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CASE STUDY

Clever TREVOR

Introduction

Trevor Francis was the first £1m footballer and Trevor McDonald was ITN’s first black news reporter. Our TREVOR is the first digital innovation in the restoration claims process. There has been lots of innovation in restoration equipment but no-one, until now, has tackled the way properties are dried and set clear and transparent standards and data processes to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of restoration claims management.

It’s 18 months since we launched TREVOR, our digital solution that supports trained technicians to deliver certainty around drying. Over that time we have fed hundreds of thousands of bits of data through TREVOR and refined our processes and reporting to ensure that he is embedded in the Revival operation at branch and head office level. So we thought it’s time we showed how clever TREVOR is by providing detail on how he works, data on his performance to date and information on how we are using him to maximise performance across the business.

Why was TREVOR needed?

We introduced TREVOR to deal with the complexities and opaqueness of property restoration, a service that has often been viewed as an “art” rather than the science that it should be. Little has been done by the industry to understand the effectiveness of solutions and the performance of restoration companies and their technicians. For an industry that is rooted in science there is surprisingly little data available to support decision-making by technicians, insurers and loss adjusters. There has been little or no assessment or monitoring of restoration companies’ performance when it comes to applying the most appropriate drying regimes in the insurance industry.

For reinstatement works there are plenty of data and performance metrics – a well-designed schedule of rates coupled with validation skills and data analysis provides plenty of information around the effectiveness of contractors and their value for money. We decided this should be the same in the world of restoration.

There is no definitive guide to drying a property because there are so many variables involved. The variables include, but are not limited to:

There are published standards and guidance such as PAS 64:2013 (Mitigation and recovery of water damaged buildings Code of Practice) which is guidance developed in collaboration with the British Standards Institution (BSI), and BDMA Standard BS12999 designed to provide guidance and recommended best practice for those who work in the damage management sector and the wider related insurance industry. These publications are general guidance, and generally lack detailed information about drying times, the science and how to design an appropriate drying regime.

An effective drying regime needs a well-trained technician with a lot of experience who follows the standards and guidance, the science and the maths, to ensure the most appropriate solution is provided. Claims handlers and loss adjusters rely on the expertise of the restoration company to dry out a property and it is not simply a case of sticking in a dehumidifier and coming back two weeks later. Drying is a technical discipline that requires a lot of data processing, so a digital solution was clearly needed.

The drying process

Before a technician starts drying a property he or she should ensure that they have a clear understanding of the incident and the implications of the damage it has caused. They also need to look at the construction of the building and the materials used, and should apply their training and experience to understand how the different materials will react to the damage and subsequent decontamination, drying and restoration techniques. When planning the drying regime the technician should also consider any pre-existing building defects and complete a robust and comprehensive damage investigation (which should be clearly documented).

Strip-outs are regularly carried out before drying takes place but often this is not necessary. A good technician will evaluate alternative options (such as cavity or target drying) and will consider the costs, overall claim lifecycle and customer impact associated with the various options (strip-out, reinstatement and alternative accommodation). No published guidance or standards help the technicians with this sort of detail.

The drying methodology and equipment used must be appropriate for the incident and the property’s construction – even if that means no equipment is required because opening a window will be just as effective. Restoration companies should ensure that their technicians have a wide variety of approaches and equipment available to them.

Comprehensive moisture measurement techniques should be used at the start of the process and at appropriate intervals during the drying process. A technician must always have a target moisture reading for each type of building material in the building, which can be ascertained by doing readings in unaffected parts of the building. Multiple devices and differing tests will often be needed.

Psychrometry is the science and technology that relates to the thermodynamics (the movement of energy between materials) of gas-vapor mixtures. Psychrometric charts are used for calculating the values of relative humidity, absolute humidity, and dew points from psychrometer readings. They cut out the tedious mathematical formulas – as long as you have any two parameters where the lines will cross each other, you can determine all other parameters.

Technicians use psychrometric charts to determine the level of moisture in the air – by measuring relative humidity and the air temperature (using thermo-hygrometers) they can use the charts to determine the moisture in the air (weight of water vapour in grams per kg of air). When done at the start of the drying process it provides a guide as to whether a drying regime is needed at all. The house type and weather conditions can affect relative humidity, so the technician needs to consider all the variables.

Excessive moisture in the air creates the risk of secondary damage so dehumidifiers and air moving equipment are installed to manage the moisture content of the air as the building materials dry out. The technician should take regular moisture readings of the various materials to ensure they are drying as expected and should regularly measure the temperature and relative humidity throughout the drying regime to ensure the drying parameters are promoting efficient drying – where there is a disparity there is something wrong with the drying regime and adjustments are required. Accurate documentation and analysis of moisture readings is critical to deliver the best possible outcome.

How does TREVOR work?

TREVOR is an algorithm designed to apply psychrometric charts to moisture readings to determine whether a property needs mechanical drying (in 11% of claims mechanical drying is not actually needed). If the property does need mechanical drying TREVOR monitors the performance of the drying regime and predicts when the property will be dry.

Consistent data collection is key for TREVOR. All Revival branches take extensive and consistent moisture readings at the first inspection and subsequent visits. The initial Moisture Control (MC) readings measure the moisture content of all the materials affected in the property. MC target readings are then recorded to determine the drying goals for each material that is measured within a property. Drying is complicated and requires an average of 36 moisture readings per job and some complicated maths – this is where TREVOR makes such a difference, not only can he do the maths but he can process MC or WME readings.

Using the consistent data from site, algorithms and the psychrometry of drying, TREVOR compares the initial MC readings for each material against the target MC readings to determine how long it will take to dry the property. Subsequent actual MC readings then help TREVOR determine whether the drying is on track.

Initial Visit

Data is collected on site by the technicians using our bespoke mobile app, Scoper. The initial MC readings, MC target readings and all subsequent moisture readings are entered into Scoper, along with photographs of the property and drying regime, claim details, room dimensions, details of the works required to return the property to a pre-loss position and customer contact information. We also use Scoper to scan the QR-codes of drying equipment to log each piece onto and off site. As Scoper is integrated with our core claims management system, Pulse, all of this information is transmitted from site directly into Pulse so office staff can start creating reports and updating clients and customers. Scoper is also used to prepare risk assessments on site which are also sent straight from site into Pulse.

At this point an Initial Inspection report is created in Pulse and sent to the client, which is a descriptive report with images that provides a general update. We also send a TREVOR Drying Summary report to the client with all the initial MC readings and MC target readings as well as a date when TREVOR predicts the property will be dry. It is at this point that TREVOR confirms whether the property needs mechanical drying or not.

An example of the moisture readings page of the Drying Summary Report is below.

  

Subsequent visits

Technicians take moisture readings every time they visit the property. These are collected via Scoper and automatically transmitted back to Pulse, enabling the office staff to create updated TREVOR Drying Summary reports for clients, showing the latest moisture readings. The report tracks progress in a graphic form that is easy for a non-technical claims handler to understand.

A more detailed graph is also provided to show the drying progress of each material in each room:

These reports bring transparency to the process and provide the client and/or loss adjuster with confidence that the drying regime is being managed efficiently.

TREVOR performance

When we first launched TREVOR we benchmarked our data and promised that he would save an average of £600 per claim and 21 days per claim duration. We are delighted to say that we have exceeded these targets quite comfortably.

In 2024 TREVOR has saved 24 days per claim on average for restoration. That translates into an estimated average of £996 of electricity and restoration costs per claim.

There are other cost savings being enjoyed by our clients that we can’t measure, such as alternative accommodation and internal costs associated with keeping claims open, so the overall cost savings for our clients are substantial.

The savings in time and cost are substantial because:

The images below are examples of the dashboards we use to monitor the performance of ongoing drying regimes.

 

We would be delighted to demonstrate these in real-time to anyone who is interested.

Equipment management

Equipment management is also a key part of the TREVOR management system. Every piece of drying equipment held by the branches is QR-coded and gets scanned onto and off site using Scoper so we know where every piece of equipment is and have a real-time view of the equipment available to use. As TREVOR predicts dry dates we know when each piece of equipment on site will become available, making planning and capacity management much easier. Our branches are also investing in the latest, energy efficient drying equipment to improve performance even more and save our clients more money.

The benefits of TREVOR for clients and customers

Clear and transparent updates

Because we provide transparent and real-time data on the progress of each drying regime, clients and their agents can be confident that the regime is being managed in the most efficient and effective way. Our TREVOR Drying Summary reports provide easy to read information on progress and a clear predicted dry date which helps our clients manage customer expectations and line up the next suppliers without a delay between the drying finishing and the reinstatement works starting.

Reduced friction and delays between suppliers

We have analysed the data for one of our large clients who uses our Revival restoration services and our MA Assist reinstatement claims management. We have been able to demonstrate a significant reduction in delays because we use TREVOR to tell the building contractors when the property will be dry and make sure they plan in the works well before they receive the drying certificate.

MA Assist is appointed to carry out reinstatement works after drying has been completed in 39% of claims, i.e. the insurer or loss adjuster appoints us after they have received a drying certificate. For 61% of claims MA Assist is appointed before drying is completed (i.e. Revival carries out the drying). Our data tells us that the average time taken for reinstatement works to start after drying has been completed is 55 days less when the building contractor is appointed before drying is completed. In other words, the claim is extended by an extra two months when a building contractor is appointed after the drying certificate is issued.

If the contractor is appointed before the drying certificate is issued they can plan in the works, order materials and work with the restoration company whilst the property is still drying. They can even start work in rooms that are dry before the rest of the property is dry. Breaking down the silos in this way makes a significant difference to the claim duration and costs for insurers. The best results are achieved when the building contractor attends site with the restoration technician early in the drying regime.

Where we manage the drying and reinstatement works we have been able to embed and refine TREVOR and our associated processes so that, over the last 18 months, the average number of days between the end of the drying regime and the start of reinstatement works has fallen from over 100 days in 2022 to less than 20 days since March and April 2024.

Environmental benefits

TREVOR saves costs incurred on electricity consumption as the drying equipment is no longer left in properties when it is no longer needed and drying regimes are efficient. He also has a significant benefit for clients’ environmental targets. In the first six months of 2024 we estimate that TREVOR has saved 821 tonnes of CO2, or 32,000 trees. These CO2 savings will increase as our branches continue to invest in the latest energy efficient drying equipment.

Surge and capacity management

Who knows when the next surge will hit, but we do know that we are the best in the industry at managing surge and we will be even better during the next one. This is because we have real-time data on capacity across all our Revival branches, thanks to TREVOR and equipment management. And because we can flex resource across the UK, we can divert it to wherever it’s needed.

Lower complaint ratios and better customer retention

Being able to access accurate data and to coordinate suppliers means that insurers and MA Group can manage customer expectations more effectively and so reduce the probability of a complaint. Poor communication is a significant cause of complaint, so being able to provide accurate information on drying times and lead times means that customers are much more satisfied with their claims experience. Because we can use TREVOR to predict dry dates, have clear data on each building contractor’s lead times and can appoint a building contractor before a property is dry, we can keep customers fully informed of claims progress and the likely duration of the claim and level of disruption to their lives.

Indemnity cost savings

We have already detailed the direct restoration cost savings thanks to TREVOR, but we know there are more savings that our clients are enjoying that we can’t measure. By reducing the average whole claim lifecycle by at least two months for those clients that use our reinstatement and restoration services, we have reduced their internal and alternative accommodation costs significantly.

High performing supply chain

The TREVOR performance of each branch is used by our Pulse system to allocate work to branches, as well as customer satisfaction results, postcode and available capacity. This means that insurers can be sure that their claims are being allocated to the best available branch. Each branch is provided with data on its performance on TREVOR which measures how well they are using TREVOR, the accuracy of moisture readings, average mitigation times and drying times as well as their performance on keeping clients updated with the TREVOR Drying Summary reports.

A high performing supply chain with minimal friction between suppliers reduces the stress and disruption for customers and improves customer satisfaction.

The benefits of TREVOR for Revival branches

Efficiencies and capacity management

TREVOR ensures that the most effective and efficient drying regimes are used, creating capacity within each branch to take on more business. Each branch has access to Know Your Limits capacity reports which look at available technicians, equipment and invoicing history to show how much more work a branch can manage. This is especially important in surge where it is very easy to overload a particular branch and create unnecessary performance issues.

Scoper also maximises efficiencies for the branches. Because it captures so much data on site and transmits it all to Pulse, administration is reduced and technicians can attend more sites in a day. Pulse creates the Risk Assessment reports, Inspection reports and TREVOR Drying Summary reports using the data sent from site, enabling the branches to easily send information and updates to clients and customers. Scoper can also be used to prepare estimates and scopes of work on site, using the agreed schedule of rates for each client, which are also transmitted back into Pulse.

The branches benefit from an improved return on their investment in assets, equipment and staff, increased turnover and profits and a better understanding of their businesses.

Performance measurement

We constantly feedback performance to the branches. Not only do we provide data to show how their branch performs compared to other branches, but we also provide performance data for each technician. This helps us to identify any issues quickly so we can support the branch and provide training wherever it may be needed. It also creates healthy competition, so each branch strives to perform well so they can receive more work.

The image above shows our new quality report, focussing on moisture readings, which can be filtered by branch and by technician. It checks whether MC control readings are being used correctly, the percentage of claims with moisture readings and the accuracy of information provided on materials as well as checking the consistency of the moisture reading scales being used.

This is a powerful tool that ensures the accuracy of TREVOR – as TREVOR is only as good as the data that feeds him, and the more accurate data he gets, the more accurate his predictions get.

Happier customers and fewer complaints

Life as a supplier is much easier if customers are happy and complaints are low. Managing complaints is time-consuming and distracting for any business, so if we can avoid them we will. Revival has incredible customer satisfaction results and our clients tell us how little “noise” they hear about the work that we do. Revival’s NPS is consistently in the 80s and the complaint ratio is consistently less than 1%.

Conclusions

Data-driven management of property restoration claims can generate substantial savings for clients, much better claims experiences for customers and benefits to suppliers. We have been able to demonstrate savings of almost £1,000 on restoration claims and we have taken 24 days off durations by applying a digital solution that can process thousands of data points a day and apply the science of psychrometry to drive the right outcomes.

Whilst it sounds counter-intuitive for us to be saying that we want to charge our clients less, the fact is that the benefits that TREVOR brings to Revival and the branches in terms of efficiencies and the resulting investment in people and training are significant.

We couldn’t have achieved this without the support and dedication of our amazing UK-wide network of Revival licensees who have gone on this journey with us. They are consistently ensuring that accurate data is collected to power TREVOR and that our clients are kept informed on progress so they can support their customers through the claim. The licensees appreciate the feedback and performance support that we are providing with the help of TREVOR and we are all demonstrating that we are the best in the industry.

The restoration industry is many years behind the reinstatement industry when it comes to measuring supplier performance and value for money. This needs to change and Revival is driving that change.

In Celtic, Trevor means “wise, smart, clever, intelligent, sophisticated” and in Gaelic it means “prudent, careful, cautious”. Well, our TREVOR is all of those things, so get in touch to see how MA Group can deliver you cost savings and happier customers.