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Business of the Year: Laney’s

October 2nd, 2017 by Amanda Hofland

You’ve probably seen their trucks around town – you know, the one with a Laney’s man waving at you from the back door of the vehicle. It’s just one of Laney’s unique forms of advertising that backs this special company.

Laney's storefront

Laney’s began as a typical new construction plumbing company in the ‘60s. A couple decades later, current co-owner Scott Nelson purchased the business, adding heating, cooling and in-home services to its offerings. He also helped implement a strategy shift for the business, introducing their now-famous 8 to 8 at the regular rate guarantee and a strengthened commitment to the public.

Kevin Wolf joined in 1993, starting by simply installing their computer systems, eventually becoming GM and then president. “Since then, we’ve experienced great growth and continue to look at other services to offer our customers,” he said. Some of these add-on services so far have included electrical services, duct cleaning, sewer & drain cleaning and restoration, water conditioning and softening, and more.

The company has engrained itself into the community by serving residents and businesses, providing quality jobs, and giving back to the community. Even during hard financial times, they’ve sacrificed profits for community service. But that approach has paid off in the end, as they’ve seen incredible growth in both revenue and employees in the past several years.

Laney's man workingOne key to their success is that they always look for ways to separate themselves. Initiatives such as guaranteed upfront pricing, lifetime guarantees, never an overtime charge, unique advertising, professionalism and care, have all helped establish their identity.

Wolf says it’s also extremely important to them to hire the right people – and not just a heartbeat. “While technical skills are always important in our industry, the person themselves is the most important criteria,” he said. “Polite, professional, eager to learn, willing to work and ethical – those are the people we want.”

Laney’s is dedicated to providing the best. In 1993, they joined a national group called Nexstar to offer training on best practices. They also cite their commitment to safety as a core value. Valuing their employees is further evidenced by a generous benefits package.

“Ethics is number one,” Wolf said. “Without this, no other values can exist. We want to treat our customers and employees with respect and fairness in everything we do.”

To make sure they follow through on their promises and customer service, Laney’s employs a rather basic strategy—they ask! Laney’s calls and surveys every customer to make sure that they are satisfied. They also monitor and respond to online reviews, happily reporting that they consistently maintain at least a 4 out of 5 rating.

Community involvement is high on the list of priorities for Laney’s leadership, and they support multiple organizations through special programs, sponsorships and hands-on volunteering. They also offer a program called Service from the Heart, a program that allows Laney’s to lend it expertise and services in HVAC, plumbing and electrical to select non-profits, helping to maintain their equipment as well as advising them in decisions that need to be made in these areas.

Looking forward, Wolf hopes to continue to be successful so that they can keep helping the community and provide for their employees. And as he and Nelson look ahead to retirement, he hopes future leadership keeps moving things forward.

Wolf calls Laney’s a ‘modest’ company and says the best award is being part of a great team. While that is certainly true, the company’s benchmark success makes them no doubt very deserving of another award – this year’s Business of the Year.

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