It’s a family affair at Creech’s Plumbing and Septic, a workplace that includes a third generation member of the trades along with a wife who joined the business, and both teaching it to their son.
Let Sheryl Creech explain.
“My husband (Stacy) is a third-generation plumbing and septic family,” she said, using phrasing only those in the trade truly appreciate. “Our son (Hunter) is now working in the business and he’s the fourth generation.”
When Sheryl first married Stacy, she was in banking.
“I traveled significantly and so I was gone three to four days a week,” she said, “which was fine when we were initially married. But after we had a little one, it was really tough leaving him and my husband running his own business.
“So that's when we decided to make the switch.”
She started working in the office, using her experience in finance to help the business make the transition from paper to paperless, a task she found was not simple. Almost 20 years later, she’s still the stalwart in the office in Wilson, N.C., about 45 minutes east of Raleigh, for a business that does plumbing and septic work as well as the renting of portable toilets for events.
“When I first joined him we were just doing plumbing,” she said. “On the plumbing side we do service work and very specialized plumbing. We're not into construction or anything like that. It's so hard to find skilled labor. And my husband got to the point where physically he couldn't do all the plumbing himself, but finding qualified technicians in our area is getting to be close to impossible.
“So anyway, he just decided that he wanted to do septic. It was a little more challenging, a little something different.”
In 2019, the Creech family made the move to ServiceTitan, a cloud-based software solution for the trades, after trying three other companies for various amounts of time. Initially ServiceTitan was not for them because Creech’s only had three technicians, but in discussing their needs with ServiceTitan reps, the Creeches made it clear they needed the software. ServiceTitan made it work.
“I think it was February of 2019, where we had a conversation with the sales rep of ServiceTitan and said, ‘I realize your goal and you want people to realize the benefits of the cost of ServiceTitan, but we can't get to the next level if we don't have something like that,’” Sheryl said. “So then they entertained us coming over to ServiceTitan from that point.”
Onboarding the software and accounts into Creech’s system was not simple, but “it paid off in the end,” Sheryl said.
Immediate benefits? Presentation and analytics
The benefits did not take long to show, especially in the software’s presentation and analytics.
“I think the presentation to the customer was one of those things that we could definitely see right off the bat,” she said. “I felt like we probably closed more sales, definitely.”
Because septic work is never simple, ServiceTitan allowed Creech’s to provide, via mobile devices, a visual comparison of options for the work.
“(Customers) could see the good, better and best comparison,” Sheryl said. “And it was something visual, because that's a lot for them to take in. Septic usually is a big ticket item, so having something for them to see based on what you're talking about, I think, was very helpful.”
Recording calls proved to be beneficial in ensuring proper communication, which reduced questions and concerns when the technician arrived to do the work.
Sheryl said the company’s employees all appreciated what ServiceTitan offered. “Most of the guys that we have are younger,” she said.
Creech said the longer she uses ServiceTitan, the better she and Stacy will be able to make wise decisions on the company and its future. That is where ServiceTitan’s analytics come in.
“I think I really want to get to the point where we understand how to incentivize our technicians and what to sell, and be able to divide up some skills and responsibilities once we get some more managed technicians,” she said.
Finding more help, and a place for Hunter
One challenge: Finding experienced techs, because the company is not large enough to train the few young people they find who are willing to work in the trade, especially when it comes to septic work.
“We just don't have the time dedicated because we've got to keep the horse running,” Sheryl said.
The short-term goal is to find the best fit for Hunter, who still has more college to finish, which will lead to a long-term goal of dividing duties to help each facet of the company. One option is to involve Hunter in the day-to-day operations, which would allow Stacy to take on more specialized projects.
Sheryl said she believes the more the company uses ServiceTitan, the more it will receive valuable information that will help them target the right areas of the business.
“Be aware where our profitability is coming from,” Sheryl said. “I feel like now we've got a good year with the data to be able to look at, and now we can start comparing month over month, year over year, where before we didn't have anything to compare it to.”
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive septic 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.
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