Company: PuroClean Canada
President: Gordon Gamble
Year Founded: 2009 in Canada; 1990 in US
# of Employees: 5 at the head office, plus franchise employees
Public or Private: Private
PuroClean first opened in 1990 in Florida under the name PuroFirst. The restoration company began franchising in 1991 and now has more than 250 locations across the United States. In 2002, the company changed its name to PuroClean and also changed its focus. “They realized that the service model that they had needed to be changed to address some of the needs of the insurance industry. So, they created the PuroClean brand and the PuroClean business model that specializes and focuses primarily on mitigation [and] emergency services,” says Gordon Gamble, president of PuroClean Canada. “The premise [was] if you do a very high quality job of the emergency response and the mitigation, you’ll be able to reduce the overall size of the claim significantly.”
Reasons to Watch
Gamble brought the first PuroClean franchises to Canada in 2009 and has since helped the franchise grow from three initial locations in the greater Toronto area to 21 offices throughout Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. Gamble plans to expand across Canada and would ultimately like to have a PuroClean location within 20 minutes of any policy holder in all urban markets in Canada. But he knows this expansion relies on building a quality reputation. “Each of our service centre owners, is well aware that the growth and the future of the organization as a whole is predicated on the performance of each of them,” says Gamble. To differentiate itself from other restoration companies, PuroClean offers full damage and mitigation reports within 24 hours of arriving on the scene and uses Psychometric Charting on every single job, something Gamble says other companies might only use on large, commercial jobs.
Nobody ever grows up saying I want to be running a company that cleans up sewage out of basements. Nobody.” – Gordon Gamble, president of PuroClean Canada.
PuroClean recently launched OnSight LKQ, a web-based system that determines the replacement cost for floor covering when it cannot be saved. The system was launched across Canada and the United States this spring and can provide accurate evaluations of damage to an adjuster within 15 to 20 minutes. Most other estimates take three to four days, according to Gamble. “It’s very innovative. It’s probably going to be a game-changer for the market in many ways.”
This spring the company also opened three new offices in Red Deer, Alta., Calgary, Alta., and Barrie, Ont.
Gamble says the biggest challenge facing PuroClean is finding the right person for the job. “Nobody ever grows up saying I want to be running a company that cleans up sewage out of basements. Nobody,” he says. So finding the right person to lead a PuroClean franchise can be difficult. “As a whole, it’s just a good industry to be part of, but only for the right person. If you set the wrong person up in this business it’s a real nightmare for all parties concerned.”
In June of this year, PuroClean Canada launched PuroMetrix, a cloud-based property claims management system that allows the franchisor to manage every aspect of the business through the system. More importantly, the system also provides insurance professionals real-time access to a claim. “Our cloud-based system allows them to just click on an email they receive from us and they’re able to actually see all of the particulars regarding that claim in real time, including exact estimates, photos, notes, costs etcetera,” says Gamble. Currently, 80% of PuroClean locations in Canada are operating the PuroMetrix system, with plans for all locations in Canada to employ the system. “It’s a pretty powerful product,” says Gamble. “It allows [the insurance professionals] to see how we operate. I think that’s a key component and what that achieves is a higher level of trust.”
70 Esna Park Drive, Unit 1
Markham, ON L3R 6E7
Copyright 2012 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the September 2012 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.