Roy Vandervoort (Dutch) purchased and began operating the Jet Drain and Sewer Service franchise in 1969. For the next 7 years the company operated one van and performed drain services only. After being discharged from the Navy Seabees in 1976, Alan Thomas joined his step father Dutch and purchased a second van. In 1977, Alan’s wife Nanci began doing the bookkeeping part-time. A third van was purchased and Jim Walker, Nanci’s brother, started working part-time while attending the University of Nevada-Reno.
In 1983 Jim earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and accepted a position with Amoco Production Company in Riverton, Wyoming. During Jim’s stint with Amoco he relocated to Chicago for a few years where he attended the University of Chicago and earned his MBA. That same year Dutch decided to slow down a bit and sold the company to Alan and a partner.
In 1984 after 10 years in the banking industry Nanci began doing the books full time. The following year the Thomas’ were able to buy out their partner and become sole owners of the business. Alan obtained a plumbing contractor’s license in 1985 and by 1986 the company operated four service vans as well as a septic truck.
By the time Jim Walker rejoined the Jet in 1990 the company was growing and expanding rapidly. In 1991 Jet added heating and air conditioning to the list of services. Over the next 9 years Jet continued to grow to over 16 service vehicles and in 2000 expanded to the Las Vegas market where a satellite office was opened. Late in ’04 Alan took over the Las Vegas operation while Jim retained ownership of the Northern Nevada operation.
Today Jet employs over 50 office and field personnel from their headquarters in Sparks and performs 14,000+ service calls per year.
Jet Plumbing, Heating and Drain Services operates out of a company owned 5,000+ sq. ft. building at 1553 Hymer Avenue in Sparks. Our 50+ exceptional field and office employees continue to provide superior plumbing, HVAC and underground utility service that keep Jet Plumbing, Heating & Drain Services at the forefront of the industry.
Company managers, office personnel and field technicians satisfy service call requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Traditionally, Jet is only closed one night per year for the company Christmas Party.
Hourly Rate -vs- Flat Rate Pricing
Today many outside service companies have incorporated Flat Rate Pricing schedules. Flat rate is a price a customer pays for a specific service based on the amount of time deemed necessary to perform the service, which remains constant regardless of the actual time a particular worker needed to complete the service. Flat rate manuals are used throughout the service industry and are based on timed studies of the time it takes to perform a specific job. Flat rate helps provide a uniform pricing menu for service work and helps establish the worth of the performance of a particular job.
The same flat rate for a particular job is paid, whether it takes the worker more time or less time to do the job than the time shown for that job in the flat rate manual. Because of this, the customer does not have to pay more to a worker who takes longer to do a job than the flat rate time. Proportionally, if the job takes less time, the customer does not pay less.
This type of pricing has been used in automobile mechanic shops for decades and works very well because the tasks are repetitive. For example, the steps are well documented for replacing a radiator on a specific year automobile with specific options. However, when applied to a job that has or could have many variables or unforeseen hurdles, flat rate pricing becomes subject to criticism due to it’s inability to be competitive with an actual estimate for that specific job ie; replacing a kitchen sink or water heater
Keep In Mind – In many cases companies that use flat rate pricing have developed their own pricing scale based on little more then guess work. Or, in other cases what they call flat rate pricing is just allowing their service technicians to dictate pricing or perform estimates on their own with no written company standard for the work. And more often then not the service tech receives a percentage of the work that he sells which may influence the price quoted.
Jet Plumbing Has A Unique Approach
Unlike many of of our competitors we do not train every Jet Plumbing employee to perform all of the services we provide. Jet Plumbing divides it’s company into four specific departments in order to provide our customers with the specially trained service personnel for your unique situation.
JET Plumbing, Heating & Drain Services has remained an hourly rate company both in invoice billing as well as payroll. However, that is not to say we do not offer bid or estimate work because we certainly do. Performing bid work and offering written proposals is a very important way to do business when dealing with larger jobs. This process protects the customer and company equally by making sure both parties know what to expect from the other. And in order to make sure this happens properly all bids or estimates are run through and approved in advance by a department manager or owner.
Although there are reputable companies using true flat rate schedules, Jet Plumbing feels that we can offer better service and value to our customers by remaining an hourly service company that cheerfully offers estimates based on an individual job basis.