Over the years restoration contractors have had to be creative finding more and more ways to make a living in the industry. When I first started in the early 90s it wasn't uncommon to see contractors with over 30 field employees, full office staff and up to 4 estimators. As the insurance companies started to tighten their belts contractors had to adapt by decreasing field staff and using more sub contractors. This helped their the bottom line but then they lost control over the daily progress and quality control.
It seemed like the insurance providers were finding more ways to lower claims by inputting new restrictions. Contractors were forced to cut overhead administrative staff like receptionists, in house bookkeepers and account receivable managers were being replaced with automated answering services and asking the remaining staff to take on more work. This was not easy because many of these people were like family but drastic changes needed to be done.
Then the insurance companies rolled out preferred contractor programs that companies were so happy to be a part of until the new rules were enforced that makes it even harder to make a profit. No overhead and profit for less than 3 trades and line items they will not cover anymore. It got to the point where you would be alerted and unable to upload an estimate until you fixed the infractions. Most of those items were the profit makers to the contractor so you can see why it is imperative to cut costs.
Outsourcing estimating is a new way for contractors to fix costs. This service was invented to assist contractors with fast and accurate estimating without the need add an estimator salary, provide a car, provide a computer, adding an Xactimate license and the overhead costs of payroll. Entrepreneurs have purchased their own Xactimate license and offered a service that provides contractors a way to save on costs and add to their profitability.