Tony Dunaway became all too familiar with the corporate culture of late nights, short weekends, and time away from family. Tony worked as a general manager for a large national plumbing company. His main job was to travel the country and help the company’s smaller branches become more profitable. Tired of the trip, Tony and his wife Paula decided to go on their own journey to build their own business and create their own corporate culture where core principles like ‘teamwork’ and ‘family’ could actually play through The business is lived, not just used as general topics of conversation in a boardroom. Darren Garrett.
In 2012, Tony and Paula began looking for a local family installation company that they could join and eventually acquire. With Tony’s experience in the plumbing industry and Paula’s history in retail and his passion for customer service, they were confident of building a family business. Fortunately, they didn’t have to look very far. Tony’s father, Ernie Dunaway, had run a very successful but very small plumbing business himself for over thirty years. “At the time, BEST Plumbing was a truck in his garage and his office was his kitchen table.” Said Tony. “So we set up a website, took the call, hired people, and really focused on growing the business.” The rapid growth the company saw shortly after Tony and Paula joined wasn’t due to an expensive marketing campaign, but rather to good, old-fashioned customer service. “It’s all about recommendations. It’s all about word of mouth. Paula said, “It’s the consistently great customer service and installation. They go hand in hand. It’s a great product and service that we consistently offer to our customers. “Tony added,” We try every day to break the preconceived notions of what a plumbing appointment should be. ”
Today BEST Plumbing in Loveland is one of the most famous plumbing companies in the Tristate area. With 18 employees, customer service is a way of life. When BEST Plumbing sends a plumber to your home, you can be sure that the plumber is licensed. Unlike large companies, Best Plumbing doesn’t pay their employees any commission. “We’re not here to sell you a product.” Paula said, “We’re here to fix your plumbing.”
The aspect of teamwork that Tony missed so much in his previous job runs through the blood of every BEST Plumbing employee. Just being a licensed plumber is not enough to get hired. Good customer service skills are also required. “We can’t hire anyone. We want to make sure we hire the best people. Before we hire someone, I think to myself, “Would I be comfortable sending them to my grandmother’s house?” This is the big test for me, ”said Tony.
It’s not uncommon for a team member to do a job in Goshen at 2:00 am and immediately call his teammate in Milford to help him complete his job. BEST employees are known to be extremely helpful and willing to go the extra mile because it really is a great place to work. “Many companies value the quality of life. But we really do. “Paula said,” Our weekends are free. We are flexible in our schedule because we are a family. ”
BEST Plumbing’s toughest test to date began in March of last year when Covid began to take effect. “We were scared. Our boys were scared.” Tony said, “And we went into people’s homes so our risk of exposure was pretty high.” Fortunately, months before Covid, Tony and Paula invested in web-based software to keep the plumber on Record video and communicate with the customer while he was in the other room, essentially turning a plumbing fix into a zoom meeting. “We were contactless before Covid.” Tony said. “We brought this to our customers’ attention. It so it wasn’t a big deal for our husband to be in the bathroom while the customer was downstairs. “Paula added. This change in her operation was just one more way that Best Plumbing exemplified what is most important to her: to take care of their customers and employees.
“I’ve worked in the corporate world long enough to know what I didn’t want out of this business, more than what I wanted.” Said Tony. “We actually live it. And we bring this family feeling into our customers’ homes. “Paula added
Family, teamwork and customer service. Lots of people talk about it, few actually live it. BEST Plumbing highlights what a company can achieve when it really cares about its customers and employees.
Garrett lives in Milford.