My plumbing 'warehouse' on wheels – just a GMC Savana – helps me avoid supplier runs 90% of the time
Having a fixed price list, such as StraightForward Pricing, in the service business requires a second component... you have to have almost all the basic parts of a typical residential home's plumbing set up (excluding import parts and large fixtures) with you before you head out for the day.
By Steve Payne
Our loyal reader Edward, a plumber, is a fan of StraightForward Pricing (if you missed that article, click here). He’s not a fan of having to do supplier runs, so here’s how he avoids them “90 per cent of the time”)…
My truck has the parts. I had worked in the service industry for a while for a few StraightForward Pricing companies with stocked trucks, so now I have it stocked at all times – it’s a warehouse on wheels (and all I have is a GMC Extended Savana). A residential home is pretty simple set-up (for my vehicle): the only thing I don’t have in the truck are large fixtures and the majority of import parts. As a plumber, doing 4-5 calls a day, supplier runs are wasted time for both me and my customer. 95 per cent of my work is residential service and new install. All my jobs are set quotes, so if I am going to a home to repipe a kichen sink drain, it is one price and everyone pays the same. It is rare I have to hit up the supplier, the majority of time I scroll my calls for the day, stock up on what I need, especially if I know I am short, and I’m on my way… I always gather as much information as I can from the customer over the phone – this way I am prepared. I have been doing this for a while. I can say with confidence that my calls go as planned – without supplier runs 90 per cent of the time.
Editor’s note: Tell us if you are using a particular company’s racking or storage system for your van or truck. If we feature them in the magazine, we will send you a $100 gas card if you’re the first person to suggest that particular equipment supplier.