Not ready to let go, and after joining Plumbers' Success International in December 2004, the new Butler Plumbing Co. was ready for implementation in January.
“We'd always been tops in customer service and care,” Butler says. The company expanded on that achievement to become successful in its growth so far, and rather quickly, too.
“We spoke with some PSI companies who haven't implemented as much in three years as we have in eight months,” Butler says. Much of that success is owed to the company's new “super” trucks and company logo that we feature here.
Butler owns two full-size Isuzu trucks with Hackney bodies. The whole box is solid aluminum with heavy-gauge aluminum adjustable track shelving.
Each box easily fits two water heaters (an electric and a gas 50-gallon), two toilets, disposers and faucets, repair and replacement parts for sinks and appliances, as well as three drain-cleaning machines and cameras. Besides all materials and supplies for the job, each truck holds the many tools necessary to complete a task (which includes a concrete chipper).
Every morning, technicians restock the vehicles. “We keep very little inventory in the shop.”
After purchasing the larger trucks, their billboard-size white exteriors were begging for a new company logo and image. Butler's daughter actually came up with the idea of placing a cartoon butler with a pipe wrench on the vehicles, as well as the motto, “Just tell your friends the 'Butler' did it!”
“It was something so simple, but it's made such a difference,” says Butler, who can't believe he hadn't figured it out in the 21 years prior.
Living up to the “butler” image, each technician wears a black-and-white uniform with red shoe covers. The Butler emblem on their shirts identifies them clearly, and they also use carpets during service work to keep things neat and tidy.
Customers really have responded to the new look. Its catchiness helps with Butler's advertising and marketing, too, which has been pumped up since January. The company not only is gaining new customers, it is recovering existing customers.
While the expense of the two trucks and their wrapping in the new style was not inexpensive, Butler says they're paying for themselves. He will add another truck in the spring, and has a plan for 10 trucks in the next 10 years.
That means more technicians, which is a far cry from the one-man shop he has been since 1984. Plus, he admits he's a picky boss; he wants the best and most reliable technicians at Butler Plumbing. But he pays top dollar. PSI also has helped him with recruitment methods, and Butler has been growing some of his future techs in-house.
His secrets to business success: “Find someone to offer you support and training, and have an open mind and a willingness to change, and you can turn things around.
“PSI gave us the structure and format to run our plumbing service business properly,” he says.
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