I am writing to provide a view of the past, and a glimpse of our future to all of our partners, customers and employees. Usually, we do this sort of thing at year end, and we focus just on the past year, and the upcoming year. What I would like to do, since we have accomplished so much with SceneExchange, is go back 2 years to 2007, and then provide a glimpse into what I believe is our very promising future.
In March of 2007, we received from our partner--Property Damage Appraisers or PDA--substantial funding and support to launch SceneExchange; which is our web based portal for shop selection. Our first step was to hire Chrisa Hickey, who brought our company immense knowledge of the auto repair collision industry. Shortly thereafter, we brought on board an additional 11 employees and contractors to build and support our new product. Our first real commercial foray was in November of 2007 at the annual NACE show, where we unveiled a prototype of our system and signed up over 500 shops to participate in SceneExchange. What was amazing was that shops were signing up almost 1 year before we actually launched. 2007 closed out with much promise, as the concept of SceneExchange was rapidly coming to life.
In 2008, with under 30 employees, we supported 22 SceneAccess customers producing approximately 100,000 transactions per month, while building SceneExchange. Our relatively small development team was absolutely heroic in responding to a myriad of demands, deadlines, and platforms. We launched SceneExchange and made it available for commercial release in late August of 2008. Since then, we’ve had excellent response from the SceneExchange market with:
- 11 carriers signed
- Over 1500 shops signed
- Transactions increased over 50% in every month of 2008 and into 2009
- Major articles in every leading claims magazine
Additionally in 2008, we accomplished the following for our SceneAccess product:
- Successfully processing over 1 million assignments
- 100% retention of our customers
- The addition of two new key customers—Anchor General and AIG Private Client Group
The future in 2009 and 2010 is, indeed, very promising. One of the most promising events is that in 2009 we introduced a new workflow to SceneExchange that allows for seamless adjustor participation. This minor “tweak” has provided access to many more potential claims for SceneExchange, with little or no effort on behalf of the carrier. We provide one branded contact call to the insured on behalf of the carrier, and then the insured can then choose a shop via our state of the art shop selection portal.
Not only does this provide higher customer retention for the carrier and steering-free repair shop choice to the consumer, but it also provides for compelling economics to cut loss adjusted expense. While 2009 promises to be a breakthrough year, we have, like many other businesses in these trying times, examined our cost structure and have adjusted to keep our costs in line with our growth and to trim where needed.
In 2010 and beyond, we see immense growth for SceneExchange. Without exception, all carriers in the P&C industry are interested in the tool, both for retention of customers, and for the obvious cost savings that are gained. Additionally, shops are very enthused. They have embraced the 100% guaranteed return on their cost and the fair and equal opportunity to capture business that SceneExchange provides. We will also be engaging in international growth as a result of interest we have received from overseas. Overall, our ambition is to be the premier and dominant auto repair management portal and we are well on our way to our goal. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go, and they journey promises to be exciting and rewarding.