For over a dozen years,
NSPG has been providing the tools that allow contractors to
increase profits and minimize business hassles. With our
simple-to-use-tools, you can make being a business owner
what you always wanted to it be -
successful, profitable and rewarding.
Success In Action
Following up on last month's article on the new
competitive environment, I'd like to tell you about my
Plumbline Services with the Nexstar Money Masters
seminar. Plumbline is a company that has been
built on business basics that allow them to thrive in
the current ultra-competitive environment.
The Plumbline visit was simply awesome. Plumbline is one
of the most impressive businesses I have visited in the
last decade. Not because of the size of the business, or
the building and facilities, but because of the people
who make Plumbline work. The love they have for what
they do, and the emotion and energy they put into
everything they do is inspiring. From the techs to CSR
dispatcher to service manager to general manager, every
individual in the company works together as a team with
specific individual and team goals.
My first meeting at Plumbline was with Carrie & Ken.
Carrie maintains inventory control of Plumblineís store
and the trucks, and can boast of better than 98%
accountability of all parts on the trucks. Ken has done
a fantastic job of managing Plumbline's vehicle
maintenance program, and he has determined their
actual truck down time cost. If a truck gets into
an accident and requires repairs, he gets a fixed daily
amount from the auto insurance company for every day the
truck is out of service. This does two things. It
stops the insurance company from using repair facilities
that are not going to get the job done in a timely
manner, and its get their truck back on the road much
faster. With 18 trucks running around Denver it
can add up to a substantial amount of money.
I met with Michael, Plumbline's service manager, who
explained the Scoreboard and how the service techs fill
in their weekly numbers on it. They are rewarded
for achieving their individual goals. Even though their
computer system tracks their daily and weekly
performance, Plumbline's techs fill their performance on
the board by hand. Itís a real visual reminder of
their performance and keeps them on target. Michele also
uses this to help coach techs who are not hitting the
The Customer Service Rep and Dispatch managers at
Plumbline are what every service company needs.
Julian and Karen know how to deliver value, and go over
the top to satisfy clients. They have developed a team
and processes that reduce the stress for their customer
base while balancing the needs and abilities of the
Plumbline team. They too have devised a Scoreboard for
their CSRs, and reward them for hitting their goals.
The truly amazing leadership team of Jon and Ed was put
together by Jeff Belk who manages his business from
Knoxville, TN. John is a numbers crunching
maniac. He has broken down the cost to acquire
clients from every source of advertising - trucks,
magnets, stickers, yellow pages and internet programs.
They really know what it costs Plumbline to acquire a
client. They are committed and responsible for
making the phone ring at the absolute lowest cost while
growing their client base.
Plumbline management provides the best opportunity for
their team to deliver Great
Service. Great Service is printed on
all their marketing info including their trucks. This is
not just a phrase they use lightly, it is their mission.
And, at Plumbline Services, they certainly deliver.
Since in 2000, Plumbline has successfully built the
service side of the business and have added HVAC and
electrical services. Sales have grown over 300%.
Employees have extensive benefits, great pay, and a
happy work environment.
It was great to get to see a company that puts best
business practices into everyday use. At
Plumbline, they offer great service, reduce customer
stress, and use technology and employee talent to build
their successful business. Their Scoreboard and
other management practices help their field employees
reach their sales targets while providing the services
their customers really need.
The concluding paragraphs from last month's article are
reprinted below. My visit to Plumbline, was my
opportunity to see these good business concepts in
The bottom line is that the business is changing every
day. You need to be aware of the changes and make
adjustments to meet the new challenges. Using
proven techniques to improve customer acquisition,
technician close rates, and your company's reputation
can help you weather the times when competition grows
and the market slows.
Knowing your numbers, and keeping control of your costs
can help you in good times and bad. The numbers
will even tell you where you need to make changes and
improvements by refocusing your attention on the parts
of the business that need it most. Preparation and
training can improve your business performance in any
Measure Monthly, Adjust Quarterly
& Achieve Annual Profit Goals
55 megawatts from turkeys. How do they get them to
run on that treadmill?
Solar Hot Water
Are you able to install solar hot water systems? The
future is closer than you think.
Greenhouse Gas Opportunities
What your customers don't know could be an opportunity
for your business. Educate and Earn.
In This Issue
Phone 800 841-8542
The freebie of the month is a web site or
product that we feel gives you some-thing worth looking
at or using that costs you nothing.
Wikipedia was last month's free web site, but we
thought we'd cover it again by highlighting the
practical things that it covers. Unlike a
traditional encyclopedia that covers only academic
Wikipedia covers practically anything.
One interesting topic of relevance for your field
personnel would be the
Sullivan Nod. This sales technique is supposed
to alert the customer to the "right" choice. We
all know that many times our customers will choose the
cheapest option that we offer even if that is not the
best choice for the situation.
This subject leads directly to the subject of
upselling. Wikipedia even has a small article
with further links about up-selling. Which leads
to links on Cross-selling and Loss Leaders. All
techniques that can be used to help build your sales,
and provide the best service to your customers.
If you have
a favorite Free site, let us know.
Quotes of the Month
future, according to some scientists, will be exactly
like the past, only far more expensive.
Like an ability or a muscle, hearing
your inner wisdom is strengthened by doing it.
Trade Show In Pittsburg, PA
I'll be at the Nexstar
Trade Show in in Pittsburgh, PA on October 26, 2007.
Be sure to stop by and say hello.
For more information
contact Nexstar at 651-426-2000.
Where Did the Money Go?