
Also included in the product are exclusive training opportunities, special event invitations, and access to the Development Portal.
Request A Demo
Our free, no-obligation live webinar demonstration will give you a close look at our system and give you the opportunity to have your questions answered. Fill out the form at /irestore.io/to schedule your demonstration for an affordable solution to manage your client’s jobs, those relationships and your company.
The IRestore team will walk you through the user-friendly and designed by Restorers for Restorers, showing you advantages and efficiencies you don’t have now. This software includes a fully integrated CRM that will even allow you to continually engage previous customers and other important relationships.
IRestore Restoration Management Software
IRestore believes that successful restoration companies are built by owners that collaborate and value their teams. By maximizing your staff’s time and talents, you can grow the business and keep key employees satisfied. Great people, great equipment and great tools will lead them to long-term success.
IRestore offers a complete solution by serving the individuals and team while supporting excellence in service. Call or request a demonstration of how your team can be more efficient.
Managing a restoration company comes with a lot of different tasks and responsibilities. Think about the last time your company was – excuse the pun – flooded with water damage losses because of a heavy storm. How did you manage the workload? How did you keep track of where equipment was and how long it was going to be unavailable for the next job? Did work trucks break down in the middle of a busy day? How did your technicians avoid confusion about work assignments and make sure they were at the right job at the right time?
You can take proactive measures with restoration management software by keeping track of your employees certifications and training. Don’t worry about sending the wrong tech on a job because you forgot which one was fully certified and which one was still training – or carrying expired certifications.
Keep your trucks and equipment maintained and track recurring inspections to optimize your efficiency. Nothing is worse than losing a truck or equipment when you are busy and in need of every resource you have.
Keep track of every client’s specific information including insurance information, contacts, documentation of damage and losses, and more in one easy, digital component where all of your employees can access it when they need it. You and your clients aren’t going to mix up jobs and information when talking to your clients, build your reputation by communicating clearly and precisely with each individual you need to.
Manage your contacts including customers, insurance agents, adjustors, landlords, contractors, home and business owners, and anyone else that you need to be involved in the cleanup, restoration, and insurance claim process.
Restoration management software can help you keep track of jobs after the job has been finished. When you need to access billing information, insurance claim information or follow up with a customer to make sure that further complications have not arrived, you can rely on your restoration management software to guide you to all of the appropriate information so that you can provide the best aftercare support to your customers, insurance agents, and adjusters.
For every step of the disaster restoration process, iRestore’s restoration management software is designed to support and help you so that you can maintain the professionalism and efficiency that you want your company to be remembered for. Take hold of your companies future and build the internal procedures in a way that will help you and your employees provide the best possible help for those in need. Contact iRestore to learn more about how our restoration management software can help you and guide you through owning and managing your professional restoration company.
Last month’s Restoring Success, Morale and Engagement Built on a Foundation of Trust, we explored the importance of trust and the leadership role in fostering a culture of positive morale and engagement. Stephen Covey’s Speed of Trust presents 13 key behaviors that are instrumental to us as individuals and leaders in building and fostering trust. One of these behaviors is to create transparency:
Behavior #3: Create Transparency
Be real and genuine and tell the truth in a way that people can verify. The opposite is to obscure, and the counterfeit is an illusion of pretending things are different than they are. You can establish trust quickly by being open and authentic, erring on the side of disclosure and not having hidden agendas.”
Transparency is a broad concept and behavior in which some may struggle on finding the right and appropriate level of in their organization. As a side note, I firmly believe that this behavior and competency is most important in positively leading the team through 2020, the pandemic, and the continuous challenges. Metrics seem to be a common area where the best-intentioned of leaders have concerns. It is important to consider that not demonstrating the appropriate level of transparency, even with numbers, can have a detrimental unintended consequence.
A few considerations:
Trust: If we agree with Covey, that transparency is a key behavior of trust and that it is the leader’s job to extend trust first; we are behaving contrary to building the foundation of trust when we are not transparent.
Accountability: It is difficult to hold others accountable without giving them access to the appropriate information.
Open and Constructive Feedback: Transparency is a key behavior to have a culture that embraces open and constructive feedback on job and company performance in the spirit of continuous improvement.
After a great conversation about trust and transparency with a restoration company leader and friend, I asked her to share her thoughts and perspective.
Chelsea Mihalko Trimbath presents the following on trust in our restoration companies and being transparent with numbers:
What do most relationships thrive on? What drives loyalty? What is stability built on? The answer is TRUST. Stability, honesty, loyalty, drive and motivation are all qualities managers wish to see in their employees. These qualities do not necessarily exist or at their peak on the first day with a company. If we are lucky, after years of service, these qualities develop, and the relationship built on trust grows.
Our goal as leaders should be to build trust with our employees, to show that not only do we trust them and that they can trust us, but also, that we are dedicated to seeing them excel in every aspect of their life. One way to accomplish this type of relationship building is through transparency. Now wait, before you roll your eyes, let’s dig deeper.
Transparency comes in all different forms at all different levels. We cannot expect some of the people in our organizations to understand what overhead consists of just as we cannot expect some people to understand how to perfectly install a wood floor. Members of the team contribute to the organization in a variety of unique ways but leading someone blindly is a path to failure. Failure not only showing in your bottom line, but also, failing the individuals by not motivating or giving clear objectives. Transparency can be instrumental in engaging and holding the team accountable.
As a leader of an organization, it’s our job to know the direction of the company and have clear goals along the way. Members of the team should have clarity of objectives and transparency in information necessary to reach and manage their individuals and company goals.
Many goals, quotas or milestones are measured in numbers in our business.
Labor Hours: Increase productivity through responsibility by being transparent.
Labor hour goals are simple numerical goals that can be conveyed throughout the organization. If a certain task should take 5 hours to complete to hit average profit goals, we can set the expectation as 5 hours. A motivated and skilled employee that can finish the job in 3 hours can still be motivated by the 5-hour max and enjoy the satisfaction of beating the goal and potentially increasing his value to the organization. Being transparent with the allowed maximum hours gives individuals the opportunity to apply themselves and work towards the goal and potentially create drive and innovation to complete the work in the most efficient and effective way possible. Providing employees with the opportunity and information to make decisions that impact themselves and the company cultivates trust.
Employee Cost – Build relationships through genuine understanding
Have you ever had someone come and ask for a raise that was just given an extra week of vacation and the latest new model iPhone? Does that person truly know what they cost the company? Do you really know what that person values as an employee? Another opportunity for transparency! An employee should know and understand the value of what they are being paid including their wage, benefits and perks, including but not limited to: vacation, health insurance, retirement, life insurance, phone, vehicle (including gas allowances and insurance), computer, etc. Educating the team and being transparent regarding the costs of things can create a better platform for open discussions. For example, during a performance review, there may be an opportunity to learn that someone highly values their family time and prefers additional vacation days rather than a monetary raise. These meaningful conversations will help build a culture of trust and a depth of care from management.
Overall Profits – Increase innovation and motivation
This one is scary for a lot of business owners. They want to keep their numbers under tight wraps and closed away for only their eyes. But going back to the above point, how can we expect our managers to hit company goals without giving them all the information to get there? Direct project managers will be better able to control their jobs if they have access to job profitability numbers, budgets and goals. They will be more equipped to negotiate material pricing, providing budget selections and understanding labor hours to meet profitability goals. Transparency on labor hours inflated costs (per hour cost per employee + benefits) so they are better able to choose who will do the best trade on each job. Transparency to our estimators and project managers about the cost per lead (marketing), any software or management fees per job (overhead). If owners plan to place high standards on their managers, the managers will perform better with a general understanding of business operations and costs. And while owners may choose to keep certain numbers under wraps, profits, expenses and overhead per job should be direct and easily accessible so managers can be checking in constantly. Providing this open communication will foster innovation and allow for more creative flows to happen. Mangers will feel empowered knowing they have the authority to make decisions that directly affect them and the company, their confidence and motivation will grow along with the numbers.
Regardless of your position about transparency, it is an important behavior to reflect upon and consider. For many reasons, it may be one of the most difficult behaviors as a leader and one that causes concern or fear. If you have a sense that being more transparent can help foster trust and a positive culture, take one small step at a time.
A quick internet search yielded millions of results on: Proper Handshake. Years of practicing and talking about how to give a proper handshake down the drain? I recall giggling with others when someone is a bad hand shaker…too limp…squeezed to hard…well for now, it’s one less thing for everyone to worry about.
The history of the handshake is very interesting. Many of us have likely been doing this for years when meeting new associates, customers, networking, and more. History tells us the handshake has represented a gesture of peace, a sign of good faith, a commitment to a promise, and even has represented an eternal bond. Now what?
We don’t know if the worldwide pandemic will permanently change our behaviors and culture, but we do know that it is changing it now. A few short months ago, in many circumstances, it was considered a social faux pas to not greet someone in what has become our cultural norm. Today, it is socially unacceptable to shake a hand.
How do we adjust our culture, our ways of expressing ourselves, our ways of bonding, and our ways of building and developing relationships? This is a challenge for many businesses and for restorers who take pride in delivering empathetic and compassionate services. To those who have experienced damage to their homes, belongings, and businesses, this is an important element in our service to them.
Individual Self Awareness: As individuals, we need to have extreme self-awareness and be open to working as a team to adjust. We all have our own ways of expressing ourselves and connecting to others and as we shift, we can help each other. We have huggers, we have close talkers, and more. Be open and positive in helping each other make the shift. I have a coworker, a hugger, who has extreme empathy for customers and creates bonds in her approach. We have open discussions about figuring out ways for her to express herself and establish bonds. “We can make her signs to hold up?” I myself can be a close talker (not too close…LOL). It is a way for me to express my focus and attention to a person, subject, or conversation. I am extremely self-aware, am now extra cautious to keep my distance, and open myself to others helping me; I will adjust.
Documents/Plans/Procedures: As many of us must develop our systems, processes, and procedures to accommodate the presence of COVID-19 in our day to day, consider the process of integrating these new initiatives into our culture. In Restoring Success It’s All a Matter of Culture, we discuss how to integrate these types of developments into our actual culture. The following are a couple of concepts to serve as a backbone to the cultural shift.
Precautionary Measures: Have a documented and thorough precautionary measure program that can be integrated into your day to day and make them part of the new culture.
Technology and Digital: It is likely that you have all experienced virtual meetings and maybe even a happy hour or two. We have an abundance of technology to enjoy that helps and supports our cultural shift. In this context, challenge yourself and the team to stay up on all the latest; not just in tools but in the use of these tools. We must look beyond the technology and challenge ourselves to consider the importance of engagement, collaboration, and bonding which may or may not be fully replaced with technology. As an industry, we are tactile. If we employ technology without the appropriate attention to this, our relationships, our training programs, and more could suffer.
Training: We should consider training for ourselves and team to help us best adjust.
Soft Skills: I have a few co-workers who are amazing at expressing their care to a customer on the phone. This is just one example of a very important skill at this time. We must be on the top of our game at listening and all means of communicating. Our voice and writing are going to be front and center.
(I mean no offense as some of my favorite people use these terms, but I will use this opportunity and platform to share two words that are my pet peeves, 1) “Hey” – I don’t think it is a good greeting in writing…”hay is for horses” 2) “Yup or Yep” – it could seem flip and insincere in a response to something very important. No “hey or yup” …LOL!)
Other: From technology to body language, keep it top of mind that as we adjust, there could be needs for training to do it best. As an example, at Restoration Technical Institute, we have begun the process of training and developing ourselves to learn how to best engage and train in an online environment. It is more complicated than just buying a webinar platform and we want to be excellent and so we must learn and train.
Be Creative: There is a great opportunity to engage the team to be creative and at the same time keep the need to shift our culture to top of mind. Get the team started and let the ideas flow. Some examples may be:
Pictures: We can do quite a bit with a picture of a smiling face. We can text them to customers, put on social media, and they can even wear them. Not only are we socially distanced, but some of us may look a bit intimidating with a face mask or full PPE.
Proactive Communications: There are all kinds of proactive communications that will let people know how you feel and what to expect. Let people know the masked team they must stay far away from still cares. One idea: send a thank you text with a picture after an emergency.
Company General Environment: There are many general things that could be considered in your organization that could help the shift.
Huddle (far apart or from a distance): Talk about it frequently. Keep the lines of communications open. Keep it all top of mind in a positive environment and it will serve you well.
Openness: Transparency and collaboration are key. There is no place for defensive attitudes and an unwillingness to change or adapt.
Lead by Example: This universal truth is more important than ever. Leadership must exemplify what is expected and necessary during this challenging time.
Eating: Some may call foul on this item being on the list! I am half Italian and breaking bread, eating together, feeding others; food is a big part of my world. I am stumped.
I often recommend taking candidates to lunch because people let their guard down and are more relaxed when eating. It’s a great way to get to know each other.
In our training center, we have food rules! No pizza and sandwiches and we have an ice cream machine because ice cream makes people happy. Now what!?!
On someone’s first day, it is a rule to take them to lunch.
We celebrate, bond, reward with food. I love feeding people. I love eating with others.
I want your advice! The eating situation has me thrown for a loop. A GoToMeeting does not replace this for me. I would love to hear your tips for this big change.
This is a short list of things to consider in the wake of the necessity for a major cultural shift in our world. Although we can only speculate on the long-term impact on our behaviors, we can proactively and positively begin to adjust.