Franchisee Friday - Rainbow International

John Gurtler

Our #FranchiseeFriday this week is John Gurtler, owner of Rainbow International, a Neighborly company! John's franchise is located in Chicago, and he makes it a company goal to give back to the local community. Check out our Q&A with John:

Q: How does your franchise participate in community outreach efforts and give back to the local community?

A: A few times a year our company makes it a point to offer donations to local businesses within the community we serve. Some examples of places that we have offered donations to are woman’s shelters, food pantries, animal shelters, and children’s organizations.

Recently, we serviced a water loss from burst pipes at a summer camp for people with disabilities. This wonderful organization had the money to meet their insurance deductible, yet their deductible was in the thousands. The money that they had to pay toward their deductible had taken away funds that camp desperately needs to keep the camp running. The cold snap that hit Chicago caused a lot of damage to many homes and businesses including Shady Oaks Summer Camp. They had numerous broken pipes that burst causing extensive water damage, the plumbing lines needed to be repaired, some of the building materials needed to be removed, and the building needed to be dried out and some reconstruction needed to take place.

We asked the facility manager if he would like us to attempt to find someone to cover their story in hopes that his community would reach out for support. The camp was open to the publicity, so we asked ABC news to come out and cover their story, and since the piece ran, they have received over one thousand dollars in donations to assist with their out of pocket cost. Every little bit helps the camp so that they can continue to enrich the lives of their campers by offering the same recreational opportunities that their peers without disabilities enjoy in a summer camp setting.

We are currently in search of a non-profit organization that aligns with our values as we are looking to offer support to a great cause. There are so many wonderful organizations out there that it is challenging to narrow down the list.

Q: What steps does your franchise system and your locations personally take to promote diversity in the workplace?

A: When posting job openings, we offer descriptions that are tailored to reach broad audiences. Some may assume that our industry is geared only toward the male gender, however, we have established female technicians that also represent our company.

We communicate to our employees that they should feel comfortable to bring any concerns they have to management. It is extremely important to us that we promote a positive culture as well as a safe and diverse workplace. We take our employees concerns very seriously as we do not tolerate the mistreatment due to gender or ethnicity.

Q: What methods do you use to improve the franchisee-franchisor relationship?

A: Communication is the most important thing we have to ensure a positive relationship. Maintaining open lines of communication and being able to exchange ideas, systems and feedback helps each other succeed.

Q: How have you used technology at your franchise to increase efficiency in your operations, and what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve solved with a technological improvement?

A: After implementing a new Customer Relationship Management system, Next Gear, we now have one database to turn to for our jobs and to organize our general contacts. All of our job functions can be performed through this system.

We recently started using Luxor as a sales tracking platform. This system has taken out the guessing game of where our work comes from and who we should be focusing our sales efforts on. Implementing this has been a game changer that has solved a real issue for us and has been instrumental in helping us avoid wasting our time with certain prospects. An additional feature that we find valuable is we are able to build an array of reports to track things such as sales dollars, the types of jobs we are servicing, and where we are sending the most work, to name a few.

Because we service a high volume of contents restoration, we need to be up to speed with the latest technology out there. We have been using iCAT for a few years and it has increased our efficiency by allowing us to categorize images more easily, bar code boxes so we know what contents are in each box, and inventorying total loss items. Being able to provide a quick turn around on compiling a non-salvageable list helps insureds get paid their insurance proceeds quicker than other out dated methods.

To find out more about franchising with Rainbow International, click here.