All Industries, Management, Operations

Bradham Brothers — Part 14: The Future

Mike Persinger
June 18th, 2021
7 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 14: The Future

There was never really much doubt Pete Bradham would work in the family business.

From the time he was 5 or 6, he would ride in the truck with his father, Rodney, and his Uncle Larry to service calls.

“I loved to go with my dad and my uncle and do those things, go and see people,” Bradham said. “I was 5 years old, I didn't recognize exactly what it was, but I knew we were going to see people, and we were having fun.”

He had a shirt with a pocket patch for Bradham Brothers’ precursor, Air Control. He wore it to his kindergarten picture day, but that’s not what he remembers about that photo.

“My eyes were swollen because I hated school,” he said. “I cried every day going to school because I wanted to go work, I wanted to go be with my dad and uncle and do those things.”

Pete and Dana Bradham’s children, son Boyd and daughter Kyli, were raised in the shop, too. Boyd wore Bradham Brothers patches, too, even on his onesie.

“Until he was probably 5 years old, he was down here every day, running around in his little car in the office,” Bradham said.

“He’s definitely a part of the team.”

Will Boyd want to work at Bradham Brothers, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, when he’s done with college? He’s majoring in Business Operations at UNC Wilmington, so there’s a chance.

“I know he'll be really successful in whatever he does, whether he chooses to come here or not,” Bradham said.

Will Kyli? Her plan is to work in nursing, specializing in neonatal intensive care.

Regardless of what their children do, Pete and Dana Bradham are sure of one thing: They want to set up Bradham Brothers for long-term success.

“I want my software and ServiceTitan to be six steps ahead of me,” Bradham said. “I want them to continually develop and better everything and think of new things and innovate.”

No matter who’s in charge.

‘A little anxious’

ServiceTitan is in the process of revamping onboarding to speed the time from agreement to go-live. But no matter how quickly that goes, Onboarder Nora Bishop said, the relationship ServiceTitan establishes with a company in the trades is a living, breathing thing.

“The setup I do with these companies has a significant impact on not just their immediate success on ServiceTitan, but long term,” she said. “Honestly, I'm always a little anxious during an onboarding, not even necessarily if I steer someone in the wrong direction, but if they don't follow the guidelines we're trying to put them on.

“I'm worried about long-term repercussions.”

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It’s easier, Bishop said, to get someone set up correctly from the get-go than to correct their course two years down the road.

“I do feel like it's a pretty big impact just on their trajectory,” she said.

She’s not worried about that with Bradham Brothers. As involved as Pete Bradham has been in his company, the onboarding process has given him a deeper look inside his company.

“If you are the owner of a company, it is unlikely that you have your hands in every single aspect of your business every single day,” Bishop said. “By going through this implementation, we dive into what their CSRs are doing, what their techs are doing, what their dispatchers are doing, what their accountants are doing.

“If the owner is involved in this, they often see workflows, patterns, needs they weren't aware of just because it hadn't come up.”

And the revelations don’t end at go-live.

“It is very common that migrating from one software over to ServiceTitan, you do get a lot more visibility into reporting than you may have before,” Bishop said. “I think that that's going to be a pretty significant change for him, just being able to see really easily how the business is doing and how things are changing.”

And the next leader of the organization, whether they’re family or not, can see the picture, too.

“They're aware of your workflows, they're aware of your metrics,” Bishop said. “They're aware of every piece of it.

“When I'm setting up a company, especially with this account size, it's likely that in the next couple of years they might be expanding their business. They might even be acquiring other companies or other locations.

“I want to set it up in a way that they can replicate what was done for this location for that other location. I want it to be really scalable for them.”

All of that should excite Boyd.

“He's a kind of a technology guy too,” Pete Bradham said. “He really has a big interest in refining and improving and making something better. He loves that kind of stuff.

“Apparently he got it from me.”

‘What’s best for him’

For Pete Bradham, part of the journey to the future is ServiceTitan. The software shocked him, in some ways, because of what it showed him about his business.

“Over the last, maybe, two months, I have realized how much more efficient my operations will be and how much easier it will be for things to flow in the right direction,” he said. “I'm somewhat of a neat freak. You can't tell that from my desk, but I like things to be organized and well-planned. I feel like that with the software change, this is going to be much smoother because it's so well organized.”

That’s important for his family, but also for his broader Bradham Brothers family.

“When it's smoother and more efficient, it's more profitable,” he said, “and we can pay the guys what they deserve.”

Whether Boyd eventually takes over is up to him, Pete Bradham said.

“If he does choose to come here, my main goal is to have the processes and everything set up as efficient as I can,” he said. “He will have some type of business, whether it's the heating and air conditioning business or not. He's preparing himself for something in being an entrepreneur. We'll see how it goes.

“He's still young, he's 20 years old. I knew what I wanted to do when I was 20 years old, but we all don't know. Hopefully he makes a good decision to make himself happy.”

The same goes for Kyli. Her plan is to go to school and become a nurse, preferably in neonatal intensive care. She has already volunteered in a NICU.

Perhaps Kyli will eventually follow in her mother’s footsteps and join Bradham Brothers. Dana Bradham has been with the company for 20 years, helping her husband build a business that is family.

Before that? She was a nurse.

ServiceTitan thanks the Bradham family — and the Bradham Brothers staff — for allowing us to document their journey with ServiceTitan.

ServiceTitan Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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