The crisp, clean image of Watters Plumbing Inc. is what grabbed our attention for this issue's Truck Of The Month. From its neat and tidy techs to its streamlined shelved interiors, the eight cube vans the company operates for its residential plumbing contracts are an inspiration to pack rats everywhere.

“Customers like to see well-organized, well-dressed and well-mannered service technicians,” says Darren Huff, vice president of the Menasha, Wis., family-owned business. And when Watters' techs arrive with booties and a uniform, it ties it all together.

From humble beginnings in the Watters' home in the early 1960s to its building with one of the finest retail showrooms in the Fox River Valley, the current owner, Cal Watters, was determined to bring new life and philosophies to the already successful company, and lead it into new and exciting ventures.

This merit plumbing shop employs more than 60 full-time employees. Its core competencies include commercial and residential new construction, one-stop remodeling and around-the-clock residential plumbing service.

Not a small part of its success is the complete organization of the company service vehicles.

“When the service tech knows he has the product and can retrieve it with ease,” Huff says, “it enhances our professionalism and the customer appreciates that.”

The 10 company vans feature factory bins and shelving, while the box trucks are filled with custom shelving using a strut system to make each truck unique to its use. The six Mitsubishis used for the service department all are factory-supplied and purchased from Hackney. Other tool boxes are supplied locally by a truck accessory company. In total, the company runs 34 vehicles, and counting.

“Organization is the key to efficiency,” says Huff. ”We move too much inventory to be unorganized. And when inventories are out of control, it can create havoc on our financials and job-costing.”

In response to rising gas prices, Watters has tried an experiment and purchased a Dodge Sprinter by Mercedes, a diesel that gets better gas mileage without sacrificing efficiencies. They'll keep us posted on whether it stacks up to traditional cubes.

Soon the company will be overhauling its vehicles with a more consistent exterior appearance to coincide with its new marketing campaign. But the company recognizes that it couldn't be where it is today without proper attention to client service and its employees.

“Watters Plumbing is committed to provide both clients and employees the best place possible to conduct business,” concludes Huff. “For without 'U,' 'S_CCESS' is not possible.”