Proactively managing ROI for private investigations
When it comes to measuring the ROI of private investigations, the equation seems relatively simple: total amount of money saved or earned due to evidence discovered minus the total cost for the investigation and then that number divided by the cost. While the ROI on some individual investigations will be zero because no evidence is found and the claim still pays out, the collective ROI for all investigations typically works out to a positive number.
But is it really that simple? As with any ROI calculation, there’s also a time investment involved. For most companies, that means trying to calculate the time spent by employees to find investigators, manage the process, and report the results. When it comes to those factors, it’s often less about measuring and more about managing the ROI.
Here are four steps you can take to effectively manage the investigations process and help improve ROI.
Simplify vendor procurement and management
Some companies have a dedicated procurement team to do an initial screening of potential vendors but then the ultimate decision falls to the special investigations unit agent or the adjustor for insurance companies and TPAs. When it comes to factoring a true ROI, it’s important to take into account all of the employee hours involved in the process and look for ways to streamline those efforts. That also includes the time involved in verifying current credentials (licensing and insurance) for all investigation agencies so that findings have a better chance of being admissible in court.
Managing the investigation is also an important step, as some investigations have a clear outcome well before the full budget is spent. If vendors are held to a service level agreement that requires updates to be shared every 24 hours, it’s easier for the company to make a decision regarding early termination of an investigation.
Evaluate fee schedules and performance
Some companies have a favorite investigator that they’ve used for years, and they may dismiss other vendors without even evaluating their fee schedules or performance compared to the preferred vendor. We understand the importance of relationships in business, and we know there’s often increased value from long-term vendors. But if you’re evaluating ROI, it’s important to look at fee schedules and the performance of both current and potential vendors.
In terms of ROI, both the time invested in evaluating proposals and fee schedules plus the total investigation costs based on those fee schedules should be evaluated. If an employee has to individual requests fees and/or references from each local investigation agency, it can take a lot of time.
Streamline communications at all levels
In many investigations, there are multiple parties involved. For cases like workers’ compensation fraud, there’s the workers’ compensation insurance company but also the company that employs the person who made the initial claim. Keeping all parties up to date on the investigation status creates a higher level of transparency between the claims adjustor and investigator, as well as the investigator and the client/insured. Ultimately, the insured company is responsible for the budget, and keeping them in the loop regularly can help maximize ROI, provided that effort doesn’t require a lot of time for your team.
Leverage available technology
As in many industries, advances in technology can help streamline efforts to save time and money in private investigations. A platform like VenAssure allows companies to quickly connect with local private investigation agencies, easily review their credentials and performance ratings, and establish real-time communication among all parties for all active investigations. The increased efficiency capable through such a platform helps manage and increase the ROI of investigations.
Interested in learning more about VenAssure and how it can help with managing your investigations? Contact us today to start the conversation.