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Brian Murphy Podcast

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Brian Murphy

General Manager at Audubon Plumbing Supply

Brian Murphy  is General Manager at Audubon Plumbing Supply.

Audubon Supply is a fourth generation family-owned company established in 1913. Audubon’s three locations services heating and air conditioning and plumbing contractors in the Southern New Jersey area. Audubon also operates two full sheet metal shops.

Brian was recently featured in IMARK Now plumbing magazine.

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Brian Murphy Podcast Transcript

Anne Coyle:

Okay, great. We’re here with Moblico and Brian Murphy of Audubon Supply to discuss a little bit of the work that they are doing with Moblico. So, Brian, can you tell me a little bit about Audubon Supply and what you do there?

Brian Murphy:

Yeah, so Audubon Supply is a fourth generation family-owned company. We’ve been in business since 1913. We service pretty much all of our heating and air conditioning and plumbing contractors in the Southern New Jersey area. We have three locations all located in Southern New Jersey. We have two full sheet metal shops. We just try to provide the best service and products for our customers.

Anne Coyle:

That’s great. So do you have a typical customer or what are the range of services that you provide?

Brian Murphy:

I mean, we deal with the day-to-day contractor, the HVAC and plumbing contractor. We also do sell retail, so we are open to the public. Anything we’re able to help a customer with, we supply, faucets. We don’t have showrooms. We do have two full sheet metal shops where we make custom fabricated ductwork. We do radiant in-floor heating. Pretty much a full range of HVAC and plumbing products.

Anne Coyle:

So I think the next question is when you think about plumbing and your industry and HVAC, that you don’t necessarily think about mobile technology, so would you take us through a little bit about what brought you into looking at mobile for your business?

Brian Murphy:

Well, for years, we were trying to get through to different customer base and get people to see specials. And we tried the email marketing and we found that just more often than not emails weren’t getting opened, they’re overlooked. So when we met Pierre and his wife, Kelly, in San Diego this year at the IMARK Conference, we were very interested to see what they had to offer.

Brian Murphy:

And after getting into it, it just seemed that as everything that we’ve been going through over the last eight months in this country, it’s just easier to get in touch with people through a texting format to be able to send out special. Everybody has their phone, everybody’s constantly on it, so getting a text and sending it out with being able to send a special or just an update for the day or our business hours or closings, it seemed to be better way to get ahold of people and actually had them read the content we’re trying to get out to them.

Anne Coyle:

So it sounds like with Moblico it was something that you were looking to do to move away from what had been email promotions and marketing. And I just have to ask, did you look at other solution providers or where you set on Moblico when you met them at the IMARK Conference?

Brian Murphy:

Actually, no, we did not look into any other companies. We were very happy with the way Pierre and Kelly presented their product, and very nice people, and it just seemed like a good fit. We just hit it off from the beginning. It was just pretty straightforward, they were very open and honest. And it just integrated with what we were looking to do, so we want to work with people that are just like us, down-to-earth and willing to provide a product that will help other people.

Anne Coyle:

That’s great. Would you be able to take us a bit through how this was set up or how some of the technology attributes of it?

Brian Murphy:

Pretty much, we’re just doing the basic texting format right now for all three of our locations. Once we signed on with Moblico, we went through a training for each one of the counter guys and sales guys at each one of the locations. And pretty much everything’s just handled directly through a software or an internet-based site, where our main phone number, any of our customers can text to it. And then we have guys that are designated to respond at each location. It was a good, pretty quick and simple, easy training setup, I think the guys went through a training of about maybe 30 minutes originally, and then it’s pretty easy to use. The platform, it’s very straightforward, so the guys picked up on it pretty quickly. It was very easy to navigate, so all the guys are really happy with it.

Anne Coyle:

Have you heard anything from the customers about it?

Brian Murphy:

That’s a positive thing, because we’ve never offered this. And a lot of the times where our counter guys, they were giving out their personal cell phone number and getting texts with pictures and different things that guys are trying to explain that a picture says a thousand words. So with this platform, we’re able to, one, I can see all three locations in the pictures and the texts that come in, and then see which one of our guys are taking care of it. One, to make sure that it’s being taken care of and, two, it saves all of that if we ever have to go back and find something or to be able to help a customer out if they call couple weeks down the line, they’re like, “Hey, we sent you this picture. Can we get that on order now?”

Brian Murphy:

Yeah, we’ve gotten great feedback. Our customers really like that interaction to be able to send us stuff. It cuts the time down, the labor down, trying to figure out what things… It really does save in labor and time.

Anne Coyle:

Now, you talked a bit about the customers contacting you, but do you… Also, I’m assuming do scheduled announcements and things. Do you do an almost an editorial calendar with that or do you do promotions, or I guess that what I’m trying to say is, also, has there been any change with COVID and things in the frequency of your communication?

Brian Murphy:

As far as communication goes, we try to send out a promo every Monday, the promotion for the week. It depends on seasons change, so the products change. So we like to get out a promo every Monday. It’s normally geared towards both, we send it out to both our plumbing and HVAC customers. Sometimes we will separate it and send out a heating promo to our heating guys or an AC promo to our AC guys. But yeah, I mean, pretty much everything we base it off of is a promo once a week. And then if store hours with Thanksgiving that came, what days we were going to be open, with Christmas coming up and the new year. So it’s just a way to get out the information. Yeah, we take it as it comes each week, and then we try to figure out based on what products we have coming in, new products, and then just get out the information just based off of that.

Anne Coyle:

We always ask about ROI, and I know it can be tough, especially in the starting points of a project to really see, but have you seen any kind of increase or better pulse on the customers increase in sales? Anything that might be interesting?

Brian Murphy:

I have seen an increase in sales, the exact dollar and cent value I don’t know. I really look at it more as a communication increase, and I think that having that communication with our customers is the value in it. Being able to streamline and access directly to us through a text, it just seems that it’s brought in maybe more business where we wouldn’t have received it in the past.

Anne Coyle:

And then, what do you plan for the future, 2021, is it more of the same or will you be expanding out?

Brian Murphy:

Well as of right now, I think because of the uncertainty and what’s going on across the country, we’re not planning to increase anything currently, but I always keep that option open. I mean, Moblico has a lot of other platforms that are very enticing to do, and I hope that we can get to that point in 2021. So just taking it day by day and month by month and seeing where we’re at.

Anne Coyle:

Okay. So, wow. Brian, this was wonderful. We went through everything very, very quickly. Is there anything else that you feel that we didn’t cover that we should know?

Brian Murphy:

No. I mean, I highly recommend Moblico. What they offer is very good for any wholesale company, any company that really wants to reach out to their customer base and have direct contact with them. In this day and age, people, it’s just easy for them to text, and it’s very easy for them to communicate through it in a simpler format. Yeah, I highly recommend Moblico, and look forward to continuing business with them for the next year.

Anne Coyle:

Oh, that’s great. We love to hear that.

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