When Michael Villa recently came onboard as vice president of Casey's Electric in San Diego, it was primarily a busy commercial/construction shop.
After some research, Villa decided to onboard the company to ServiceTitan. He was aware the software was fundamentally aimed at residential trade business. But two factors were key in his decision:
Updates that benefit commercial business are on the horizon.
He also reasoned that along with streamlining and updating the backend of Casey’s Electric, the company could also use the software to pick up and manage an additional line of residential business.
“Our goal is to still be a small business,” Villa says. “But working on longer-term commercial projects, which we already had in the pipeline, we didn’t have the sophistication or savvy to balance too many of them and ramp up too quickly without it all being just a cacophony of pen and paper.”
That’s where exceptional software that’s customized and frequently updated can make a difference. And Villa is helping ServiceTitan build it.
Before becoming a VP at Casey’s Electric, Villa was a customer. He worked in the world of action sports clothing for a dozen years, running global operations. He ran facilities and oversaw build-outs and remodels.
“Casey, the owner, was hands down the best service provider I ever had for anything,” Villa says. “At the time when I met him, it was literally one guy and a van. I was so sick of dealing with so many different general contractors and subs, so I gave him a small remodel project. Then he couldn’t get rid of me because he was so reliable.”
Over time, their relationship grew, as did Casey’s business. Meanwhile, Villa was planning to transition from the global perspectives of his job and was seeking more of a family/life balance.
“I’d helped him with some basic business pointers in the past,” Villa says. “Casey said, ‘I want you to come work for me.’”
Villa agreed to help out, and figured he’d be in a consulting role for a short time.
“But it was a legitimate, full-time opportunity to essentially set the stage for everything backend for him,” he says. “Get his systems, his efficiencies, even some of his branding, marketing, everything else in line so he could stick to business development, staff management and site management.”
Villa says all was going well. Casey’s Electric has always been strong with grass-roots referrals. The company usually has more work than it can handle and sometimes has to turn away jobs.
Then COVID hit.
“We intentionally decided to just scale it back and not get over our skis,” Villa says. “Being a small shop, we didn't want to be over-leveraged. That's really how we ended up getting ServiceTitan.”
On the front lines of commercial software
As one of the first users to measure the new commercial product, Villa says “getting under the hood” of the software has been positive and collaborative.
“We’re looking at it, and trying to put things into real practical terms for commercial construction or just new construction products in general,” he says. “We knew coming in it wasn’t a finished product. We’re trying to balance expectations and help as much as we can.”
Villa believes putting the software through the paces in a real-life scenario will help find issues and concerns that both employees and customers might have.
“Better these things get voiced now than later,” he says.
Villa is an excellent candidate to do beta testing.
“I have a heavy background on the user interface software side,” he says. “A ton of ERPs and WMS’s and every other acronym you can imagine, implemented in many countries and continents.
Villa says ServiceTitan has one of the best support teams he’s ever seen.
“I mean, it’s not the biggest product in the world, but the way ServiceTitan has implementation success managers in every aspect of it is really impressive,” he says.
Anticipating the final product
Villa has been blunt, in a constructive way, about his input that has helped shape the new software.
He’s giving feedback on:
Changing the appointment scheduling function so that it’s more manageable for multi-day jobs.
Invoicing and job scheduling that better fits the needs of commercial/construction jobs.
Expanding project management capabilities to reflect more than just financial oversight.
Reconfiguring scheduling and dispatch functions that better align with a commercial/construction point of view.
Creating customized dashboards that are meaningful and contain more than just historical financial information.
In the end, Villa says the goal for Casey’s Electric is to be roughly 90 percent commercial/construction and add about 10 percent of residential service. He says his boss excels in relationship-building all over San Diego, and that residential business often leads to commercial jobs, and vice-versa.
“Really, my whole goal with ServiceTitan is that I want to get Casey off the phone and on the golf course and be able to just manage remotely,” Villa says. “I want him to be able to see the heartbeat of the business and manage it from his phone.”
The software to achieve that goal is teeing up. Look for it coming down the fairway before the end of the year.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive home and commercial services business software solution built specifically to help companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000 contractors across the country.
Ready to learn more about what ServiceTitan can do for your business? Contact our team to schedule a demo today.