The more things change, the more they stay the same. That certainly seems to be the case when it comes to the restoration industry. Last year, C&R and KnowHow conducted the first State of the Industry Report covering a variety of topics from top pains restorers face to how restorers make purchasing decisions to mergers and acquisitions and everything in between. This year, C&R and KnowHow followed up with another industry report covering the same topics and looking at trends in the industry compared to the last report.
There were many insightful trends on where opportunities are for restorers and how they can take advantage of them shared in this report. In this article, we’ll dive into our perspective on three of them: expanding service offerings, extending service areas and hiring, and getting paid.
It was clear in the State of the Industry Report that restorers want to, and should, diversify their service offerings and become full-service shops. Based on the report’s findings, full-service restoration businesses often out-earn mitigation-only businesses. However, expanding your services requires major cash flow considerations, a culture of strong operational tension, and a new playbook for your team.
To Dan Doud, CEO of OCS, the key to expanding your services to include reconstruction is resource allocation. Contractors wanting to grow need to take a look at their business operations and identify places where operational efficiency can be improved. Often, this can mean turning to specialized third-party companies like OCS to manage certain parts of their operations. When contractors turn their billing over to OCS, they can save time and increase their profits, setting them up for success when branching out into reconstruction.
More than 66% of restorers desire commercial work to be 50-75% of their work. However, only 27% currently have this mix. Clearly, there is demand from other restorers to expand into this revenue stream, but there are some challenges around doing so.
Commercial jobs tend to be riskier than residential jobs, especially from a cash flow standpoint. While commercial jobs are often bigger jobs with higher price tags, they’re also longer jobs, which often means waiting longer for a check.
“Having [OCS’s] level of expertise and professionalism to manage those [checks] can reduce some of the risks for contractors,” Cam Smith, COO of OCS, explains. One Claim advocates for our contractors, working hard to get an initial check during the job to bolster the contractor’s finances until they can get a final check when the job is complete.
Building new relationships, adjusting your internal operations, and meeting insurance requirements to operate with increased liability for commercial work all require time. “If you’ve outsourced to a third party like OCS, you’re freeing up capacity to go shift your business,” Dan says.
Many restoration companies are targeting growth & expansion, but with that comes the trade-off of larger overhead, multiple locations, and more miles logged. Currently, the vast majority of restoration companies (77.3%) provide coverage for their entire city and the surrounding area, but most have not gone fully State-wide.
Restorers looking to expand their service area will have the best chance for success when they optimize their resource allocation and cash flow, Dan says. This could look like adjusting your company’s internal structure or outsourcing collections to a third party like OCS.
Hiring is the biggest challenge for restorers, with 34.5% listing this as their biggest challenge. Retention is listed as the biggest challenge for 7.7% of restorers. Even with this challenge, 77.3% of restorers anticipate growth in staff over the next 12 months. In last year’s survey, we discovered it takes an average of 8+ weeks for new hires to be productive in their role.
Additionally, recruiting, training, and retaining administrative employees like collections team members often requires a different approach than doing the same for technicians and project managers. Contractors looking to expand their team will have more success when they approach hiring with this in mind.
Contractors who leave collections to OCS avoid the challenges associated with hiring an internal billing team. Instead, OCS takes full responsibility for recruiting and retaining skilled collections team members. “We… build up their process and content knowledge so that they are true experts at negotiating claims,” Dan says. By delegating this responsibility to OCS, contractors get to benefit from our expertise, all while saving time and money.
The data clearly indicates that increasing base compensation for technicians has an influence on the length of their tenure with the company. This means that companies will likely have to consider increasing their labor costs next year.
While some companies may hesitate to increase wages, it will likely be less expensive than dealing with high employee turnover. “Turnover averages a cost of half to two times the person’s salary,” Nicole Liesenfelt, Director of Human Resources at OCS, notes. To be in a good position to offer higher compensation, restoration companies need to maximize their cash flow.
Subcontracting certain responsibilities can save contractors some personnel costs. When contractors turn to OCS to manage their collections, they don’t have to foot the cost for the wage increases or turnover of collections staff.
Time to get paid is decreasing. On average, 75% of restorers are getting paid in 45 days or less, compared to 54% last year. The mix of business (residential vs. commercial) doesn’t appear to affect the time to get paid. Instead, the findings seem to imply that a company’s processes and intentionality surrounding collecting payments have a far greater influence on the time it takes to get paid.
“There’s getting paid fast, and there’s getting paid completely,” Cam points out. Often, carriers will send a very low first payment. Some restoration companies take the path of least resistance and settle for carriers’ initial low offer instead of taking the time to fight for full compensation.
Restoration contractors don’t have to sacrifice time for money when they work with OCS. Our billing advocates are experienced insurance negotiators who know the best ways to secure fair payments from carriers. If you’re tired of choosing between time and money, request a consultation with One Claim Solutions to see if we are a good fit for your billing needs.
Hi there! I’m Connor, the Account Executive for One Claim. My goal is to guide our contractors through the sales process, ensuring you’re equipped with all the information you need to make your decision and hit the ground running once aboard. We view ourselves as an extension of your business and I strive to make the process an enlightening and consultative one.
My career has primarily been focused in software sales over a few different industries but the last few years were spent helping general contractors solve similar problems to what we’re doing here at OCS! Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, cooking and boating during the summer months.
Hello! I’m Nicole, and I’m here to champion for our employees, recruit for new talent, and impact culture at One Claim Solution. I find satisfaction in supporting a memorable employee experience and bring innovation, problem solving, and strategic view to the process. Nothing is more important than our people, and a healthy culture is my top priority! I have had the pleasure of building my career in various sectors, specializing in small to medium size firms focused on high-growth. My experience is centered around driving and implementing change, leading high-performing teams, and driving process improvements. I am excited to make an impact at One Claim. Outside of work, my family and I enjoy getting outdoors as much as possible to explore beautiful Colorado!
Great to meet you! I’m Elizabeth, and I’m the one behind all the emails and advertisements you’ve been seeing. As the Demand Generation Manager at One Claim Solution, my mission is to connect with contractors like you who need our services. I’m passionate about having an impact on others and I bring a wealth of experience in demand generation and marketing strategy to create moments of delight, curiosity, and education for you.
Prior to One Claim Solution, I had the privilege of building marketing departments from the ground up at companies in a variety of industries, including IT consulting, first protection, and healthcare. Personally, I love being outdoors, playing Dungeons and Dragons and board games, singing, and traveling.
Welcome! I’m Alisha, and I’m here to champion your success as the Director of Contractor Success at One Claim. With a passion for helping contractors thrive, I bring a wealth of experience in onboarding, customer service, and account management to ensure your journey with us is nothing short of exceptional.
Prior to joining One Claim, I had the privilege of scaling SMB and Enterprise Customer Success teams at fast-growing SaaS startups. With over six years of experience at companies like Mavenlink, Teamwork, and ServiceTitan, I honed my expertise in building high-performing teams and fostering proactive, consultative relationships. This background has equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges faced by businesses like yours, and I’m dedicated to helping you overcome them.
Hi there, my name is Eric! I am the Chief Technology Officer here at OCS, spearheading our technical strategy. I have a background in computer science, graduating cum laude from BYU-Idaho with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Technology.
Before coming to One Claim, I served as the Director of Engineering at Slingshot Technology, Inc., a company later acquired by WorkWave in 2021. My professional journey has spanned both emerging startups and established corporations, with a steadfast focus on cultivating high-trust, low bureaucracy teams and innovating technology using agile methodologies.
In my free time, you can find me flying drones, enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with my family.
Hello, my name is Cam, I’m the COO of One Claim Solution! I come from a management consulting background (Bain & Company) and hold an MBA from the University of Michigan. I have worked at a wide variety of organizations, from Fortune 500 to small-cap, in an equally wide variety of industries. I have over 15 years of experience in operations and strategic growth, and I have spent much of my career focused on developing high-performing tech-enabled service organizations through early stage and high growth phases.
Outside of work, my wife Brittny and I have four kids, ages 13 to 6. As residents of Mesa, Arizona, we love to ski and explore the national parks of the southwest!
Hello, my name is Dan, and I am the CEO of One Claim Solution. I am super excited by everything we are doing at OCS to be the market leading insurance billing specialist that advocates on behalf of our restoration contractors.
My professional experiences are predominantly corporate in nature. My career started at General Electric in finance and accounting. Immediately prior to joining OCS, I spent time as an investor at Bondcliff Partners and management consultant with Bain & Company. I also hold an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and got my BS in finance and accounting from Northeastern University.
Outside of the office, I enjoy spending time with my wife, two young children, and our family dog, Whiskey. We live in Charleston, SC and take advantage of the beautiful weather by spending as much time as possible outside at the beach or adventuring around town
Hi, I’m Josh! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Jeremy Traasdahl, and I serve as General Counsel of One Claim Solution. Working in the restoration industry, Jeremy and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to see our company grow and to advocate for our clients as general counsel.
Outside of my passion for helping the restoration industry, I enjoy spending time outdoors, fly-fishing, hunting, skiing, and coaching my kids’ baseball teams. I’ve been married to my amazing wife for 20 years and we have a beautiful family of 5 children.
Hey, I’m Jeremy! In 2016, I co-founded One Claim Solution with my partner Josh Ehmke. Working in the restoration industry, Josh and I saw contractors struggling to get paid quickly and fairly and we knew there was a need for change. We founded One Claim Solution to be this change and it’s been my privilege to lead our amazing team.
Prior to One Claim Solution, I started my career as an inside sales rep for Avnet, then moved to Pepsico as a district sales manager. Outside of work, I love spending time with my wife and four children, two boys and two girls!