Outdated Software Prompts Staffing Exodus, Pushes Lenny Siers to ServiceTitan
Lenny Siers knows a little something about keeping the troops happy.
Siers, owner of four nationally-franchised business locations of One Hour Plumbing Heating & Air, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, and Mr. Sparky operating in Florida and Alabama, joined the Air Force in 1987, right out of high school. He learned about the HVAC industry in the military.
But something that happened in 2018, long after he had left the Air Force, taught him about the intersection of the industry, technology and employee morale.
At that point, Siers had been in the trades as a civilian for 23 years. He started in 1995, as an entrepreneur trying to start an HVAC company with one truck. He was also struggling to find the right software system to run his business.
By 2001, his company had grown into a $1 million business using multiple systems, including QuickBooks “and a couple other ones that just weren't right for me.”
That year, Siers joined Clockwork Home Services, a trade industry collaboration in which most of the members had found a software program that worked—at least for a while.
“(That software) was a great platform in 1999 through 2005, but it was outdated in the years after that,” Siers says.
Still, he stuck with it, despite not seeing much advancement. Then came 2018.
By then, Siers was a franchise owner in multiple home services industries, with locations in multiple cities and two states. He had just acquired a plumbing company that was using ServiceTitan’s all-in-one software solution for the trades.
An expected reaction
What did Siers do? He promptly switched his new franchise to his old, outdated software.
The reaction was swift. Employees went along, but they told Siers the change had set them back by five to 10 years. The complaints were particularly loud from the technicians, Siers says.
“The field techs that were used to ServiceTitan were really complaining about (the outdated software),” Siers says. “They felt the (previous) software system actually gave them less ability to perform in the field. They just didn't believe in the software system and complained about it on a daily basis.”
Then, they quit.
“The field techs that were used to ServiceTitan were really complaining about (their previous software). They felt the (previous) software system actually gave them less ability to perform in the field."
Siers says he lost about 80 percent of the technicians at the newly acquired company. While that kind of turnover isn’t unusual when ownership changes, he says the old software was a key reason.
“Anytime you do an acquisition, you do face a transition of potential turnover,” Siers says. “But that was one of the things we couldn't really solve—until we converted to ServiceTitan.”
That happened, six months later.
“We converted them back to ServiceTitan,” Siers says, “because they told me (the old software) made them go backward.
“(ServiceTitan) was 10 times more effective, more efficient, than what we were using.”
ServiceTitan: A clear way forward
ServiceTitan restored the momentum. And Siers’ company has big plans. Focused solely on residential services, Siers has about 150 employees across four cities, including about 120 technicians.
“Our goal was to go from $25 million to $30 million just by improving the performance at our four of our locations, by enhancing the way they hire, train and perform both in the field and the office,” Siers says. “So ServiceTitan is a key part of that uniformity.”
The five-year plan? Between $40 million and $50 million in annual sales. Siers sees that possibility because ServiceTitan’s HVAC, plumbing and electrical software is scalable, at a lower cost than he expected.
“We see that as obtainable with repeatable systems and multi locations,” Siers says, “but then also accountability in real time of what they're actually doing, recognizing the winners and the not-so-winners, so we can give feedback.”
That means future acquisitions are possible, without turnover from technicians unhappy with the software.
“If we were to move forward with acquisitions,” Siers says, “we feel very comfortable with that.”
So will the troops.
"ServiceTitan, they seem to be five years ahead of the competition," Siers says. "I don't think anything stops us from moving forward the next five years with the most advanced software system available.”
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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.