Growth brings challenges for companies in the trades, and Sila Services decided to meet one of the biggest ones head-on.
Sila’s explosive growth the past few years took it from 250 to 1,600 employees, with 20 brand partners (and more on the way) in 14 states. But how could Sila add new affiliates quickly, implement standard processes, and maintain those standards across the entire company?
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Sila attacked the challenge with what it calls the Center of Excellence (COE), a nimble, knowledgeable, in-house strike team to ensure its companies maximize the use of ServiceTitan, the cloud-based software for the trades.
Enter the COE, run by Marisa Samuel. Her team of ServiceTitan experts can collectively, in Sila Chief Operating Officer Mike Rudolf’s words, “focus on ServiceTitan implementation and (ensure) we are using it to its fullest.”
It’s a hub-and-spoke approach to a software that had already been helpful to Sila partners.
“The goal was to be this team that was going to help the companies be good stewards of ServiceTitan,” said Samuel, Director of the Center. “The result is that standard operating procedures are created, and best practices are born. We’re doing that so the companies can do what they need to do—and that’s run their business.”
The task was clear to Sila leadership, and they tapped Samuel to tackle it.
“We knew we needed ServiceTitan …,” Rudolf said on a recent Toolbox for the Trades podcast. “We (also) realized there was an opportunity not only to improve the integration and onboarding process, but to further develop our use of ServiceTitan.”
Samuel built out the vision, from the studs up, starting with her team.
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A history with ServiceTitan
Samuel found her way to Sila when it acquired Adam Mechanical (Havertown, Pa.), a business Samuel ran with her husband and brother-in-law. At Adam, Samuel had extensive experience with ServiceTitan.
Adam added the software in 2016, when annual revenue was at $2.9 million. Six years later, when Adam was sold to Sila, revenue was at $10.9 million.
Would that have happened without ServiceTitan?
“For us, no way,” Samuel said. “Without the software, tracking financials and metrics to make informed business decisions couldn’t be done.”
The idea for the Center came from Steve Zimmerman, Sila’s Chief Information Technology Officer. The implementation came down to Samuel and her team, all of whom are ServiceTitan Certified Administrators—a certification to those who display a deeper understanding of the software.
Jesse Dunitz, a team member of COE, came to Sila when his employer, Astar Plumbing, Heating and Air in Middletown, N.Y., became a Sila partner.
“As a warehouse purchaser and install coordinator, I touched a lot of parts of ServiceTitan,” Dunitz said. “That (Certified Administrator) course really helps you kind of brush up on some of the things you may not have consistently been touching on, and also see the connection between all the moving parts within ServiceTitan.”
Each business under the Sila umbrella appoints a ServiceTitan Champion to be the in-house expert and main point of contact for the COE. All were encouraged to become Certified Administrators; five to date have earned the title. The COE also incentivizes internal Champions to become Certified Administrators.
Samuel also leveraged each entity’s Titan Score, a ServiceTitan rating that tells a business how much of ServiceTitan it implemented, and how well. ServiceTitan’s internal numbers show a direct correlation: ServiceTitan data shows that the higher the Titan Score, the better the revenue growth.
Some of the scores have been notable, including 261 for Sila Heating,Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical (King of Prussia, Pa.), with Adam Mechanical in Havertown, Pa., close behind. Another recent acquisition has seen its score skyrocket, Samuel said.
“We have had up to four companies on the leaderboard for ServiceTitan, which is such a proud thing to say,” Samuel said.
COE modeled after ServiceTitan support
The COE also has an active and proactive support element modeled after ServiceTitan support. This allows partners to search for solutions within Sila. The COE tracks what is working for one business, then distributes materials and best practices to others. They also use the support platform to identify areas for support and training.
Onboarding also has been streamlined and optimized based on the setup Sila finds ideal for its acquisitions.
“The onboarding period is really what’s going to set that company up for success,” Dunitz said. “The more standardized we can be in our onboarding, the more standardized we can be in our data, and it trickles down a lot.”
Samuel sees the Center’s benefits increasing as the work moves forward. The goal remains constant: to maximize ServiceTitan so business partners can scale.
“It’s challenging, and it's a big job, but what we've developed has made it easier for sure,” Samuel said. “It's organized, and we can see where we're going.
“It's like we're a business within a business. The progress that we've made and what the COE has accomplished since March of 2022, it's pretty cool to see.”
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.