Premium Service Brands added the 17-unit Andy On-Call to its stable of home service chains in March. That follows its acquisition in January of Rooter-Man, by far its largest purchase to date with 727 units and the second already this year.
CEO Paul Flick now has 11 brands under the umbrella and crossed the 1,000-unit mark last month. Susquehanna Private Capital and Kyle Squillario get part of the credit, Flick said when reached Tuesday.
"March 16, tomorrow, was one year that I sold 20 percent of the company" to the Philadelphia firm, which also recently invested in Mosquito Authority and College HUNKS Hauling Junk, among others.
"I always said no to private equity for years, and then I met with Kyle, the head of their division for franchising. Throughout the process he showed integrity," Flick said, calling the firm "amazing."
"You hear private equity comes in and they take over and it's all about the bottom dollar. That's always very important, to be profitable, but they are really fantastic. They've been a huge supporter and they've helped" with a number of growth moves.
Flick lists some of those: Two acquisitions last year, of House Doctor and Grout Medic. A line of credit from a bank, the franchisor's first. Capital investment in HomeOne, a new portal for customers intended to generate leads for all brands under the roof.
Rooter-Man's acquisition gave the portal its biggest boost yet. "It was a big brand that we acquired, lots of customers, and it goes in part with our vision which is HomeOne. It's our way of being a lead portal for our franchise partners."
The customer that contacts a painting company is the same customer that contacts a house cleaning service is the same customer that wants a garage door lift, and so on. The portal will share leads in markets with multiple PSB chains.
Premium Service Brands also added Google AI to its in-house call center, which "allows us to better service the customer. Some of the questions can be answered by the artificial intelligence; they route quicker based on the customer's needs. It's incredible what AI allows us to do."
The most popular use is to procure an estimate without talking to a person. "Nobody wants to talk to anybody," Flick said.
One final addition to the team is Chief Marketing Officer Mark Montini, a new C-level position there. "He was with Tropical Smoothie Café. He was with Floor Coverings International as their chief marketing officer. He's made a big difference," Flick said.