Education seminars at the WWETT Show and the Pumper & Cleaner Profit Series are this pumper’s secret to success.

Every year, John Divincenzo relies on a secret weapon that stokes his enthusiasm for the industry, rewards employees, improves operations and introduces the latest and greatest in equipment: the Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show.

“The show is my salvation – I love going,” says the owner of Stewart’s Septic Services in Bradford, Massachusetts. “I don’t get many days off, so when I get down there it’s so great to relax and talk to people. … We’ve developed very strong relationships with other pumpers and meet them for dinner.

“It’s also great to see all the new products,” he continues. “Every year we bring something new home with us, whether it’s just a small jetting nozzle or a whole jetting unit.”

Related: Blog: Day 2 at the Pumper & Cleaner Expo: NAWT winners named

Divincenzo typically rewards several deserving employees by taking them with him to the WWETT Show. He says it’s invaluable for those employees to meet fellow pumpers, talk to vendors and see new products that can help improve efficiency and productivity. “It’s a great way to thank them for what they do for us,” he says. “We pay them for their time there and cover all their expenses. Everyone I’ve brought to the show talks about it all the time after we go back home. It really recharges their batteries.”

The veteran operator also benefits from the Pumper & Cleaner Profit Series. Divincenzo’s daughter, Angela, the company’s dispatcher, and Ashley Cronin, assistant to Jane Divincenzo, attended a three-day Profit Series in Florida in March 2015 and returned home with several ideas to improve operations.

One topic covered was the value of company uniforms. Stewart’s drivers have uniforms, but they had stopped wearing them consistently. So the company started enforcing its uniform policy more stringently, Angela Divincenzo says. Uniforms make drivers look more professional; that, in turn, can lead to repeat business, as well as allow pumpers to better justify their rates because professionalism creates a higher perceived value. “It helps if someone pulls up at a home and looks clean and is driving a clean truck,” she notes. “And the uniforms also help with repeat business because new customers see the company’s name on more than just the truck.”

Related: Expo: A Day to Learn

The women picked up valuable pointers about what to look for in a software program that could help the company more efficiently computerize its operations. “The seminars were very useful,” she says. “They helped me to realize there are many simple things we can change to make our company operate better.”

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