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Bradham Brothers — Part 2: Getting the staff to buy in

User IconMike Persinger
Clock IconJune 2nd, 2021
Glasses Icon5 Min Read
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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 2: The Anticipation

June Summey started at Bradham Brothers as a dispatcher, and in April 2021 she marked her 25th year with the company. 

She has seen a lot of change over the years, rising from dispatcher to office manager. 

Employees come and go, the office has moved, and Pete Bradham ascended to president when his father and uncle retired. 

But one thing hasn’t changed. The CRM software. 

“I’ve been with ESC this whole time,” Summey says. 

That’s about to change. With the company’s longtime software about to sunset, Bradham Brothers chose ServiceTitan as their new customer relationship management tool.

With about 50 employees, the change will be perhaps the biggest of Summey’s career. A software change is always a challenge, especially for leadership.

Summey is approaching the shift with determination, preparation, and, she admits, a bit of intimidation.

June Summey started at Bradham Brothers as a dispatcher, and in April 2021 she marked her 25th year with the company. (Photo by Bob Leverone)

“The intimidation is just the overwhelmed part of me that says, ‘I want to do this and I want to do it right and I want to do it quickly, but I got this and I got that,’” Summey said. “That's the intimidated part of me, just the process. Because I'm not scared of change. I love change. I'm always changing things. 

“The thing for me is just, I don't want it to hit at the worst time of the year.”

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No huge concerns. Yet.

Kelly Dowdy is a long-time employee at Bradham Brothers, too. He started with the company as a technician 15 years ago and has risen to operations manager. 

He has been involved with the software change from the start, including participating in demos for ServiceTitan and other options over the past three years. 

The change to ServiceTitan, he says, doesn’t present any huge concerns. Yet.  

“I'm sure maybe we'll find something, but right now I feel like it's a no-brainer,” he said. “It's expensive, don't get me wrong, but what isn't, right? Everything is nowadays.”

Dowdy dived in to learning the software early.

“I learn best, to be honest, by doing it,” Dowdy said. “I've already done everything I could find in my Academy online. I did that before we ever even met for our onboarding. So I'm a very physical, touch-it, see-it-type learner versus reading.”

What he has seen already is the potential ServiceTitan represents for Bradham Brothers. 

“I'm definitely on board 100%,” Dowdy said. “There's a lot of stuff that, I think, is nicer. easier, more efficient.”

Still, early meetings with ServiceTitan onboarder Nora Bishop and all Dowdy’s Academy lessons have given him some pause, at least on one point: The summer timing. 

“Every week that we meet, it seems like a little more,” Dowdy said. “I think it's going to be a gradual implementation, probably. I don't know if we'll make it by summer. We might wait till it gets slower, probably running on mirror images using both before we completely commit.”

Kelly Dowdy is a long-time employee at Bradham Brothers, too. He started with the company as a technician 15 years ago and has risen to operations manager. (Photo by Bob Leverone)

What you know vs. what’s possible

Summey said she recognizes the value of familiarity with Bradham Brothers’ old software, but also the potential in ServiceTitan. 

She watched a demo and has been deeply involved in the planning of onboarding for the office staff. 

Summey said she hopes her staff sees that potential, too. 

“I think they do, but they don't know enough yet probably,” she said. “They've gone through the courses and stuff. And I have talked to them one-on-one since they've done that to see, ‘Hey, how are you feeling about it?’ 

“It really, I guess, doesn't matter. The main thing is we know it's going to be beneficial and we'll move forward with it.”

Her hesitation goes back to the very start of her time at Bradham Brothers, 25 years ago. 

“My first day was like April 30,” Summey said. “We had a record number of calls that day that hasn't been broken since. I know we could hit that day again. 

“To think that we're approaching that in the middle of learning this is the intimidation part.”

So it’s not the software, it’s the timing.

“It's not that I'm scared of (ServiceTitan),” she said. “I am excited about the program. I think it offers a lot. It's just getting everything on board during that busy time, it's going to be hard.”

‘Bear with us’

Gail Mercer works in the Bradham Brothers office, dealing with warranties and other administrative duties and as part of the company’s all-hands-on-deck CSR operation. 

She has seen enough of the software to know it offers opportunities. She has also heard the talk among her office coworkers. 

“I think everyone is ready and willing,” Mercer said. “Some of our nervousness that we've talked about amongst us is it picking up to being our busy time. You’ve got that little bit of initial nervousness or fear.”

Gail Mercer works in the Bradham Brothers office, dealing with warranties and other administrative duties. (Photo by Bob Leverone)

Customers, Mercer said, will understand, and even empathize with the struggles of a new software system. How those answering the phone handle that—with optimism—will be key.

“Our customers will bear with us as long as we keep a positive attitude and help them,” she said. 

Before the go-live date, though, the emotions mix, especially with the busy summer months approaching.

The timing, increasingly, concerns Pete Bradham too.

UP NEXT: The Timing.

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