I remember a Service Tech trying to explain to me why he couldn’t enter a basement that was flooded with water from a ruptured hot water heater. His explanation is he didn’t have anything to cover his shoes.

I also remember another Service Tech trying to share with me why his uniform was so wrinkled and filthy when I met him on the job to do a ride-along. He said that he didn’t have a spare uniform to wear.

Another Tech I met on a callback was sporting a uniform that was covered with dirt and grime — and it was only his second call of the day! I asked him why he looked the way he did and he said it got dirty while crawling through the crawl space on the first job he’d come from.

One day, I got a call while sitting at the Dispatcher’s desk from a Tech out on a job that he didn’t have any more invoices in his truck to write out what he had done on this job. His solution? He wrote it all out on the back of a piece of notebook paper he had gotten from the customer.

Finally, a little time later after that incident, another Service Tech was out on a job and he had just left the customer’s home having completed the annual maintenance tune-up. It was our company policy to drop by periodically and spot check after one of our tune-ups were done to make sure that the company standards were being maintained. When I arrived on this job, I immediately saw that there were no company valve tags and there were still some old stickers from the previous service company visible. All of which was not permissible per company procedures. When I cornered the Tech about it, he shrugged his shoulders and told me he had just run out of the valve tags and stickers yesterday.

I had had enough!


Creating containers for extra clothing and necessary papers

That’s why I worked with my brother, Richie, and our Service Manager to create the model clothing bin and the model paperwork container that every vehicle would carry from here on out.

We found a big enough bin — 12” high x 12” wide x 18” deep — that we all liked. It had a center opening cover (see photo above). In that bin, we put in the following clothing and safety items:

  1. A pair of coveralls that were to be worn whenever a Tech would be in a crawl space or any place the uniform could get dirty.
  2. A spare uniform shirt and uniform pants.
  3. 12” high rain boots.
  4. A pair of safety goggles.
  5. A pair of knee pads.


We then moved on to selecting a model “paperwork” bin that was to be attached to the bulkhead of the cab of each vehicle that had specific items we deemed necessary for them to work (see photo above). The following is what the bin contained:

  • 1 Insurance Card
  • 1 Vehicle Registration
  • 10 Company Refrigerator Magnets
  • 25 Company Business Cards
  • 5 Company Surveys per Trade
  • 5 Extra Blank Menus [Observation and Findings Sheets]
  • 5 Extra Blank Service Invoices
  • 5 Company Service Agreements
  • 5 Complete Sets of Valve Tags
  • 15 Company Stickers
  • 1 Tech Operations Manual
  • 1 Flat-rate Price Guide
  • 5 Pens
  • 2 Accident Report Forms
  • 5 Company Presentation Folders
  • 20 Company Specific Brochures
  • 5 Each of Key Product Brochures


The nice thing about this paperwork bin is it haseasy access being mounted to the bulkhead away from the driver’s seat and the bin snaps closed, so a coffee or soda spill won’t destroy the contents.

Give it a try and I’ll bet you’ll love it!


When the New Construction Business Gets Old, What Can You Do?

Call Al! …But don’t take my word for it:

“Before Al arrived, we at Allied were floundering. We'd been a new construction company and we could see that this type of work was going by the wayside. We wanted to fully commit to becoming a service and repair company instead. We originally thought, "Well, if we can just get the right marketing, that would make everything okay." After talking with Al and before he arrived onsite, he opened our eyes to what it really would take to not just enter the service and repair business but be great at it.

Having completed Al's programs of Planning Power!, Operating Power!, Staffing Power! and Sales Power! the change over the last two years is amazing. Frankly, I don't know where Allied would be today without Al's help.”

Susan Miller

Allied Plumbing & Heating

Springfield, IL



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