November 2016 Pro of the Month: Jon Romano

Posted by Spartan Tool on Nov 29, 2016

Spartan Tool takes pride in the many businesses with whom we’ve had the pleasure of working since we opened our doors in 1943. We are honored to support plumbers and drain cleaners with our finely-crafted, professional grade equipment.

Join us every month as we highlight customers who have become part of our Spartan Tool family in our Pro of the Month Series.

“Since 1991, J & S Plumbing has been providing quality plumbing services with genuine integrity.” That is one of the first sentences you will read on the J & S Plumbing website and the owners, Jon Romano and Sean McGrath, have built their business on that philosophy.

J & S Plumbing Technician Using a Spartan Tool Drain Cleaner

J & S Plumbing Van

Twenty-five years ago, Jon was working on a finance degree and living in an apartment building. Sean, who lived in the same building, was training in the plumbing and drain cleaning industry. Sean was not happy with the work quality and environment at his current position, so Jon and Sean decided to pool their talents and opened J & S Plumbing. As a plumber and a finance major, they seemed an ideal pair to start a business.

They started with one truck, going door to door and handing out fliers about their business. They promised potential customers that they would work harder than the next guy, and would do it at a lower cost because of their low overhead. Soon their reputation for quality work and customer service spread and their business began to take off. 25 years later they have about 50 employees who offer a wide range of plumbing services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Jon attributes the success of the company to 2 main ideas: offering customers high quality service at a fair price, and retaining an above-average group of talented employees.

J & S Plumbing offers 24-hour emergency service with no up-charges for evenings, weekends or holidays. That’s right – if a customer calls J & S at 11:30 on New Year’s Eve, an employee will come out to fix the problem, and the customer will be charged the same as if the job was done on a regular Tuesday afternoon. Customers call J & S in crisis mode, find out that they will get emergency service without being gouged, and J & S has just gained another loyal, long-term customer. That person will then tell others about the great service, and the outstanding reputation of J & S Plumbing continues to spread throughout the Chicagoland area. Additionally, employees are salaried, so the customer does not need to worry about someone trying to sell them unnecessary products or services in order to make a commission.

Jon doesn’t like the idea of charging customers for something they don’t need. That’s taking from hard working families; families just like those of his employees. That’s why J & S Plumbing’s employees aren’t paid hourly or on commission. Their plumbers won’t drag a job out in order to bill more hours, or install a new hot water heater when it isn’t needed. This philosophy has helped Jon & Sean build their business and they know the families of their employees are counting on them to keep the business growing.

Since employees of J & S Plumbing are salaried, they get paid whether the company is having an extraordinarily busy week, or an extraordinarily slow one. But employees don’t just sit around if there is a slow week, they are busy checking equipment, maintaining the trucks and trailers for the next week’s jobs, restocking parts and supplies, and all of the other work that goes into providing great service. J & S Plumbing has second shift plumbers, plumbers who cover Sundays, and everyone rotates Saturdays, so employees know they won’t get called in during their off hours. Additionally, employees are offered a solid benefits package, including a 401k program that the company matches from day 1. Jon and Sean encourage employees to participate in the matching program, explaining to new employees how it can help them in the future with their retirement, or even a college education for their kids. J & S Plumbing also celebrates an employee’s 5-year milestone with a Rolex watch. Some employees have been with the company for 15-20 years, which is quite impressive for a 25-year-old company.

J & S Plumbing likes to hire people who can do a wide range of jobs; they service industrial customers, new construction, remodel and build-outs, high-rise renovations, management companies, and down to as small as a homeowner’s toilet.

Jon said they have a large inventory of Spartan Tool equipment in their fleet, including many Model 1065’s with all the necessary accessories. He believes that the Model 100’s, 300’s and 1065’s are the best models available for closed drum machines; “nothing matches up” he says. We’re glad Jon, Sean, and the entire team at J & S Plumbing think so highly of our products. Tough, hard-working people like them are the reason we only make professional grade sewer and drain cleaning equipment.

Please join us in congratulating Jon, Sean and their team on 25 years in business, and we look forward to providing their equipment for many years to come as they train the next generation of outstanding plumbers!

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