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Last Post 07/18/2010 3:24 PM by  Ray Hall
MSB, a new beginning
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okclarryd
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04/26/2008 8:46 PM
I think all Gale is saying is to make sure there's a soft spot at the bottom of the cliff before you jump off.

I have made some horrible business decisions but felt really good when the dust settled.

Did it pay? No.

Did I still feel good? You betcha!

And, I think there's an upside to being ready to go after what is yours. Those that might be willing to not pay or not take care of their end of an agreement might be a little more willing to compromise or go the extra mile when the word is out that you just don't put up with their crap.

Happy Trails
Larry D Hardin
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Gale Hawkins
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04/27/2008 1:02 AM
Tom as Larry correctly assumed my post was meant in a general sense. It is hard to prove to a jury the extent of one's monetary damage without bringing in a high power accounting firm to take the stand. As a guess it would take $250K in damages to even get the interest of a law firm as well.

I do think anyone who knows you will accept you strongly feel you have been wronged or you would never think of taking a legal step as such. There may be other options that would apply like small claims court but I really do not know about what are the requirements to take a case forward. In a general sense it is hard to get much attention as a solo complainant where the claimed damages are small.

Going up against MDA I expect would be like going up against ISO in court. MDA is a large publicly held Canadian corporation with international business so they are sure to have access to high quality legal and accounting services.

With that being said in a general sense when there is only one tool option to work for certain companies it seems to compound the stress when it appears the one tool vendor does not show much interest in the eyes of the one purchasing the tool as to how effective the tool earns its keep. You are in a real sense a captive user and they know if you are going to play ball that you will be paying to play with their ball where it will bounce or not.

Tom plain and simple you are not the customer but just are a third party paying the bill with no power to get their ear. In your case I expect some carrier or IA vendor is the customer of MSB and that carrier or IA vendor is just an agent working on the behalf of MSB in a functional sense if in fact you would not use MSB if that carrier or IA vendor did not make it a requirement for employment.

Best wishes but keep in mind it is only the carriers and IA firms and NOT MSB that enables what you are experiencing. MSB as sold the carriers or IA firm in question that it is in their financial best interest to act a selling agent on the behalf of MSB or other wise they would not willing serve as an agent of MSB and simply let you select your own tools as long as you present a fair and legal claims estimate that would stand up in court. In light of this point of view you may want to approach the party that is the customer of MSB that is asking you to foot the bill for the tools they select and purchase while currently passing the financial burden for the required tools of employment to you.
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Tom Toll
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04/29/2008 10:17 AM

Gale, I agree with your analogy, completely. However,  I will not roll over and play dead like they would want me to. Monetary loss is monetary loss, anyway you look at it. I understand that estmating systems are complex and problems do arise, however, yoou do not sell that program do an audience if it does not work correctly. They are still having problems with comcentral, ever after four years of knowing there is a problem. I don't accent food being forced down my throat. I can assure you, there is a listening audience out there somewhere, and I will find it.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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okclarryd
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04/29/2008 12:45 PM
Oh, we're listening, Tom.

And, agreeing.

There's just not much any of us can do about it.
Larry D Hardin
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R_Smith
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04/29/2008 5:48 PM
Tom,
Just remember the IA is not the customer, the company requiring MS/B is the customer and they are the ones that received compensation for the problems caused by ComCentral. I know for a fact that occurred.

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Tom Toll
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04/29/2008 7:35 PM

Thanks Roger, I had heard that, but was reluctant to believe it. I will address that issue also. If we are forced to use a certain product, by a vendor and the vendor is the culprit, then they should be dealt with also.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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okclarryd
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04/30/2008 11:09 PM
Sic 'em, boys.

I'll watch from over here in my recliner.
Larry D Hardin
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Gale Hawkins
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05/01/2008 6:50 AM
Tom I too think most all are in agreement with you on this subject.
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Tom Toll
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05/01/2008 10:07 AM

We have our own claim service in Arkansas, so we are MSB Integraclaim users. You are right that when we work for a vendor who requires IC, then they are the users. In any case, MSB owes, to whomever uses their program, as does Exactimate, a program consistant with prices and ease of use without failure. We pay a ridiculous price for these programs and have every right to expect them to work as the provider has promised and indicated in their literature.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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R_Smith
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05/02/2008 11:53 AM

Tom,

 

In my former position, I was working extensively with MS/B for years attempting to share data between IntegriClaim and a proprietary system.   While I had some say in the matter, the integration went slow because of my requirement of real-time testing.  I relished the opportunity to crash the system because I understand that once it is released to the masses, they will not follow precise directions.  That authority was removed before Katrina and a new crony was hired specifically for that purpose.  The rest is history.  

 

Since leaving that job I have been using/training on the other system. 

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Tom Toll
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05/03/2008 4:32 PM

Roger, I understand part of your comment, but not all. Could you elaborate a bit more.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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jsindallas
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05/06/2008 10:43 AM

Not sure this is the right forum or thread ( not a blogger) but I just spent 4 weeks trying to fix the commercial valuator in Integra.  Seems the old Borland files will not allow overwrite (error 1714). I ran a Microsoft installer clean up/ select borlans installation and delete. Then run MSB installation SUPPORT and select BVS. For those handling alot of commercial claims this is an easy fix to a most frustrating upgrade to the 8.2

I used this download for the installer clean up utility. I cannot validate the website and I ran it at my own risk.

 

http://support.microsoft.com/defaul...-us;290301

 

James W. Simmons

Adjuster

Dallas, TX

 

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R_Smith
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05/08/2008 2:25 PM
Further explanation.

From 2003 to 2005, one of my responsibilities was to work with MS/B in integrating IC with the companies proprietary database, as well as techical help for the staff adjuster within the company. I authored numerous Technical Help Bulletins within the company during that time. When new management came in, they decided to bring in one person dedicated to this issue, someone from their prior place of business. After that I had no input on any of the matters. Management was not interested in the institutional knowledge. The only time I was contacted was when a staff adjuster had gone to the appropriate resource, who failed to help, then they called me for assistance. I never refused even though it was not my job.

As we all know, everyone does a job a little different. We all see things in a different way. Adjusting claims is anything put precise. Authoring the technical help bulletins and then receiving feedback from adjusters located throughout the US with very diverse backgrounds proved to be difficult even within a structured company with set guidelines of operations. Independent adjusters introduce even more variables. The process and procedures must be designed to deal with the variables or else the system will fail. I believe anyone working for that vendor in Katrina will agree there were many failures in the process and procedures. The system was never tested with adjusters prior to deployment for Katrina.

It would be nice to know information like this prior to accepting a assignment with a vendor, but I do not know of any vendor that would be candid in discussing their operations in an open manner.
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Tom Toll
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05/09/2008 8:00 PM

James, you were not the only one with this problem. I did, however, take a different approach. I wanted MS/B to fix the problem, so I gave them control of my laptop and watched them do it. At least they had one good tech, a very nice lady, that knew the problem and how to fix it. Paying them as much as we have to, I want some return on my investment by making them fix their own problems.

Thanks Roger for the information.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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Tom Toll
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07/23/2008 5:24 PM

Still waiting on that super dooper program from MS/B. With the money we are having to pay those people, they sure need too make improvements, big improvements. Anyone heard anything about the new and improved, as seen on TV, program?

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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Gale Hawkins
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07/23/2008 5:42 PM

Tom back in March at  PLRB in Boston Scott said it would be out in August to some and a mass roll out at the end of the year. He said it will be nice. Maybe you will be getting some reports from the field in a few weeks if the beta version schedule has not changed.

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Tom Toll
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02/20/2009 12:04 PM
Gale, I have heard nothing about the new version. I e-mailed Scott for information on it's release, but have not heard from him. It does not look like we will be getting it the first of this year. I wonder what posture it is in now. If anyone has heard anything about the new program, please share that information with us.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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Gale Hawkins
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03/27/2009 12:51 AM
Tom we just got back from Seattle where PLRB was held and what I was told was EyeQ should be ready for beta testing mid year. Scott was tied up when I when by their booth so I did not get to talk directly to Scott this time. Building the replacement for ComCentral I am sure is a huge task.
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johnpostava
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03/27/2009 9:38 AM
I met with the guys at MSB at this week's PLRB conference (the P&C insdustry's largest trade show event). Event turn out was very low and very few carriers were seriously looking for new estimating software. the new MSB is still not ready for roll-out. I was told it is currently in the hands of beta testers. No anticipated date of release was forthcoming. The Xact camp said traffic was slower than in previous years. Simsol had a good booth position at the show (right outside the front door) and traffic was good the first day but fell off the planet on day two. The technology "guru" who opened the conference on the first day spoke of "conntectivity and communication" issues with regards of the handling of claims. We will all be going more mobile and relying on services such as google earth photos for roofs, voice recognition when scoping damages and increased reliance on policyholders to provide the adjusters with measurements and photos of damages. I personally demoed some of the new roof measuring technology and it is very cool stuff. Now if we can only see through walls and upload damages data without ever stepping across the entry thresehold of a risk. Now that would be COOL!!!!!!!!!! But, as you all know, Insurance carriers are slow to adopt new technologh and none of them want to be the FIRST to try something new....
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hangtime64
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04/27/2009 7:37 PM
I first used MSB about 5 years ago, which is also when I got into insurance adjusting. I mostly taught myself to use MSB and after grinding my way through a few cat claims I got through the work fast enough. However, I noted at that time that there were several things I didn’t like about the program. Drawing a detailed roof diagram for a 5,000sf house in MSB is akin to using a crayon on a single piece of cheap toilet paper. (This would be funny if the analogy weren’t so accurate.) Finding the right line item for an operation, even the common items, is not intuitive and often requires wading through the hundred or so superfluous results of Advanced Search to find the right item. Adding photos is clunky as you have to double click on each photo so that you can see what it is that you are adding the description to. And the list goes on and on.
While I have had no formal MSB training I don’t think any amount of training would overcome the shortcomings of the application, which brings me to my point, or question. Am I the only one who feels this way? I have read posts of other members which appear to look favorably upon MSB, but I wonder if they might also feel as I do that MSB could be a whole lot better. As MSB users we all pay, either directly or indirectly to use this application, and in MHO, we are paying good money for a bad application. I ran into a technical problem this weekend and found, after a cursory search of MSBINFO.COM, that there was no knowledge base, no forum and no avenue to request a change or improvement. By contrast, I have submitted bug reports and suggestions to Simsol and in more than one case, wound up dealing directly with a developer. To me that seems like a company that cares what I think and, at the very least, has an open door to hear my problem or complaint. Not true with MSB. So why am I using this program that I don’t like, costs me time and money, and leaves me frustrated every time I open it?
I do not fully understand what hold MSB has over some of the carriers out there, which would in turn make them require it’s use, which is the situation I find myself in, but I do think that if enough people complain loudly enough that good things could happen. If the Carriers like MSB because of the price database it uses, great, no reason to make me suffer though. I am considering adding a surcharge to all claims I receive which require an estimate in MSB. Maybe if there were a group of likeminded adjusters who all pressured either MSB or the Insurance Carriers with either lost business or having to spend extra money, respectively, then maybe one or the other would take note and improvements could be made.
If you have similar frustrations with MSB please post a response. Likewise, if you think MSB is the best estimate software please let me know why, and how you deal with all the problems.
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Tom Toll
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04/28/2009 8:37 AM
As much as I hate to admit, I agree with you. The database sucks big time and they will not listen to you on improvement. The diagram feature could be improved, but they will not listen to you. I have several inside people that I send recommendations to, but those fall on deaf ears. Some carriers like it as it is, why is unknown.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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ddreisbach
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04/28/2009 10:13 AM
I agree with many of the criticisms listed, but not all.  I don't have problems finding line items.  I rarely use advanced search, and it's easy to page through the superfluous results to find what I want.  I use keyboard shortcuts alot rather than doing everything with the mouse.  You might want to try that when annotating photos.
 
What bugs me more than anything is that they're totally unresponsive to adjuster suggestions.  There are numerous 'annoyances' that they refuse to fix.  One example: When viewing reports the scroll wheel doesn't scroll the report as it does in every other Windows program, it makes it larger or smaller.  Drives me nuts!  As you suggested, a user forum would be helpful.  A website with some information useful to the adjuster would be a nice touch.
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okclarryd
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04/28/2009 10:17 PM
Guys, it's really simple.

If you had 4,000 or 5,000 adjusters using the program, you could make suggestions that would get a response.

It's all about the MONEY!!

I liked it when it was DDS and I could call the originator of the software and discuss things. Like so many things, that was then and this is now.
Larry D Hardin
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Gale Hawkins
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05/07/2009 2:13 AM
 
The name of the new beginning was in print at PLRB 2009 in March in Seattle. It is called EyeQ. Since it was to be out in 2008 and from what I was told by one of their clients at PLRB 2008 we are working on the bases of a 2010 release date. The release date for the ComCentral replacement (the new back end to EyeQ) could be in 2010 as well but I did not talk to anyone that was aware of the progress on the ComCentral replacement that would enable the release of EyeQ for users currently on ComCentral.
 
In fairness from the angle of a developer it is hard to expect any deep or functional changes to the adjusting piece of the MSB solution unless IC development team is not involved in the development of EyeQ.
 
When it comes to software from any source seeing is believing. :)
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Tom Toll
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08/01/2009 2:12 PM

I think Eyeq is too little too late. Since DDS was purchased, this program has been on a steady trust worthiness decline ever since then. We can't get the database updates unless we call them, yet we are advised that they mail them out when they become available. Now they are going to charge us $25.00 to have it overnighted to us. If you can tell that I am quite upset with the MSB organization, you have assumed correctly. I am hoping that the company we work mostly with will change estimating platforms. We pay them a huge amount of money each and every year and now have to pay to get the data base cd's, are you kidding me, MS/B.

I know of another way to get their attention and of other software estimating companies, The congress of the United States. I am contacting one of my friends who is a Senator from Arknasas and suggest that a hearing  be held on these systems and their databases. Maybe MS/B will wake up then and quit putting the screws to the people who pay for their system.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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