John Williams Heating Services

John Williams Heating Services company logo
Debbie Williams Headshot
Georgina Williams Headshot

“Simpro SMS messaging makes the customer journey easier and straightforward. Having another avenue for us to communicate and connect, in real-time with our customers, is a real time saver.”

Debbie Williams, Co-founder

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Chippenham, Wiltshire

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A Century of Combined Experience Meets State-of-the-art Software

With 20 years in business and over 100 years of shared experience and knowledge, John Williams Heating Services is one of those unstoppable trades businesses. Working out of Bumpers Farm Industrial Estate in Chippenham, Wiltshire, the team led by husband and wife John and Debbie Williams boasts an impressive headcount with fourteen qualified engineers on the road. It’s easy to see how they’ve become so successful. By aiming to “always provide an excellent customer experience from the first point of contact until the job is done”, they’ve earned quite a reputation for honesty, reliability and quality service.

Paper to Software: The Journey To Simpro

John Williams is no stranger to hard work. With 39 years in heating and plumbing, he’s seen everything, and across two trades, no less. Like many businesses in the early 2000s, John and Debbie ran things using paperwork and pure determination. In 2012, John started looking at alternatives to pen-and-paper invoicing, seeing a rise in software quality as a great chance to dip a foot into digital operations. With a company of 7 and counting, they settled on a reasonable software with reasonable scalability. But reasonable only goes so far for a business planning to expand in earnest. When the opportunity presented itself to switch to something bigger and better, the husband-and-wife team decided Simpro was the way to go.

Switching To Simpro: ‘Next Best To Custom Built Software’

Every trades business operates differently, and one of the biggest challenges facing any business looking for perfect-fit software is whether it can be tailored to fit its individual needs now and into the future. Much of what made our software a perfect fit for the business is its wide toolset, which helps Simpro slot perfectly into any trades operation. But that doesn’t mean Simpro can’t also be highly customised for specialised operations. Office Manager Georgina agrees, saying, ‘Simpro is the next best thing to custom-built software’. That’s high praise, considering custom software for heating businesses like John Williams Heating Services can quickly run up a cost of tens of thousands of pounds. That’s not to say that Simpro wasn’t a big commitment, and Debbie admits that at the time, “we were a little bit cautious about moving over to Simpro. It was a big company, so things were always going to be a bit different.” But those reservations quickly dissolved as the team realised just how much power Simpro could add to their operations, with Debbie further elaborating that since their go-live date, “we’ve not been disappointed.”

The Implementation: A Tricky Build Secured By Incredible Training

Getting comprehensive software like Simpro implemented into an already established business can be, as Debbie puts it, “tricky.” Luckily, Simpro’s amazing training team was there to help with all the teething issues! After eight days of ‘incredible’ training with Simpro, the team felt ready to launch the new system and start using Simpro. The software quickly became Debbie and Georgina’s “baby”. However, Simpro swiftly moved past its infancy and Debbie’s hopes that the system was “going to be amazing (for the business)” were quickly validated.

John Williams Heating Services Today: 27 And Counting

Flash forward to today, and a lot has changed for John Williams Heating Services since they went live with Simpro. For one, they now boast a staff count of 27, a formidable workforce that many aspirational trades business owners would envy. In fact, with Simpro’s launch efficiency alone, the business was able to add two additional engineers shortly after going live and without the need for any additional admin staff to cover the increased field demands. Wrangling the extra field staff proved to be remarkably easy, with Simpro’s SMS messaging helping the team stay on top of field correspondence and customer appointment reminders as well. “We use Simpro SMS messaging to send service reminders to our customers by text. SMS messaging gives our customers the opportunity to read and respond at their convenience. It is brilliant,” says Georgina. Debbie agrees wholeheartedly, saying, “Simpro SMS messaging makes the customer journey easier and straightforward. Having another avenue for us to communicate and connect, in real-time with our customers, is a real time saver.” As their customer needs and workforce needs have expanded, John and Debbie have leaned more into the other operational efficiencies that Simpro offers, too. The team, old and new, loves how much the software expedites their day-to-day tasks. A favourite feature in the field is Simpro’s mobile app, particularly because it functions perfectly in low-service areas. This coverage means no matter how remote a site is; the field team can easily let the office know what they’re doing and where they’re off to next. The office team also enjoys countless small efficiencies enabled by Simpro, many of which help lift the administrative burden of repetitive tasks like invoicing and scheduling jobs. With the time they save on these tasks, Debbie and Georgina have been able to focus on creating new opportunities for recurring work. Simpro’s recurring invoices have been instrumental in this strategy, letting the business offer ‘Care Plans’ underpinned by monthly payments for servicing coverage. Recurring payments were once a headache, but now the team saves ten hours a month managing their care plans and can put that time to better use elsewhere. Overall, Simpro has been a huge success for John William Heating Services, but like any successful trades business, they’re still building toward a better future.

The Next Stage Of Simpro For John And Debbie: Integrate And Continue To Thrive

The John Williams Heating Services team has steadily mastered the software’s core functionality, carefully integrating each component into business operations for maximum effect. However, John and Debbie still have a lot they want to leverage from Simpro, namely big pieces of infrastructure that will further refine and streamline their day-to-day operations. They’re in the process of implementing digital stock control and plan to leave behind their outdated and clunky stock spreadsheet forever when the summer months arrive. They’re also working on an integration with a catalogue supplier, which will ease the burden of procurement and give the office team even more time to focus on the tasks that matter for growing the business. And the results speak for themselves. Debbie gleefully shares that “payments are now five times faster, and we can get paid in under five minutes.” That’s an incredible turnaround time, and it only further strengthens the business’s position as time goes on. Now the future can be whatever John and Debbie want it to be, and Simpro will be right there alongside them to support their vision throughout.

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