Elevating Restoration Operations with Albi's Third-Party Integrations

Discover the essential role of third-party apps in restoration project management. Learn how seamless integrations can enhance efficiency, streamline communications, and boost productivity.

The fast pace of the disaster restoration industry makes efficiency paramount to the success of any restorer’s business. Restoration project management involves tasks like scheduling preliminary meetings, documentation of damage, mitigation efforts, sending out estimates, contacting assessors, arranging teams, ordering supplies, contacting subcontractors, conducting final inspections, and sending out invoices. Every project more or less follows the same basic sequence, though often hiccups interrupt workflows.

Assessors are slow to approve claims. Customers complain at slower than expected progress, while their fears must be allayed. Subcontractors fail to show. Employees call in sick. Equipment fails. Material orders are delayed. All of these things can cause a restoration project, the management of which falls upon the person assigned to oversee it. These things keep project managers and contractors for restoration companies stressed out while keeping businesses from growing to their fullest potential. Restoration project management software can ease this pressure by providing tools that allow project managers to do their job more effectively.

Third-Party Apps: The Importance of Seamless Integrations

To understand why seamless integration of third-party apps is so important, let’s take a quick look beyond what happens during a restoration. Project management these days requires a certain amount of tech-savviness, with an almost unlimited assortment of business software apps available. These apps help with almost every aspect of a project manager’s job, from scheduling to estimating apps and communications to equipment tracking apps. In turn, each app needs to communicate with a central, cloud-based software platform from which all these tools can be accessed.

Cloud-based systems have opened a plethora of possibilities for businesses. Third-party apps provide services or resources for cloud platform users, many of which were neither supplied nor developed by the platform’s provider. These tools allow companies to use innovative software without needing in-house development. For example, a restaurant might want to integrate Google Maps to allow potential customers to find their business. This same idea can be applied to restoration project management software.

Integrating with Restoration Project Management Platforms

Software tools that support project management encourage efficiency throughout a restoration. Project management systems maintain these apps on their cloud-based platforms, enabling restorers to customize what tools they need. It also means all of a restorer’s data is stored safely in one place, allowing easy access to old estimates, customer contact details, marketing data, and other important information.

Third-party apps for restoration project managers can help with: 

  • Accounting duties like invoice management, keeping track of expenses, and providing fiscal reports.
  • Enhancing communications with potential (and current) customers by providing instant responses to questions, scheduling appointments, and swiftly responding to emergencies.
  • Giving project managers tools to coordinate and dispatch field teams while scheduling jobs and updating changes in real-time.
  • Handling damage documentation and reporting in real-time.
  • Managing interactions with customers to shape reputations in social media and other online forums.
  • Mapping moisture in areas to document better and manage water-related mitigation efforts and damage claims.
  • Providing accurate estimates to improve accuracy on bids on projects.
  • Simplifying the claims process through providing up-to-date pricing data for the sector, including estimated costs for major and minor repairs.
  • Streamlining purchasing to ensure the right equipment and materials are available for a job.
  • Tracking equipment and job progress in real-time to increase productivity.

Restoration project management software is key in bringing all these apps together. Whether a restorer needs to augment their communications, documentation, or other aspects of a restoration project, managing these can take some of the pressure off. Restoration contractors can then concentrate on other things, like growing their business.

How Project Managers Benefit from Third-Party Integrations

These days, there are all sorts of platforms that support restoration project management. These can be augmented and customized to suit the user by adding third-party apps that complement the main software platform. Various vendors develop these apps to track equipment, share files, and communicate with stakeholders, adding functions that help project managers better perform their jobs.

These third-party apps help a project manager oversee a restoration project. Management tools available through these apps expand a company’s capabilities by offering various useful features that may not be available through the main platform. As an example, though an integral element of water damage restoration, project management tools for moisture mapping often include third-party apps like Encircle, as it’s considered by many as the best in the industry.

When these tools are incorporated into a single platform, it improves the efficiency and productivity of everyone involved in a restoration project. However, management tools made by third-party providers need to be compatible with the main software platform. If an app doesn’t seamlessly integrate into a project manager’s system, it may take away from its functionality or even lead to lost data. Security, too, can be an issue, as it allows a backdoor that could lead to an opening for cybercriminals looking to steal customer data or other confidential information.

A Look at Apps for Restoration Project Management 

In 2009, Apple coined and trademarked a very prescient phrase: “There’s an app for that.” While legally, this was done to prevent retailers from stealing their catchphrases to advertise their own products, Apple marketers made this phrase prophetic. There is, in fact, a software app for almost anything these days. For a project manager handling a restoration project, management platforms can greatly benefit from these third-party apps.  

A key third-party app found in every restoration project management platform aids with communication. Such tools became essential when the COVID pandemic forced office workers to work remotely, but these tools are a natural fit for teams operating remotely in the field. Yet beyond communication tools, many other third-party apps streamline workflows, augment customer service, improve documentation, and provide moisture maps and other useful tools to aid restoration.

Restorers can benefit from the following third-party tools:

  • CompanyCam: Categorizes work according to GPS location with photo-based tool that enables easier restoration project management to improve customer service, keep updated on all projects and make it simpler for field teams to check in at a worksite.
  • Dope Marketing: Sends out direct marketing mail to neighbors of customers who have already signed a contract for a restoration project, management of which is fully automated.
  • Eagleview: Allows access to property measurement tools to assist with generating estimates and planning projects.
  • Encircle: Acts as a field documentation tool for restorers, assisting with claim management, loss mitigation and inventorying contents of a damaged structure.
  • Gmail: Allows contractors to securely store emails and chat conversation in the cloud via PC or mobile device.
  • Google Calendar: Allows for quick organization of calendar by day, week, or month, while enabling easy viewing, management, and establishment of tasks time-sensitive tasks.
  • Handwrytn: Enables contractors to send out handwritten thank you notes after a restoration project; management of this is automated and allows for the sending of gift cards.
  • HubSpot: Mobile app that can run on both Apple and Android devices to view documents, handle marketing emails, edit records, and directly message stakeholders involved in a project.
  • Mail Chimp: Assists with communications and best practices for marketing, allowing users to design aesthetically pleasing emails, automate custom workflows, and analyze marketing data.
  • Microsoft Teams: Helps people work collaboratively together by keeping teams connected, informed, and organized.
  • Quickbooks: Empowers project managers to send out professional estimates and invoices from anywhere, with solutions that include capturing customer signatures, cataloging outlays, reconciling transactions, and speeding electronic payments.
  • Slack: Facilitates collaboration by connecting people who work on the same restoration project, managing communications between team members.

This is just a sampling of the types of apps available to restoration platforms with open APIs. Integrating these and other third-party apps helps restorers customize every aspect of their companies’ operations to meet the needs of any restoration project. Management of a disaster restoration doesn’t need to be so stressful these days, with software that helps track job progress, enhance efficiency throughout, and augment communication.  

Using Albi for Third-Party Integrations

Albi’s open API makes it ideal for integrating third-party apps that help handle a restoration project. Management, communications, and other apps work seamlessly on Albi’s open API platform, providing restorers with a means to customize their system. With access to thousands of third-party apps and more made available, Albi offers a solid system that can propel restoration companies to greater profitability and productivity. To learn more about Albi’s commitment to the seamless integrations that continue to alter the restoration landscape, book a free demo today.