Imagine a restoration company building a ‘bionic workforce.’ What does that phrase bring to mind? For some, it might conjure images of complex, intimidating technology and the loss of the human touch. But for the new generation of workers, who’ve grown up with a supercomputer in their pockets and instant access to information, it signals empowerment, autonomy, future-proof skills, a dynamic work environment, and higher job satisfaction.

Today’s most innovative restoration leaders, like Keegan Trudgen, co-owner of multiple PuroClean Disaster Services franchises, are seizing this opportunity. They’ve recognized that while the availability of experienced workers entering the workforce is dwindling, the quality of workplace technology is quickly filling the gap—if you know how to leverage it.

Welcome back to “Winning with Workers,” the KnowHow monthly series dedicated to exploring the foundational principles for attracting and retaining the best talent in the restoration industry. Inspired by our book Winning with Workers, we spotlight different restoration leaders who embody core principles and are willing to share their secret sauce for success—so you can win, too.

This month, Keegan discussed how to enable and enhance teams to create a bionic workforce—not powered by robots, but by humans assisted with technology to leverage their superpowers and reach their full potential.

Want to hear more about Keegan’s vision for a future-proof restoration company, which attracts and retains top talent? Click on the podcast video below to listen to the full discussion.


Keegan Trudgen: Embracing Technology for a Bionic Workforce

Let’s define the concept of a Bionic Workforce. In Winning with Workers, the chapter on “Mobilizing a Bionic Workforce” refers to employees who enhanced by technology, allowing them to achieve much more than their analog counterparts. By integrating advanced tools and systems, these workers perform tasks with greater efficiency and precision, transforming the way restoration work is done.

Keegan's background uniquely positions him to understand and embrace this concept. With experience at Intel, known for its innovation and optimization, and a strong analytical foundation from his finance degree and MBA from Northwestern, Keegan possessed the expertise to assess and implement technology effectively.


Attracting and Retaining a Gen Z Workforce

The competitive advantage this has afforded Keegan as a leader cannot be overstated, especially as restoration continues to evolve at a breakneck speed, leaving tech-resistant companies struggling to adapt.

“In our industry, 10 years ago, you were hand sketching a room” for example, Keegan says. “Today, our technicians are taking a 360 camera… pressing a button… and minutes later they have a full detailed sketch that’s very accurate.”

Restoration companies that have equipped their teams with the right technology are simply doing more, to a higher standard, in less time. They’re also attracting a younger workforce who are more productive, empowered, and impactful compared to their non-tech-enabled peers.

They are comfortable and excited about using artificial intelligence to generate precise estimates and access immediate solutions to technical questions, drawing from extensive databases of information that would be impossible for any single worker to memorize.

Interested in equipping your team with tech-enabled superpowers? Keegan has a few suggestions to get you started.


1. Start Small and Scale Gradually

Throwing several tech solutions at a problem all at once is a recipe for disaster. It’s also a surefire way for your team to get confused, overwhelmed, and ultimately discouraged—the opposite of bionic!

Instead, Keegan suggests starting small and embracing one piece at a time. This way, your restoration company can see and track incremental benefits that compound over time and will struggle less with lagging software adoption.

“If you can take one little thing off your plate a day, by the end of the year, you have so many things off your plate,” Keegan says.

  • Focus on key pain points. What are your most pressing challenges? For the highest impact, look for technology that can bridge the gap in these specific areas first.
  • Explore low-stakes software demos. "Sign up for low-stakes software demos, go to conferences, meet with KnowHow,” Keegan advises. “Talk to a lot of people and see what they’re using."
  • Evaluate and iterate. There’s no such thing as a meaningful one-and-done solution—even when it comes to technology. Don’t treat it like a bandaid. Assess the impact of the new tools and systems, and be prepared to make adjustments. Collect feedback from your team to understand what’s working and what needs improvement.
  • Don’t forget to center your mission. Even the most tech-enabled teams can only embrace their superpowers if they are guided by a clear purpose. "Our mission is to help people affected by disasters. This is a career, not just a job," Keegan affirms.


2. Enhance Consistency and Standardization

How do you create great customer experiences when you can't control the environment and every job is different?

“If you can standardize and make that a consistent customer experience, you’ll get that repeat business,” Keegan says. Though the world of emergency restoration is unpredictable, customers want predictability and reliability from their service providers. Technology is a tool for delivering on that expectation.

  • Use advanced tools for accurate efficiency. Keegan highlights AI tools for providing quick measurements using DocuSketch, Encircle and Matterport for automating and standardizing the sketching process. and advanced estimating tools that improve conversations with policyholders and insurance carriers.
  • Maintain uniform results. With the adoption of standardized processes and tools, it’s easier to make sure that no matter who is on the job, the results are consistent. Uniformity will improve both customer satisfaction and billing accuracy.
  • Build a robust knowledge base. Leverage technology to create a comprehensive database of information that all employees can access. Think of it as a playbook that’s adaptable but consistent across different locations and teams and accessible at all times.


3. Foster a Tech-Positive Culture

Yes, Gen Z workers are born into a world where they’re already comfortable with technology. However, many experienced restorers may be resistant to new software due to past frustrations with tech implementations. To create unity across your entire team, reduce the friction of adopting new tools, and build a well-rounded bionic workforce, you need to focus on the culture you create.

  • Choosing the right tech to bet on. Keegan advises being selective and strategic about adopting new technologies and suggests a methodical approach to implementation. “Look to see what’s out there and don’t be afraid to try different things and really understand what you’re trying to do at the end,” he says.
  • Take poor user experiences seriously. “When you can't flip a picture on your CRM, it's like, what the heck are you guys doing?” Keegan jokes. If using the software or tool is a frustrating and clunk experience for your team, they will abandon it and lose trust.
  • Train and empower your staff over time. Learning is an ongoing activity, so regular training sessions can help employees get comfortable—and thrive—with new technology. Keegan advises dedicating time weekly for training, which can lead to significant improvements over time.
  • Champion those who experiment. Make your workplace an environment where restorers feel comfortable experimenting with new tools and learning from any failures.
  • Leveraging your younger workforce. Gen Z employees, who are already tech-savvy, can be champions of new technology. Introduce these tools early to integrate them seamlessly into their workflow.


4. Prioritize Customer Experiences

Just as technology can help your workers reach their full potential, and realize their superpowers—it can also create better customer experiences and outcomes.

  • Focus on value-add services. By using tech to handle routine tasks for efficiency, your team can spend more time on services that directly enhance the customer experience. Thanks to embracing innovation, “[My teams] are spending more time on those value-added services than we were able to 10 years ago,” Keegan says.
    Examples of value-add services can include:
    • Comprehensive damage assessments
    • Better quality control and follow-up services
    • Proactive communication with insurance carriers
    • Detailed and personalized customer consultations
    • Time spent educating customers and demonstrating preventative measures and maintenance
  • Enhance communication and transparency. As mentioned above, working more efficiently also frees up time to focus on better communication. Provide clear and accurate information about the process, timelines, and next steps.


5. Stay Ahead of the Curve

A hard lesson Keegan feels leaders need to learn? “Things change, but it’s up to you to keep up,” he says. “Stop thinking that the world is going to just stop and not continue to change and evolve.”

  • Stay plugged into the industry. Keegan stresses the importance of staying up-to-date with new technologies and industry trends. Attend conferences, sign up for demos, and continuously seek out new solutions: “We’re always on the lookout for what’s out there.”
  • Be open and excited about change. Adopting a mindset that embraces change and continuous improvement is essential. Be willing to pivot and adapt as new technologies and methodologies emerge.
  • Don’t be a naysayer about remote work. “With COVID and with Teams and the tools we have now, it is so much easier to work remotely,” Keegan says. Don’t automatically discount the advantages of remote work and how adapting opens up new opportunities for efficiency and collaboration.
  • Invest in long-term solutions. Stop living entirely in the ‘now’ of your business. Focus on technologies that offer long-term benefits and align with your strategic goals. Make investments that will yield returns over time, even if the immediate impact isn’t obvious.


Building a Future-Proof Bionic Workforce

By embracing technology and fostering a bionic workforce, Keegan not only improves operational efficiency but also upholds the noble aspect of the restoration profession—helping people in their time of need.

This mission-driven focus attracts employees who are motivated by the meaningful impact they can make, ensuring a dedicated and high-performing team. “Our profession is a very noble one. We’re the first people to get [our customers] on a road to recovery,” Keegan says proudly.

As restoration continues to evolve, leaders like Keegan show that building a bionic workforce isn't about replacing the human touch with machines but about enhancing human potential through technology. This approach empowers workers, drives higher job satisfaction, and ensures that restoration companies can meet the challenges of today and tomorrow with resilience and innovation.

For more insights from Keegan Trudgen and his bionic team, listen to the full interview on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts!

For additional resources on empowering your workforce and driving operational success, visit

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