Lee Schwartz never went to trade school—so he had to learn his craft in a different way.
He’d spend long hours riding alongside experienced technicians, observing and asking questions while they serviced HVAC systems. But the real learning happened when Schwartz went home.
He’d sit outside while the Texas sun set and place an object on the ground. Maybe it was the busted valve he’d helped remove earlier in the day and the instruction manual he’d pocketed from the replacement valve’s packaging. Then, he’d cut the part open to figure out how it worked.
This became his ritual—and his schooling.
“I can learn anything, I just have to be able to play with it a little bit,” Schwartz said.
It didn’t take long for him to become skilled as a service technician for HVAC and refrigeration systems, even running his own business for several years. But eventually, being on call every night and weekend grew stale, and he moved to the operations side of the trades.
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By the time Schwartz accepted a project management role at AiRCO Mechanical, which specializes in residential and commercial HVAC, electric and plumbing, his days of servicing equipment in the field were long gone.
But Schwartz wasn’t done fixing things.
Quickly after arriving at AiRCO, Schwartz realized that the field management software the company used was woefully lacking. He knew his team needed a more robust system to handle billing, inventory, dispatch, sales and more—but wasn’t sure what that might look like.
That is, until ServiceTitan, the all-in-one software built for the trades, launched a platform designed to handle the complexities of commercial service and construction. After a quick demo, Schwartz was convinced that joining ServiceTitan would dramatically increase efficiency at AiRCO.
‘It’s not even apples to apples’
Convincing the rest of the company that ServiceTitan was a better option for AiRCO wasn’t hard. It seemed like everyone from the front office to the field was fed up with the old software.
Described by Schwartz as “nothing but files on top of files,” the system AiRCO was using was an administrative nightmare. Even entering a new customer into the system could take well over 30 minutes.
“It was so manual and so tedious that, good lord, it became a full-time job just watching numbers turn from one page to the next,” Schwartz said. “Everybody's on their own island, working against each other, instead of one seamless flow through the company, and out the door to the customer.”
In contrast, what ServiceTitan offered was a breath of fresh air: Easily accessible records for every customer and jobs stored in the cloud, intuitive dispatch tools to quickly book and reschedule appointments, digital payment options and job costing.
AiRCO made the switch to ServiceTitan in the summer of 2022. How does it compare to their previous software?
“It’s not even apples to apples,” Schwartz said.
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Moving faster, with more efficiency
AiRCO has established verticals in commercial construction and residential and commercial service. Now, it’s nurturing a new commercial electric offering, and eyeing an expansion into residential plumbing and construction. That’s why it’s important that the company invests in the right resources to continue seeing success across the business.
“I see ServiceTitan being huge for efficiency, knowing that we don't need all of these dispatchers for this number of techs,” Schwartz said. “We can totally simplify [our processes], because it's gotten easier. It's gotten faster. It's live data.”
Here are a few of Schwartz’s favorite features so far:
Inventory: Equipment can be difficult to keep track of for commercial customers running well over a hundred fan-cooled units all on different floors. With ServiceTitan, techs can quickly pull up all inventory in a matter of moments. That also means that every tech can pinpoint the exact date a piece of machinery was installed, make recommendations to replace outdated parts and increase sales.
Billing: With ServiceTitan, AiRCO can get bills out the door faster than before. The process used to take AiRCO weeks. Now, it can happen in hours. With features like digitized invoices, online payments, and centralized transaction records, the billing department can do their work faster and keep cash flow high.
Cloud-based technology: Keeping all job history, inventory, estimates and more in the cloud means that anyone from AiRCO’s team can quickly access a single-source of truth for any operation, and be ready to answer both customer and internal questions in a snap.
New skills, same rituals
Since implementing ServiceTitan, Schwartz has found himself practicing a familiar ritual. He spends his evenings combing through ServiceTitan’s knowledge base, posting on relevant Facebook communities and watching how-to YouTube videos.
Just like the old parts he used to cut open and inspect, he’s dissecting his company's new software and finding out how it works.
“It’s not without its flaws, but that's the fun of it, I think,” Schwartz said. “Finding those flaws and being able to figure out what the solution is. That's my thing.”
As AiRCO continues to move all of its operations over to ServiceTitan, there’s still plenty of work to be done in learning how the software functions, and how it can best be used at the company. After all, switching over all of AiRCO’s verticals and business operations to a new platform is a complicated, sometimes frustrating, process.
But for Schwartz, the effort is worth it. Once the team is finally onboarded, he’ll have more time to do what he loves: Finding something new to fix.
“That's what I've done ever since I was young,” he said. “I look at one thing and go, ‘Well why didn't you do it this way? This could be better.’ It's a curse, but that's how my brain works.”
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.