Making the Case for Contents: Blending Traditional Methods with New Innovations
Contents restoration can be one of the most detailed arms in the broader restoration industry. In this line of work, being detail-oriented is not just a line on a job description, it’s a complete necessity for doing the job right. The most effective contents restoration work combines cleaning and restoration methods, not one or the other. When I started my local family business in 1988, most contents companies were strictly cleaning. I saw an opportunity for improvement by using my background in furniture finishing and fire restoration to build a contents business that brought cleaning and restoration under the same roof.
Thirty years later, our cleaning and restoration capabilities still set us apart. There are a lot more companies doing contents now, but many will still only pack it and clean it, and if they can’t restore it, they don’t do it. As contents restoration continues to grow in popularity, so does the importance of doing the job properly. Today, we once again have the opportunity for improvement, but this time it’s on a national scale, and we’re not doing it alone. In early 2019, our company became part of the BELFOR Franchise Group family. Together, we’re taking our system, built on old fashioned cleaning and restoring, and adapting it to become a new, elite franchise brand called PACKOUTZ.
Transitioning to PACKOUTZ is really a matter of melding together the old and new facets of the contents restoration field. We’re still using the traditional techniques, hands-on instruction, and restoration 101 that are the foundation of today’s methods, but newer developments in education and technology enable us to produce better results in a more efficient manner. In doing so, we can create a national network of experts and a contents restoration system that shapes the future of the industry for the better and, at the same time, helps our clients when they need us most.
Before starting my own business, I learned my trade by working under old fashioned furniture finishers - older, more experienced people who had been doing it for years. When it was time for me to build my own team, I did so by finding other master finishers, upholsterers, and art restorers who learned their trade in the same way I did. Over the last 30 years, we’ve grown from two people in 1,200 square feet into 70 people in 130,000 square feet. Specializing in cleaning and restoration helped us get our foot in the door of a lot of places, but excelling at both of those kept the business coming. Without our collective years of experience and traditional training through apprenticeships, we wouldn’t have excelled in the same way.
As I looked at the team we’d built, I knew we’d built something pretty substantial, and most people would be happy with that, but I still wanted to take it to another level. If we wanted to keep growing and improving with the industry’s demand, we were going to have to find the right partner to help us do that. I knew BELFOR had the network and resources to handle PACKOUTZ, and they also had the same belief in the industry, and in the people behind it, that we did. They’ve been committed to raising the bar in restoration for as long as I have, so I knew we could turn this expansion into something truly beneficial.
I have always believed that the success of contents restoration, for all parties involved, is rooted in proper training, resources, and education. In 2018, I helped write and develop the industry standards for the new Contents Loss Specialist certification using the knowledge and experience I’d gained over several decades of specializing in contents. This was a step in the right direction and a positive sign of growth because, historically, the information flowing through the contents industry has been all over the place. These standards bring awareness to that and provide a common framework for contents newcomers to begin mastering their craft.
These newly established standards, coupled with new developments in technology, like digital inventories, estimating platforms, and ultrasonic cleaning, will ensure PACKOUTZ brings a degree of standardization to contents restoration that has long been missing from the industry. This is a big deal for the contents field because with standardization comes consistency. Consistency in quality, process, and expertise keeps contents restoration teams, insurance companies, and homeowners on the same page, which makes workflow more seamless and improves the relationship(s) among all parties.
Ultimately, if you can get a network of people who do this work really well, then you’re further ahead of the game. Not only are you able to capture more of the work, but you’re also able to do a better job because you have more resources to put towards training, facilities, tools, and more. In this sense, growing a brand is synonymous with building the contents restoration industry as a whole. As the PACKOUTZ brand expands, so does the industry’s network of contents experts, which makes proper contents restoration much more accessible for those who need it most. There is no end in sight for contents, and we’re proud to be part of it!
Who should join PACKOUTZ?
People who want to help people in the aftermath of disasters and are passionate about doing good work. For us, this is personal, and it’s an honor to help clients get through some of their most challenging times. Plus, our team will be trained by the industry leaders!
To learn more about our new PACKOUTZ brand, visit www.belforfranchisegroup.com/PACKOUTZ.