Why Centralizing Estimating is a Model to Consider

The “write and run” model for restoration contractors has long been touted as an ideal model for getting jobs closed out effectively. What does “write and run” mean? You send a highly talented estimator to inspect a job loss, complete an estimate, achieve carrier approval, achieve homeowner approval, and then project manage the job through successful completion. All of these tasks are daunting for any employee when you put them all together but this old model worked because we see advantages even if they no longer exists in today’s environment -

  1. Single point of contact for both project accountability and communications
  2. Less overhead leads to quick decision-making by the Estimator/PM to change course on a project or even abandon it if it isn’t profitable.
  3. Less organizational hiring since one Superstar can manage many aspects of the job.
  4. On-site estimating is a possibility that could speed up the approval process and meet carrier demands.

These reasons and many more make it easy to understand why this model has become so popular, but there are two strong headwinds in our industry that will forever change the landscape of how projects can be effectively completed:

  1. The skilled contracting and home services labor market is shrinking, not growing
  2. Technology is leveraging the capacity of individuals at a growing pace

Contractors aren’t the only ones struggling with shrinking labor pools. Insurance carriers, managed repair programs, and nearly all service-based roles are increasingly challenging to fill, train, and retain. For example, one recent insurance carrier (top 20) I spoke with noted that one of their small divisions was hiring 30+ candidates per month with the hopes of just retaining ten after the initial 90 days. The bottom line is that fewer highly talented individuals are looking for these jobs.  

In this environment, it’s our mandate as operators to maximize the capacity of our “Superstars” by any means possible. Fortunately, a few technologies have entered the market that do this more significantly than ever before. The single largest game-changing technology contractors have had in 10+ years is the ability to complete virtual inspections with 3D and 360 degree photography. Without picking favorites, several competing products in the market allow incredibly affordable, easy, and fast 3D walk-throughs of a property to be completed with just a few photos from cameras or mobile devices. While a single Superstar Estimator/Project Manager used to be able to inspect 2-4 properties per day, centralizing that same individual in an office and feeding them virtual walkthroughs can increase the output by at least a factor of 2-3x.

WeScope is the leader in understanding workflows around centralizing estimating. We get this from partnering with our restoration clients for years at a time and writing all their estimates 100% remotely. To deliver exceptional value and high-quality estimating, we’ve experienced just about every break in the process and the tiny tweaks that make the entire machine work without flaw. We’ve had to go deep into understanding all the technologies to understand which are best in which cases. 

We’ve structured our entire company around finding the best estimators in the industry and creating an uninhibited environment where they can do what they do best. The results speak for themselves as WeScope’s lowest performing estimators write over 6x the industry’s average, which allows our contractor partners to tap into the best estimating talent in the world and maximize the capacity of their Superstar Project Managers to sell and run more jobs, on average generating 25-40% more volume than before working with us. 

Whether you’re able to centralize estimating on your own or you look to partner with us, the results, when implemented correctly, are worthy of your consideration as a new model for your project life cycle.

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