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Preferred Mechanical Group Grew From 3 to 52 techs in Three years with ServiceTrade

When I looked at software, there were many that worked, but they weren’t built for techs in the way ServiceTrade is.

— Kevin Harris, Owner

Q&A with PMG’s Kevin Harris

When former service technician Kevin Harris started his business, Preferred Mechanical Group (PMG), he had 3 technicians. Three years later, PMG employs 52 technicians and an office staff of 26. We talked with Harris about his company’s impressive growth and how onboarding the right service software has helped him build an efficient, technician-centric company.

PMG has seen some rapid growth!

In the past 3 years, we’ve grown to 78 people with 52 of those being techs. I can easily see that number growing to 100-125 techs in the next few years.

When you started the business, did you anticipate this kind of success?

It’s been a dream of mine for a long time, and I’ve been planning for 15 years. I knew what the competition was like and felt fully confident that we would do things better. We’d have better software, better processes, better techs. I felt like if we could do all that—and I felt we could pretty easily—then the sky was the limit.

And PMG has used ServiceTrade from the beginning?

Finding a software solution was one of the top priorities on my checklist. We’ve had ServiceTrade since month 3 of being in business.

You worked as a technician for over 20 years. How did that influence your decision when shopping for software?

I was very vocal as a tech. None of my technicians can be more vocal than I was. I knew what my techs needed and what they didn’t and was looking for a company that could meet my high standards. When I looked at software, there were many that worked, but they weren’t built for techs in the way ServiceTrade is.

ServiceTrade provides my techs with a single place to do their work in an easy-to-use, intuitive, interface.

How does ServiceTrade help streamline operations?

We use ServiceTrade for all parts and labor management. It forces techs to input their time accurately and correctly document what they’ve purchased on a job. It is the ultimate way—the only way—that you can guarantee all of your costs hit the job.

Without ServiceTrade, I’d have to hire 1-2 additional office staff and devote them exclusively to labor and parts management. I believe in using software for these kinds of things and utilizing office staff to grow the business in other ways.

Another thing: I’m a firm believer in not touching things twice! Once someone enters something into the system, the system should be able to take that information to wherever it needs to go. And that’s what ServiceTrade does.

We always love to hear about our customers who adopt ServiceTrade early and are able to expand, really utilizing the platform to its fullest potential.

The platform has scaled with the business. We’ve started a new plumbing division and controls division on top of our commercial HVAC work, and we’re able to use ServiceTrade for everything.

What I really love about ServiceTrade, is that I am always pushing, asking for more, and while I don’t always get it, I have a true partnership with the ServiceTrade team. They’re always willing to listen and strive to provide the best software solution. That is a big deal to me. I’m always trying to innovate and be better than others. I don’t like to settle. If you’re not striving to be better, then you are going backwards. ServiceTrade aligns with me on that.

It’s clear that you really understand the value of technology and how to leverage it.

Yes. One of my goals as an owner of a mechanical contracting business is to have a better work/life balance and more time with my family. Having the right processes and a software partner like ServiceTrade helps the business run better. I don’t have to be so “on it” and wear myself out. I can use technology to help with that.

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