When you’re the ‘small guy’ you can think differently. Everyone knows the words ‘disruptor’ and ‘innovator’. Building an independent technician network in the heavy equipment space is pretty innovative, but it’s not crazy. What’s crazy is opening up our service marketplace for construction companies to farm out their own technicians to other contractors!
Let’s work through an example of two utility contractors, Smith Contracting and Johnson Utilities. Smith Contracting employs 4 of their own technicians and Johnson Utilities relies solely on dealers for service. For this exercise, Smith Contracting pays their mechanics $25 per hour in wages. It sounded like a good idea to hire some mechanics, so they didn’t always have to wait on the dealer. But they never seem to be in the right place at the right time, and every time the owner walks through the shop he sees one of them sweeping the floor. Put simply, there’s a ton of idle time. On a whim, Smith Contracting lists their techs on the Heave app since they don’t have anything to work on internally at the moment. Johnson Utilities calls their local dealer and is told that it’s 2 weeks wait time for the next technician. Johnson Utilities opens the Heave app, enters their details, and they see that Smith Contracting has a mechanic available immediately at $125 per hour.
Smith Contracting benefits by recouping their internal costs for an idle employee, Johnson Utilities reduces their downtime by getting a technician much sooner than the dealer can provide, AND they save money versus the dealer field rate of $160 per hour. It’s a Win-Win for everyone. I’d even argue that it’s a win for the dealer since its one less job that is added to their growing backlog.
We agree that there is a technician shortage. But we’re driven by the fact that all the discussion is focused on what can be done long term (i.e. promoting more people to choose these careers as opposed to traditional college). The only answer cannot be, ‘hopefully these 6th graders decide to pursue a blue-collar profession instead of going to college’. Our common sense short term solution is to best utilize all current technicians. Every dealer technician, independent technician, and contractor employed technician should be repairing a machine today. Right now. Every technician that is sweeping the floor is a waste of valuable resources. With the Heave service app, our goal is to unlock new supply of mechanics for the entire market, reducing machine downtime and best utilizing all available technicians. The fact that we can save contractors money is an added bonus. But the fact that we can help contractors actually make money with their own technicians, THAT’S CRAZY!