G&C Septic Tank Service, An Interview With Owner and COO, Shon Steele

G & C Septic Tank Service is a family owned and operated company located in Galt, California in Sacramento County. It’s a tight community of around 25,000 people. This particular septic company has been serving the area for over 40 years, so they are a vital part of this hard working town. They are also one of the few septic companies that have a terrific blog on their website to discuss various topics that concern the liquid waste industry. Check out this interview with owner and COO, Shon Steele who runs the business with his wife and CEO, Connie Steele. Their grown children are even involved in sales and marketing with Cory leading the way there and assisting around the office is Kelsey while she finishes up her Masters in pursuit of a Ph.D. It’s truly a family run operation with a lot of heart and intelligence.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal background and how you got into the septic business? Say a few words about your education and training.
My father started the business in 1965. I started working for him at a very young age. My wife and I have since bought the business in 2004 from him and continue to run it as a small family-owned and operated business.

What does your business model look like and how is your company set up in terms of services, equipment, and employee base?
We are a small business with four full-time employees and one part-time employee. We operate three pump trucks and focus solely on service work. Our lead technician is Ken Gray who has been with the company for over 18 years and actually takes care of most of the field operations day-to-day.
How did you decide on what types of trucks and equipment to invest in?
We have a 2016 and a 2018 Peterbilt truck. Both trucks have a 3600-gallon aluminum tank. We also have a 2008 Mack truck with a steel 3350-gallon tank. The two new Peterbilt trucks were purchased due to the California Air Resources Board regulations, so they are very new.

What are the different services you offer?
We pump residential and commercial septic tanks, perform real estate evaluations, and line cleaning.

Which service do you do most often?
Residential pumping.

What are some of the distinguishing features and services of your company that are unique to you which allow you to be successful?
We have been in the area for over 50 years and have serviced many of our customers for several years. We previously manufactured tanks and installed systems, so we have broad-based knowledge of the industry which helps troubleshoot issues our customers may have.

How did you arrive at creating this image or identity for your company, and how does this make your company stand out from your competition?
We have tried to provide quality service at a reasonable price. We make ourselves available to our customers after hours and on weekends.

What is your target growth percentage, and what are your challenges along the way?
We would like to grow 10 percent per year. The challenge has always been trying to educate the public that septic systems need to be serviced regularly.

Who works at the company, and how many people are employed? Describe a little bit about your office staff and crews.
We are a small family-owned business. My wife and I are the owners. We have one full-time driver, Ken Gray, who has been with us for 25 years and actually takes care of most of the field operations day-to-day. His assistant, Eri Ramirez, has been with us for three years and Danielle Rodriguez is a part-time secretary that has been with us for three years.

How do you boost efficiency in your jobs and your workers and boost morale for your employees?
We boost efficiency by keeping equipment up to date and maintained. Scheduling and routing is an important factor when trying to perform the work in the most efficient manner. We have an open door policy and should our employees ever need anything, we are here to listen and help. We feel that our employees are a part of our extended family.

How do you handle training your work crews?
I train any new employee and then they continue training with Ken. We are a small business and have very little employee turnover, which is a good thing.

Tell us about the different trucks and other equipment we would see if we looked in your parking lot?
2016 Peterbilt, 2018 Peterbilt, 2008 Mack Truck, 5500 gals. Tanker, a 1500 gals. Pup trailer, a service van, a mini excavator, and Backhoe.

How many clients do you think you pump out or service each month? Any larger clients in particular that you work with on a regular basis?
We average between 150 and 175 tanks per month. We service schools, trailer and RV parks, and local wineries, so it’s a bit of a mix on different clients.

What are some difficulties you face in your industry as far as running your business day to day?
It’s challenging finding employees who can work in this business. They must have a commercial license and it can be physically demanding. Disposal can be challenging at times.

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!