The American restoration and remediation market is worth an estimated $210 billion. As more companies enter the market, remaining competitive could be particularly challenging in 2018-2019. And yet, it could also present very real opportunities for those willing to seize them.
Small businesses and nationwide franchises—as well as insurance companies looking to create their own restoration offerings—are facing stiffer competition and are under pressure to attract and retain talent.
According to the ”State of the Restoration Industry 2017,” a study conducted by BNP’s Market Research Group, the three biggest challenges for responders were:
Finding skilled workers (74 percent)
Retaining labor (52 percent)
Competition from nationwide franchises (40 percent)
At the bottom of that list is the adoption of new technologies; only 19 percent of respondents considered it a major challenge.
The adoption of new technology, however, could directly affect individual restoration businesses’ ability to address finding and retaining talent while remaining competitive in an increasingly saturated industry.
Some employees of restoration businesses are young, digital-friendly millennials. Finding new, sexier ways of implementing technology across the business can provide that company with a unique opportunity both to find innovative ways to engage their employees with new tools while simultaneously optimize existing processes.
Remediation is also a labor-intensive business. Any piece of technology that reduces the man-hours required to complete a project — such as PLNAR, which generates real-time 3D models, measurements, and annotations of rooms — should be considered a success. Similarly, technology can provide a significant boost to a company’s competitive advantage.
PLNAR, for example, rids businesses of the tape measure and clipboard, empowering them to quickly evaluate entire projects, such as a flood that caused extensive water damage on a property or across an entire neighborhood or city. For restoration businesses which focus on residential water damage, this can be an especially lucrative opportunity. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve some type of flooding.” Those businesses willing to invest in new technology now will be better positioned to handle flood damage immediately following a disaster, helping them increase capacity while also ensuring the customer is provided with fast, reliable service.
Technologies like PLNAR can also help remediation businesses better partner with insurance companies to process claims. The ability to fully digitize the dimensioning process, quickly annotate—even with voice capability—and produce real-time 3-D models could make for a compelling case when insurance carriers are searching for partners to handle cleanup and restoration.
As R&R Magazine recently wrote, “Technology is exploding; software is paving the path toward ultimate efficiency and mobility for restorers. Our smartphones are just as functional as having a computer on the jobsite.”