CLIENT: Service First Solutions
TYPE: Service Consultancy Group
PARTNERSHIP LENGTH: 15 years
- As the VP of Service at KPost Roofing Dataforma helped grow revenue $1 million in annual sales to over $8 million through better organization and communication.
- Better Organization led to huge time savings from work order management, invoicing, and customer relationship management.
- Removed operational bottlenecks and increased productivity
- Helping roofing companies increase revenue and scale businesses
COMPANY QUOTE “It’s the most important tool that’s not a person in your service department!” –Tracy Donels
According to Tracy Donels, who started Service First Solutions as a way of helping scale service departments in various companies through process and technology, keeping your word and doing what you promised is over half the battle in running a service business. He says that if you follow through with what you tell your customers, you will be successful. He knows from experience and has seen the repercussions of what happens when things slip through the cracks.
Before starting Service First Solutions, Trace Donels was the VP of Service for 15 years at K Post Roofing & Waterproofing in Dallas, Texas, and led his team through the implementation of Dataforma back when they still used paper tickets and rolodexes. Over the years, he became a believer in roofing software and other technology as a means to declutter the modern service department and has dedicated his career to helping other service-driven companies do the same.
In the early 2000’s K Post was much like many other roofing companies; disorganized, with lots of customer paperwork scattered throughout tons of filing cabinets. When customers would call in for an update on scheduling or try to get an update on the work performed or how soon they could expect to receive an estimate, it was a huge time-killer for the whole team to track down the information. The staff felt this pain every day, but assumed this was how things were always done.
Early on Tracy and the KPost team recognized that an inefficient and disorganized service department would seriously hinder their efforts to scale and grow their company’s rolodex of privately negotiated customers. Simply not following through on commitments made to customers on addressing their problems and all the potential lost revenue was an unthinkable amount in Tracy’s mind. Simply acting on prospects that had shown interest in them would have been a game changer and could have changed KPost’s trajectory sooner.
On an everyday level, the service department would be challenged to efficiently track work orders, sales, roof inspections, materials, and invoicing, especially between different departments i.e., production and accounting. Occasionally even paperwork was lost, leading to angry customers, lost revenue, and awkward apologies to homeowners, and property managers became all too common.
Like so many others, he lamented the roofing industry’s slow adoption of modern applications to help run better, faster operations and the headaches it caused people like himself and his colleagues. Many contractors take pride in keeping things old-school, but with construction companies adopting cloud-based organizational and work order management tools, it was only a matter of time before the competition started running circles around Tracy and his teammates. Seeing this, Mr. Donels and KPost became an early adopters of the Dataforma platform.
Soon KPost Roofing & Waterproofing purchased and implemented Dataforma into their service business. Due to its user-friendly interface, they had their entire office and field staff trained and proficient with the new roofing software in just a few short days. Using Dataforma revolutionized the way they ran the business. Everything from quotes, service tickets, invoices, client notes, accounting info, operations planning, and warranty information was stored in Dataforma and thus accessible to everyone.
Regardless of whether employees were in the field or at the office, sales reps had access to prospects who were due for a follow-up at the touch of a button, leading to fewer dropped leads. Accounting could clearly track which invoices were paid or in accounts receivable, reducing unrecognized revenue. Project managers had every bit of data regarding their projects in a fully customized digital platform that they could access on a tablet, desktop, or smartphone, never losing important files to the wind or crowded truck floorboards. Over the years, the company evolved with the Dataforma platform and intertwined more features that improved communication and awareness.
Tracy eventually left KPost Roofing to start an endeavor he was passionate about; helping other businesses scale and grow their service departments with the use of proper organizational tools and technology. His business, Service First Solutions, is in essence, a consultancy group that works directly with construction businesses, primarily in the roofing industry, who have a recurring service model.
Over the years, Tracy has developed a toolbox of techniques, roofing software solutions, and training acumen to help his clients, and Dataforma is naturally central to the conversation. While he has experience with multiple software offerings, Dataforma is almost always broached when a customer needs an intuitive CRM, work order management, and efficient invoicing, as these are the pillars to fostering healthy relationships with prospects.
Tracy loves offering solutions with confidence formed from his first-hand experience. He knows what features will be helpful and which options are necessary depending on the working situation. When he talks to his customers, he understands what they need and where they’re coming from because he’s been in their shoes. He believes it’s his mission to help free other roofing contractors from the pains of inefficient processes that come from not making use of the available roofing software and technology that’s out there.
At Service First Solutions, it’s all about his clients, who are learning and growing their own businesses’ service departments. He constantly hears the same pains of poor management and no one is sure what is really going on with any specific project.
The primary component of Dataforma for service organizations is communication. “Service is communication and this allows you to better communicate with customers and better manage their roofs. These processes allow you to create a blueprint to scale and grow a service business, “ says Mr. Donels.
As the Vice President of Service for KPost, Dataforma was most beneficial for him, says Tracy. Without a centralized system bringing all of the data together, it would have been impossible for him and his team to have eyes on every project and a clear bird’s eye view of how the department was operating. This afforded Tracy time to focus on improving other aspects of the business instead of addressing errors and miscommunications.
In his former role, Tracy Donels worked with a company whose culture embraced innovation and improving processes – it has directly led K Post Roofing & Waterproofing’s service department to grow from $800,000 to $8 million annually over the course of a decade. Scaling is a replicable process when done right, and Tracy believes that clients who commit to adopting technology see the improvement across the board, “From my years of experience, what I have seen is that if more people had this connection and made Dataforma an integral part of their company’s culture, it would help improve their businesses. Not just the service department but the entire company.”
By connecting to other technologies used in the business, Dataforma has helped promote synergy between sales, accounting, project management, and customer relationship management in a way that makes every department more efficient and saves dozens of man-hours per week.
Today, Service First Solutions is growing fast, and Tracy has clients contacting him wanting to talk about Dataforma before he even thinks of offering solutions. He’s grateful for the experience in building a new roofing company’s service department and operations has led him to his calling of helping others.