Software tool helps Canadian company increase productivity and profitability.
At Action Auger in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, technicians depend on a variety of tools to work more efficiently. But on a macro level, owner Brham Trim (left) relies on a completely different kind of tool to run the company more productively and profitably: ServiceTitan business-management software.
As a plumber with a master of business administration degree, Trim is a big believer in statistics and analytics, and ServiceTitan – a cloud-based system that provides reams of useful data:
- Which technicians produce the most revenue
- What advertising campaigns generate the most bang for the buck
- Updates on revenue and net profits.
Best of all, it’s produced in real time and generated in easy-to-understand reports.
When fully implemented, the system will enable the company to essentially become a paperless operation. Technicians will be able to send invoices electronically from job sites, a huge time- and paper-saver, says Rodrigo Hernandez, financial manager for the company also known as The Gentlemen Plumbers because of the shirt and ties they wear.
The system the company previously used had electronic invoicing capability, but it was so difficult to operate that technicians still wrote up paper invoices.
Trim says ServiceTitan is very intuitive and easy to use.
The system costs $200 per technician, for a monthly total of $5,000. But it more than pays for itself, enabling the company to shed other major expenses, Hernandez says, like the $1,000 monthly cost to maintain and service a computer server and another $10,000 every three years to replace or upgrade the server.
“At the end of the year, we come out on top,” Trim says, pointing out that a cloud-based ServiceTitan system requires no server.
While it’s difficult to quantify the cost savings related to going paperless, Trim says the real benefit is instant, real-time analytics.
You just press a button on the computer and up pops a screen with, say, a revenue report. Before I’d ask for a report, then have to wait until the next morning to see it.
On the flip side, Trim says having all that information available at the touch of a button means spending more time poring over data.
“You definitely have to stay on top of it,” he says.
But it also helps ensure that technicians provide great customer service. Each time a technician submits an electronic invoice, Trim automatically receives a copy. That gives him the opportunity to spot red flags, like a technician who, for instance, files invoices for dispatch calls, but no work charges.
“That tells me something is going on, so I can have a conversation with that technician and see how it could have turned out differently – maybe served the customer better,” Trim says. “That’s much better than finding out a day or two later that they’ve done even more service calls incorrectly.
“You have to keep employees accountable,” he adds. “If they know their manager will get an email as soon as they hit the send button, it makes them think about how to be as service-oriented as possible and not just burn off a service call. In the long run, I think it works out well when technicians know they’re being held accountable.”