Posted By Leland on 22 Aug 2011 06:07 PM
what is FOATA? Should i take that with cream?
Ouch Leland !!!!!
Easy killer !! :-) Foata is out of respect for CADO something that shouldn't be discussed here. However with that being said , FOATA is my baby !
I must agree with Mr. Deaton that the poster should probably thank his LUCKY stars that he DIDN't get his State Farm certification. To the reason as Chuck stated I am going to copy and paste the State Farm FOATA discussion Chuck spoke of here for all to read.
Please see below:
Just completed my first assignment as an adjuster and wanted to tell everybody what my impressions were:
I understand that large companies are normally behind the curve when it comes to technology. I guess I never imagined that they would be this far behind. I think taking Polaroids and taping them to a piece of paper while working from a paper estimate and referring to a spiral notebook of prices would have been faster than what State Farm is doing right now.
The first big shocker was there their main system is DOS. I almost fell out of my chair during training when they opened it up. The last time I used DOS was in college in 1992. I was stunned that somebody was still using it.
However, the biggest waste of time came when I realized how many unnecessary steps and how many different programs need to be simultaneously open on your laptop just to work on a file. At most you should have to work with two or three. Here is a list of everything you must have open when working on a file:
- Wireless Card Manager to go online
- VPN Client which is their Firewall System
- ECA which is where you download your assigned claim files and activity logs
- Xactimate for obvious reasons
- Photo Capture to upload your photos which is internal for State Farm (not Xactimate!)
- Contents Inventory which is a State Farm online system (again not Xactimate)
- Offline Claim Tool which works with their DOS program because it is easier to upload your log notes through this and it has Spell Check.
- Adobe so you could work on your Statement of Loss for each claim.
- Microsoft Word so you could copy and paste Log Note Macros into the Offline Claim Tool
- Enterprise/Reflections/CCR they have a lot of names for their DOS system where you check log activity and print out letters to the Insured.
- Delorme to route your claims
- Outlook to check email.
- Internet to look up prices for contents and Google Maps etc.
Even new computers have a tough time with 13 different programs open so you can imagine how older laptops with very little RAM handle this load – not very well. I spent an inordinate amount of time re-booting and talking to computer technicians.
For my own company, many years ago, I hired a technology consultant and he drastically streamlined my business. Each customer file only requires 5 steps and three programs on my computer to be open at once. State Farm has 22 individual steps and 13 different programs to complete just one file. Then they complain when you aren’t fast enough. I think that if the President of State Farm had to work claims in this cumbersome system for just one day, he would fire the IT staff the next day. Apparently they are going to launch a new system where everything is on one screen later this year during Hurricane Season. I think I will wait until they get the bugs worked out before I would consider working for them again. When they have eliminated the redundancies and inefficiencies in their current system they will see a huge increase in adjuster production.
In my own business I can easily handle 6 to 8 estimates per day and that includes ones that are more complicated than your standard hail or hurricane estimate. Most experienced adjusters I talked with could only do 4 to 5 in a day under this system unless they were simple 1 story 1500 sf gable roofs. State Farm could drastically increase their rate of production if they would make some very simple changes. I casually mentioned to the staff computer technicians that hopefully someday soon we will be using iPads to do our estimates in the field and complete a table top closing and they thought that was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Pretty sad.
I guess the final kicker for me was the day they handed me a check book. I was too stupefied and in shock to say anything when I was signing my signature card and I realized that I was going to be writing the checks. I know that doing a first contact settlement really cuts down on your paper work and is a great idea. But, when your authority level is only $5000 and your average estimate is $13,000, it doesn’t help you much. I have a book keeper to write checks and stuff envelopes. I can better spend my time doing estimates. Having a centralized system that prints and mails checks to the claimants would save adjusters tons of time.
Now I realize that much of what they are doing is because that is just the way things are done, or because they are trying to protect themselves from lawsuits. But, they really need to have an outsider come in and shake things up and help them realize that technology is supposed to make your life simpler and completing tasks quicker. Somehow they have figured out how to make it more complicated and much slower than it should be. Just my opinion as a first timer and probably last timer until I get the bad taste out of my mouth.
"A good leader leads.....
..... but a great leader is followed !!"