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ACT’S STAFF AUGMENTATION PROJECT YIELDS POWERFUL UX FOR ROOF ESTIMATING SOFTWARE

On-Demand Developers .NETConstruction Industry

THE CLIENT │ ADVANCED CLAIMS TECHNOLOGIES

Roof installation brings together a series of moving parts, funneling resources who function independently to issue estimates, navigate insurance policies, and execute the work as efficiently as possible. Next-generation software technologies are bleeding into all facets of the construction and insurance industries, finding a home wherever automated calculations and productivity optimization is needed. Software solutions alleviate the collaborative pain points that often surface while bringing those moving parts together.

Advanced Claims Technologies (ACT) provides engineering and drafting services for Insurance Adjusters and Roofing contractors. They use geo-tagged, aerial photographs from satellite, aircraft, and drone platforms to accurately formulate roof diagrams for customers to issue estimates on roof repair and replacement costs.

There are instances where roofing estimates must be given quickly, and with a fair degree of accuracy. For these instances, Advanced Claims Technologies leverages Rapid Roof Squares, a proprietary roof estimating software designed for impromptu, first-order magnitude estimates delivered within 10-15% of the actual cost. In situations where accelerated estimates are imperative, contractors depend on Rapid Roof Squares to provide the best end-user, drafting toolbox.

Rapid Roof Squares forges a collaborative estimation workflow for those submitting claims and those responsible for fulfilling them.

vector image of a roof
Rapid roof squares is a roof estimating software

RETOOLING RAPID ROOF SQUARE

ACT has a talented and capable in-house development team, but when Rapid Roof Squares, a roof estimating software application where users retrieve order estimates. The software uses screen captures to generate PDF reports, experienced final output errors, they required graphic/visualization experts with previous experience navigating similar deficits.

They opted into a staff augmentation relationship where Chetu’s developers worked as an extension of ACT’s in-house team, filling the missing piece in their programming resource pool.

Although Rapid Roof Squares was completed in-house, it required some fine-tuning. Users were meeting difficulty when transitioning between desktop and mobile devices, The difference in screen size was inhibiting the drag and drop mechanism that allowed users to drag screen captures into reporting modules.

Chetu was tasked to optimize the UI and screen capture functionaltiies, engineering a seamless, estimate-to-report workflow. The optimization would facilitate the following:

  • Roof repair order retrieval
  • Longitude and latitude calculations
  • Google maps display of roof location
  • Screen capture and PDF report generation
  • Depot data in tree view

ENHANCING ROOF ESTIMATING SOFTWARE SCREEN CAPTURE TO IMPROVE END-USER EXPERIENCE

To make this happen, we started the project by analyzing the available data provided by ACT. Given the structure, the application should carry out screen captures on any large Dots Per Inch (DPI) in the initial stage, but these basic functions needed to be normalized, eliminating discrepancies within the reporting function caused by differences in screen size.

Through the duration of ACT’s roof estimating software project, Chetu implemented the following technologies…

  • .NET Framework 4.5.1
  • Visual Studio 2017
  • SQL Server 2012
  • Windows (7,10)
  • Risk Assessment API
  • Swagger tool

The application is built on .NET Framework as the front end and SQL server database on the backend. Although Rapid Roof Squares existed as the base application, Chetu used this as a connection point for two other applications: Storm Report and ACT API.

All applications share a centralized database. The first phase of development facilitated the appropriate screen capture on any DPI, and enabled screen captures to be generated within a PDF report that end-users can email to the necessary recipients. Chetu eliminated binding depot record from Azure, and supported depot data display from ACT’s database using tree view format.

We next targeted the Storm Report, using Chromium to load Google maps, leading to enhanced visuals and more detailed screen captures. We can break down our influence into two modules—order module and depot module.

From the order module users can view the list of orders and load details. They can update pitch and area, upload location images, and generate reports for later distribution. In terms of the depot modules, it displays completed orders in tree view structure, loads completed orders according to location on the map, and refreshes order directory continuously. Chetu instrumented an entity-relationship diagram, a specialized (usually dynamic) chart that illustrates the relationships between entities in a database, using a specific set of database-specific symbols.

The enhancements made to the screen capture-reporting system prompted further development with ACT, and we were able to streamline the same mechanism within other projects. In the future, we will build a Risk Assessment Portal and Risk Assessment API on Angular 5 to create, view and update orders using ACT’s web application. The API will be Swagger-enabled so that users can track the order using Web APIs. Through access to Swagger, users will be able to add onsite orders and update their order status. Overall, ACT’s roof estimating software came out a more refined application, supporting painless usability on an end-user level.

microsoft sql server, microsoft .net, and Visual studio

Chetu had the expertise we needed, and was able to overcome those final output errors we were experiencing. Their communication, timeliness, and attention to detail has remained the same across all projects I’ve engaged with them on.

Bob McFarland,
CIO, ACT

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