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Pantheon 2023: Live coverage from ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan
September 13th, 2023
29 Min Read

That's a wrap from Pantheon 2023! Thank you for three incredible days here in Orlando!

Check back here for recaps from the keynote presentations as well as many of the breakout sessions. Already looking forward to our next Pantheon! ===

The Future is Now: AI-powered features in ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan co-founder Vahe Kuzoyan has always been bullish on the possibilities of artificial intelligence in the trades — but even he couldn’t have predicted what has happened in the last 16 months.

To kick off Wednesday’s keynote session at ServiceTitan’s Pantheon conference in Orlando, the company’s president and co-founder reminded the sold-out crowd of 3,000 trades members from all across the country what he discussed at last year’s Pantheon: That AI was the way of the future, and a topic that would be discussed for the next 10 years.

“Little did I know that over the next year or so, we were about to experience the most dramatic acceleration of technological progress that I had in my lifetime,” Kuzoyan said to the crowd.

» Read more here

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A Closing Chat with Venus Williams

Venus Williams knows a thing or two about finding success. That’s why ServiceTitan CEO and Co-Founder Ara Mahdessian started his fireside chat with the tennis legend by asking about her work ethic.

“It’s one of the things you can control,” Williams said in front of a packed crowd at the final session at Pantheon 2023 on Wednesday. 

Williams has won seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon championships and four Olympic gold medals in her career. She’s also involved in many business ventures — she’s the CEO of an interior design firm, started a plant-based superfood nutrition company, and is a minority owner for the Miami Dolphins, among other ventures.

“Did your work ethic change once you got to the top?” Mahdessian asked.

Williams shook her head.

“You can’t win off of the previous wins. It’s nice. Nobody can take it away from you. It’s always yours. But at the end of the day, it’s the past,” she said.

“I have this theory called being better — not the best. Because being the best is a moment. Everyone’s been the best. You’ve been at the top, you’re No.1 in the world. That’s just a moment. And it’s great. Enjoy it. But then always strive for being better. Because better you can continue to chase.”

-Brendan Meyer

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Core feature improvements! (Spontaneous applause!)

When you can get spontaneous applause and scattered cheers from a crowd at a software conference, you’re doing something right. 

That’s what ServiceTitan Senior Vice President of Product John Flora, VP of Customer Experience Tom Howard and Co-Founder and President Vahe Kuzoyan accomplished in a keynote address. 

By highlighting critical online reviews of ServiceTitan’s core product, a mission-critical part of every business the company serves, the three delivered the message that ServiceTitan hears its customers and acts to improve, quickly. 

“You want us to strengthen our core product, make it easier,” Flora said. “I get it. … We’re focused on the things you love to do, but want to make them better. Maybe more importantly, we’re focused on the things that are maybe a little cumbersome and frustrating, to make them easier and to meet your expectations.”

Some of the improvements solve small pain points, like changing functionality that lists technicians alphabetically to allowing companies to list them any way they choose (spontaneous applause), and improving the search function to more accurately predict what the user might be looking for, and to search globally (murmurs of approval).

Others involve improvements to project management, an online booking integration in Google (where, let’s face it, most customers live), a new accounting workflow, a more user-friendly way to handle feature configuration, new functionality in commercial service agreements that focus on profitability, and a new native mobile app that will enhance the technician’s experience and will soon include a Spanish version.

In short, ServiceTitan highlighted the continued improvements that are already in the product or in the pipeline, to help every home and commercial services company succeed. Or, as Flora said, “As your expectations change, so will ours.” 

-Mike Persinger

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The Future of Fleet: Driving Success with Automation and Titan Intelligence

Hov Arabyan has played a role in developing many timekeeping-centric features as a principal product manager at ServiceTitan. But what’s coming next within Fleet Pro might be his favorite.

“By a show of hands, who here has a fleet tracking system?” Arabyan said, as he and Tyler Forcum, a fellow principal product manager at ServiceTitan, kicked off their breakout session about the future of fleet using ServiceTitan’s Fleet Pro at Pantheon on Wednesday. 

A swath of hands went up in the crowd.

“Keep your hands up if you or someone in your office routinely pulls up the fleet system map and compares that data with the timesheet data to confirm that the technician is where they said they would be?”

Many in the room chuckled, and most hands remained raised. 

“What if I told you that you never have to do that again?” Arabyan said.

He went on to detail a Fleet Pro feature that revolves around syncing GPS-Enabled Timesheets and Discrepancy Detection.

This is how it works: As a technician goes about their day dispatching to jobs and clocking in/out, Fleet Pro compares that data to its fleet data on the backend and detects any discrepancies. For example, let’s say a technician claims they arrived at a service location at 7:30 a.m., but the data shows that the truck didn’t make it until 8:30 a.m. The technician could be trying to squeeze in an extra hour of work. Or maybe they simply forgot to click arrive—an honest mistake.

Arabyan explained that this new feature within Fleet Pro can detect discrepancies, and then make a recommendation based on the GPS data of what the timesheet should be.

“And so all you need to do on the office side is review that discrepancy, flag it, do a once-over, and select the recommendation that you want to accept, and it’s saved,” Arabyan said. “What that really eliminates is the need to manually compare the GPS with the timesheets. It streamlines that timesheet editing process as well, and may save you a trip to the chiropractor since you no longer have to look back and forth between two screens.”

Arabyan and Forcum went into detail about the advantages of Fleet Pro, which has a vision to deliver the first fully embedded, trade specific Fleet Management solution powered by real-time analytics and insights in order to increase efficiency, automation, safety and accountability for all contractors. Features including:

  • Map View

  • AI Camera that detects distracted driving, no seatbelt, smoking, a tech using their phone

  • Comparative Reporting

  • Timesheets on Auto-Pilot

The duo also shared a statistic: 70% of companies with a fleet system manually compare timesheets against GPS coordinates, and that office staffers spend up to four hours reviewing and fixing timesheet discrepancies each week.

Four hours, with the use of Fleet Pro, that they’re about to get back.

-Brendan Meyer

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Keith Mercurio: ‘What do you want to be right about?’

Keith Mercurio opened Wednesday’s sessions at Pantheon with a keynote addressing the fact that the way most people think about being right is, well, wrong.

More accurately, it limits what’s possible. But the way humans tend to think about being right is ingrained, difficult to change, and costly, Mercurio, ServiceTitan’s Senior Director of Industry and Executive success, said. 

From the moment the first teacher grades our first assignment, he said, we are taught what society views as failure, pointed out in bright red pen.

Through heartfelt stories about his own childhood and his relationship with his father, Mercurio conducted an interactive session full of profound thought and audience interaction, in front of 3,000 of the nation’s best home and commercial services contractors in Orlando.

The bottom line? It’s time to change the narrative, with your team and yourself. And to stop trying to always be right, but replace that with trying to always be improving, and asking the right question. 

“All people get to be is as we choose to see them,” he said. “And whenever you decide who someone is in your life, guess what, you’re gonna be right. So the question is, what do you want to be right about?” 

He related that question to his father, a former schoolteacher beloved by his students and his family, whose mind is now “riddled with Alzheimers.”

“And still yet, with every one of his kids, with everyone who comes and visits him, and everyone who takes care of him, he always sees the best of them.

“And as a result, he’s always right.”

Mercurio encouraged others to follow that example.

“Decide what it is you want to be right about,” Mercurio concluded. “Because if you decide that people are beautiful, worthy, capable of extraordinary things, then you get to be right about that.”

-Mike Persinger

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

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Shaping the Next Era: ServiceTitan’s Mission To Scrap the Traditional Pricebook With Titan Intelligence

"Let's see a show of hands."

That is how Margie Baker, Senior Customer Success Manager, Enterprise at ServiceTitan, starts off. When asked if they worked on their pricebook for more than five hours last week, every single person in the audience raised their hands.

Pricebook Pro at ServiceTitan is starting to give that time back.

The following features drive automation, optimization, and performance for pricing. The best part? Some of them are available today.

Price Insights: Understand where your pricing stands against the competition in your area. Available today within Pricebook Pro.

Smart Start: Onboard with Pricebook Pro within minutes. Instant access to 300 services based on your region, size, and industry to get you started right away. Aggregated by trade, size, and location. Proposal and estimate templates are pre-loaded with Smart Start.

Dynamic Pricing: Maximize profit by automatically applying the right price for the right job that accounts for your markups, billable rate, surcharges, and after-hours.

Configurable Services: Simplify material tracking to maximize revenue while making inventory management easy. Save 100+ hours of data entry.

Smart Proposals: Uses your historical data from invoices and opportunities to generate Estimate and Proposal Templates that maximize revenue. Access “Good, Better, and Best” automatically.

Do you want to access these features first? Join the Titan Intelligence beta list.

-Andrew Nicoletta

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Building Your Own Perfect Workforce

“Hire the smile, teach the skills.”

That’s the mantra that was introduced at Pantheon in a session all about how to build your perfect workforce while dealing with the technician shortage currently facing the industry. 

Rhett Wheeler, Head of HR/Risk Management at Bill Howe Family of Companies, kicked off the session by addressing the need to find people to fill in the gaps at your company and provide them with professional training. Businesses should consider training for both soft and hard skills — because some hires could be lacking in both areas. 

“I can teach anybody to turn a wrench, but I can’t teach anyone how not to be an a--hole,” said Shawn Mitchell, CEO & President at Modern Mechanical. While this got a laugh from the audience, Mitchell emphasized that while the right skills are good, having the right personality in your workforce is even better in the long term. 

Both Wheeler and Mitchell advocated for training programs geared toward new hires with no industry experience. Once you’ve hired someone with a good attitude and a willingness to work hard and learn, get them into an in-house training program where they can learn the technical skills needed to get into a truck and how best to interact with customers or make a sale. 

Mitchell’s example from his experience building a training program at Modern Mechanical is a 120-day HVAC technician roadmap that prepares an apprentice with no prior experience to become a lead installer or maintenance technician at the completion of their program. They’ll also receive further education once they’ve completed their first year, as well as ongoing assessments to ensure they’re moving in the right direction. 

“It’s much better to train your people and they leave you ... than to not train them and they stay,” said Mitchell. The importance of detailed and personally tailored ongoing training has been massively successful for both Mitchell and Wheeler, and they’ve been able to retain their new talent while bringing on even more future technicians.

-Natalie Koch 

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Spend Less Than 1% Of Revenue on Marketing and Double Your Business

Focus on the type of customer, not the service you offer. 

"That's how to build your business around a prospective customer," says Spencer Tippetts, Director of Business Development for Rainforest Plumbing & Air. 

Rainforest started as a residential plumbing shop. After running into lots of competition, their Dad, Rainforest's founder, began rollerblading to apartment complexes in Phoenix to earn business within the multi-family segment. 

He then understood how to talk to that type of customer and structure the business around their needs with the right equipment, pricing, and technicians.

Spencer's brother, Dallin, who runs operations for Rainforest encouraged the audience to ask themselves these three questions: 

  • Where is my ideal client?

  • What do they need from me? 

  • How do I adapt to service them? 

The Tippetts brothers explain there are lots of sub-niches within residential, multi-tenant, industrial, and hospitality.

In ServiceTitan, Rainforest sets up different business units for their different niches. They refer to it as a "Super tool." They use Reporting, Marketing Pro, and Custom Fields all in a way to organize different customer niches. That way, they understand the performance of each. 

Invoices are formatted differently and they are set up for different payment terms based on the customer type.

They finish with brand identity. "It's more than a logo, and needs to tell a compelling story that matters to your customer," said Spencer. "Figure out what you're good at, or want to be good at, and work at it with persistence. Your focus will become clear to the customer." 

-Andrew Nicoletta

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Tuesday's Sessions: Our Shared Journey

ServiceTitan co-founder Ara Mahdessian welcomed more than 3,000 attendees to the 2023 Pantheon user conference in Orlando on Tuesday with a message: The pace of change in the home and commercial services industry has been fast, but not as fast as it is going to be.

And ServiceTitan, he said, has already built tools to make that change easier, and contractors more successful. The future, Mahdessian said, is not in a year, or even tomorrow. With ServiceTitan, it’s today, with tools already built into the software that will be announced at Pantheon, including many that leverage artificial intelligence to give ServiceTitan’s customers—and their customers—benefit.

Covid. Supply chain issues. Inflation. They all impacted the trades and their customers. And they all increased the pace at which ServiceTitan has worked to help customers adapt, in the core product.

“It is more critical — now more than ever — to adopt ServiceTitan’s fundamental capabilities so that we can all be equipped for what is about to come,” Mahdessian said. “It might be startling, it might be overwhelming to think about how much this industry has changed, how much you have adapted, and how customer expectations have changed.”

The next step, Mahdessian said, will come at an even faster pace.

“What I am about to share with you is so important, so consequential: The fast pace of change we have seen, as overwhelming as it may be, is the slowest pace we will see moving forward.

"Just as technology altered what was possible for your customer, and just as technology altered what was possible inside your business, the possibilities that will soon become unlocked by AI will eclipse it.”

ServiceTitan co-founder Ara Mahdessian kicks off Pantheon 2023 before a packed auditorium in Orlando on Monday.

ServiceTitan is working to keep the trades from falling behind in the way it did before cloud technology, and give contractors the tools to achieve the success they deserve, Mahdessian said. 

He teased the features that will be introduced at Pantheon, including Dispatch Pro, which will add AI capabilities to a core function of trades companies. They include Ads Optimizer, which reduces and targets advertising spends on Google, and a new partnership with Google among the new capabilities leveraging AI that are already part of the software. 

“We’ve been investing hundreds of millions into making sure the trades are equipped to win, and win big, from this upcoming revolution,” Mahdessian said. “We simply believe that if we can help you further your success, we will realize our own success and build an even more valuable company for ourselves as well, one we can be proud of because we did it the right way. Your success drives our success.

“Even if we make mistakes, even if we falter in our execution, the intent and the purpose centers on you and your goals. You want financial success, you want respect, you want freedom, you want personal growth. Ultimately, you want happiness, like everyone else. We are here to do everything in our power to help you further these goals. 

“We want to make sure the future won’t happen to you, but for you.”

That left Don Kennedy, co-owner of CMS Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in the Boston area, excited about what’s possible. 

“I like the passion, I like the vision, and how to get there is the hard part,” Kennedy said. “The industry has changed remarkably in the last five years. If you’re not growing you’re dying. There’s a couple of really big companies (outside Boston), and we compete with them. In order to move up, we’ve got to move up.”

With ServiceTitan, which CMS has used only since January 2023, Kennedy sees that movement. 

“I love this Google thing he’s about to bring out,” Kennedy said. 

And Mahdessian? Kennedy was straightforward. 

“I love the guy,” he said.

-Mike Persinger

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Chris Hunter, Deanna Kawasaki: Plug the Leaks: Navigating Economic Shifts

Leaks are bad for your business. No, not the literal ones that require a plumber and actually lead to booked jobs and revenue for a plumbing shop. Leaks in the more metaphorical sense—when there’s too much pressure on your business, and something important starts to flow out.

“What happens when you get leaks in your business? Do you know what leaks out?” Chris Hunter, a ServiceTitan principal industry adviser, asked the crowd during a breakout session on Tuesday at Pantheon. “The profit.”

Leaks, Hunter explained, can be caused by undue pressure on a company. And lately, with lots of economic shifting and changing consumer behaviors, most trades companies are feeling the pressure. That’s why he and Deanna Kawasaki, the senior director of Titan Intelligence, hosted a breakout session at Pantheon for a discussion about navigating economic shifts and how to plug leaks.

Hunter and Kawasaki’s presentation was packed with statistics. For example, according to a ServiceTitan residential survey, 50% of businesses stated that economic uncertainty, labor issues and access to cash are hindrances in 2023.

How did we get to this point? 

Well, it's only been three years since 2020. “But it feels like it’s been a lifetime in changing how we work,” Kawasaki said. We’ve seen a radical shift in: 

  • Where we work/remote work

  • How we manage supply chains

  • How we manage workflows

“Before this Covid era hit, if you were growing at 10 percent a year, that was pretty dang good,” Hunter said.

Covid was a perfect storm that led to everyone stuck at home, with excess savings and a desire to fix up their homes. “We were making profits. We got PPP loans to help boost all of that growth. It was phenomenal. Everybody grew. In fact, last year, 26 percent was the average growth rate of a contractor.”

But now, that number is back down to 9 percent—which isn’t a bad number, Hunter explained. It just requires leak plugging to account for shifts in consumer behavior, economic shifts, and regulatory changes.

For plugging the leaks to consumer shifts, Hunter and Kawasaki stressed tips like:

  • Offering customers options (like Good/Better/Best)

  • Offering financing

  • Deepen commitment to training staff

  • Push memberships

For economic shifts, they suggested to improve:

  • Booking efficiency

  • Right technician

  • Training

  • Right offer, right time

  • Leveraging ServiceTitan

For preparing for regulatory changes, they stressed tips like:

  • Raise awareness

  • Training

  • Partnerships 

  • Marketing

“Now it’s more important than ever to protect your hurt. Get back to serving, serve well, and keep your customers,” Hunter said. “Remember that past (Covid) period we just talked about? Man, we were all fat and happy. Now, it’s getting back to business.”

-Brendan Meyer

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Becoming Attractive for Acquisition: Lessons From the Experts

“Are we too late?” is how ServiceTitan's Chris Hunter kicked off a panel of four seasoned private equity experts representing different businesses. Hunter was referencing the previous frenzy of acquisitions over the past five years.  

“It’s not too late,” says Mike Rudolf, COO of Sila Services. “But it’s really important to find a buyer that can go through with the deal. As sellers, you need to think about the time, money, and emotional effort put into the process — it’s tough on sellers when deals fall apart.” 

Check out some of the questions the panel members answered, along with key takeaways. 

When looking at companies, what’s the best piece of advice you can give to contractors before they sell? 

Frank DiMarco, CEO of Champions Group: “Financial maturity and organization. Give us three years of your P&L and balance sheet. And do you have the right team members? Our businesses have a saying — we’d rather lose a customer than an employee because good employees are so hard to find. The team matters a lot.” 

Will Matson, President of Apex Service Platforms: “No buyer wants to buy your job. They want to buy a business that will continue to operate smoothly. What you do to protect the brand and be a pillar in the community matters.”

How much does the brand story, culture, people and leadership weigh into purchasing service businesses?

Stillman Jordan, President of ENCON, a ServiceLogic Company: “The processes of a business do not have to be perfect. What’s more valuable is having good people that are willing to learn. Leadership is key.”

Frank DiMarco, CEO of Champions Group: “It’s a huge factor. In the last 4 1/2 years, we’ve talked to over 400 contractors and purchased 21 of them. Our culture and their culture must align. We ask to understand everything about them before we ask them to understand anything about us. We’ve walked away from deals that we didn’t see their path forward in leadership or match their culture.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Be strategic across your business.

  • Financial clarity is critical. 

  • Know your why and understand expectations. 

-Andrew Nicoletta

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Innovation for the Construction Industry

ServiceTitan co-founder Vahe Kuzoyan discusses innovation for the construction audience at Pantheon

Parent Projects. Workflow Automation. Flexible Timekeeping. A Weekly Dispatch Board.

These were some of the big headlines out of a product roadmap session at Pantheon 2023, focused on “Innovation for the Construction Industry.”

And judging from the reactions of “Yes!” — “Mmmmm-hmmmm” — “Alright!” — and rounds of applause from the audience, contractors were VERY pleased to hear these highlights from ServiceTitan’s co-founder Vahe Kuzoyan and Director of Product Management Mark Weeks.

“We have to solve for construction,” Kuzoyan said. “This is literally the top priority.”

“We’ve looked at most of the construction softwares that exist today and many of them are basically accounting systems that have a couple of features attached. You need to be able to do much more, especially customer-facing,” Kuzoyan said. There were a lot of agreements in the audience about that comment.

Weeks reviewed the product roadmap for construction, with some of the following highlights:

» Project Portfolio: A comprehensive view of all projects and progress — with real-time insights as to which projects need your attention.

» Workflow Automation: “There are a lot of common tasks that require manual effort today. We want to let you create rules that eliminate repetitive tasks — and workflow automation lets you focus on high-value tasks,” Weeks said. “Let’s take these things off your team’s plate, so they can focus in on what truly matters to your business.”

» A new field mobile app: “Especially in construction, we built this for the phone, not a tablet. We know your crews may not even have access to a tablet,” Weeks said. “We’ve optimized the experience for the phone, to help improve crew productivity.”

» Weekly Dispatch Board is coming, and also got some serious applause from the crowd. This allows users to allocate capacity across all your commitments.

» Parent Projects and Project Plan allows users to manage large-scale projects and give users detailed visibility across multiple phases — “not just high level, but being able to expand on that, see the phases and tasks that really comprise the jobs,” Weeks said.

There were also a couple of “yes!” shouts from the crowd when Weeks teased out the mobile app being adaptable for technicians who have English as a second language.

“We’re increasing our R&D budget for construction for next year,” Kuzoyan said, “and the pace of innovation will only get faster.”

-Scott Goldman

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The Little Activities That Add up Big in an Unstable Market

Focus on giving your brand a personality to differentiate from the competition. 

That's what Chris Yano of RYNO Strategic Solutions laid out during his session. Yano works with hundreds of contractors monthly. He sees firsthand that they’re spending more money than ever before to earn new business.  

What can you do about it? Manage your marketing and operations better than your competition.

The #1 area to focus on: tracking your marketing dollars. Use call tracking numbers and an employee to listen in on past calls (until artificial intelligence can do it for you). Next, set up reporting for each campaign to understand your booking rates and cost per lead. Do whatever it takes to improve those numbers. 

Operationally, it all starts with your Customer Support Reps (CSRs). Yano gets right to the point, “If your CSRs suck, it’s your fault.” 

He goes on to offer ways to set CSRs up for success. 

These include regular training (listening to callbacks, missed objections/tone/skill). Track booking rates per CSR. "And always hold your answering service accountable," Yano said. "After-hours has a higher booking rate and higher revenue per job." 

To top off the session, Ken Goodrich joined Yano on stage for a brief Q&A that did not disappoint. 

When asked what contractors in the audience can do to set themselves apart, Goodrich replied, "Memberships. Your goal should be to do 100% of your business within your membership club. Then there's no need to spend money earning new business." 

When the membership club grows too large to serve, find partnerships and better ways to serve your customers. Goodrich did this by partnering with SmartAC, an easy-to-install HVAC monitor. Unit maintenance goes from reactive to proactive and onsite to remote.

As for spending fewer marketing dollars when demand feels low, Goodrich said don't. Instead, he encouraged the audience to adopt his single best cost-saving measure. 

"There’s one thing we’ve done over the years that stands out," Goodrich said. "During monthly meetings, everybody has to come away with at least a $500 savings in the business. At the end of the year, we give a bonus to who saved the most money."

Goodrich makes it clear it's not one person’s job to optimize the business. It's everybody’s. 

-Andrew Nicoletta

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Pursuit of the Recruit: Navigate the Tech Shortage

Businesses today face many challenges when it comes to hiring and retaining quality technicians. Competitive wages, technical ability, ghosting on interviews, and even getting people to apply are some of the examples an audience at Pantheon gave when asked for the hurdles they experience when it comes to hiring. 

Ray Lewis, VP of Human Resources, Residential HVAC and Supply at Trane Technologies, laid out 3 areas business owners should focus on to improve their hiring and retention efforts: 

  • Connect as people first

  • Develop your employee value propositions

  • Recruit outside the usual places

It’s well known, Lewis said, that an inability to recruit and retain quality technicians impacts a business’ bottom line. When a good technician leaves your company, you’re losing revenue — and according to Lewis, one fewer technician in the field can mean a $225K-250K loss in revenue.

The hard truth when it comes to recruiting in our current landscape is that there is a shortage of 110,000 technicians, with roughly 23,000 leaving their roles each year. 

To start making headway in the competition to hire and retain technicians, businesses should first begin by connecting with technicians as people first. One thing that became evident during COVID, Lewis said, is that people view jobs as more than just a job — they see it as a part of their whole self. As owners and managers, you should be finding out what is most important to your employees and tailoring their growth to what they value.

The next step is to create an employee value proposition, which answers the question “Why should I come and why should I stay?” Aspects that come into play here are compensation, benefits, culture, flexibility and a sense of community. All of these factors are the reason people stay within a company after they’re hired.

Lastly, do yourself — and your business — a favor by recruiting outside of the usual places. Lewis gave the impressive example of Trane’s Trade Warriors program, which places active-duty service members who are within 6 months of separation from the services, or current veterans, into an 8-week training program that provides hands-on HVAC training.

Upon completion, trainees will be assisted in finding employment employment as an HVAC service tech or service installer with a Trane dealer. Military veterans are a perfect example of an outside-the-box solution to the technician shortage, says Lewis. They’re disciplined individuals who have an incredible aptitude for learning and development, and they’re eager to find skilled employment within companies that value their contributions. “There’s a need for this program not only for the soldiers, but for the industry,” said Lewis.  -Natalie Koch

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Scaling Up: Zero to $130 Million in Eight Years

“Raise your prices!”

Contractors who attended last year’s Pantheon might remember this piece of advice from Ismael Valdez’ presentation on accelerating revenue. The CEO of NexGen reprised the advice in his breakout session at Pantheon 2023 — with a caveat.

With higher prices comes more responsibility, he said. Valdez cautioned that a corresponding lift in value for the customer must follow any price increase.

“If you’re not delivering the value, you have to lower your prices until you can.”

The bottom line, Valdez said, is that customers should feel as if they’re getting their full money’s worth when presented with the bill.

Raising prices is not the only way to accelerate revenue, Valdez said. Simplified pay plans for employees also made his list, as did consistency in marketing efforts, i.e., spend your full marketing budget every month, not just when you feel like it.

Valdez suggested that contractors looking to hit revenue milestones—$1 million, $5 million, $25 million, even $100 million and higher—should start by soliciting advice from peers who have already hit those numbers and are deeply familiar with the challenges.

-Chris Siciliano

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Kathy Nielsen, Mark Bush, Adam Cronenberg: Scale Everything—Now—with Automated Processes

When it comes to scaling your business with ServiceTitan, Mark Bush and Adam Cronenberg are two brains that you want to pick.

Bush, the general manager of R&L Plumbing in San Francisco, has seen his revenue increase by a whopping 144 percent in the last five years with ServiceTitan. Cronenberg, formerly of A1 Garage Door Service, used ServiceTitan to grow A1 into a national brand with 500 employees and, most recently, retire early (though he has reinvested his earnings into other ventures).

The pair spoke on Tuesday at Pantheon, with Kathy Nielsen “The Chicken Lady” as moderator, to reveal their list of favorite ServiceTitan features that helped them automate processes and scale their business. 

But not just any list.

“In true David Letterman style, a top 10 list,” Cronenberg said to the packed room, where every seat was full and a crowd was standing in the back. 

“These are quick wins. Some of you guys are probably using some of these things. Maybe you’re not using all of them,” Cronenberg said. “These do not rely on Titan Intelligence and what’s coming. They are available—now.”

Bush and Cronenberg went into detail about ...

  • Scheduled Reports

  • Task Management

  • Alerts

  • Recurring Services

  • ServiceTitan Payments

  • Estimate and Proposal Templates

  • Auto-Batching and Automatic Invoicing

  • Integrated Timesheets

  • Marketing Pro and Reputation Pro

  • Custom Dashboards

But for those in attendance, there was a critical piece of advice that was added at the end of the session.

“How many of you are one year or less on ServiceTitan?” Bush asked the crowd, and a few hands shot up. “Word of advice. Don’t skimp on ServiceTitan. When we first installed it, we did the basics. And we were like, ‘It’s too complicated. I can’t do all of this stuff.’ Take the time to learn the features and implement them. Because you’re missing out if you don’t …Fully implementing (ServiceTitan) is where we got our growth and our ability to do this.”

That last point really resonated with Cody Bumpus, who sat in the crowd at his first Pantheon and took copious notes on his laptop. Bumpus is an operations manager at Easton Outdoors, a hardscape and water features shop in Poquoson, Virginia. Easton has been on ServiceTitan for two years, and has seen its revenue increase from $1 million back in 2020 to pacing at $5.5 million this year.

But after attending this talk, Bumpus knows they can do better.

“Like (Bush) just said, we’ve just been doing the basics. But now being two years into ServiceTitan, we’re at the point where we need to get to the next level,” Bumpus said. “Implementing even two of these automations features is going to be huge for us. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that we implement five of them, or all 10 of them (right away).”

Bumpus smiled, and motioned at his laptop.

“(When I) get back (to Virginia), I’ve got my notes now,” he said.

-Brendan Meyer

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Looking back at Opening Night

Thousands of contractors from across the country arrived at the Orlando World Center Marriott on Monday for the biggest Pantheon ever!

The opening reception was an amazing start to the sold-out conference, with ServiceTitan users streaming through the Partner and Product Village, checking out the Pantheon Wall of Fame and getting interviewed for ServiceTitan's podcast:

Toolbox for the Trades podcast host Jackie Aubel interviews Ismael Valdez during Opening Night at Pantheon 2023.

The Pantheon 2023 pins were in high demand at the opening reception Monday night.

Amanda Brenner and Symantha Tazzioli were thrilled to see their names on the Pantheon Wall of Fame as Certified Admins.

The Partner + Product Village was packed Monday night as Pantheon 2023 kicked off in Orlando.

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