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
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
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 vari-
ous vendors and staff appraisers were
performing great, but when we looked a
their true metrics, it was a different sto-
ry. 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.
Secrets To Material Damage Success
BY ERNIE BRAY