5 factors that will help you determine if your field tech is ready to be a project lead.

I often encounter fresh new faces who are advancing into leadership roles when visiting companies who need contents training. I’m always excited for them as I myself had made a similar leap early in my career. Typically most techs that are asked to take on more responsibility are more than ready but some business owners like to validate that promotion with a set of criteria. To help anyone who wants to know if their tech is ready to take the lead; here are 5 indicators that tell if you are making the right choice.

  1. Experience – This one goes without saying and it is number one for a reason. Throwing someone into a role where they have authority over others but who don’t have an adequate amount of time on the job can be a set back to your progress and a morale killer. Knowing the process is key to being a lead tech.
  2. Knows how to assess the claim – A major responsibility for lead techs is making an initial assessment. Questions they have to ask may include: How much of the structure are we packing out and how do I know? How much labor time will this require? Will I need to outsource any part of this claim? Does anything need to be prioritized because of the type of contamination? Am I packing out by material type? What is total loss? Etc. A contents manager should also be prepared to make an assessment but having a lead tech with this same skill is a sign of a strong team.
  3. Understanding inventory methods – Project leads are typically responsible for inventory on the pack outs. Depending on the inventory method (written or digital) your project lead has to know how to execute a field inventory, which depending on the software may sometimes require knowledge of Xactimate codes. 
  4. Understand cleaning capabilities – Each pack out is different and some require heavy cleaning with ultrasonics while others require delicate hand cleaning with the gentlest cleaning methods available. Often times these decisions are made in the field if we are packing out by material type. (Packing out by material type in the field dramatically speeds the cleaning process)
  5. Communication skills – The property owner isn’t always present at the pack out but I’ve been on enough pack outs where the owner was present to know that a verbal misunderstanding can make the claim more difficult than it needs to be. A lead who can listen and understand the needs of a claimant is as important as any of the other skills mentioned.

In part two I’ll discuss five factors to look for when bringing on a contents manager.

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