As an 8-year-old, Amber Kempenar was filing paper service tickets at her father’s company, A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical, and watching her dad’s team use software to speed up manual tasks—a pretty rare sight in the 1980s.
A lot has changed since then. The Omaha, Neb., residential service and repair HVAC and electrical company is now employee-owned, and Kempenar serves as president.
But A-1 is still proud to use new technology to move faster. It’s a big reason why A-1 joined ServiceTitan, the software built for the trades, in April 2020.
Kempenar chose ServiceTitan because she wanted the company to go paperless. She also knew that, to grow the business, she’d need advanced reporting features and an all-in-one platform so her team didn’t have to juggle multiple applications.
“We wanted our techs to have tablets,” she said. “We needed something more modern, crisp, clean, easy to use, something where the paper would not get lost.”
ServiceTitan checked all of those boxes.
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Finding the right fit
It was a bit of a journey to find the right software, though.
Before using ServiceTitan, A-1 used legacy software that worked well—but it was missing the reporting tools and mobile capabilities Kempenar was looking for. So A-1 switched platforms in 2018, selecting another software that promised it had everything Kempenar dreamed of.
“(But) it was a complete and utter disaster,” Kempenar said.
The switch was so bad that the team ended up going back to their original legacy software. Most people would break into a cold sweat at the idea of switching between multiple software systems in such a short time period. But six months later, that’s exactly what A-1 did—again.
That’s because ServiceTitan bought that legacy software company.
Thankfully for Kempenar though, ServiceTitan finally proved to be the right fit.
“(The software) is quite intuitive, user-friendly,” Kempenar said. “I can't even describe the difference of how much smoother (onboarding) went, even in 2020, having to do everything remotely and via Zoom.”
Before ServiceTitan helped A-1 go paperless, it was easy for a slip of paper to get lost in the shuffle among the company’s fleet of 66 service trucks. This caused delays in invoicing and processing customer files.
With ServiceTitan, the techs no longer need to manage paperwork in their trucks. Everything from their jobs is captured on their tablets and uploaded to the cloud, which gives the office staff easy access. Techs can also more accurately fill out their records.
“Everything that my service technicians touch is fantastic,” Kempenar said. “They complained and dragged their feet and moaned (at first), but they love (ServiceTitan) now.”
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A positive impact
So, what are those ServiceTitan features that A-1’s team can’t live without? Kempenar has a few favorites—and some she can’t wait to use.
Dispatch: No more long chats with dispatchers, or confusion over where a job is. With ServiceTitan’s dispatch board, everyone can see any job at a glance, as well as access customer records, send text message appointment confirmations, and reschedule customers quickly. “The job booking is very easy, and it makes it so that the people answering the phone all ask the same questions,” Kempenar said. “Ideally, they don't miss anything, which is wonderful.”
Increase sales: When A-1 techs show up to a job, they always have ServiceTitan loaded up on a tablet. They have immediate access to the software’s estimate builder, and can schedule follow-up appointments to increase bookings and upsell customers. That means higher sales numbers and less follow-up.
Inventory: Kempenar is eager to use ServiceTitan’s inventory feature, which will allow techs to see what parts they have on their trucks at any given time, and when they need to restock. With fewer missing parts, techs can feel confident knowing they’re prepared for any service call.
ServiceTitan has even become a recruiting tool at A-1. “It has definitely helped me retain service technicians,” Kempenar said.
Kempenar has been in close proximity to the trades—and A-1—for most of her life.
While she didn’t expect to fall in love with her father’s business, she remembers the moment when she realized how much A-1 meant to her.
“(When) the 2008 housing market crisis hit, the business really struggled,” Kempenar said. “At that point, it became more than a job for me. I was not going to let this business fail.”
And she didn’t.
In fact, A-1 has been thriving: The company is expanding the HVAC and electrical teams, and has plans to expand into plumbing and generators.
While it might have taken time to settle on the right software to power the company, Kempenar feels confident that ServiceTitan is the right platform to bring A-1’s goals to life.
“We had to walk before we could run, and we had to crawl before that,” Kempenar said. “I would say that we're definitely through the walking phase.”
Now, A-1 is ready to run.
“Instead of having our goal be $20 million (in revenue), I’d love to have our goal be $30 million,” she said. “In 20 years, I would hope our goal is $40 million. We want to take over the world.”
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.