As we end what will undoubtedly be a year we won’t soon forget, we are more than eager to look ahead to what 2021 will bring. While we know this year has posed many challenges for our customers and their networks, we have also seen reason to be optimistic as they overcame these challenges and continued to refine their offerings.
PlusOne Solutions is happy to be part of that growth and to explore additional potential with our customers and partners. Among that potential is understanding what lies ahead in terms of trends to watch for and what we have experienced this year.
Here are the top 8 trends to watch for in the year 2021:
1. Marijuana Legalization
We expect that the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana will continue to spread across various states. In early December 2020, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, HR 3884, which removes marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act. This addresses the challenge between state and federal marijuana laws and providing states with the authority to establish their cannabis laws free from undue federal interference. While we know this is a first step only, we will watch closely as the MORE Act moves to the Senate.
To learn more about drug testing, visit this page.
2. Continuous Criminal Monitoring
We’ve seen an incredible increase in the number of Customers who have enrolled their contractor and vendor networks in our continuous criminal monitoring programs. This serves to proactively monitor their networks for risk and potential threats and covers the gap that exists between the two-year rescreen cycles.
To learn more about Continuous Criminal Monitoring, visit this page.
3. Ban the Box and Fair Chance Legislation
As we continue to see efforts to reintegrate previously convicted felons into society and the overall criminal justice reform initiatives, we expect BTB/FC legislation to continue at the city, county, and state levels. By reviewing the timing and requirement for criminal record information to be disclosed in the hiring/employment/contracting process, the goal is to evaluate individuals on their suitability for the role without immediately barring them for reasons related to a previous criminal record. With diversity and inclusion being at the forefront of so many discussions this year, these regulations and ordinances will only continue to gather support.
4. New Types of Insurance Coverage
This year has challenged insurance companies like no other as organizations scrambled to understand their existing policies, options, and the cost implications of various types of coverage. We expect to see an increase in popularity for parametric policies, which is a non-traditional insurance product that offers pre-specified payouts based upon a trigger event rather than the more traditional claim process when there is a loss related to the insured property. Additionally, the pandemic has created the need for insurance related to consumer-driven incidents and insurance to protect when a consumer is affected because of the business operation.
For more information on Certificates of Insurance (COI) Management, visit this page.
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation
This topic spans almost every industry right now and while the applications to service networks and field service are of greater importance to us, the digitization of information, increased use of AI to make decisions, automation for claims processing, and online access and submission of information has been growing in our industry for years. The challenge with using some of these technologies is to protect against the bias which may unintentionally be integrated into machine learning and the loss of personal service and connection in the delivery of solutions. There are certainly many advantages for efficiency and cost savings to be realized and the challenge remains to maintain that balance between technology and manual processes.
6. Service Automation
Very closely related to the previous trend is the desire to bring increased automation and ease to the service experience at the consumer level. The use of digital tracking of service requests provides confidence, trust, and clarifies expectations among consumers and most of this starts with an application-based approach. The increased use of smartphones has demanded simple access, most often delivered via apps that directly and seamlessly connect to dispatch systems. Supported by personal data and badged technician information, a consumer can track their service call much the same as they will track their pizza order from submission through to delivery. On the backend, the increased use of chatbots and automation to answer more routine requests will continue, with the white-glove personalized service experience becoming rarer.
7. Access to Data and Analytics
As organizations implement these automation and AI tools, the ability to get quick, accurate, and complete information about their networks, individuals, and types of claims and tasks is imperative. All decisions are based on return for the effort (or investment) and to do that data needs to be analyzed and that puts the demand on partners and service providers to provide such information. Then using more sophisticated technology, this data can be reviewed, diced, and used in making decisions, designing products and services, and supporting consumer needs.
On the insurance side, data has come up in the form of telematics which includes telecommunications, vehicular technologies (road transport, road safety, etc.), electrical engineering (sensors, instrumentation, wireless communications, etc.), and computer science (multimedia, Internet, etc.) to share use and performance data. From this, predictive analysis is used to determine risk, potential claims history, and other behaviors.
8. Aiding and Abetting Claims
Having a comprehensive and credible contractor management program is one of the most definitive ways to guard against aiding and abetting claims related to the use of unlicensed or unscreened contractors. In today’s very litigious society, whenever there is a problem with a consumer experience and on a job site, someone has made a mistake and will be called to task for that mistake. The quality of your service network will be thoroughly questioned. Were your contractors licensed, competent, and background screened? Did they present an element of risk that could have been prevented with the appropriate due diligence? While mistakes can happen, the ability to explain your process and efforts undertaken to protect consumers in their homes and workplaces may be the key to your survival. Knowingly using or engaging unlicensed contractors is not going to provide the diligence that your consumers expect, it will impact your brand and reputation and in an industry that is small and somewhat incestuous, it won’t take long for your organization to be on the sidelines.
Despite lockdowns and restrictions, there is still a lot going on in 2021. The industry remains at the forefront of changes as consumers take to their homes in larger numbers, using their appliances and expecting to remain safe there. Organizations need data and information to make decisions and develop products and do that while maintaining a focus on keeping their consumers safe.
PlusOne Solutions has been an industry leader in the workforce compliance and risk management field by specializing in compliance programs that meet the complex challenges of geographically dispersed contractors, vendors, and employee networks. PlusOne Solutions protects companies from possible financial, legal, operational, and reputational risks associated with contractor and vendor relationships while creating safer work environments. To learn more, visit https://www.PlusOneSolutions.net.
PlusOne Solutions offers a full-service tracking, collection, verification, and reporting system to improve your network’s compliance and free up valuable organizational resources. We verify and monitor license status against state agency databases to ensure the validity of current licenses and ensure no lapses in expiration.
Contents are provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Users are reminded to seek legal counsel with respect to their obligations and use of PlusOne Solutions services.