Controlling Your Own Destiny

Robert Negrete seized control of his destiny in October 1987. Negrete had been working for a septic pumper company in Austin, Texas as a driver when he realized that this was something that he could do for himself and his family.

“My entrepreneurial spirit kicked in,” says Negrete. “My goal was to start a quality company that customers could count on. I wanted to form a dependable, reliable and honest company that customers would refer their friends and family to.”

It must be working because just last year, All Cen Tex Septic Pumping won the super service award from Angie’s List. “I’m especially proud of it because it’s recognition by our customers.”

All Cen Tex provides pump repairs and pumping services for septic, grease trap, grit trap, car wash, lift station, and all types of non-hazardous vacuum pumping for residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. “Our motto is—have dollar, will travel,” says Negrete, when describing his service area. “We service the whole Central Texas region.”

They stick to things that they can dispose of in town, which does not include hazardous waste. “We use state authorized disposal sites and try to use the best options for our environment,” says Negrete. “The sewage that gets transferred goes to places that recycle it for Dillo Dirt. The stuff from the grease traps gets hauled to a recycle facility where they integrate it with mulch, and the industrial waste goes to a landfill where it is solidified before it is disposed. It’s less waste going into landfill and beneficial to our environment. Anything that can be recycled is a good thing.”

Negrete explains his business philosophy as being, “First in service, second to none. If someone has an issue, we call them back. If it is a warranty issue, then they get moved to the top of the list, not sent to the bottom or ignored. Previous customers definitely get priority because we value their repeat business. We work them in.”

He says that being first in service is something that has to be integrated throughout the company. “It starts with people answering the phones, Wanda and Valerie have been with us for 15 years, and we’ve just hired Liza. We try to have our staff and the ladies who answer our after-hour phones be as informative as possible.”

All Cen Tex technicians, Jason and Josef, have been with the company for 10 years and are trained and educated so that they can troubleshoot and even educate a customer about their system.

“If there is a situation that we can’t take care of, then I refer the customer to someone who is competent,” says Negrete. “When we refer a company, I want to make sure that I still have a customer when they are finished.”

“Customers like having consistency in service,” says Negrete. “They like it when they call us two or three years later the same guys show up. Occasionally, when I go out they even say, ‘Hey, the last time I saw you, you had hair.’”

All Cen Tex trains the guys to look for hazards like sprinkler systems or sprinkler boxes and tries to stay on top of any other hazards that might be lurking like cable lines, or fiber optic lines.

Negrete says they have learned where their strengths are through trial and error when they’ve tried septic installation. “We learned that sometimes you can take on too much and that other aspects of your business can suffer,” says Negrete. “We want to focus on being the best at service repair and pumping. We really like where we are.”

Where they are has lead them to be called out to pump a man’s septic tank because his gold Rolex was flushed down the toilet. While they were there, the customer found the watch in his desk drawer.

Negrete also had a guy stop him in Westlake, a very nice part of town, and say, “Man, I don’t know much about trucks, but that is a nice truck.” The man was referring to one of their 2007 Mack trucks that is decked out with the most up-to-date equipment. “Our guys are driving Cadillacs,” says Negrete. “They are beautiful aluminum Presvac tanks. We get some of our best advertising when people see our trucks in traffic on 183.”

The trucks are equipped with Tom-Tom GPS, backup cameras, dash-mount cameras, Fruitland pumps and Kandi Flex vacuum hoses. Negrete liked the reputation that Mack trucks have and how durable they are. “That reputation lead me to them in 1995 and we’ve been with them ever since.”

He sees one of the biggest challenges continues to be companies that pop up and don’t charge enough for their services to do a good job and stay in business. “They might have low prices, but do they carry insurance, or have the right equipment for the job?” asks Negrete. “Where is that company going to be in two years when you need them?”

Not only did Negrete seize control of his destiny, but also brought top-notch service to the pumping industry in Central Texas.

For more information on All Cen Tex Septic Pumping,
log on to http://allcentexsepticaustin.com/, or call 512-258-4000.

For more information on Mack:
http://www.macktrucks.com/

For more information on Fruitland pumps:
http://www.fruitland-mfg.com/

For more information on Presvac:
http://www.presvacsales.com/

Story by Jennifer Taylor

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