“Business owners should never feel guilty for going to the gym, taking a vacation, or spending time with their family. Yet, that’s the story I hear all too often in HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and other trades. Once you implement Sera you’ll never have to feel guilty again.”
Billy StevensFounder, Sera
Listen to the complete episode here:
Join Tersh Blissett and Josh Crouch as they talk with Billy Stevens about job efficiency and how we can work to make our businesses 100% efficient through software and automation! Let his nuggets of wisdom goals guide you in owning a thriving, profitable, and ever-growing business.
Tune in as they sit down with an amazing business owner, a leader who shares valuable insights about management, marketing, pricing, human resources and so much more so come take Your HVAC Business to next level today with us!
Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven-figure revenue mark? Do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Then this podcast is definitely for you.
In this episode, Billy is going to dive deep into job efficiency and how we can work to make our businesses 100% efficient through software and automation! You surely don’t want to miss this show!
Sera is all about time and efficiency!
[00:04:00] “And efficiency will allow you to offset these price increases because a large portion of the money spent on running these businesses is spent on inefficiencies, redundancy, and other such things. That is, after all, what Sera is all about. Isn't… Click To Tweet
[00:05:00] “We’re still double that, and we expect to see even more progress as time goes on”, he adds.
[00:06:00] Billy talks about how field service management software handles your day-to-day operations while working to increase the financial health of your business.
- You can see your labor costs in real-time with their patent-pending job time efficiency reports!
A price book is a key to success, efficiency, and profitability!
[00:11:00] “The Price book is a living piece of our software. As a result, it is unique. It’s not static. It aids in the creation of these efficiencies. And without it, you won’t be able to achieve the desired efficiencies’, says Billy Stevens.
- “Sera makes it easy to modify and update each task, equipment item, and overhead expense separately or in bulk.”
Do you know what’s the most interesting part!?
- Price Book Updates in Less than 2 Minutes!
Billy Stevens recently joined Service Business Mastery Podcast and here are some key highlights from the show:
- What makes job efficiency accurate?
- The right KPI you need and why setting smart KPIs is important.
- How you can make your business stand out and various aspects of the HVAC business.
- About amazing software built for technicians
- The Simple Alternative To Outdated Software and Spreadsheets
- How to achieve your business goals
- How to increase office efficiency
Streamline Your Business & Increase Your Profits with Sera by:
- Live Customer Booking
- Automated Dispatching
- Tech Quoting Engine
- Real-Time Reporting
- Profit Generating Tools
If you’re a service-based business owner, you’ll be amazed by what Sera’s efficiency tracker can do for your company once it comes to setting pricing, understanding how long each job takes, and setting the right pricing long-term, so your customers love you!
So, tune in to learn how Sera can help your company achieve 100% efficiency.
To find out how Billy’s vast business knowledge and his amazing business tools & software can help you start, grow, and improve businesses, here are some Key Resources from his interview:
- Connect with one of our Solutions Consultants to learn how Sera can help your business succeed!
- Know about Billygo.com
- Connect with Billy on Linkedin
- Email us at Podcasts@ServiceBusinessMastery.com
- Learn all about the Hosts of Service Business Mastery here!
- Video of our recoding hosted on YouTube
Listen to this podcast and get equipped with essential business advice from this impactful conversation. So, what’re you waiting for? Tune into this episode right away and get one step closer to becoming the successful owner of your dreams.
Subscribe to Service Business Mastery on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get podcasts to hear more such fascinating and insightful stories.
About the Guests:
Billy Stevens is the founder of Sera, who started his first Plumbing, HVAC, and Electrical business with only one truck. When he was bought out, he was among the most profitable in the industry. Sera experienced an unheard of 24% sustained cash flow in an industry that only averages 6-8%.
Billy’s new plumbing and HVAC company, billyGO Plumbing, Heating, and Air, was built using Sera. In only three years of business, billyGO has grossed more than 15 million dollars in revenue with a 20+ percent positive cash flow!
For a complete transcription of the interview, Read More
How To Improve Job Time Efficiency In Your HVAC Contractor Business w Billy Stevens & Sera
Tersh Blissett: Hello everyone out there in Podcast World. Hope you having a wonderful day. You’re listening to a Washington Service Business Mastery Podcast i am your host Tersh Blissett sitting virtually next to my co-host Joshua Crouch. And we have an awesome guest. We have Billy Stephens with Sarah and on the show today. And we’re going to talk about job efficiency and we’re going to do that in 20 minutes or less.
Josh Crouch: And so we’re going to try to be efficient while talking about job efficiency.
Tersh Blissett: Exactly, exactly 100%. So for those of you who don’t know, Sarah is a sponsor of the podcast, amazing supporter of the podcast, and has done amazing things for us. And we are super excited to talk with Billy. And I don’t want to talk too much here on the intro because I want to get into the meat and potatoes here because it’s we could go we could go along on this for sure. So.
Josh Crouch: Yeah, Billy’s shown us the back end of this before it was like officially, like fully done like several weeks ago. And I [00:01:00] think this is going to kind of blow people’s minds and you’re going to really understand how to be not only understand your job efficiency, but what that does for your pricing both higher and ultimately possibly lowering your pricing too, once you understand your efficiency. So that way your customers are getting 100% efficiency and so is your company, which is the ultimate goal. So hopefully you guys take away a lot from this episode.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah.
Announcer: Are you looking for valuable business advice to reach that seven figure revenue mark? Do you want actionable tips to properly navigate through every business challenge you encounter along the way? Let Tersh Blissett and Josh Crouch be your guide in getting you to the top here at Service Business Mastery. Tune in as they sit down with world renowned authors in business leadership and personal growth who share valuable insights about management, marketing, pricing, human resources and so much more. Let their nuggets of wisdom gold guide you in owning a thriving, [00:02:00] profitable and ever growing business. Here are your hosts, Tersh and Josh.
Tersh Blissett: Hey, Billy, welcome to the show.
Josh Crouch: Welcome back.
Billy Stevens: Thanks for having me. Hey. Yeah, glad to be back.
Josh Crouch: We got Sarah users already waiting on your every word here, Billy. So this better be good.
Billy Stevens: All right. I know they’re anxiously waiting for us to give it to them.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah.
Billy Stevens: I definitely want to let them know that we’re going to release it the second week of May to them, and so they can get started on improving their efficiency right away.
Tersh Blissett: Perfect. All right. So you want to get jumping right in here or you want to do a little pre explaining what we got going on or.
Billy Stevens: Sure. Go ahead and put the first slide up. And what I’ll talk about at first is just real quickly is in this day and age, we’ve got a lot of headwinds going on. We’ve got interest rates going up, inflation everything’s [00:03:00] going up that we sell several times. Oh, yeah, we just got a 9% increase like last month. Yeah, well, we know.
Tersh Blissett: We’ve got an announcement that we’re getting one this week or next.
Josh Crouch: I saw I saw something about by 2023, like 20 to 30% across all manufacturers, something like that. So I don’t know how accurate that is, but I’ve seen some stuff out there that’s really that’s wild. It’s going to suck.
Billy Stevens: It is. And so we’ve always thought about efficiency and ran our businesses like this. And efficiency is going to allow you to offset these price increases, because a lot of the money that goes into running these businesses is just inefficiencies, redundancy and all of that stuff. And that’s really what Sarah is all about. It’s about time, right? And if we can reduce everyone’s time and improve their efficiency at the same time, we’ll get a lot of improvement. And so Billy Billy Go, which is my [00:04:00] HVAC and plumbing company’s, been beta testing this thing now for almost three months and we started off at 37% efficiency when we turned it on and then we made our way up to 89%. And I just checked and for the month of eight made our way to 89% for the quarter for first quarter. And then right now in the first 27 days, we’re actually at 77% efficiency. So we’ve got a little bit of work to do. We’re doing a lot of tune ups, but this includes even going out and doing free tune ups, right? And our efficiency level has stayed relatively good, better than 37%.
Tersh Blissett: Right.
Billy Stevens: So we’re still double that and we expect to see more and more improvement as we move along. But it’s been a real big eye opener. I’ve done I’ve tried doing this on spreadsheets over the years, but by the time you get it all figured out and have someone that spends all their time crushing [00:05:00] this data, the data is old, right. You know, and the nice thing about having Sarah is everything is live. So the second the job is finished, you know how much time anyone who ever went to that job is spent on it? You know how much time they build and all those cool things. So without any further just preview, let’s go ahead and take a look at what we’re going to see today if you want to go ahead and go to the next slide.
Tersh Blissett: All right.
Billy Stevens: We had technical difficulties this morning, so I’m having Tersh drive to drive the car. And I’m not sure if he’s had anything to drink today. So it might be a little.
Tersh Blissett: It’s like I have the steering wheel and you have the brakes and the gas pedal. And so it’s like.
Josh Crouch: Billy, you probably should have asked me to do this.
Billy Stevens: I was looking at both of you, and he looked a little more trustworthy.
Tersh Blissett: I don’t know. It’s a toss up.
Billy Stevens: There it was. I flipped a coin. So thanks for. Thanks for joining us, everybody. So job time tracking [00:06:00] is the total labor costs, all employment’s for a job. And what that means is if you send a technician out to a job and let’s say he doesn’t sell for you, he flips, or even if he does sell for you. But we can capture all the time, the drive time, the time spent at the job and all these things that he’s there and then he can flip right out of our tech app to. Salesperson. And that salesperson can will keep up with their time and they’re efficient. You know, how much time they spend on the job, how much time they drove to the job because we’re buying their gas and we all know gas is gas is out of sight. And then let’s say he sells it and then he’s able to schedule an install team right there in front of the customer. And where it gets really interesting here is usually when you have an install crew, there’s two people, some companies run three people. So I actually have a tool to help you decide if two is more efficient than three now. So you will find out in lifetime whether you’re [00:07:00] winning or losing on the battle of two man crews versus three man crews. It’s really neat how this.
Tersh Blissett: Well, one of the things that that I used to say back in the day, I still say it a little bit, is two, two is a team and then three’s a party. So we get three people on a job and then all of a sudden it turns into a real efficient job.
Billy Stevens: Yeah. Well, I want to say I want to wait and see the data.
Tersh Blissett: Okay.
Billy Stevens: On that one. So it may be like you say, but one of the things that we can tell is who’s the most efficient and most profitable? Because it’s not always the top selling tech. Right? It it could be someone in the middle. And so we identify this through through this tracking that we that we figured out and built into Sarah. And so it’s really about that is just being able to charge for every minute of everyone’s time. And if we can figure that out, we can overcome price increases because the efficiency will allow us to sell [00:08:00] at a lower margin, right? Yeah. Because we’re more efficient and make more money. Right. That’s the whole idea. We can’t do anything about the price of equipment. It just it’s going to keep going up. Exactly. We need it. We need to stop thinking in the old ways of that one lever. The only lever we have is to raise prices when we get these price increases or or or not use a lever at all, a lot of people just ignore it and pass it and lose out and the customer gets the benefit, I guess. And so we want to stop that and we want people to start thinking about how to run their businesses efficiently instead of only having the option of raising prices. All right. So with that. So this job time tracker, as you can see here, this is just a PowerPoint presentation today. And what you’re looking at here is a person’s job and the circled area there is [00:09:00] the job time section of of the customer’s job. So in Sarah, everything is at one spot. You don’t have to move around all over the place.
Billy Stevens: You can just get about to anything you need with the click because if it’s blue, you can dove into it, it’s clickable, that is okay. And so, so this is basically how the actual job looks. And if we if basically we can review the actual time work versus the sole time and travel time, work time and actual duration of time of everyone on the job. So you see there’s multiple people on jobs and stuff. I think the next one, if you go to the next, this is a way to dove in. So you can you can really see all of this on that one slide. So I magnified it here. And so in this particular job, it was actually 85% efficient. And so between all the folks that went to this job, [00:10:00] they traveled 3 hours and 38 minutes. And one thing I want to point out here, this is pretty much done without any manual input at all. This is this is Sarah taking care of this. We’re not telling you to fill out all this stuff after every job. In fact, you don’t have to really do anything. All you have to do is when you take have an install team you if they’re not if they’re always the same two people in the install team, you don’t have to do anything. But if someone calls in sick and you want to put someone different, you just make that transfer. You literally just drag his his name under the name of that lead and then off you go. And that’s all you have to do only in that situation. Otherwise it’s 100% automated.
Tersh Blissett: And now is there somewhere is there somewhere that we’re putting in their their hourly pay or their fully loaded labor rate or anything like that?
Billy Stevens: Yes, sir. Yes, sir. That’s that’s in the in the price book.
Tersh Blissett: Okay. And that’s where it’s taking that data from. [00:11:00]
Billy Stevens: Yes, sir. So the Price book is a living a living piece of our software. So which makes it very unique. It’s not static. It actually helps you create these efficiencies. And without it, you can’t have the efficiencies that you’re looking for. And then it goes back to previous podcasts. When we talked about margin pricing and all that, it’s all about getting grabbing your prices, what you should be charging out of your financials, getting them into the price book and the right spot at the right amounts, and then using efficiency to hone in on perfection. It’s just real easy to do. We did all the hard work in the background so that you could have an easy time with this. So it’s basically, you know. Fairly easy to do without any extra work. And that’s the key. No extra work.
Josh Crouch: Could you could you dove in? So the so for anyone listening to this, hopefully you go back and watch this. He has some numbers on the screen and it tells the job efficiency based on the sold hours and the actual amount of travel and work that’s [00:12:00] been done. And the job efficiency on this example is 85%. So the essentially the example is they worked the work time was 12 and one half hours over what was sold. Can you break down a little bit like the like so customer of yours sees this or contractor sees this? What should they do with this data? Because I know a lot of times when contractors see data, they’re like.
Billy Stevens: That’s great. What do I do now?
Josh Crouch: I don’t know what to do, especially if it’s under or over. What different things should they be thinking about doing? So that way they can level out and try to get to that 100% efficiency across all jobs.
Billy Stevens: Absolutely. Great question, Josh. And so KPIs are near and dear to my heart, but the right KPIs are the ones I care about. And if your KPI can’t answer the question, what just what with the question mark. What, what do I, what am I learning here and what do I do about it? Right. That’s what we have to answer on every KPI. And if it doesn’t move the needle, it’s [00:13:00] a KPI you probably don’t need because we gloss over those anyway. It’s getting down to how do I affect my financial statement, you know, with this information. So what do I do? I’m over here. So what? What Sara will do is it looks at this job. Well, we’ll have this information. We see that we’re over in 12 hours and 33 minutes. Now, that’s a snapshot, right? So we need to go in and we need to look at our task and we need to take a look at where we can improve or what we need to do. Here is Sarah is actually I don’t like snapshot KPIs because they don’t really give the what what do I do with this and what did I learn? And so Sarah is going to grab this data over time and we’ll show you on a couple of slides here in a minute where you you gather all the data from all the texts from all the jobs that were done each day, from all the jobs that were done each month.
Billy Stevens: And then then you start getting a clear picture of which task [00:14:00] you have improperly priced because of the time. Right. And a perfect example is when we go in and set up this feature. When you have two people and on an install crew, you can’t put a system in in 8 hours. Right. Two people. It’s 16 hours with two people. Right, right. And with flat with flat rate pricing. And your pricing is three 5405 hundred up here. And, you know, all these big numbers, how in the world are you going to put 16 hours on there? Exactly right. You just you just use them dummy numbers. Yeah. Start to finish. And and so you have to use six or eight to make your price work. So now you have no data and you can’t understand what I need to do. Right. That’s where the I don’t know what to do with this data is because there is no there is no clarity. Right. It’s just a bunch of.
Josh Crouch: It’s just a bunch of numbers that they get a report [00:15:00] on. They’re like, oh, okay.
Billy Stevens: That’s whatever I was I was told I was told I should be in this area and I’m close. Good. I move on. Right. And I think the opposite. You know, one of the things that people that I’ve heard from some of my clients and stuff is they want to get information like when we sell a new system, I want to get a text message. And I want them know, I want to know what I sold and all that because I want to I want to see what we’re doing, you know? And it gives me adrenaline, right? It makes me happy. So we always go, I want to see a text message when we didn’t sell it because.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. The unconverted jobs.
Billy Stevens: Yes, those got sold. Great. What I want to see is what we didn’t sell so that we can do something about it and answer the what. You know, what? What do I. What happened here to cause us not to sell this job? So it could have been that your [00:16:00] maybe your price is just so out of whack because it costs you so much to run business. So your clothes rate is not as good as it should be. Maybe your clothes rate goal is 60%, 70%, whatever it is. Well, as you fine tune this over time, you can improve that close rate. We’ve experienced that in this last 90 days. As we fine tune this thing more and more, our closure rate is creeping up because now we’ve got our prices where they should be. We’re not too high. You know, where we can, where we have room. And if we’re too low, we can move it and get it closer to where we need to be. And that’s the that’s the really cool thing about it is and you can get into like the 25th of the month and you’ve met and you met your goal for what it cost, what your minimal goal is for the month to, to cover your overhead costs and all your cogs. Right. And with five days left in a month, you could pull a report on the jobs you missed. And you’ll be able to see that if you were by the data that you now have, [00:17:00] that if you rehashed every one of those jobs that you didn’t get and the data tells you that you could actually sell those jobs 20% cheaper and and improve your your profitability by X. Now, you have data that you know what to do with for sure.
Tersh Blissett: You know what to do with it. Not guessing what are.
Billy Stevens: What what are.
Josh Crouch: The low hanging fruit from the point of having a, you know, a contracting business, all that all the stuff we don’t sell and understanding what we can do to get that sale. It’s such a low hanging fruit where eventually guys just start standing around or they don’t have anything to do that day. They have a half day or something in a slow scene because they don’t have it. We didn’t sell enough to keep everything flowing. I love I love where this is going because I know there’s there’s more to this as you kind of peel back the onion. But this is this is great stuff.
Billy Stevens: On the flip side is it’s live information. And so you can actually rehash live on the text there. The system is there, whatever. Oh, yeah. So you can avoid that whole by the [00:18:00] 25th thing altogether because Sarah will. The thing about Syria is we set margins. We try to hit margin goals. We know what our overhead goals are. And once we handle those, we know that we can now sell at a discounted rate to to actually bring in more revenue. Because think about it like this. You’re at the 25th of the month. You’ve handled all your bills for the month. Right. And you’re trying to get to that next number. And you don’t know where you stand. You’re trying to steal sale at the maximum price. So you’re lowering your prices. And let’s just say you lower from a 60 margin to a 50 and your overhead is 40. Okay. So what happens is here’s here’s where the beauty comes in to make it more money for your company is if you sell it at 50 once all of your over, all of your costs of doing business are handled. You keep the 50. Yeah, right. Not that. Not just the ten. You keep the 50. Mm hmm.
Josh Crouch: I think that’s a I think that’s a point that a lot of [00:19:00] people miss is once that once those overhead costs are taken care of, it’s you get the 50, the whole 50.
Billy Stevens: So let’s improve our close rate in that last however many days of the month and get the whole 50. Hmm. Right.
Tersh Blissett: That’s what I’m talking about. Yeah.
Josh Crouch: Really? Do you have an example of, like, a task that you guys had maybe had set aside too much time on and the price? Do you have an example of something like this that you guys have tweaked over that first last 90 days that. Brought the cost down or brought the cost up and helped you guys become more efficient. So just like so people can think like.
Billy Stevens: Put in the last example.
Josh Crouch: With it.
Billy Stevens: In the last 90 days water heater installs, we really were awful knows.
Josh Crouch: Ofhow high or low.
Billy Stevens: We were off by being over, if you will. In other words, inefficient. Okay. So in this case, we were inefficient. But then on the smaller stuff like onesie Tues task that 300 to [00:20:00] $500 range we were actually under and that’s where we had to add time and do things like that because we actually were realizing that our technicians couldn’t get that job done as quickly as we thought. And because there’s more to it. You had the talking to the customer, you have the doing your your due diligence on a tune up per say.
Tersh Blissett: And in that report.
Billy Stevens: We were able to we were able to tweak those in real time. So I know we tried to get this done in 20 minutes, but let’s try 430 now. So let’s go to the next slide.
Josh Crouch: There’s just so much there’s so much good stuff here. It’s hard to confine it.
Billy Stevens: Yeah. And if we don’t make it, that’s fine. I’ve got plenty of time. Just thinking about your listeners and watchers. Their time’s valuable.
Tersh Blissett: Absolutely.
Billy Stevens: So what makes job efficiency accurate? So, workers, we got to understand that when we have work crews, it’s double the cost. You have two people [00:21:00] on these crews, maybe three people, depending on what kind of jobs. I mean, we sell a lot of pipes underneath houses and in some cases we may have four or five people on the job. And those really shined when you find out how off you are on your bidding. 20,000. Yes, $20,000 job. And you and you got your your lunch eating. I mean, it’s just and so that’s another example where, Josh, that question you asked earlier that we were just way off. We were just way off. We didn’t realize how off we were on those. And now it’s becoming clear. But it’s taken you know, you’re going to get this data live, but you still need a good 90 days worth of data to start really playing around with it, because it’s going to give you that info and it’s going to give you that info individually and as an entire department. You can look at it from the department standpoint, you can look at it from the entire company standpoint.
Tersh Blissett: So so you can see, like if, if commercial service HVAC was losing [00:22:00] you money, but then commercial, you know, maintenance was making you money then like one was robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Billy Stevens: Where exactly.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Okay.
Billy Stevens: Yeah, that’s that’s right.
Josh Crouch: It’s serious. I think about the conversation between service maintenance and replacement and most people have no idea. They’re like, well, we do service because it leads to replacement, but they have no idea. Like there’s no there’s no numbers behind that. It’s just this is why we do it. But we might be losing money here when we shouldn’t be.
Billy Stevens: Right? It’s getting ourselves out of the dark and and understanding that if we’re going to be open 24 seven, we need to figure out a way to charge for being open 24/7. Very true. And and that’s really where it comes down to. So using workers is essential for job tracking. It’s just very important that, you know, everyone that ever touches a job [00:23:00] gets tracked and they don’t even need an app to get tracked from. We can track them still. And so a tech app is what I need to say. They don’t need the actual tech app. They can be an install helper, they can be a partner, new hires without an app, yet you’re training them. You want to know what it costs you to train somebody? Oh, yeah. Oh, this is going to tell you for sure. What’s that really costing you? Not just the payroll that you’re paying the guy, but now you’re being inefficient by 50%, right? Because you’ve got a guy you’re training. So do we want to bake that in?
Tersh Blissett: That’s a good point. Most of the times it’s just purely guesswork, like, oh, you know, he’s slowing down because he’s doing this or, you know, he’s trying to help train this guy and this will actually show it and prove it that it is or isn’t the the case.
Billy Stevens: You know, I’m not a big proponent of paying commission. We don’t pay our guys commission. We pay them on [00:24:00] an hourly rate. And that hourly, hourly rate increases as they bring in more revenue. Right. Yeah. And it’s it’s it’s something that’s been very successful for us since 2003. And the nice thing about having this is you have a tendency to have. Guys and girls that they they see that they’re they need hours. They’re being paid by the hour.
Tersh Blissett: Oh, right.
Billy Stevens: Yeah. Right. And slow down a little bit. Know it. Oh, man. That guy. Right. Well, now you can show it to him and you can show it to his peers and they can all see this this data. And then all of a sudden, their ears perk up and they’re like, Oh, hey, they’re on to me. Right. And so they start doing a much better job being more efficient, because since we’ve implemented this at Billie Go in the 90 days, we’re not always talking about the revenue. Like we always get that favorite tech or too. That’s [00:25:00] got to be revenue numbers. You know that guy that’s always ragging on that guy. You know, now we’re seeing this guy. Maybe he’s not as efficient. You know, he’s he’s he’s a one shot hitter. He hits big or he hits nothing. Right. And the efficiency his efficiency is just terrible. And so this is helping us figure all this out. And then as we show them efficiency, they become more aware. Okay, I got to do a better job of base hits. I can’t always go for the home run. And you have live information, of course, on our dashboard, all the information’s live and we have a tech dashboard. So you can see everything on there that matters, the KPIs that matter. And then you can actually pull that guy aside just by looking at his dashboard. And you know what? To tell that guy what you need to train him on.
Tersh Blissett: It’s no longer the gut feeling. Like, I just feel like you’re not doing it.
Billy Stevens: And that’s exactly where the.
Josh Crouch: Emotion out of it. It’s now now it’s numbers driven versus why feel that [00:26:00] you’re doing this or that thing it’s actually no, this is the real data. Let’s talk about this.
Billy Stevens: That’s correct. And this is a lot of what this opens up for you. Mm hmm. Okay. And then if there’s any you can manage and editing crew member times let’s say for instance you have a guy that they’re going to a job and they have a flat. Right. And at that point in time, Sarah, Sarah has figured out that he’s not going to be able to make it to this job because he’s you know, he’s stopped the job and he’s stopped in his tracks, if you will, and you can reassign other folks to go over there and help them fix the tire or, you know, and manage that time against that guy’s time, if you want to. And you can change. Maybe the guy got one of the guys got hurt. That was in the truck riding with the truck or whatever. Another guy can, can, can now go to that job as well. So [00:27:00] this just allows you for those exceptions and these are very rare that you have to change these. But you you have that option and that is really the only manual piece of this whole thing. Everything else is automated.
Tersh Blissett: Gotcha.
Billy Stevens: All right. And then earlier I talked about how easy it is. On the on this slide here, if you see the number one with a circle on it there, basically you just grab that guy by his name, grab that little bluish color, and you just slide it underneath the name that’s off to the left in the box is there, and then you’re done. There’s your work crew.
Tersh Blissett: And that’s how you assign, like, your help.
Billy Stevens: That’s how you. That’s how you assign. So if a guy calls in sick, you assign him to another guy, to this guy because he has a job that you need him to be on or whatever. And then that’s how you start tracking these guys and you know who they’re with. So you’re not always wondering, now, where did Billy Bob go today?
Tersh Blissett: Yeah.
Josh Crouch: It’s simple.
Billy Stevens: Yes, sir. [00:28:00] And then keeping tax times updated makes their price book a living document. I said this earlier I price book is not static. It is actually a dynamic price book and it is an integral part of helping you. Changing your prices as you get these price increases. And in little to no time at all, you can completely update your price book as soon as you get the SKU number and the new price from your vendors, you can update your price book in less than 2 minutes. And so this is how we do it. Just slide just to show you how how simple it is to edit task. If you want to change, if you want to add more description from it for them, you want to assign them as upgrades to other tasks. All these things you can do inside the price book and our price book is included in the Sarah software. It’s not something we charge [00:29:00] extra for, and it actually does way more than any other price book on the market these days.
Tersh Blissett: Great.
Billy Stevens: All right. And then here’s the roll up report where you’re basically you can see what’s happening for the department or for the company. These are all the calls that could have been ran today. And then you can literally dove in to to this information just by clicking anything that’s blue. You can dove in and go straight into the customer and start looking at these and start assessing the situation. This report also allows you to do various KPIs within it. Show me all the overs. You know, for this for this time period and just dove in on the overs. Show me all the unders. You can do that. Show me the tag in the department, all of this stuff. You can look at it and get the information that you need right. [00:30:00] Inside our report section. Inside Sarah.
Tersh Blissett: Hmm. That’s really cool. The. I like how it says the your job efficiency over on the on the right hand side there and then the the under the end result like your actual hours that you’re over like your smaller ticket items like you can have a larger percentage or like a larger percentage of job efficiency deficit with a smaller amount of time that they actually were over. So just kind of brings it back into perspective that 20 minutes here, 20 minutes there really hurts your efficiency.
Billy Stevens: It really does. And and it’s important that we, you know, learn learn how to use this data, you know, answer the what and and use it to our advantage and keep evaluating it over time. And there’s more time you [00:31:00] have using this. The more efficient you can make your company because you start getting those real numbers that you’re looking for.
Josh Crouch: Yeah, this is I mean, it’s such an awesome feature because it’s live. I love it’s live like literally because I think about the stuff that I used to do on the, on the back end in the office of the companies I work for. And a lot of it’s like trying to pull reports and I’m trying to like dove into stuff and it’s just it was never simple to do job costing. And this is literally like job costing jobs done as it’s going. It’s they’re like, you already know if you’re you’re over for the day. And I love that. Like, I can think of a scenario where I come in in the morning or someone in the operations side, comes in the morning, looks at all the jobs from the previous day, dives into it. Are there any big problems that we need to to solve or they’re starting to see a trend? Do we need to bring someone in to talk? All that kind of stuff like installs, especially because that you can really. As we all know, certain insults you can lose your ass on real quickly and [00:32:00] just go back to the person who sold the job and make sure that they are understanding how to sell these things so they look for these things ahead of time because, hey, this, you miss this and this is what happened to the company because of it. Not, Hey, I’m pissed at you because you didn’t do this or you miss this thing. It’s the numbers say you didn’t do this, right? So I just love how it takes the feeling out of everything. It’s very it’s black and white versus gray. And I think it leads to easier conversations because management is it’s a hard thing for contract contractor to go with their hands. They’re going to fix and stuff. But having those conversations with other technicians is sometimes it’s usually a one sided conversation, right? They don’t know how to have that dialog where it’s actually having something to discuss and showing them why versus, well, you screw it up, we’ll fix.
Billy Stevens: It.
Josh Crouch: Exactly right.
Tersh Blissett: Do the technicians see this? Like, can they see it from their side?
Billy Stevens: And [00:33:00] as of right now that that’s a no, do not let them see it at this point. We’re going to start letting them see it once we build. There’s another piece that we want to build in to this that’s going to take a whole nother level. We’re going to actually get the gross margin of every job by the next level, and then once we produce that, then we’ll stick it on their dashboard because that’s an integral piece of what we want them to see as well. And so we’re going to have the profitability. So we’re going to have real we’re going to have live job costing like you’ve never seen before. I mean, it’s actually true job costing.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, I like the fact that that if they see it, then they’re not surprised at that point. Like if they can see it every day and it’s like, all right, so I know transparency.
Josh Crouch: Yeah. That’s going to be.
Tersh Blissett: When we have this conversation. It’s not a surprise conversation to have.
Josh Crouch: Because employees as a whole, they want to know how they’re doing. And having that transparency helps them understand I either suck at my job or I’m doing really [00:34:00] well without really needing like, someone to pat them on the back or kick them in the ass, you know? So I love that that’s where you guys are heading. That transparency leads to employee engagement, too.
Billy Stevens: Right? So the reason we don’t show the text in the beginning is because we want the the owners to have an opportunity to make this right. Yeah, right. So if you start throwing out bad data to your tech immediately, then they don’t care. Yeah. Yeah, right. So we don’t show it to the tech until they’re able to get get it all dialed in and then we start showing it to them and we can be real with them. Right. And, and the thing about it is, as we know, technicians and technicians watching this, let’s say this with love techs, we’ll try to game any system you put together. That’s why we have so many.
Tersh Blissett: Games.
Billy Stevens: When we have so many pay systems that are just killed, businesses because and that’s why this labor rate is 25, 30, 35% for these jobs. And so [00:35:00] they can gain commission, they can gain hourly, they can game all this stuff. So the nice thing about putting efficiency into the into yourself where system and being able to know it and then when we make it transparent is the only way to gain a low efficiency in job costing is to do a better job.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah, absolutely. So with with the way that you the way that you pay out, is that something that’s pretty standard in Sarah, that payment calculator, that payment type?
Billy Stevens: So we. We are. You’re talking about the pay. Payroll? Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: Yeah. Payroll. Yeah.
Billy Stevens: Yeah. So we don’t have our payroll process in Sara just yet. Okay. I think we’ll probably have that about the fourth quarter. Okay. Again, it’s we have to this is a lot of stuff that’s cutting edge, right? We’ve been running our companies the same way for a hundred years now. [00:36:00] Yeah. You know, the last big revolution and, you know, was flat rate from hourly to flat rate. And I remember when I adopted flat rate immediately, I didn’t waste. One minute I went to one seminar on it and I was hooked. And then I joined. I was in some groups and I started talking about how we flat rate and what we’re doing and dotted on. And I was called everything in the world. I was a crook. I was I was everything. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And then those people that were yelling at me back then are now saying, you got to be at $500 an hour flat rate. So I’m like, you know, and so I think a lot of the reasons why we were successful with our companies is, is we didn’t waste time. You know, I was on Google the whole entire first page for almost three years before I had any competition because everybody was fighting for the Yellow Pages. Yeah. And and so we, we jumped out of them and we jumped into Google. It was a risk. But [00:37:00] I saw I could see and feel that that was where we needed to be. And obviously I was correct and it worked out.
Tersh Blissett: And everybody on Google, she would jump back on Yellow Pages.
Billy Stevens: No.
Josh Crouch: Definitely not.
Billy Stevens: No. But we should jump back into SEO.
Tersh Blissett: Right. Right.
Billy Stevens: I guarantee you that. Don’t get distracted too much by social media because you need that SEO as well to help your social media. So that I do believe we’ve gotten away from it a little bit with all the distractions that you can market here, here, there and everywhere. And, you know, Josh would agree with me on that one.
Josh Crouch: I’ll bang on that drum with you.
Billy Stevens: You got to get that one dialed into. And fortunately, we have something in Sarah that helps and Josh has seen it as well. And and so it’s really about. You can wait until everybody accepts it or you can jump in there and accept it. Yeah. And get going and make change and quit relying [00:38:00] on the one lever you have right now, which I got to raise my prices or lose money. And start working on the efficiency of your business because we just don’t. And that’s going to be.
Tersh Blissett: A big thing. That’s going to be a big thing with buying with all this VC money out here buying up and these companies, the companies that aren’t being purchased, they need to be more efficient because that’s the big companies they’re going to have buying power, smaller companies or or privately held companies won’t necessarily have as much buying power. So they’re going to have to become efficient in other ways.
Billy Stevens: And it’s twofold. The PE firms are just as inefficient, driven, sometimes more, more so because of all the different businesses running all over the place. So, oh, yeah. And so yeah. Somebody’s got to jump in and start leading the pack, whether it’s PE and private. I mean, it’s time to make change. The world is changing, our industry is changing. We’re finally getting [00:39:00] our due respect, you know, of of the trades and the hard work. And people have done well and sold their companies and, you know, lived a life that maybe they never thought possible. And all those things are cool and but it doesn’t mean we’re done.
Tersh Blissett: All right?
Billy Stevens: There’s a lot more to do. And and we need and we need to get more efficient and not rely on extremely high pricing to combat to go against your competitors.
Josh Crouch: I was I was going to interject with something like this because we we talked earlier about price increases and inflation. Now there’s inflation. At some point, people are not going to replace their system. They’re going to they’re going to try to put some they’re going to throw some repair money in there and they’re going to stop going for replacement because their replacement cost is going to be so ridiculous, even with financing. And if we don’t know, our efficiency on repairs and our repair price just keeps going up because our flat rate keeps going up. We’re going to lose out on a lot of money [00:40:00] that can help us stay afloat during that time where we can’t depend on, let’s say, 75% of our business being all replacement jobs. And I think having that information is going to be so vital because at some point we haven’t had a recession in, what, 14 years, 13 years? It’s going to happen at some point and things aren’t going to be as good as they are right now, or at least as good as they have been, especially for the home service industry. So it’s just preparing yourself, knowing your numbers. All those things are going to play a big part in what is what will eventually come. As we know, the cycle of this stuff always comes and the signs are there, right? The signs are there, the inflation, the equipment, price increases, all this stuff. So it just that would be my caution. Anyone listening to this, if you don’t know your numbers, that would be especially since we’re not in the middle of summer yet. I would spend a lot of time on this stuff coming up here. You get it right?
Tersh Blissett: There is nothing zero. There is nothing [00:41:00] worse than going through the whole summer and then realizing that your numbers were wrong all summer like ha.
Josh Crouch: Because now you’ve got to wait eight months until the next summer season.
Billy Stevens: Right. But look at the cash you would have if you were, you know, had your efficiency done right. You know, your numbers and you go into the fall with all this money in the bank.
Josh Crouch: Well, you can bank you could give discounts to do work later. As long as you know those numbers. And you know what can keep you busy in the fall, you know, in the south, duck replacements, all that type of stuff you can set you can really plan to keep your business busy year at least close to year round. So that way you don’t have these huge.
Tersh Blissett: You know how you do that. You sell maintenance agreements all summer.
Josh Crouch: Are you going to do that this summer? Tersh.
Tersh Blissett: Dang right I am. Yeah. You better.
Josh Crouch: Always. Billy is going to reach through this screen, slap you.
Billy Stevens: He’s still on the school of hard knocks. I’m working on.
Tersh Blissett: It. Yep. Cool. Billy, we appreciate you sharing this with us and. And sharing with our listening [00:42:00] audience and everything. Josh, do you have anything before we close up?
Josh Crouch: No, no. I love this stuff. This is this is great. I love where the industry is going with this transparency because I think it’s sorely needed. And there’s a reason why homeowners don’t generally trust a contract income because they just don’t know. So the transparency on our end is going to be key as we move forward, because buyers are only getting smarter, they’re not getting dumber. There’s more information available to them literally every single day. So the more transparent we can be and the more honest we can be with our pricing and all that stuff I think is going to lead to a better customer experience.
Billy Stevens: Yeah, online purchasing is going to, you know, that’s going to put a dent in your pocket as well. Online purchasing.
Josh Crouch: And we got someone you should talk to.
Billy Stevens: And this is going to help with that problem.
Josh Crouch: Yeah.
Tersh Blissett: Billy, where do we go? Sarah?
Billy Stevens: Sarah .0.0. tech.
Tersh Blissett: Perfect. Thank you again, Billy.
Billy Stevens: And thank you.
Tersh Blissett: Everybody [00:43:00] watching this until we talk again next time. Hope you have a wonderful and safe week. We’ll see you later.
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