Productivity • Management • Marketing • 41 minutes

Better, Stronger, Faster: Integrating Best Practices in a Center of Excellence

June 20, 2023

Episode Overview

Sila Services has expanded through the roof…and beyond. Since 2020, the HVAC company has exploded from 250 employees to 1,600, including 20 brands in 23 locations in 14 states.

That expansion–via private equity–called for a solid support structure with centralized accounting, marketing, HR and IT. 

“We knew that as a business with significant resources and support that we needed even more,” Sila Services COO Mike Rudolf says. 

That led to the creation of Sila’s Center of Excellence, a tech-driven division of the company led by director Marisa Samuel.

“The purpose of the COE is to support and develop our ServiceTitan users–both new and existing teams,” Samuel says.

Essentially, the COE is a hub-and-spoke model that’s charged with making sure every location under the Sila umbrella is using the ServiceTitan software package to its fullest extent.

In a business world where technology is ever-changing, that’s a tall order. Samuel and her team are on top of the latest trends.

“As the company evolves, so does the Center of Excellence,” she says. “You have to keep up. And that’s how bigger and better things happen.”

It might seem daunting to keep up with technology and oversee educational programming for so many employees. 

It could be. Like the old Nike slogan, you just do it, Rudolf says. 

“You have to know the mission, find the right people, give it complete support from leadership, and just go,” he says. “Like any other new venture, you're going to fall down and scrape your knees every once in a while.”

Rudolf says that over time, Sila has found the best ways to do it right.

“If you know why you're doing it, you're going to get back up, and you'll be successful over time,” he says. “There is no magic sauce to improving businesses and starting something new. You just have to go do it.”

Mike Rudolf and Marisa Samuel recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 8 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Rudolf and Samuel’s thoughts on:

  • (6:17) Sila Services’ partnerships and rapid two-year growth

  • (9:54) Identifying the need for the Center of Excellence

  • (18:07) Maintaining the COE and measuring practical benefits

  • (25:07) A business-in-a-business structure for subject matter experts

  • (33:46) Involve the whole team when creating a business vision

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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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.

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Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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