The Renwick Group implements i-Sight to tackle large case loads efficiently and securely
The Renwick Group
The Renwick Group Snapshot
When Paul Markle and his wife, Summer McPhee Markle, bought The Renwick Group Inc. in 2009, the company offered a diverse selection of investigation services, some of which were lucrative and some of which were not.
The couple decided to branch out into skip tracing, an activity that still represents about half of the business.
Today’s client list includes almost all the major Canadian banks and a list of companies that buy debt. The Renwick Group has grown into one of the top skip tracing companies in Canada. But along with growth comes challenge, and the Renwick Group needed efficient investigation software to streamline operations.
Excel system for tracking investigations was outdated and slow. Information had to be typed in after it was initially recorded on paper. Two new major clients required the company to be able to handle a large volume of files efficiently and securely. Fast turnaround of hundreds of simultaneous cases meant a large volume of data was being processed manually every day.
The Renwick Group
- i-Sight investigation software required minimal customization out of the box, making it cost effective for a growing business
- Clients can input information into the system from any location with an internet connection
- Investigators can update any number of case files quickly from any location with an internet connection
- i-Sight provides immediate notification and assignment of cases when they are entered into the system
- Workflow is streamlined because investigators receive their cases quickly
- The Renwick Group is able to meet security and efficiency requirements of two new large-volume clients
- i-Sight saves the Renwick Group an average of six to seven man-hours per day
- Investigators can focus on investigations, rather than administration
The Renwick Group Inc. is a private investigation firm founded in the late 1990s to do strike work in, what was then, a volatile labor environment. The business, based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada, evolved into a typical investigations agency, focused on surveillance.
When Paul Markle and his wife, Summer McPhee Markle, bought it in 2009, the company offered a diverse selection of investigation services, some of which were lucrative and some of which were not. The couple decided to branch out into skip tracing, an activity that still represents about half of the business.
Today’s client list includes almost all the major Canadian banks and a list of companies that buy debt. Unlike collectors, skip tracing allows investigators to be less transparent and more ingenious to track down delinquent payers. By developing it as a specialty, the Renwick Group has grown into one of the top skip tracing companies in Canada.
The company also provides surveillance and investigations for the insurance industry and other corporate clients, including some based in the US. The Renwick Group occasionally works with US private investigations firms to track down US citizens who have crossed the border into Canada to escape debt or prosecution in their home country.
With six full-time employees, three sub-contractors and any number of offsite investigators, depending on the company’s caseload, The Renwick Group augments its skip tracing and surveillance activities with litigation support, pre-employment screening and labor dispute management.
“Our competitors give a laundry list of services they can provide,” says Markle. “The problem with that is that you can’t be good at everything. We focus in on the things that we’re really good at.”
The Renwick Group has recently undergone a rebranding, focusing on a fresh, new approach to doing business in an ethical way. “Really what we do for a living is we lie to people,” says Markle. “But we do it for a good reason. Our main purpose is to prevent fraud. As far as I see it, it’s an essential service in order to keep an even keel in the market.”
Through the rebranding and refocusing efforts, The Renwick Group signed on two major new clients with a lot of work, contingent on the company being able to handle the clients’ files securely and efficiently. Markle needed investigation software to replace the outdated system they were using.
“Our system came from a bunch of guys who were old school managers and not really technologically adept. We used an excel system and a lot of paper, which wasn’t good for the environment and not good from an operating cost standpoint either,” says Markle.
The Renwick Group needed investigation software that would provide a smooth intake process for clients to enter information into the system quickly, easily and securely, and an efficient and powerful tool for investigators to manage their caseloads.
“Basically we’re kind of like a McDonalds: high transaction when it comes to skip tracing and sometimes for the investigation work as well. A high number of transactions makes it hard to keep track,” says Markle. “We needed something with auto reminders and built-in redundancies so that nothing slips through the cracks and we can provide the absolute best service for our customers.”
Markle began his search for investigation software that could handle the volume of work, but ran into some roadblocks. “I wasn’t asking the right questions,” he says. “If you don’t ask the right questions you don’t get the right information.” He first invested in a file transfer system and found that it wasn’t adequate.
“It wasn’t a file transfer system that we needed; it was a case management system.” When Markle searched for a case management system online, he found the i-Sight Investigation Software immediately. “It was bang-on,” he says.
“As soon as I popped into the i-Sight demo I could tell that it was exactly what we needed,” says Markle. “It would take very little modification, just customizing some forms and re-skinnng it and we could use it right out of the box,” he says.
Markle liked the cost effective solution i-Sight provided, relative to having new software developed for the company. “There are a lot of applications that are a lot more expensive. As a new growing business it’s a big expense, but the way I look at it, I only have to close 12 files a month and it’s paid for,” he says. “And if it gains me new clients because of the efficiencies, again it’s going to more than pay for itself,” he adds.
The i-Sight Case Management Software for Investigations system has a capacity to handle the high volume of files being processed at any given time. “If one of the investigators has 100 files in their queue, this allows them to update those files very quickly. Before they would have to make manual adjustments and they would be typed into the system later on,” he says.
“It’s probably going to save my guys an hour or an hour and a half a day. In the long run, when you think of man hours that’s six to seven man hours a day,” he says. “That allows them to spend more time tracing. From a focus standpoint it gives them the ability to focus on what they should be doing and not on the administrative side.”
And there’s another, more subtle, benefit of the Renwick Group’s new system: “Having i-Sight branding on our website legitimizes us. It adds credibility,” says Markle. “I can’t put a price on that.”