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ServiceTrade Announces Mechanical Trades Advisory Board

New group to help mechanical leaders solve their most pressing technology challenges

ServiceTrade, a leader in purpose-built software for commercial contractors, announced the formation of a distinguished Advisory Board to provide strategic guidance and support the company’s growth in the commercial mechanical market, deepening ServiceTrade’s role as a trusted advisor to mechanical executives. 

The Advisory Board will work closely with ServiceTrade’s executive team to provide strategic direction, industry insights, and advice on emerging trends. Their collective knowledge will be instrumental in helping drive innovation, improve operational efficiency, and deliver even greater value to its clients.

The members of the Advisory Board include:

“With a career spanning over two decades in the HVAC service industry, I am thrilled to serve as a member of the advisory board for ServiceTrade,” said Brad Boggs, President at B&W Mechanical. “I see ServiceTrade as a trailblazing force in the software world for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractors. I am excited to be able to offer any insight or perspective to a company that provides such a vital service with a recognized culture of growing their people.”

“I’ve been impressed by the ongoing innovation and long-standing focus on customer success by the ServiceTrade team,” said Jaimi Lomas, VP and Board Member at AO Reed & Co.  “By bringing these industry leaders together, I look forward to advising ServiceTrade on how software can make commercial contractors successful today and in the future.”  

“I am honored to join the country’s number one Service Software Advisory Board,” said Russ Borst, VP of Service at Hurst Mechanical.  “I firmly believe in hooking your wagons to good people and good organizations, and ServiceTrade is no exception.  I have a passion for giving back to this Industry that has been so good to me for over 35 years, and I’m excited to help ServiceTrade become even better for contractors and their customers. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these esteemed professionals to our Advisory Board,” said Billy Marshall, CEO of ServiceTrade. “Their deep industry knowledge and strategic vision will be invaluable as we continue to grow and excel in the commercial HVAC, electrical, and plumbing sectors.”

Learn More

ServiceTrade will showcase its end-to-end software platform for mechanical contractors at two upcoming mechanical industry conferences

Don’t Use Residential Software for a Commercial Service Business

Commercial and residential service contractors work completely differently. So why would a commercial contractor adopt service management software designed for residential contractors?



While they work in similar fields — HVAC, plumbing, electrical — commercial and residential service contractors work in altogether different ways.

Three key differences highlight the complex work demands that face commercial contractors — and reveal ways in which the right service management software can drive success.

Commercial contractors generally work:

  1. In long-term relationships wherein both maintenance and repair work is structured contractually.
  2. On complex systems of capital equipment that require years — sometimes decades — of precise, detailed, and documented maintenance.
  3. With facility owners and managers who require a clear understanding of the condition of the equipment in their facility so they can make good decisions that reduce the risk of costly downtime.

Let’s examine each of these three differentiators more closely.

Long-term relationships with customers wherein both maintenance and repair work is structured contractually.

The work of residential contractors tends to be transactional in nature — a home’s air conditioner isn’t cooling properly, so the homeowner calls for help. That homeowner may not experience a similar problem or interact with the same contractor again.

So, the residential technician must capture the homeowner’s consent and credit card information immediately, while still at the property, lest the company not get paid for its work.

This contrasts significantly with commercial service contractors who sign long-term contracts with customers detailing exactly what maintenance and service repair work is involved before a technician steps foot on the property.

The commercial service contractor performs their work under contract to make workload and cash flow more even and predictable throughout the year. In return, the customer realizes better outcomes with higher equipment uptime, fewer emergencies, and predictable pricing.

Commercial service contractors require software that manages the delivery of complicated recurring services on specific pieces of equipment within each contract. They also want to communicate information to the customer in a way that validates the value of the contractual relationship.

Complex systems of capital equipment that require years — sometimes decades — of precise, detailed, and documented maintenance management.

Commercial service contractors work with complicated, integrated, and expensive systems — the failure of which puts customers at serious legal, financial, and reputational risk.

The right service management platform helps the commercial service contractor intervene early by delivering on an established preventative maintenance schedule, staying ahead of potential problems, and mitigating that risk of failure.

Say, for example, a commercial technician performs routine maintenance on three compressors for which there are six blowers, and identifies that one blower needs repair. Consulting the equipment’s service history, the technician sees that the same blower has been repaired two times already for the same issue. At that point, the technician might escalate the repair to recommend replacement.

Likewise, commercial service technicians need to see incremental movement on potential problems — a pressure gauge registering 8% now, whereas it registered 4% the month before. More than seeing the potential problem, a commercial service contractor needs to share that information with the customer in pictures, videos, and notes to help the customer fully understand the problem, and appreciate that a repair may be necessary now or in the future.

Appropriate intervention on expensive and long-lasting capital equipment can extend lifespan — and help safeguard the customer against short-term and long-term risk.

With facility owners and managers who require a clear understanding of the condition of the equipment in their facility so they can make good decisions that reduce the risk of costly downtime.

A homeowner can tell right away that the residential contractor did the work they were paid to do because the problem went away.

The facility owner pays for annual preventative maintenance services that may not result in detectable changes. So how does the customer know that the contractor did the work they were paid to do? Moreover, if the contractor delivers their work well, the customer will see no disruptions, no downtime, and experience no drama.

To validate that customer’s trust, commercial service contractors must share reports with the customer that detail what equipment was maintained, when it was serviced, and if any problems were discovered. This is a challenge; commercial customers are busy with non-facility matters, so vendor interactions must be fast, easy, and readily available.

Modern commercial service management software should deliver reports online and offer other conveniences, such as the ability to request service and or view a detailed service history in a portal — showing work in ways that help keep the customer a long-term customer.

Putting relationships over transactions.

ServiceTrade enhances a commercial service contractor’s ability to demonstrate long-term value to commercial service contractors by fostering communication and transparency, and mitigating customer risk.

To learn how ServiceTrade can help your commercial service business build stronger and more transparent relationships with customers, request a demo with an application expert.

Career Planning Advice: Plant Deep Roots Instead of Shallow Ones

Where do you see yourself in five years? The interview question always seems difficult to answer because it’s hard to predict the opportunities that will come along with the career choices you make. Lauren Rice and Gaganjeet Singh recently celebrated five-year anniversaries with ServiceTrade. Let’s look back at how they got to where they are today.

Lauren Rice moved from piano sales to software sales when she joined ServiceTrade. At that time, she was one of six members of sales who divided her time between prospecting, conducting demos, and closing deals. Lauren’s path moved her from this hybrid sales role to an inside territory manager, to an outside territory manager, a senior territory manager, then to her current role as director of sales in the west. Lauren has a deep well of knowledge about our software, the customers she works with, the industry, and sales methodology. Lauren is a valued leader in ServiceTrade’s 40+ person sales organization, a culture driver, a hard-working tradeshow socialite, and an active social media maven.

Lauren speaks at a recent virtual conference.

Gaganjeet (“G”) Singh started at ServiceTrade in customer success in 2016 when onboarding and support were the only services the company offered. G came into ServiceTrade with a drive to tackle complex cases and quickly became the guy to go to for onboarding larger, more challenging accounts. G was one of ServiceTrade’s first technical account managers, he developed the first PartsLedger mobile app, and along with VP of Customer Success James Jordan created professional services focused on customer needs that became a service offered by a team of engineers. G’s trailblazing path at ServiceTrade has taken him from customer support specialist, to onboarding engineer, to technical account manager, to now a software engineer in R&D.

Gaganjeet “G” (at right) on stage at the Digital Wrap Conference.

You don’t have to jump to a new company every 18-24 months to advance your career if you find a company that will invest in you. We think it’s a lot more fun and rewarding to expand your skills, take on new responsibilities, and earn promotions with compensation increases that match your growth.

If you want to work in a company that will help you get where you want to go, join us at ServiceTrade where we’re adding new members to every department.

Highly Recommended Holiday Reading

This might not be for you, but most of us in sales need help knowing what to say and when. Take a look at this two-minute clip of Phil M. Jones from the 2019 Digital Wrap Conference.

This exercise demonstrates how the right words can change how we think. At DWC19, Phil revealed some of the magic words that motivate people – the people you want to buy your products and services – to take action. 

Our highly recommended holiday reading is Phil M. Jones’s book, Exactly What to Say: The Magic Words for Influence and Impact. In it, Phil shares 21 magic phrases and when to use them.

I purchased the audiobook shortly after DWC19. I listened to the 1 hour 15 minute recording once, then immediately replayed it because I wanted to absorb every idea. Anna McMahon, who leads ServiceTrade’s inside sales, is running contests in her team for the best use of Phil’s magic phrases. They’re tools that work and Phil shares them in ways that make sense.

If you heard Phil’s DWC19 presentation, let us know in the comments which magic phrases have stayed with you and which ones you’ve started using. 

The Must-Attend Conference for Leaders in Commercial Service Companies

Today’s market is fraught with challenges for leaders of commercial service companies. From operations to recruitment to customer service – fighting to the top of your market (and fighting to stay there) can overwhelm even the hardest working business leaders.

While technology can seem like another obstacle, commercial service companies that want to lead their markets are learning how to use technology to do more with less, build loyal customer relationships, and win more business from bigger customers.

If you are one of these leaders, you can’t afford to fall behind, and you can’t afford to miss the Digital Wrap Conference (DWC) this November.  DWC is now in its 4th year and 2019 is set to be our best year yet. Here are 3 reasons you need to be at DWC19:

  1. Get actionable ideas for your 2020 planning. DWC educational sessions teach new ways to use technology to run a modern, profitable commercial service company from service management, to operations, to sales and marketing, and more. According to a survey of past attendees, two-thirds left with 6 or more ideas to try in their businesses.
  2. Rub elbows with like-minded professionals. Meet and network with other leaders from commercial service companies from across the US and Canada who share your challenges related to running a commercial service business.
  3. Have fun at the beach! DWC19 will be at Wild Dunes Resort in Isle of Palms, South Carolina, just outside of Charleston. Hit the links at our annual golf tournament, join the fishing tournament, and explore the “South’s Best City”.  (And did we mention the food?!)

We pack A LOT of learning into two days of educational seminars and breakout sessions.  You’ll learn how to leverage technology to:

Our early bird special is available until June 30.  Register today for $200 off the registration price. See you at the beach!


Questions about DWC19? Contact Shelley Bainter at

What the Series Finale of Game of Thrones Teaches Us About Service Businesses

“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”

This was part of Tyrion Lannister’s last great speech on Game of Thrones. His words, delivered so brilliantly by Actor Peter Dinklage were a nice nod to the unique and powerful story created in the books by Author George R. R. Martin. A story that gave its watchers a new world, a new vocabulary. Characters to love and to hate. Stories of redemption. Complicated family relationships (there’s an understatement!) War. Heroes. Villains. Dragons. Ice zombies.

These words, “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story,” also made me think about how story is a big part of a digital wrap. Which was inconvenient at the time because I was trying to enjoy the end of this beloved show. To paraphrase the character, nothing can stop the story that you tell your customers, and no enemy can defeat it after it’s made them feel and inspired them to act.

The story you tell your customers most likely will not contain dragons or ice zombies, but as these blog posts point out, they certainly contain heroes (your technicians) waging war on the threats lurking in your customer’s kingdom.

What exactly do we mean about the importance of story for a business like yours? Stories are part of making a commercial service contracting business more valuable to its customers, these posts explain how.

Building Your Brand Through Storytelling

What Contractors Can Learn From the Mechanic

Snakes on the Roof!

Are your services significant?

Are you writing a happy story?

We wish you good fortune in the wars to come.  

p.s. If you watched the series, we’d love to read your comments about how things wrapped up.


Best of 2018

It’s always interesting to look back at our blog posts at the end of a year and see what our readers were most interested in. In 2018, there was a clear theme:  Using technology to do more and earn more. Here is the top 10 list from 2018:

  1. How to Make Billions Selling Nothing – The Story of Red Hat
  2. Jeff Bezos’s Advice for Service Contractors
  3. What skilled labor shortage?
  4. What’s technology worth? How to value your technology investments.
  5. 254,484 Quotes: Rich, Fast, and Easy
  6. An Easy Differentiator for Service Contractors
  7. A Story of Growth – AAA Fire Protection
  8. Soon: The Smart Service Revolution
  9. Good is Not Good Enough – How Amazon Raised Expectations to Feel Good for Commercial Service Contractors
  10. Fraud Doesn’t Pay, But Consistent Results are Worth Billions


Our favorite read from 2018 is the new book Money for Nothing: How Commercial Service Contractors Earn More Pay for Less Work by Billy Marshall and Shawn Mims. Get your copy at

We hope Money for Nothing, these posts, and those to come in 2019 help you achieve your audacious goals. Happy new year!

Announcing ServiceTrade Mobile App Version 2.0

ServiceTrade is launching a new version of its mobile application for Android and Apple devices. The new app gives users an intuitive and efficient experience so they can collect more information that matters to customers.

Users familiar with ServiceTrade will find all their appointments, job details, customer contact information, and media-rich documentation features intact. Where those features are located and how they look is new. Based on user feedback, the new mobile app offers:

This change will allow us to make more customer service innovations faster for commercial service contractors.

Learn More

Everyone is invited to join a live demo of the new mobile app during one of these two webinars:

Wednesday, October 3 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
Thursday, October 11 at 4pm ET / 1 pm PT

Sign up at this link.

In this webinar, you’ll:

About timing

This demo is a good first step to planning your transition. Join us on Oct. 3 or Oct. 11. Register at this link.

Weather Deficiency: Hurricane Florence. Status: New

It’s been a tense week of watching Hurricane Florence grow, intensify, and pin a bullseye on North Carolina. There’s a lot to worry about: gasoline for the generator, storing water since I’m on a well, stocking up on healthy, easy-to-prepare food without resorting to Hot Pockets.

There’s plenty to worry about without fretting about the availability of our app. Even if I’m sitting at my house in the dark, I’ll know that our app will be there. Our customers’ data will be available in their office. Technicians will get their schedules. Customers will be able to login to the portal to check on their upcoming appointments.

Thank goodness for software as a service!! Amazon Web Services (AWS) — where the ServiceTrade application “lives” and customer data is stored — is co-located across the country so there’s no risk of a natural disaster disrupting service. If one location were to be impacted, the others in the AWS network would pick up the slack.

On the human side, it’s a little tougher to predict availability. Everyone at ServiceTrade in North Carolina will be working from home on Thursday and Friday for as long as we have electricity and Internet service. If we end up falling off the grid in NC for a few days, our teams across the country – we have people in Maryland, Kentucky, Illinois, and Arizona – will be there to help you out.

If you need help from support or sales, reach out as you always do and we’ll route your call or email to whoever can respond first.

If you are also impacted by Hurricane Florence, be safe! I’ll pass along what Billy Marshall asked of us, take care of your family first, then do everything you can to take care of your customers and responsibilities.

Prioritizing Customers Above Accounting – B&W Mechanical

They spent hours on it. Brad Boggs at B&W Mechanical and Shawn Mims of ServiceTrade met several times to discuss how to integrate B&W’s accounting system with ServiceTrade. They planned it strategically, they talked with an integrator about the details, they held several follow-up calls. But as they say, the struggle of connecting ServiceTrade’s open APIs to a closed accounting system, was real.

Brad decided that since accounting was happy with their process, an accounting integration shouldn’t stand in the way of getting a new customer service and service management system in place. B&W Mechanical got started with ServiceTrade so they could meet their goals of growing their service division.

We caught up with Brad a couple of years later to see how it’s going. In this video, Brad tells us that now, B&W measures its success by things that matter to its customers – that their systems are operational and their facility needs are being met. B&W Mechanical communicates clearly and accurately with customers so they know everything they need to about their systems so there aren’t any surprises.

Their customers really like that they get clear data and visuals with a quote or an invoice. B&W no longer has to justify what their quotes or invoices are for – the customers have a clear, rich record that tells them what they’re paying for.

As Brad says at the end of this video, at B&W Mechanical the right things get done quickly. He isn’t talking about accounting.


Read more about choosing good software with open APIs and why customer service isn’t an accounting function.