HVAC, Marketing, Management, Success Story

Plan to ‘Goettl-ize the nation’ is based on people and repeatable, real-time processes

Pat McManamon
February 9th, 2024
6 Min Read

Goettl Air Conditioning & Plumbing has seen significant growth since it was bought by Ken Goodrich.

The future plan? To “Goettl-ize the nation,” said Senior Vice President of Integrations Angela Miller, echoing the motto painted in giant letters on the wall of Goettl’s Las Vegas offices.

The basis for Goettl’s growth: Its culture.

“I think that is probably the foundation of any great company,” Miller said. “Without great culture, all the other things fall apart really easily.”

Culture wraps itself around employee happiness, and shows in production, standing in the community and the way a business presents itself to its customers.

“With the right culture, you always have that North Star,” Miller said. “Everyone knows what the mission is. Everyone knows what the vision is. Everyone knows how we want to treat our customers, and how we want to treat each other.”

Miller joined Goettl in 2007, and has been on board while the business expanded from Phoenix to Las Vegas, Austin, San Antonio and Southern California, with a long-term plan to grow nationally. Along the way, Goettl has relied on ServiceTitan, the cloud-based software for the trades, to facilitate efficiency and growth.

“Having and partnering with a software company that we can utilize to scale is key in making (growth) easier.” Miller said. “It's a marriage between the human and the workflow and the software itself.”

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A Norman Rockwell image and reputation

Goettl’s culture emphasizes treating employees and customers well. Goettl empowers employees to be proactive, and runs the business believing the best way to attract good talent is to treat the present team well. It wants customers to believe in the business. Its logo harkens back to a Norman Rockwell painting, with all the “home-town” values.

The culture goes back to 1939, when the Goettl brothers founded the business in Phoenix to help residents deal with summer heat. Goettl even has an office dog, Sadie, a Wheaten terrier who meets all potential hires because the breed is known for being able to judge the character of humans.

Goettl’s motto: We do things the right way, not the easy way.

“I think people are the differentiator for us … ” said Jake Gress, Goettl’s CEO. “Because at the end of the day, it's all about the people, right? It's all about your interactions with the customers. The more that you can empower your employees and the more that you can make their jobs easy, the better it's going to be.”

Miller calls Goodrich a “rainmaker,” a leader who is not afraid to go one way when conventional wisdom says to go the other. His approach has led to fast growth that was not totally unexpected.

Goettl was originally an HVAC manufacturing brand, and it was struggling when Goodrich bought it. Goodrich saw an opportunity to remake that storied brand as a contracting business.

“He saw this great history and story around this brand for so long,” Miller said. “But when we first started, (Goettl had) two branches (Phoenix and Tucson).”

At that time, there was one person in accounting. Miller said that now there are hundreds of associates – Goettl does not call them employees – in its locations and departments in four states.

It was in 2015 that Goettl realized the software it was using could not handle growth.

“We needed to keep up with technology,” Miller said.

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A personal connection to ServiceTitan

ServiceTitan’s innovations grabbed Goettl’s attention. A relationship grew after a sit-down Miller and Goodrich had in Burbank with ServiceTitan founders, Ara Mahdessian and Vahe Kuzoyan. Mahdessian and Goodrich talked business, Miller and Kuzoyan focused on innovations, data and workflow, and how it all meshed under one software umbrella.

“It was really friendly, one-on-one discussions, shared ideas,” Miller said.

What Miller learned early was that ServiceTitan could apply to Goettl where it was on the day of those discussions, but also could adapt and grow with Goettl.

One key Goettl learned quickly: A growing business with several branches requires repeatable, branch-to-branch connection and repeatable workflows. ServiceTitan offered just that.

“A great software allows us to implement and integrate our new customers or our new businesses,” Miller said. “Usually we can do it within 90 days of a close, which I think is pretty fast.”

Among the benefits Goettl has maximized are efficiencies and processes that provide live data around work in progress and profitability. The software even helps techs understand the job.

“When you're able to tap into that and you can see the invoice or you can look at a video, and you're capturing it inside of Service Titan, you're able to better serve the customer and really better serve the tech,” Miller said. “And you can take a tech with less experience and really help them through and get consistency out in the field with how we service our customers. ServiceTitan allows us to do that in real time.”

‘Information at your fingertips’

Goettl can track a tech’s location and monitor when they will arrive at the customer’s home for work. At day’s end, it can quickly find information that details a tech’s revenue, and what the gross and net will be for Goettl. 

“This is really hour-by-hour, day-by-day that you're able to have that information at your fingertips,” Miller said.

Other important information also can be accessed easily. 

“Are my techs heading to the job? Are we showing up on time? You can see that in real time,” she said. “Are we buying equipment right? Are we pricing our equipment right? You can see that in real time, and so you can make those adjustments pretty quickly so you're able to be nimble within the marketplace.

“You used to wait for your accounting team to plug in all the numbers and send you a report. Here, all the way to gross margin, you're able to manage those costs in a really efficient way. You can really forecast and understand what things and levers you need to pull every day, every week, every month to maximize your profit.”

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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