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Bradham Brothers — Part 11: 'Family'

Mike Persinger
June 17th, 2021
6 Min Read

Bradham Brothers, an HVAC and electrical company in Charlotte, N.C., is going through onboarding with ServiceTitan. With 50 employees and about 20 trucks in the field, taking on a new software can be a challenge. This company took ServiceTitan along for the journey. 

Part 11: 'Family'

Joseph Chisolm remembers the exact day he started at Bradham Brothers: June 13, 2016.

He had lived with his wife in Florence, S.C., and worked in industrial construction doing carpentry and machinist work, but the couple wanted something different.

They moved to North Carolina, where he began to look for work.

“I thought, man, I have tons of buddies who do heat and air work at the church,” he said. “One of my buddies at work says, ‘Try Bradham out. You will love them. That's a great company. It's one of the best companies to start with.’”

That was the beginning of his experience with Bradham Brothers. It was almost the end, too.

“I was doing some church work with an older lady, charity work helping her out, and came out here and did an application,” Chisolm said. “It was me and another guy.”

The service manager took his application and said, “We’ll call you.”

“I went to pick my daughter up and we went to Walmart,” he said. “The service manager called, and he was like, ‘I think we want to go with the other guy. He’s got the experience and blah, blah.’”

He called his buddy and told him Bradham had filled up. “He said, ‘We'll try somebody else. We'll keep trying,’" Chisolm remembered.

But before he could get out of Walmart, the service manager called back.

“He was like, ‘Hey, you know what? Come on in on Monday. We'll give you a shot,’” Chisolm said. “I came back on Monday and have been going strong ever since.

“They treat me like family.”

‘We love them’

That family atmosphere is important to the Bradhams.

Sure, Pete Bradham grew up at the shop and riding in the truck with his father and uncle, and his son Boyd and daughter Kyli spent their share of time there, too.

But the employees? They feel the love, too.

“It's really important,” Bradham said. “My father and uncle had the same values and they instilled those in me, and I will continue to do that as long as I'm doing it.”

There are events for employees that include their spouses and children, and Dana Bradham, Pete’s wife, knows all the names for the families of 50 employees.

“Oh, they are our family,” Dana Bradham said. “We love them.”

“They know it, too,” Shelby Bradham, Pete’s mother, said. “We tell them.”

In many cases, multiple members of the same family work at Bradham Brothers. For instance, install manager David Rhyne's wife and sister both work for the company.

“That’s how much I believe in Bradham Brothers,” Rhyne said. “It's family-owned, and they treat you like family.”

That means taking care of everyone, like a family would. Pete Bradham has made sure everyone’s questions and concerns are answered when it comes to the company’s switch to ServiceTitan’s cloud-based software.

“When those questions come up, we have to have a way to answer them,” Bradham said. “If you don't know, you have to get back to them. Don't push them under the table, get back to them because the more comfortable they are, the easier it should be for them.

“It's a big challenge moving over to this. Keep them motivated, keep them happy and be that strong shoulder that says, ‘We're going to do this. We're going to make it through it.’”

And Bradham wants to make sure employees benefit, too.

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‘This is better for them’

SPIFs (sales performance incentive funds) and other pay incentives were difficult to administer with Bradham Brothers’ old software, requiring multiple emails from various sources to Dana Bradham so she could get the bonuses paid.

Now, they’ll be prevalent and tracked by ServiceTitan, to reward employees for the work they do.

“More SPIFs are definitely on the way,” Pete Bradham said. “We've added a few of them just to sort of go live with that.

“The guys are extremely excited, which has sort of helped with the process of getting them on board. They know this is better for them. I held off from SPIFs specifically until we got switched over so I can track it better, be sure I'm paying the guys the SPIFs they deserve, and have that trail.”

Bradham planned about three new SPIFs at go-live, with many more to come.

“We'll have at least double the amount of SPIFs,” he said, “if not everything on some type of SPIFs or commission.

“I want to do the best for every family that we are connected to inside of the company because these guys are just like me, they're trying to make a living to support their kids, to get them through college.

“Every opportunity I can make for them to take more home, for those families, I want to do because these guys are here for me every day. They work hard, they have tough jobs, they just support me, so I want to do the best that I can to support them.”

And the SPIFs put more money in technicians’ pockets, motivating them to be more productive.

“That's what drives us all,” Bradham said. “It's not greed, but we need to feed our families, and money in our pockets makes us happy because we know that we can take it home to our families.”

Bradham expects to add SPIFs for office staff, too, in addition to one already in place for CSRs who sell memberships.

“They already feel like it's part of their jobs,” Bradham said, “but we wanted to make sure they benefit, too.”

Like family.

‘Everybody feels good about it’

More money is nice, but it isn’t the only benefit, Chisolm said. ServiceTitan is an opportunity to learn something new.

“When I first started here, Kelly (Dowdy) came up to me and he said, ‘Hey, learn all you can learn. Be all you can be so you can be at the top.’

“We all want to get better.”

Still, there is angst during the process.

“It's just like, man, how's this going to work out?” Chisolm said. “You’re so used to this (old software). When crunch time comes and you get a new system and everybody is ready to learn, it’s a little bit nervous.

“I think we're feeling a whole lot better now. I think everybody feels good about it.”

The new SPIFs help. But Chisolm says they’re just part of taking care of family.

“We do good for him, he does good for us,” Chisolm said, “and at the end of the day, everybody's happy.”

That’s even if, sometimes, the day comes with surprises.

NEXT UP: Worried about go-live timing, the heat and data transfer, Pete Bradham makes a big call.

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