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Bradham Brothers — Part 12: The Curve Ball

User IconMike Persinger
Clock IconJune 17th, 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 12: The Curveball

Bradham Brothers Inc.’s late-May go-live date on ServiceTitan had been a concern since March. The fear for company President Pete Bradham, and many in his leadership team, was that the launch would coincide with the first 90-degree days of the Carolina summer.

That treacherous intersection, with five days to go, looked like a certainty. The Sunday before go-live would be the first 90-degree day of 2021, with temperatures building steadily to 95 on Wednesday, the day after the scheduled launch.

The question? What to do about it.

A delay would mean staying with older, less efficient software. Running both systems as a crutch required double data entry during a very busy time.

On the Thursday before things got hot, Pete Bradham had an answer.

Go live early.

“We started out Thursday morning going, OK, gameday is next Tuesday,” Bradham said. “Then we started figuring out what we needed to do to get ready. And we realized that the last data pull was (Thursday) afternoon.”

That left Friday, Saturday, Sunday and potentially Monday with Bradham Brothers in both softwares.

“Plus it’s going to be really warm,” Bradham said. “We’re really getting that big first shot.”

A conversation with Nora Bishop led to a plan—go live on Friday, then use ServiceTitan with just a few techs to get through the weekend.

“We sort of backed off because we didn’t have our swipers out for taking payments, had a few things we needed to work out with taxes (and tax zones),” Bradham said. “Just a few little loose ends that would keep us from going fully live on Friday.”

Through this weekend, though, ServiceTitan would be the platform in use.

How did that decision play?

“Everything’s an absolute circus, but an organized circus,” Bradham said. “To me it’s fun. Obviously it’s not fun to everybody, but I enjoy it. Right now, the rubber is meeting the road and it’s on.”

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A ‘Lucky’ break

Bishop said two or three days between the final data pull and going live is not unusual, to allow time for data cleanup scripts to be run.

“The Bradham team was really lucky,” she said. “They didn't have a lot. I think we did maybe one data cleanup, but everything else came over really smoothly. There wasn't really a need to have that space to correct the data.”

Bradham wanted to go, and Bishop agreed.

“My perspective is if a customer feels that they're ready to go live sooner and I don't see any red flags to prevent us from doing that, I want to save them that additional work of doing the double entry,” she said.

“They’re definitely a team that likes to kind of hit the ground running. I didn't see any reason to force them to wait until Tuesday.”

And Bradham didn’t want to wait. His technicians had been through a couple of cooler, and thus more manageable, days, and had time between calls to create duplicates of what they were doing in ServiceTitan, as practice.

“Nora was excited we were going early,” Bradham said. “She still plans on being available Tuesday for us if we need it, so she’s been great with that. Very helpful.

“Working through all these things at the end in kind of a mad dash gets you really able to figure it out. I didn’t plan it, but it came for a reason and it worked out absolutely perfectly.”

The Bradham Brothers office staff, while navigating the conversion to ServiceTitan. (Photo by Bob Leverone)

Sticking with the rest of the plan

With the soft launch in place, Bradham didn’t see any reason to change the rest of the schedule. The techs would still gather for a final training and review meeting on Monday morning. The phones would be ported over on Monday around noon. And the company would be fully live on ServiceTitan on Tuesday.

“It’s going to work out better than I thought,” Bradham said. “We’re going to be able to work out all the kinks, with all the things that we had missed and misunderstood. We’ll have a few techs on it this weekend, which we’ll be able to find those flaws, and Monday we’ll be able for basically any questions or processes we’ll need to go over.”

And after a slow start to training, Bradham is confident the techs are ready.

“They’re really excited,” he said. “They feel like they understand it very well.”

Repetition, and building new habits, started early.

“We’ve talked about this being absolutely terrible timing and we shouldn’t push it, but I guess against my better judgment we’re going to push it,” Bradham said. “We’re going to get it all out of the way in a week, get a lot done, and we’ll be way more familiar with it. I think it’ll be a plus.”

Ready or not.

NEXT UP: Going live on ServiceTitan always includes a couple of glitches, Onboarder Nora Bishop says. Will the one at Bradham Brothers include a showstopper?

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