Reliable Services USA improves efficiency with process and technology

Cilio Case Study: Reliable Services USA, William Reardon, Owner

Specialty: Plumbing, electrical, mechanical, general contracting

Years in Business: 20

Region: North Carolina

Overview

Reliable Services USA is a North Carolina-based Lowe’s PROvider managing installation services for 81 Lowe’s stores, including water heater, appliance, and cabinet platforms. CEO William Reardon founded the company as a lone “pickup truck provider” in 2001 and over the years has grown to include 160 employees, affiliates, and subcontractors. With responsibility for this many stores and resources, William is very focused on processes and standards to help his team deliver excellent service while managing extreme growth. Project management software Cilio CiO is part of that rigor.

Growing with integrity and process

William has been working with Lowe’s team for so long, he can remember receiving orders via fax machine. “We’d get three to four per day. But then on Monday, there’d be 25 pages in the fax machine. That’s how it started. Out of one store.”

In a recent Transition to the Trades webinar with Lowe’s for the United Services Organization (USO), William explained, “I’d take on any job and became the go-to guy for Lowe’s and gradually grew that.” Today, his team performs a whopping 25,000 installations per year.

He attributes his early success to core values of honor, fairness, and integrity. “I did what I said I was going to do, I was fair, and I made sure I did a good job and I owned it.” 

Managing this level of growth isn’t always easy. William has had his share of struggles with everything from personnel issues and hiring to fleet management and pandemic protocols. But he looks at problems as opportunities. When something happens repeatedly, it’s an opportunity to put a process in place to prevent it from happening again.

This has been particularly important as Reliable Services has expanded its coverage to include Lowe’s stores beyond the local Charlotte area. William now works with affiliates to help manage work that is further away. This quickly highlighted the need to create processes for vetting partners, using technology, and managing installations to ensure a consistent, quality level of service, no matter who delivers it.

Technology drives efficiency

William and his team were early adopters of technology to drive efficiencies throughout the organization. They originally used a custom-built software application to manage their projects, but as the company grew, he knew it was time to find a system that could scale with the business.

Five years ago, they switched to Cilio CiO for project management, scheduling, and customer management. Not only did it integrate directly with Lowe’s IMS system, it also offered more functionality and automation that has helped create processes and procedures and reduce errors. 

For example, his team has used it to automate the process of scheduling appointments and following up with customers. They are able to automate the scheduling process by first scheduling a customer to minimize drive time, then asking the customer to confirm via a dynamic communication automatically sent from their system, saving countless hours of phone time and reducing last-minute cancelations and no-shows.

Customer ratings have also improved as a result of process automation from CiO. At one time, Reliable Services had 71 Google reviews generating an average rating of 1.7 out of 5.0. They added a step to the project closing process within CiO, which with a single click, automatically closes out the project with Lowe’s, sends out a CoC, and sends a customer an email with a link to submit a review. This small addition has had huge results: 1,620 reviews and rating of 4.8.

“Using this system, we can provide better customer service. It’s faster, the scheduling process is faster, updates are faster, it’s all seamless.”  William believes, “The harder you work and the smarter you work, the more successful you can be.” He explains, “You have to get more efficient. Bring on technology, figure out how to do what you’re doing in less time and for less cost. That’s how you grow.”