Running a claims or appraisal business is no piece of cake, especially when it is distributed among a large geographic coverage zone. Field resource planning and management for this operation, to get the right type of appraiser or inspector to the location quickly and efficiently is not just a skill, but an art.
Appraisals and estimations frequently encounter requests in far distant areas that are difficult to cover with existing field resources. The SLAs require the appraisal and estimator providers to deliver on their promise to timely inspect a vehicle or a property even when it may be many miles away.
Following a basic 80/20 rule comparison, it is common to find organizations meet their SLAs by seeing 80% of local responses consuming 20% of field operation costs, while 20% of distant claims and estimations taking up to 80% of field response costs. Question is how is it possible to get the right resource to the right spot quickly and efficiently?
To answer this question, let’s take a look at the complexities involved by looking at an old analogy of a paperboy route. Though this job has met its extinction a while back with emergence of internet, the logistic planning achieved by the most of the successful paperboys is worth remembering.
The paper route usually went around the neighborhood, paying a few cents for each paper delivered to a newspaper patron. The trick to increasing the income was to include as many customers in a delivery route in the most convenient way – without having to loop back to the house to pick up more papers. The most expensive of the paperboy delivery operations became a single residence a few blocks away that required a paperboy to travel a large distance from other closely located customers. Well, in those days, the “lone” distant customer experienced more than its share of an “occasional” missed deliveries. For some paperboys, the extra distance and the time investment was too much effort for the reward.
Certainly, it is not an alternative for estimation and appraisal services vendor to reject a job. But there are ways to improve the efficiency and productivity to handle even this type of a scenario. This is where technology can be a great help to eliminate the physical travel and replace it with a virtual “eyes on target” solution using live video streaming. Live video can be used to connect an experienced desk adjuster with any party available at the scene – from a customer to another local resource, like a college kid in the neighborhood, to another field adjuster to capture the information necessary to meet the SLA. This technology doesn’t just help accelerate the collection of information, but also significantly reduces the operational costs and raises the profit margins.