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Last Post 07/18/2010 3:24 PM by  Ray Hall
MSB, a new beginning
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JohnB
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03/28/2008 11:26 PM
Update....Things went well for me today with solving my problem so far. I was asked by the desk adjusterto run the adjusters MSB measurements through Xactware to see where it ended up as compared to mine. I was 312.00 less becuase I only bill for costs I incur. I also learned a rather large firm may leave MSB and go to other software.MSB works in the right hands but I foiund it overwhelming. I visited powerclaims page today and seriously considering running it also in order to give apples to apples estimates with whatever the adjuster is using.

have a good one,whatever it may be.

John E Blakesmith
BobH
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03/28/2008 11:44 PM

Glad they are working with you - sounds promising.

Posted By John Blakesmith on 03/28/2008 11:26 PM
MSB works in the right hands but I found it overwhelming.

My grief when I tried to use MSB was finding the repair item I was looking for.  Getting used to the concept "here is a door, do you want to replace it, paint it, detach it, or clean it"

With Xactimate,  the door items are strictly what a door subcontractor would do - remove, replace, etc. 

With Xactimate, the paint items are all together.  You go there to paint doors, walls, whatever.   It is grouped by trade, not by the object being worked on.

With Xactimate, the cleaning items are all together.  You can clean doors, floors, cabinets, etc.

I suppose it is just what you are used to.  If I had been using MSB for all these years, I could do it in my sleep.  After the 5th estimate with MSB, I found out how to get the repair items I needed, but still preferred the Xactimate database and how it is arranged.  One of the bummer's with Xactimate is the database is SO HUGE it is like a needle in a haystack, but the search feature works very, very well.  And within a category, like framing or whatever, you can hit F2 and search just within Framing, and find what you need very quickly.

MSB has that "advanced search" feature, but so far it has tended to make me wade through 10x more wrong items to find the one I want than Xactimate does.  But I've been using Xactimate for 15 years so I suppose you get comfortable with it's flaws as well.

Bob H
JohnB
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03/29/2008 3:15 AM
Yes things are looking up Bob. I like Xactware because Im accustomed to it. I dont have the needs an adjuster has such as you. I'ts claim info,perimeters, sometimes sketch, estimate, view to proof it and then print or email for me. You're right on the money describing the database and the needle in the haystack when its an item that isnt regularly looked up. I learned shortcuts and timesavers in v25 early on. I sometimes will click search price list,type in the beginning of what Im looking for and its there.


Its late,I started at 530 this morn and will say good evening and hope for a fruitful cane season..


John B
BobH
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03/29/2008 3:28 AM
Posted By John Blakesmith on 03/29/2008 3:15 AM
I sometimes will click search price list,type in the beginning of what Im looking for and its there.

That works most of the time for me - but occasionally Xactimate doesn't call it the same thing you do. You know it's there but cannot find it in the database.

When that happens to me, I click on the column for item description, so that it sorts the items by their description (not the cryptic code for the repair items).  It's amazing to see what happens when you do that, all of the "seal and paint" items are grouped together instead of scattered, etc. 

The more I stumbled around with MSB the more I missed the ability to "hone in" on what I was looking for.  Of course the reverse is true for someone migrating to Xactimate.  It's hard for an adult to learn a new language...

Bob H
JohnB
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03/30/2008 6:58 PM
I talked to the NW property claims office on Friday. I run the Pilot adjusters MSB measurements/line itens through Xactware prior to the call to see where the two ended up. I backed out(used do not apply) base service charges on the heat stack on my xactware but not the one I run MSB's line items with. When I told the desk Adjuster this he asked me to fax the MSB estimate through Xactware estimate as he was curious how they compared against MSB. he noticed I didn't have BSC on the heatstack in mine and asked why. I told him if it's not getting replaced it doesn't apply and Im just sealing/ recollaring it. I told him to deduct it from the MSB/Xactware one. Where MSB missed the mark was in the operator of the software in addition to the shingle on and off M&L. MSB is allowing 85.00 per sq. 3 tab shingles on the shelf before tax here in Seattle is 42.00 and labor runs between 50 to 60 per sq. Even if you add 11% for O&P to MSB it falls 17.00 per sq short of raw cost. He agreed with me. He asked me why I didnt charge 2nd story (MSB/PILOT had it in theirs) I said because the valleys from the first story enabled a walkable 2nd story access and therefore if I dont incurr the charge I dont bill for it. I believe it amazed him Im not one of those that that line items the scope to death to get the price up. It goes back to reputation will put you in the money a hell of a lot faster than greed.

Its Sunday, the sun peaked out for once and Im going to enjoy it...So enjoy your day whereever it may be

John E Blakesmith
JohnB
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03/30/2008 7:49 PM
PS. MSB and Xactware were only a a few dollars apart when I run the MSB line items through Xactware.

JB
JohnB
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04/09/2008 6:58 AM

Bob,Thank You for your support. Allstate settled their differences with me by giving me everything I asked for. They liked the fact I run MSB through Xactware.

 

 

THX.

 

John Blakesmith

Seattle

Tom Toll
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04/25/2008 12:17 PM

After having lost thousands of dollars in the Katirina fiasco because of Integriclaim, I felt inclined to take legal action for their comcentral issues, but decided against it. A number of you wanted to take a class action against them because of this. Now, after working for hours on files and having problems again, they resolved the problem of file export/import, but, the files were lost, even after a backup was made, per their techs advice. Their answer, "I guess your just gonna have to do them over again". 10 hours of work down the tubes because of their inferior product.

These software companies that go up in price every year are failing us. I intend to take some type of action against MSB and possibly the entire spectrum of adjusting software for their inferior products that cost us thousands of dollars a year. They are not supplying us a program that works and with prices in the database that are not current. If any of you wish to join this, please advise.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Gale Hawkins
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04/25/2008 12:36 PM
Tom look at the big picture before you leap because even the winners can come out lossers in a courtroom. Not having options makes these issues hard to take I am sure. Scott told us at PLRB last week they will have the new version out to some in Aug and all in Dec. I did not ask him if they are ditching to old ComCentral but I think newer technology will insure they do. I also heard this 2008 date from an account of theirs so it may be firm.
Tom Toll
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04/26/2008 12:17 PM

Gayle, your rationale is correct, sometimes we lose at the courthouse, sometimes we win. So you think we should pay $1.600.00 per year for an estimating system that may cost us hours in time and money we could have earned because of their inferior product? I don't, and I am sure most don't. IC was a good system when presented as DDS years ago. Thats the product I would like to see come back. It was dependable, good data base, allowed us to change to the today prices, and reporting was flawless. So you think we should never challenge inferior products!

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

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.
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
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.
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.
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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