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R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 3:39 pm:   

John, Gale,Scott, et al;

IF you build it, they will have to come.

You are on the right track, use the KISS principle and all of those that appreciate it , will be kissing your proverbial rings.

Having to use 4-6 different programs really is a pain and costly to boot. The industry is ready for and should expect to have an open standards policy in place.

If progress is to be made, someone has to commence the dialouge, and John has been gracious enough to open it.

How many more will have the GRIT to participate.

Remember when all you ever needed was a fully completed Accord form to do a loss? (What happened?)
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 2:58 pm:   

We at PowerClaim agree with both Russ and John concerning standardization of Property Claims reporting forms. It has arrived in the auto claims world I understand. Last year we unlocked our files and offered them as an Open Standard knowing full well that it would be a give and take situation for a few years. Russ we are seeing a lot of interest at all levels in standards being set.

Although Simsol had not marketed it strongly they have had unlocked claim files for years which has won them some nice clients. Russís point about simplicity is critical to reducing claims handling cost.

As a sideline that supports Russís view of Simsol we have a new lady in sales that last week came to me troubled. She said she was finding good interest among the users of other brands of estimating software unless they were using Simsol. I laughed and told her not to burn a lot of time with Simsol users because John and his staff really had done a good job both business and product wise.

Standards are coming Russ but are a short while away yet with Simsol and PowerClaim open to the issue other vendors will have to warm to the idea or just fade away is my prediction.
John A. Postava (Johnp)
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 12:28 pm:   

Thanks for the kind words. I agree forms are a big headache! Seems like every time we sign up an independent company or carrier we end up custom programming forms that are almost exactly alike with only a few fields being located in different places. In reality, all companies require the same information and we should be able to come up with standard "CADO" formats for wind, hail, etc. (Flood has their own "unique" form set). I would not be opposed to working on such form sets with a few CADO members and some folks from MSB and Powerclaim (as long as they have an adjusting background and knowledge about what we need). CADO members can start pushing the form sets to their employers who in-turn would get it in front of carriers. If we did it right, the CADO form sets could become the standard. If life could only be so easy....
Jim Flynt (Jimflynt)
Posted on Saturday, June 30, 2001 - 6:51 am:   

When your mouse fails, your DOS program doesn't work, and you can't seem to find the repair components you need in Simsol, Xactimate or DDS, perhaps you need to refer back to the S.W.A.G. Estimating system. This rather ancient but highly respected method is well known and well used by more than a few seasoned adjusters, although more and more newer adjusters are fast learning this method as well.

For those not familiar with the S.W.A.G. nomenclature, it is also known as the Scientific Wild Assed Guess program.

And if a carrier or vendor questions the validity of using this program, casually remind them of it's frequent and regular use by Congress, the Pentagon, the news media, used car dealers, claims managers, storm supervisors as well as various and sundry other sorcerers including the President of the United States.
Russ Doe
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 8:48 pm:   

I love my dos Simsol.I'm doing large flood claims
in Houston and was glad when the storm manager said we could chose our own software program.Although I have used windows based programs, I still like the ease off command driven
software. I wish the Cat Companies would work with the software vendors and develop forms that we can change the header on depending on who the Carrier is. The forms are pretty much the same and when you have to quit a program and move to another program its a pain in the butt.Alan is right, speed is essential when you're trying to make money. y'all have a great day!!Russ
alan jackson (Ajackson)
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 12:33 pm:   


You are 100% right. On most wind and hail claims you only need a few line items. However, it takes forever to click into countless boxes to bring them up. I wish we could go to the estimate and enter codes for the specific line items. It doesn't take to many estimates or a good cheat sheet to memorize the most accuring items.

Pilot use to have their own system which utilized either a drop down box or you could just enter the code. However, I believe they quit supporting it several years ago.
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2001 - 6:43 am:   

i remember when using a ball point pen instead of a pencil was tough. now a mouse creats a problem.
seriously, user active programs , ie, sketch, etc, are not user friendly, in a hail storm you need just a few entries and trying to find a certain overhead door wrap is certainly hard, so if some way to have a complete program except, when you set it up for hail, flood, etc, then thats the catagories you only need would be present in your price list, is that too complicated.
Gale Hawkins (Gale)
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 11:37 pm:   

If you are using one of the four packages John mentions in his opening post what percentage of the features would you guess you use on a regular bases?

2. Do you still use other packages like Word, CAD, Photo software as well?

3. Would you prefer a stripped down version?

4. Would you like a buffet offering so you could pay for the features you use and not pay of the ones you never use?

5. In Cat situations do you find you email in the completed claims often?

6. Are you willing to pay much for handheld systems in a world of cheap notebooks and desktops?

7. Do you see adjusting software as cool or just a tool?
Posted on Tuesday, June 26, 2001 - 10:34 am:   

scott, just tell the old whining farts to become one with the mouse.
i remember someone telling me this long long ago in another space and time
Scott Wiens (Digitalsaw)
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 3:20 pm:   

Thanks also for your comments. As John mentioned, there are difficulties with making a GUI (graphical user interface) totally keyboard driven. At MS/B we are making progress in getting the IntegriClaim product (DDS Multi-Line Pro) more keyboard friendly. I believe we are about 85% there but are still working on the graphic menus we first introduced to the market back in 95'. There are some things we have done to simplify the process and reduce the number of clicks it takes to write an estimate. We are making some progress and will try to update our users as things progress.
Thanks again for the feedback.
John A. Postava (Johnp)
Posted on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 7:32 am:   

I agree that the DOS systems were much faster and easier to operate. We still have over 300 adjusters using our DOS system (which we stopped updating over 3 years ago). Since Alison made landfall we have actually sent out 20-30 "new" copies of our DOS-based estimating system to adjusters that have older computers and printers.

Most of today's Windows-based systems do much more than the DOS systems of the 80's and 90's. Speed of estimating is the price we pay for multi-functionality of today's software programs. We are experimenting at our company to see if we can resurrect keyboard commands while adjusters are using our estimator (then going back to the mouse for other functions such as photos, diagrams and emailing). It is difficult to program keyboard commands while in a graphical environment but I will let you know how it goes.
alan jackson (Ajackson)
Posted on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 9:30 am:   

It seems tha most software is designed for everyday adjusting. These things seem built for the everyday adjuster working 40 hours aweek who is not under the gun to turn a large volume of claims.

I think there is to much mouse work. I like the old DOS systems where you could enter codes instead of opening boxes with the mouse and looking for a item.

I have to say the new programs generate a smart looking product. However, can there be some way of speeding up the estimating process. It seems it takes two to three times as long to write a estimate with a Windows based system verus the old DOS systems.
John A. Postava (Johnp)
Posted on Friday, June 22, 2001 - 8:34 pm:   

CADO Members and Vistors:
The adjusting/insurance estimating market is now down to just a few players. How are we doing? What features/functions would you like to see in your software and the particular product you are using (MSF, Powerclaim, SIMSOL, Xactware)is missing the mark. Post your comments on this thread (and please don't mention any single product by name) and we developers will surely take note (or perish a horrible corporate death!). Remember it is you folks who drive our software.

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