Weather in New England can be perplexing. Without warning, the forecast can change and directly impact your plans. This past Spring, a friend of Steve Labbe’s, owner of Paradigm Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, was going to the Boston Red Sox opening day. The forecast was Spring weather in the high 40s and 50s with no sign of rain and plenty of sun. But circumstances changed suddenly with a surprise snowstorm.
Just like the weather, life can change unexpectedly. But as Steve Labbe notes, “Change brings opportunity.” This can be true in business as well as in our personal lives. However, most business people avoid change because of the associated risks.
Paradigm decided a while back to change its services from just traditional plumbing to adding other services that customers needed, such as electrical services. “With growth, there a lot of opportunities. However, you need to focus your efforts to ensure success. For example, we needed new software and more new hires. And this required training,” remembers Steve. “We had to do a lot of catching up to keep the foundation of our business sound and productive.”
What motivated this sudden desire to change? “It’s simple,” says Steve. “People needed service. The pain was not being able to provide that service because we had inadequate software and insufficient staff and equipment.”
But, as Labbe admits, growth brings other struggles. It takes time. And it can be daunting. There is risk involved. But Steve takes the view that it’s all about good versus evil. “If you are doing good, you will succeed.” Even so, installing new software meant that Paradigm was facing a learning curve and an impact on its cashflow as the company made the necessary transitions.
Labbe adds, “But look at the rewards. By using a tablet computer, our techs in the field are now able to pull all the data about the customer’s installation and maintenance services, as well as provide an invoice, while at the customer site. These changes have improved the equation – the more you know, the better you can be. Our goal is to be successful for our clients.”
The Paradigm model considers the totality of the business experience. A plumber can be a genius in doing the work, but totally inexperienced in the other aspects of the business. Steve’s approach is to reflect the company’s mantra: “Experience the Paradigm Shift”.
He says, “You want the service to have the right touch from start to finish. It’s important to me that everybody on our staff has the right tools and management support – they can be as creative as they want, as long as it is good for the customer. A lot of people are counting on us for service. So, we need to help them each step of the way, including service, support, and billing.”
For more information about how Paradigm’s services can help you – whether plumbing, heating, HVAC, or electrical – give us a call.