Snow Shovels, Heavy Metal and Herding Cats Lead to Texas and ServiceTitan
Some have a way with words. They cut through the bologna – fried is best, of course – and get to the point with insight and clarity.
That is the way it is with Jason Goulet, an accomplished plumber and the Service Director of Diamond Plumbing in San Antonio. Goulet owned a plumbing company in Denver until he decided he wanted more warmth in his life.
“I was shoveling snow off my driveway in June for the second time, and I said, ‘That’s it,’” he said.
He plays heavy metal guitar and had met Dale Nash, the owner of Diamond, while playing at a Rock ‘N Roll Fantasy Camp in Hollywood.
“It was like a week-long vacation-work camp kind of thing where we're rehearsing songs with actual professional working artists in the hard rock and heavy metal world. And we got to play with Judas Priest,” Goulet said.
Bombarded by snow and the memory of electric chords, he called Nash, who immediately said he’d hire him. Goulet decided to sell his company in Denver and move to Texas. But the process of selling, he said, was not simple.
“Imagine,” he said, “plucking your nose hairs out, one at a time, slowly.”
We’d prefer not, but we get the idea. Once that painful process was complete, Goulet met resistance on his way out of Colorado.
“The day we were packing up to leave a blizzard rolled in,” he said. “The highways froze over. There were ambulance and fire trucks and police on the sides of the roads, tow trucks everywhere, and we're just jack-knifing the trailers as we're driving. Just an entourage of three vehicles and the moving trucks and the trailers and everything. We're all sliding on and off the road, saying, ‘We're not stopping, we are not stopping, no matter what, just keep going.’
“Colorado didn't want us to leave.”
After a false start, ServiceTitan
Now Goulet is an important part of Diamond and the guy behind the addition and implementation of ServiceTitan, the cloud-based software solution for the trades. With ServiceTitan, the man who described himself as a cat herder said that “herding cats has never been easier.”
Goulet did not take a direct route to ServiceTitan, though. The company originally had its own proprietary software. Once that outlived its usefulness, Diamond , a 21-year-old company, had a decision to make. Goulet was well aware of ServiceTitan, having used it in Colorado.
“And I said, ‘Well, I have a company that I love and they are the Cadillac of dispatch and customer procedure software for the technician side,’” he said. “They're the best, and it's called ServiceTitan. They're not cheap, but you're going to love it."
Diamond first chose another option, but less than six weeks into onboarding, Goulet took out a notepad and drew up diagrams and charts to show what ServiceTitan could provide.
“When the Vice President of Operations saw that, he said, ‘Go to ServiceTitan,’” Goulet said.
Diamond and ServiceTitan became partners in May of 2020, and with the help of Lauren Kelly, a ServiceTitan rep who works out of Atlanta, the software was up and running quickly.
“Onboarding was a dream,” Goulet said. “It was an absolute dream. I couldn’t imagine having a better onboard specialist than her.”
Kelly did not have an easy audience. Goulet wants to understand everything.
“It's kind of like the claw toy where you can just grab one thing, if you're lucky,” he said. “You put your dollar in and maybe you get the toy. And if I have to put $5 in until I understand it, that's what I'm going to do. So I'm going to wait until I get that toy and I have that knowledge and I understand it.”
“And I said, 'Well, I have a company that I love and they are the Cadillac of dispatch and customer procedure software for the technician side. They're the best, and it's called ServiceTitan. You're going to love it.'"
From the trenches to Masterminds
Goulet’s experience with ServiceTitan in Colorado was in the field, or, as he said, from a plumber-in-the-trenches perspective. Now, he's understanding what the software can do from the office end—dispatch, scheduling, accounting, etc
“I like how customizable everything is,” he said. “From the call screen, all of the different things within the overview section of the job, I can add a bunch of different lines of data that we're collecting when we book the call. And I can customize everything. From the business units, the job types.”
Among them: Closing date for warranty information, purchase order numbers when a PO is warranted, and subdivision information because most of Diamond’s new-home-warranty calls aren't even on Google Maps.
“There are so many different things that we can customize,” he said. “The color customization options that (are) available. We're very visual here. It just so happens that us guys that are running this, we like to see the different things at a glance rather than having to really get in and read the stuff.”
Goulet has made suggestions via Masterminds, ServiceTitan’s Facebook-based “suggestion box,” for ways to improve the schedule page and allow businesses to “live” more on the schedule page as opposed to the dispatch page.
Some involve making the schedule page more dynamic and (surprise) color coded. He calls them “one person’s thought,” but the suggestions will be seen and heard. He does not believe, though, that working with the software is the least bit complicated, and he admits he’s not using half of what ServiceTitan can offer.
“That’s another thing that I love about ServiceTitan,” he said, “is there are many different ways to get to the same (result). ... All roads lead to Rome effectively.
“You don't have to go through the front door; sometimes you can go through the back door. If you need to, you can go through the window, and eventually it will get you to where you need to be to get the information you need or to get the call booked or whatever it is.”
Finding a home by happenstance
The story of how Nash and Goulet met is worth telling, and it starts with Judas Priest, the legendary metal band from Birmingham, England, that in 2019 celebrated its 50th anniversary (and has somehow been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). Goulet found himself meeting and becoming friends with another guitar aficionado who also owned a plumbing business.
“He was paired with me in the same band just by happenstance,” Goulet said. “So we got to meet the band and rehearse with the band and play a sold-out shot at the Whiskey (the legendary Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset).”
After, Nash would visit a cousin in Denver and record in a studio, with Goulet joining in the heavy metal.
“We just built our friendship through music and we would just talk shop about plumbing, the trials and tribulations you have as a business owner,” Goulet said.
They turned some classic rock songs with “a heavy metal/punk flare to them,” Goulet said, and did an album together with other metal musicians. When Goulet had trouble selling his business, in part because of the tragic death of one of his employees, Nash stepped forward to buy some of the assets to make the business more “buyable.”
“The intellectual property was very easy to sell,” Goulet said. “So once he committed to buying the tangible assets and then we found somebody to buy the intellectual property, done, see ya, got to go.”
He’s been herding the cats ever since.
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