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Jack Ward Fire Consultants, LLC

Client Business

Jack Ward Fire Consultants (JWFC) investigates fire losses, primarily for insurance companies and their clients. Their team of investigators can provide specialized consultation in arson, product liability, subrogation, and expert fire witness testimony at state and federal levels.

With over one hundred and twenty combined years of fire investigation, fire analysis and courtroom testimony experience, JWFC has the resources to offer their clients a quality, professional investigation. From the fire cause and origin determination to providing expert testimony, investigators use state of the art technology, expert techniques, and their own proven systematic approach to investigations. JWFC prides itself on reaching conclusions that are both objective and ethical.

JWF

Business Challenge

JWFC had a multi-file FileMaker solution created in an older version of FileMaker. Extensitech originally contracted to make minor modifications to that solution, as we’ve done for other clients. However, as time went on we realized that the structure of the existing solution could not easily support the changes that were needed. As the company grew, JWFC needed a solution that could adapt quickly to improvements in process, support improved communication between investigators and staff, and streamline the accounts receivable process.

Solution Provided

Using our xBase solution as a starting point, Extensitech created a solution for Fire Loss investigations.

Just by using xBase, Extensitech already provided a strong foundation to the solution, and that foundation already included support for storing contact information in an extensible, re-useable format. The xBase solution also provides places to record phone calls, emails, memos, meetings and so forth, so that users can see the entire activity history with a person, rather than only knowing of their own activities.

We then added screens for Customers, Fire Losses, Evidence, Workflow Steps and Invoices.

The heart of the solution is the Losses screen, where the user can link to a rich pool of information about the Customer, the Insured party, the fire department, the fire marshal, the investigator, and so forth, all in one place. As information is added, for instance, to a customer record, all losses related to that customer reflect that new information. Users can also see a list of Evidence selected, and a full history of Activities associated with the Loss.

Additionally, we developed a set of workflow steps, which an administrator can edit and add to, so that when key steps in the investigation are completed, tasks are created for follow-on activities, and automatically assigned to the correct staff members, or to the investigator. Furthermore, on any Activity, an investigator can record billable hours and expenses. When it comes time to bill for the investigation, the system automatically creates an invoice from the billable items entered.

“We embarked on designing a custom administrative program in order for our company to produce a product that would exceed the quality and professionalism of larger organizations. With the first phone call, the staff at Extensitech asked question after question in order for them to fully understand our industry and the service we offer. This enabled them to customize their base program to meet every one of our needs and assured us that we had chosen the right partner for this project. The changes that we have seen since implementing our new program affect every one of our clients and employees. Our company now offers a consistent, quality product to every client, every time, faster than ever before. Communication between employees is more effective and our administrative workload decreased. Extensitech was invaluable in helping us to reevaluate our administrative procedures which enabled us to streamline our day to day tasks. From beginning to end, the Extensitech staff was an asset to this project from the original design of the program and training, to the small tweaks after implementation. “

Extensitech began working closely with Jack Ward Fire Consultants again in late 2013 to upgrade their solution to xBase v12, optimized for the newer feature sets available in FileMaker Pro 12, which JWF is running in FMP13. Along with this development, Extensitech optimized many of  the interfaces for JWF for performance on iPad devices and developed tools to increase the performance for remote users.

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