"Why do we still pay Al Levi for ongoing consulting three years after we first started working together? Because I know how easy it would be to fall back into our old bad habits."
Steve Lowry, Owner
Lowry Electric, Inc.
Hatfield, PA
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Operations Power!

What Extras Should You Have on a Service Vehicle?

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 that he was running 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 like he did and he said it got dirty while crawling through the crawl space on the 1st 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 so 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 corned the Tech about it, he shrugged his shoulders and told me he had just run out of the valve tags and sticker yesterday.

I had had enough!

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 below].  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.

appleseed-bin

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 below]. The following is what the bin contained:

  • 1 Insurance Card
  • 1 Vehicle Registration
  • 10 Company Refrigerator Magnets
  • 25 Company Business Cards
  • 5 Company Survey 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

appleseed-file-folder

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

 

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

Kathy Betlem of John Betlem Heating & Cooling

Kathy talks about the challenges before Al arrived of the whole management team, mostly comprised of the Betlem family members, being on the same page. Today with Al's help, the management team is both improving their individual departments and improving the company as a whole.

» Read the full testimonial

Marketing Power!

7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 2

Here are the rest of the 7 ways I recommend these days to go about low cost or now cost marketing these days: Referral Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing strategies there is. It’s also a great example of low cost or no cost. Recommendations from one satisfied customer who is willing to […]

» View the full post

Susan Miller of Allied Plumbing & Heating

Susan Miller shares what was going on at Allied before Al Levi worked with them and how things are going at Allied today thanks to the work they've done with Al.

» Read the full testimonial

Marketing Power!

7 Ways to Market at Low Cost or No Cost – Part 1

Here’s an understatement, “Marketing is a whole lot easier if you’ve got a lot of money to spend.” Here’s another enlightened observation, “It’s also a great way to go broke if you don’t have a plan and don’t know what you’re doing.” This was very true back in the good old days of 2005 when […]

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Tim Flynn, Winters Company

Tim Flynn Having customized manuals allows me never to go over the same thing twice, I simply refer to the manual our employee has signed for and ask if there has been a misunderstanding of the procedure, once agreed there is no misunderstanding and we move on with our lives. Hopefully the discrepancy never occurs again, but [...]

» Read the full testimonial

Planning Power!

5 Ways to Maximize Time Spent at Industry Trade Shows and Conventions

It’s can be incredibly difficult as a contractor to pull yourself away from work to attend Trade Shows and Conventions. Even if you know it’s important that you go you also know there is a never-ending list of things you must do at work. I advocate that no matter how busy you are the best […]

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If you find that you keep saying to yourself...
  • I can't seem to find and keep good people.
  • There just aren't enough hours in the day.
  • We are delivering an inconsistent level of service.
  • I feel like I'm answering the same questions over and over.
  • I spend more time as an employee than as a manager.
  • Call-backs keep me from moving on to new calls/sales.
  • We have no real system in place for training.
  • This business just isn't fun for me anymore.
then you are ready to move to the next level click here

Contact Al

Phone: (480) 205-5164
Fax: 212-202-6275
(using a coversheet)
info@appleseedbusiness.com


Traditional Mail:
Appleseed Business, Inc.
c/o Al Levi
10632 N Scottsdale Road
B-563
Scottsdale, AZ 85254