By: Jonathan Simon on May 8th, 2018
Growing Plumbing Business Depends on FlowGuard Gold for Competitive Advantage During Expansion
Since their founding in 2000, the Powerhouse Plumbing team has worked on thousands of single family homes and condos across New England. Powerhouse’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, as they foresee expansion to 500 units per year on the horizon.
As they’ve grown in experience and expertise, Powerhouse Plumbing has shifted away from both copper and PEX, and now trusts FlowGuard Gold for all of their projects. Owner Mike Burke relies on FlowGuard Gold CPVC not just as a dependable solution for their customers, but as a key competitive advantage in the market.
The Cost-Effective Switch
When Powerhouse was founded, their plumbers relied entirely on copper piping. However, the skyrocketing costs of copper caused Burke to question whether there was a more economical option for his business.
The economic downturn in 2008 was a tipping point for Burke, who began looking for simpler and more cost-effective options. “We started to use PEX when the economy went down. After doing more research on cost and efficiency though, I became more interested in switching to FlowGuard Gold,” Burke said. “The PEX piping was more time-consuming to install and the fittings were more expensive.”
Powerhouse Plumbing made the switch to FlowGuard Gold in 2012 and found the easier installation process reduced labor costs. In fact, their savings from switching from PEX to FlowGuard Gold was even greater than the savings from their shift from copper to PEX.
The savings Powerhouse Plumbing realized went far beyond the job costs of material and labor though, as FlowGuard Gold CPVC had working capital benefits for the company as well. “The inventory provides a cost savings compared to keeping PEX materials like multiple fittings and rings in stock. I’d rather have money in the bank account than on the shelf,” Burke explained.
Upholding Reputation of Professionalism
Powerhouse Plumbing takes pride in delivering clean, professional installations for clients with FlowGuard Gold CPVC piping. A major frustration Burke had with the flexible PEX piping was its sloppy, unpredictable appearance that weakened their reputation of professionalism.
“When the temperature difference hits the PEX piping, it looks like spaghetti noodles. FlowGuard Gold piping stays nice and straight and looks neater,” said Burke.
For Burke, the polished look of FlowGuard Gold’s piping demonstrates their commitment to professionalism to their clients. In contrast, “PEX needs more hangers to keep the pipe positioned correctly, and we have to make more holes to keep the PEX piping in place,” Burke explained. “To a client, this looks sloppy and compromises trust that we are providing high-quality service.”
Powerhouse’s reputation for polished plumbing systems has caught the attention of other plumbing professionals in the region as well. “Competitors are going into the subdivisions we’ve worked on and see how good the FlowGuard Gold CPVC piping looks. They try it out after they see it and some even switch over,” Burke stated.
Emphasis on Expertise and Support
Mike Burke knows that growing his business depends as much on the expertise of his team as it does the quality of the products they use. That’s why all Powerhouse plumbers undergo hands-on training and rely on the FlowGuard Gold team for support.
To ensure quality labor, Burke requires even licensed plumbers to pair up with his experienced crews for their first few months with the company. This apprenticeship period helps familiarize new plumbers with the company’s standard practices and the FlowGuard Gold installation process. “When we bring on new plumbers, they are usually more comfortable installing PEX piping and comment about switching,” Burke explained. “Once they see how easy FlowGuard Gold is to put in, they actually prefer the solvent cement process over the clamping used on PEX piping.”
As Powerhouse Plumbing continues to grow and expand their team, Burke depends on FlowGuard Gold consultants to provide in-person training and support. “Like anyone, we sometimes have problems when guys make a mistake on the job. We just email, call or text our FlowGuard Gold consultant and he takes the time to identify the problem and provide a solution immediately,” Burke shared.
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