John Todd Septic Company, An Interview With President, Jack Todd

John Todd Septic Company has been around since 1945. As a family-owned company with a long rich history, you can see how the tradition of plain ol’ hard work and treating their employees like family has carried them through for many years. Now run by John’s son, Jack Todd, who is the president of Todd Companies Inc, this company is going to flourish and continue its success for many years to come in the Colorado area.

Can you tell us a little bit about your personal background and how you got into the septic business?
My dad, John Todd, started the business in 1945. When asked by a neighbor to help them install a septic system, my dad had to borrow a library card and check out books to learn how to hand dig and install a system!
I literally grew up around the business, so I have over 50 years of experience in the industry. As far as education goes, I have certifications for CPOW, NAWT and NOWRA in pumping, inspections, soil testing, design, engineering, and installations.

What is your business model? How is your company structured in terms of services, equipment, and employee base?
Our business model is continually evolving according to the industry needs. With the increase in the housing market, we are focusing more on septic inspections for home sales, and installations for new builds.

How did you decide on what types of trucks and equipment to invest in?
Our equipment purchases have changed according to our specific needs and the fluctuations in the business. Linkbelt has a fantastic excavator that is suited for installing larger systems. The dealer is also located directly across the street from our service yard! Bobcat not only has a great product for small to mid-size installations, but they have been great at helping us finance our equipment purchases. We are excited to say that most of the trucks and equipment we own are paid off!

What are the different services you offer?
Septic pumping and maintenance, inspections, diagnostic and repairs, soil testing, engineer and design, and septic installation.

Which service do you do most often?
Currently, we are doing about 40% pumping and maintenance and 60% installation.

What are some of the distinguishing features and services of your company that are unique to you which allow you to be successful?
Our legacy and our knowledge in the industry are our unique, distinguishing features. We are a third-generation company, and with the current employees, we have over 100 years of combined experience and knowledge in the industry, just with our current employees.

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?
From the office staff to field crews to our engineering and installation department, we strive to give our customers the best service, knowledge and technology available in the industry. We are constantly learning and educating our customers along the way!

What is your target growth percentage, and what are your challenges along the way?
Our target growth fluctuates with the housing industry. Our biggest challenge along the way has been inheriting older equipment that needed to be replaced.

Who works at the company, and how many people are employed?
We currently have about 15 employees; 3 office staff, 3 pumper techs, 2 in estimating, design and permitting, 2 in diagnostic, inspection and small repairs, and 5 install techs. We are a third-generation company, so the majority of our employees are family or extended family members, but ALL employees are treated like family.

How do you boost efficiency in your jobs and your workers and, similarly, boost morale with your employees?
We recently went paperless to increase efficiency in scheduling and customer service. Our goal is to help our employees be successful, both on the job (through training), and in their personal lives, by creating opportunities for personal growth. We try to boost our employee morale by creating a positive work culture through promoting an environment of trust, and by empowering our employees. We constantly are asking “what can we do better?” Plus we encourage all of our employees to share their opinions and ideas. As a company, we work hard, but we also play hard through quarterly company outings and family events!
How do you handle training your work crews?
We are working to create an onboarding process, which includes online training, (industry specific, safety training, as well as management and team building, when applicable), We also have in-field training with supervisors. Weekly huddles, monthly and quarterly employee meetings, all help to improve communication.

Tell us about the different trucks and other equipment we would see if we looked in your parking lot?
We currently have 3 pump trucks (a 1999 Kenworth T300 w/ a 2500 gallon tank, a 2007 Kenworth W900 quad-axle w/ a 4650 gallon tank, and a 2013 Kenworth T800 tri-axle w/ a 3350 gallon tank.) Two excavators include a Linkbelt 145×3, and a Bobcat E55. Our rubber track loader is a Bobcat T770. Other equipment includes a tandem dump truck (1992 Kenworth T800), 4 four-wheel drive pickup trucks, and 4 equipment trailers.
How many clients would you say you serviced or pumped per month? Who are some of your bigger clients?
We service an average of 150 septic and grease customer per month. These are mainly residential systems, however, registering with the Government’s System for Award Management, SAMS, has allowed us to work for Federal Customers which are regular quarterly jobs. We also do any needed repairs for our customers. For major repairs, including tank replacements and new installs, we average 8-10 jobs per month. Small repairs and inspections average about 75-100 per month.

What are the most challenging aspects of your business and industry?
The fluctuations in the housing industry create a significant swing in business growth in specific departments. Thankfully the septic industry, in general, is a needed commodity, so we always have a client base regardless of the current economy.

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