All Industries, Management, Operations

Bradham Brothers — Part 13: Go-Live Day

Mike Persinger
June 17th, 2021
5 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 13: Go-Live Day

At 4 p.m. on ServiceTitan go-live day, Bradham Brothers Inc. has 23 HVAC service calls remaining on the dispatch board.

It’s Tuesday, May 25, and the first 90-degree day of the year in Charlotte was two days earlier. The high on go-live day will only reach 89, but the strain of three straight days near 90 has ramped up the service call volume to nearly 100.

Company President Pete Bradham went with a soft launch on the previous Thursday, anticipating just what he got. New software. Heavy call volume. High temperatures. Failing HVAC systems. A backlog of service calls.

And still, to office manager June Summey, it feels like a success.

“I knew it was going to be busy,” she said. “It’s busy, but it’s not ServiceTitan’s fault. It’s the weather.

“But we’re rolling.”

The technicians don’t seem to be having much trouble after most of a week spent practicing with the new mobile app. Other than being behind because of the heat, Bradham said, everything is running smoothly.

“We’re gonna get plenty of practice,” he said. “We’ll be experts by the end of the week.”

There have been a couple of minor glitches. A technical problem after Bradham Brothers’ phones were ported into ServiceTitan kept calls from being transferred to the answering service as scheduled at 10 p.m. on Monday, but customers were still able to book online. And a glut of service calls had Operations Manager Kelly Dowdy and others still in the office that late, anyway.

Some tax zones weren’t figuring correctly and had to be tweaked. A setting in ServiceTitan was applying a discount to new memberships and had to be adjusted. And there were a few issues with exports to QuickBooks.

But as ServiceTitan onboarder Nora Bishop promised, no showstoppers. Not even the weather.

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“It got hot, just as I imagined it was going to happen,” Bradham said. “And we basically just adjusted our schedule and decided that, hey, it's going to be hot. We're still going to go through with it.

“We're definitely going to be experts at it. The weather has pushed it so that we get it all in at one time.”

The whole experience left Bradham proud of his team.

“All the people that have been involved with it, they've kept a positive mindset with it and just definitely dug in and just really rallied together,” he said.

“If one struggled in one area, another one would pick up where they struggled and vice versa. And that's super important because it's just a big job. Not one person could do that.”

Not even Bradham, who ordinarily likes to be involved in everything.

“I went into it as, Pete's going to be the guy that takes care of the majority of it and gets a little help,” he said. “But actually, I turned into a coach.”

What advice would Bradham give other contractors going through ServiceTitan onboarding?

Don’t go live on the first 90-degree days of the year.

“Definitely work on the timing,” he said. “Be sure you have adequate time to put toward ... the tasks that need to be taken care of. What that means for me is I need that to be when it's fairly mild outside, (when) I'm not required for our customers as much.

“That's just so that you can be a little more relaxed and really focus on getting it. Because it takes a lot out of you.”

The process has allowed a few on the team to shine. Dowdy has been involved from the ServiceTitan demo through everything that leads to go-live and beyond.

Office Manager June Summey’s positive attitude has helped the group with perhaps the steepest learning curve to stay on course and be ready for a hot, busy Day 1.

And then there’s Rusty Barnes, a technician who took charge of training for that group.

“He's streamlined everything, the processes,” Bradham said. “He is able to teach all his peers exactly what he feels like is important.

“Rusty didn't pick himself. I didn't pick him either. It just happened. He's that kind of guy. Rusty's the guy that knows every little aspect of it.”

In the morning meeting on go-live day, Bradham preached patience.

“My message is, it's a new thing, embrace it,” he said. “We'll be working through quite a few things in the next week. It's not something that we can't handle, but we definitely had to practice patience and really strive to succeed with it.”

On Day 1, the sense of calm around the office suggests that’s already happening. Even with so many calls left on the board at 4 p.m., everything’s OK.

Right, Kelly Dowdy?

“I’ll tell you when it will be all OK,” Dowdy joked. “In three weeks.”

“I’ll be on vacation.”

UP NEXT: ServiceTitan’s benefits can grow with a company and last generations. If, that is, the next generations are interested.

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