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Category: Case Study

Case Study of Jack Arnold : Owner of Arnold Electric Services

Jack Arnold is the owner of Arnold electric services which is an electrical service provider company based out of Chicago, Illinois. They have been in this industry since 2008.

Let’s roll back in time to see how jack made his breakthrough in this industry.

When Arnold started out his business, he couldn’t make much progress in the electrical business. At a certain point in time, he had given up hopes because he felt he could not scale up his business anymore. He had plans to close down his business and had started looking out for other jobs. He was about to take up a position at a gas filling station.

He then started attending networking meetups where he would meet other company owners in the home service business domain and that’s when he came across service excellence training and consulting who provide business coaching and training services to home service providers.

He implemented few changes in his business later on which turned out to be useful for his company

  • Arnold went from a time and material rate company to a flat rate company.

Let’s understand what this actually means 

When a customer would call out for a problem, for example, fixing an outlet then what Arnold previously used to do was provide 1 option which has 1 pricing and in many cases customer would not be happy with the pricing so in that scenario Arnold would have to provide a discount and cut down on the pricing. Now there is a transformation in the way they offer the services. 

They have a checklist for a job and this provides the customer more options and flexibility on what exactly he wants to get repaired. This is a win-win situation for both the company and the customer. It leaves the customer more satisfied with the service as well as the fee that he needs to pay.

Let us take one real-life example on different grounds which will make this business strategy more clear –

When you go out shopping and at the billing counter you get to know that the bill is around 120$ and you have got just 100$ then you started taking off a few of the shopping items to fit in your budget. You keep the ones in the shopping cart which are on top priority and you remove the ones which are not needed on an urgent basis. 

The above example is what portrays how the customers can choose what kind of service repair do homeowners can opt for with the help of a checklist. 

  • Building a team is an important process. When Arnold started to hire more people he started to examine the personality profile of every applicant. He put in more effort to understand what else a technician would majorly require apart from being good at technical skills. He then realized that team members need to have moral values which ultimately is a crucial part of building a winning culture. The technicians are going to be on the field, meeting the customers and the way they carry out the service, communicate with the customers, take the feedback from the customers, all of it comes into play.

This was something which he believed in and so he got service excellence training and consulting to conduct a 3-hour session every Monday morning for the technicians.

  • Arnold believes in 3 key factors for business growth

People, process and product – Arnold believes in this principle which was stated by billionaire entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis 

It is people and their beliefs that make up a successful business. A strong team with a clear vision is what helps the business scale up quickly.

Process right from large scale operations to even the smaller levels of a business is another crucial factor in business management.

When we talk about the product or service that a business offers to the customer, it all boils to the crux of the problem that the product is solving. Is it something that really makes the lives of the customers simple.

Jack was able to go from 3 technicians in the field to 10 technicians in the field within 6 months after understanding all the crucial factors of scaling up a business and implementing it right from the nano level. Be it in the operational process, hiring or giving importance to the team members.

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author July 6, 2020 0 Comments
Modern white kitchen clean interior design

Mike’s Plumbing & Drain Cleaning Uses SmartServ Mobile to Transform the Plumbing Industry

Mike’s Plumbing has been providing Residential and Commercial Plumbing Repair & Drain Cleaning since the last 25 years, Nicole Marinez spearheaded a new initiative transitioning them from their outdated Microsoft Outlook onto a very easy to use SmartServ Mobile for managing their techs and service jobs out in the field. Since this change, Mike’s Plumbing benefits from a high volume transactional sales and a much happier operational team.

About Mike's Plumbing & Drain Cleaning

Mike’s Plumbing & Drain Cleaning is a small family-owned and operated business. Mike Marinez, a licensed and bonded journeyman plumber with over 25 years of experience in all facets of plumbing repair and drain cleaning for both residential and commercial properties started the business. His experience working in the plumbing industry with other leading companies has given him a strong and diversified range of plumbing solutions which he brings to the team located in Edmonds, WA.

Prior to using SmartServ Mobile, Mike’s Plumbing was using Microsoft Outlook in addition to clipboards, to book appointments, build invoice and dispatch technicians out to perform maintenances. When Nicole started running the office operations in Mike’s absence, she was first tasked with taking a deep examination into their existing toolset to identify any weaknesses or opportunities. Her goal was to develop a fast operational servicing model that would accelerate the company’s sales pipeline and grow their bottom line.

Nicole soon discovered several roadblocks to those growth and revenue aspirations. First, they were using a combination of several different tools, making it difficult for reps to conduct simple tasks like invoicing & collecting equipment records for Preventative, general and SOS visits.

Second, feedback from the team revealed that their techs did not have any visibility before heading out for the job, which took a lot of time to find out(phone calls) and it was not intuitive for field reps to navigate for all different types of jobs throughout the day. “We felt like the tools were really designed for our in-house managers. As a rep on the front line, it took forever to enter and find the information I needed during a site visit or machine checkup on a piece of paper.” To Nicole it became clear that their operations model, was not designed for field reps, rather it was built for seasoned service managers on new construction projects. Nicole recalls, “It was really a pain, my team needed additional training every week and ultimately it was overkill for what we needed.”

With constant frustration from the field reps and need for ongoing training for boosting sales, Nicole quickly realized the costs outweighed the benefits so she began searching for a better solution.

“Once I found out about SmartServ Mobile, I just knew I had to have access. Then, once I started to use it, I thought it was really a game-changer, plus our technicians really liked their mobile app”

Nicole Martinez
Importance of Speed and Simplicity

As soon as Nicole made the decision that her team was going to adopt SmartServ, it was easy to get the rest of the company on -board. Where the other systems are made up of dozens of tools and complicated features to learn and customize, SmartServ is designed to small-mid sized teams. Mike’s Plumbing started quickly and kept them focused without changing the way they already do things. Another immediate benefit they saw was the amount of time saved by technicians using offline saving & Time Cards features. Using the office Dashboard, Nicole is able to easily track technicians, their activities, monitor every interaction with homeowners, and access impact – all in the same place. In servicing, for any business, there is typically a lot of data going back and forth. Nicole shares, “the ability to create a quick form, checklist or Quote in SmartServ for our multiple site visits are really valuable and frankly, very well thought out for our needs.

Another immediate benefit they saw was the amount of time saved by technicians using offline & Time Cards features. Using the office Dashboard, Nicole is able to easily track technicians, their activities, monitor every interaction with homeowners, and access impact – all in the same place. In servicing, for any business, there is typically a lot of data going back and forth. Nicole shares, “the ability to create a quick form, Checklist or Quote in SmartServ for our multiple site visits are really valuable and frankly, very well thought out for our needs

SmartServ Saves Time. 

SmartServ is built around the way how service companies function today. Core to its foundation is the fact that the way people interact with data has changed. Today’s process happens across dozens of channels and hundreds of touchpoints – from your website and social media to your emails and phone calls. We track and organize everything automatically. Using SmartServ, Mike’s Plumbing is able to access homeowners’ machine health, service requests, performance metrics, and track maintenances plus more. Office manager like Nicole, now have access to this information on a daily basis and can better forecast failures right at their fingertips.

Mike shares, “Servicing is science, not magic. Science is “how does the process work”. What is the scope for optimization? Now with SmartServ, knowing what is going on tells you the health of a machine and also a field rep. Having a view into what’s working and where bottlenecks are – helps us guide reps to skill development and overall improvements. We have gone all hands on deck with SmartServ Mobile starting August 2017 and made it mandatory for all our site visits”

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author April 8, 2020 0 Comments

Case Study of John Horan: President Of MEA

John Horan -In 2004 John founded Horan and Bird, a North Queensland based electrical company, which now employs nearly 150 people and is one of the largest solar installers in Australia. He is also the president of Master Electrician Australia.

In the year 2019 John completely expanded their business in Australia opened new branches across Australia to increase the national presence but in Feb of 2019 their head office got affected by floods and the office was completely flooded. It was a tough journey getting back on track.

He and his team members were resilient, they lost pretty much everything stocked up in the head office, lost even the computers but they got themselves up within a month and were beck to the work.

The major advantage over here was that all the important customer data was stored in the cloud so they did not loose upon the crucial data of their customers.

The negative aspect of it was that ten of their staff members lost their house in the flood and they helped them get back on track.

The focus is on understanding that as a business owner one has a set of plans for the company but when a situation like this happens, how you respond to it is what defines one as a leader.

The procedures that John followed for a few weeks 

  • Work from home as everything was on the cloud so the dispatcher could do it from his home. 
  • Followed the disaster management procedure manual so they went through that thoroughly and followed the guidelines.

Some important Insights about  his business

  • His company lays a major emphasis on conducting conference meetings. They help in creating an open environment among themselves.
  • He has also set up Bronze, Silver and gold membership for the techs working in the company – Techs with 15-20 years experience go into a gold membership program. For the younger techs, he has created a learning program from which they can learn and enter the gold membership program. The motive behind conducting a learning program was to be fair to everyone. If any younger tech is putting in the effort then he is going to get the reward. The end goal is to create a good quality team and bring confidence to our customer’s decision-making process when any of the customers are considering our service.
  • Getting safety measures right – The safety needs to be on the spot because authorities are very focused on that any electrical accident can cause a huge problem for your business and it is not just the business but also how serious one guy is about the services.
  • John believes that the problem arises when the techs are done with their capstone exam and then when they get their trading license they are not tested on their skills on a yearly basis. Making sure that they are going through the tests will help the techs understand better about their skills and make sure that they are confident.
  • John has 4 managers under him who supervise the whole business operations and report to him all the daily updates. 2 of them are sales managers – One of them operates residential whereas the other one operates commercial operations.
  • Tracking results all the time and evaluating any change in patterns is important for any electrical business.
  • Important to make that branding of the company clear very important
  • He handles marketing too it is important to understand the channel on which one wants to promote. When it comes to marketing. Today it is absolutely mandatory to have a website, back in 2004 it wasn’t a big deal but now it is important to have a digital presence. People lookout for any business on the internet.
  • Voice activation is going to become the future soon, people are just gonna lookout for anything online using the voice. Example – ”hey google find me the best electrician in an ABC location “ that’s how it is going to be.

The first rule of improvement in any industry or business is that one needs to know your capabilities. Be honest and real about it. One can analyze by these questions:

  • What was I doing?
  • Who was I affecting?
  • Was I doing it right or wrong?

And make sure to learn something new every day.

John Horan is a true inspiration because of how he dealt with a situation which was completely unexpected and overcame it with pure conviction in himself and his team.

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author April 3, 2020 0 Comments