Strength in Numbers
Everyone wants to be a part of a group.
The question is: Which one?
Several contractor service groups offer plumbing contractors the opportunity to choose the best fit for their company in terms of goals, benefits of membership, similar business viewpoints, size and many other factors. Here's a look at the contractor service groups that specialize in programs for plumbers and what they offer:
Construction Contractors' Alliance
First up is the CCA, an enhanced service group of the
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association. CCA helps plumbing
contractors solve the specific challenges they face through an array of
programs and services. The CCA was formed in 1998 for
The typical CCA member is a second or third generation contractor with about 100 employees, specializing in either residential or commercial plumbing. Very few CCA members do both, according outgoing group president, Les DenHerder. Current CCA membership is 25 contractors representing all regions of the country, but heaviest representation is in California.
specialized benefits for members, such as two
For 2007, CCA offers support from peers-especially through e-mail networking-that helps member contractors through problem issues. In addition, each CCA meeting features different skills, like negotiating, that are addressed by new speakers.
DenHerder said that a chief benefit of CCA membership is getting access to ideas that a contractor can put to work for immediate profit gains.For more information, contact Charlotte Perham, the director of communications for the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association in
Nexstar Network is an affiliation of independent service providers for plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling contractors dealing in residential, commercial and construction projects. The organization is member-owned and member driven, and focuses on business growth and development.
approximately 380 members in the
"It's unique because it's member-owned," Mallory said, where all money taken in is used to develop member programs. A member-based board of directors, elected by members at a Super Meeting, gives the Nexstar staff direction as to the group's goals and addresses the membership's needs.
The organization has two big events yearly-a Super meeting in the fall and a newly-instituted Owner's Spotlight Series in the winter or spring, which is open primarily to business owners. The Owner's Spotlight Series runs for two days and focuses on a single topic, for instance, succession planning or marketing. Nexstar also has started its "Where's Wanda?" program that puts together kits to reach customers in places they frequent, instead of just the home.
Nexstar Network offers training programs for nearly every job title in a service company and also has member-trainers who have volunteered to teach the courses. In addition, Nexstar has five business coaches-three general coaches, one new member coach and one marketing coach-that members can call on at any time.
information contact Bob Mallory at
Nexstar Network in
Plumbers' Success International
Plumbers' Success International is the "world's foremost success school for the professional plumber serving the residential market," according to Scott Iverson, research and innovation director for the group. PSI is part of Success Group International, which also represents electricians, roofers and HVAC contractors.
Plumbers' Success International has more than 300 members, said marketing director Paul Gassett: "The typical member is a plumber seeking success, from a single plumber shop to a company with dozens of employees," Gassett said. "For instance, our founder Mike Diamond's business, has 100 service trucks."
The organization offers an array of management, marketing and training programs, as well as individual business management experts to work with members on a daily basis.
In addition to conducting two conferences each year, PSI has rolled out the Technician Seal of Safety, a licensed program for members to communicate the fact that they put homeowner safety first by conducting background checks and drug testing on their employees. The program allows PSI members to brand themselves as different from others and also shows a sense of community responsibility, according to Gassett. PSI also has dozens of turnkey marketing programs and offers several private label products, such as Nature's Miracle, a water softener and purifier product, through its buying group.<p>
Why should a contractor join? Plumbers' Success International is able to help plumbers maximize their success by serving homeowners, according to Iverson.
noted, each member gets the advantage of Diamond's 25 years of experience in
the industry. For more information, contact Plumbers' Success International, in
Quality Service Contractors
Established in 1994 by a group of
Plumbing-Heating-Cooling-Contractors- National Association members,
Currently there are 245 members, ranging from single-tech companies to those with 125 technicians. The average member is a company employing about 7 or 8 techs.
both longtime and beginning business owners can benefit from
information contact Charlie Wallace, the executive director of Quality Service
The Service Roundtable
The Service Roundtable is an organization founded by HVAC and plumbing contractors to help other contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations and profitability. <p>
The group is
represented in all 50 states, most Canadian provinces and on three continents.
The Service Roundtable is focused on using the Internet as a vehicle to deliver high quality, easily-customized direct mail, sales support, consumer newsletters, business forms and other content direct to members' desktops.<p>
Service Roundtable has the industry's largest peer-to-peer support group, 24/7/365, according to Michel. Each week it also provides new sales, marketing and business materials to members.<p>
The Service Roundtable is all Internet-based and large scale. All the material it creates is original so members never need worry about lawsuits over Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations, according to Michel.<p>For more information contact Liz Patrick at (877) 262-3341.