Henry Sanches performs a video drain inspection for a customer.

Valor Plumbing: Embracing Technology to Operate a More Efficient Business

Feb. 13, 2020

By Justine Burns, Director of Customer Success at Jobber home services management software

After 15 years in printing, Henry Sanchez lost his job due to market downturn and technology advancements in the industry. Instead of searching for a similar role, Henry decided to take a risk and embark on a brand-new career as a plumber. After completing his courses, he accepted jobs working as an employee for other plumbing businesses. When he wasn’t receiving the opportunities he wanted, he took an even bigger risk and opened his own residential and commercial plumbing company, Valor Plumbing. Based in the Greater Los Angeles area, the company offers a wide range of services, including sewer and drain cleaning, hydro-jetting, camera inspections, sewer and drain repair, and more.

 Mastering the skills necessary to be an in-demand plumber is a challenge. Learning how to operate a profitable and growing business as a newly minted entrepreneur is an even greater challenge.

 “When I first started out, I wrote everything down on notepads that would get lost or have pages ripped out — it wasn’t a modern way of operating a business,” said Henry. “It was hard to manage jobs and keep track of customer history. I was trying to match a million little paper receipts to what items went with what jobs. Attempting to keep records of purchases for tax purposes was a nightmare. I managed to get by when I was smaller, but as I started to build a reputation and a customer base, I knew pen and paper was not a long-term solution. The process was simply too inefficient, and I knew I had to change it.”

 After a few years of running Valor Plumbing manually, Henry brought Kiya onboard as a full-time office administrator. Kiya helped implement a few free tools for tasks like general invoicing, in addition to other software solutions to solve for items like scheduling and customer management. But the software solutions that they tried were limited and quickly became dated. More importantly, the options were not a great fit for managing a plumbing business. Ultimately, Kiya and Henry chose Jobber’s field service software because it allowed them to apply new strategies to simplify and streamline their operations and grow their business.

 Organizing Operations

By adopting a field service software that can be accessed through any internet-connected device, Henry was able to ditch the notebook and pen in favor of his mobile phone and desktop. Scheduling, quoting, invoicing, and receiving payment for jobs could now be completed on the job site or from the office. The ability to offer credit card payments on certain jobs was an important step forward because it helped the company get paid faster and improve cash flow.

 Reaching a New Level of Professionalism

“One of the things that technology has allowed us to do is increase our level of professionalism,” states Kiya. “All the small things can lead to a big impact on customer experience. For instance, quotes and invoices are branded, response time has improved, and customers receive text message notifications when we’re on our way – all these elements make our operation appear bigger than it is. It also makes a customer more likely to use us again and refer us to a friend.”

 Finding New Ways to Show Value

Since most customers don’t know what a complicated plumbing job entails, many experience “sticker shock.” Itemized invoices help neutralize sticker shock by allowing customers to see the specific work and materials required to complete a job, line by line. Valor Plumbing also uses the software to share before-and-after photos and videos of jobs. This is particularly valuable for repairs that happen in hard-to-reach places that a homeowner or business owner will never actually see.

 Since deciding to digitally transform its business operations, Valor Plumbing has seen an increase in revenue of at least 200 percent. “Managing this volume of business manually would be nearly impossible,” says Henry.

“Just being able to implement a work request feature online has saved up to two hours a week of time,” added Kiya. “Now I don’t have to go back and forth with Henry to verify, confirm information, or call customers just to complete their profile. Instead, almost all the information we need is provided at the start of a job, making the whole process run smoother.”

 Henry saw firsthand how technology disrupted the printing industry. By adopting technology into his business practices, he has helped to future-proof his business in a way that meets the growing demands of homeowners. Like most service companies, most Valor’s business comes from referrals, so creating an enjoyable client experience through technology will continue to be invaluable in growing the business.

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