Crisafulli Bros. credits employees, customers and the community for contest wins

Crisafulli Bros. Plumbing and Heating has been a recipient of the Best Plumber award since 2007.

Andrea Crisafulli, president and owner of the company, talks about how the company has managed to keep pace with a changing industry leading to many wins.

Q: How does it feel to be a repeat winner?

Crisafulli: It’s amazing, especially for my team. They just get so much energy out of it. What I love the most is how they take it to heart and celebrate it like crazy. I’m super proud of them. It’s a nice assurance that we’re doing everything right.

Q: What is the secret to the success of your business?

It’s kind of like a three-pronged approach to winning. We care about employees, customers and the community.
We give back to the community through the (Crisafulli Cares program) and we really put our people first. Our office environment is definitely light. My goal has always been for this to be a place where people want to come and work. There’s cornhole, darts, pool, stuff for people to engage with each other and enjoy working out.

We train a lot. We really hire people who have mechanical leanings but at the same time have really good soft skills so they know how to treat our customers. Interpersonal skills… and relationships are important. It is certainly the basis of our company and our corporate culture.

Q: How have you handled competition over the years?

(We) play our own ball. I compare ourselves to ourselves all the time and I do better by who we are and what my standards are more than what my competitors are doing. We know what is right. We do what is right for our employees, our community and our customers. And that’s kind of how I measure our success, not so much by our competition.

Q: How have you seen the company evolve over the past 25 years?

The industry has not changed, our approach to the industry has changed.

Our approach when we visit your home is to look at your entire system. This approach has changed somewhat from where it used to be a troubleshooting environment. You would call and say your kitchen sink is not working and we would just come in, look at your kitchen sink and fix it. But now, time is people’s commodity.

We really walk in with our eyes wide open (and) assess the whole house and situation. Then we give recommendations on what we suggest to do. When the client accepts it, we carry out the work. We don’t charge you until you know what we’re going to do when you approve the work to be done.

Q: How has the demand for plumbing, heating and electrical services changed?

The demand, because people are at home, has certainly changed (due to the coronavirus). Conditions like the temperature in your home can mean a lot more now than when you were at work eight hours a day.

Your facilities are used more, that’s another element. We are now installing a lot more generators because people cannot go without electricity if they work from home.

We have a commercial services group and we changed our name this year to home services (and) added electricity to our portfolio. Our approach is full service when we come to your home.

Q: Has it been difficult to attract and reach talent?

It’s hard to find it. We probably have no less than 12 beginners right now… just learning either plumbing, heating or electricity, working side by side.

Just bring them in and train them. Due to our size, we were able to fragment ourselves.

You just don’t have the number of people entering trades who can do everything like 10 years ago. Now we are forming some teams. We have the water heater heroes, for example. This is a group of plumbers who only do water heaters.
Because we don’t have people going into trades, we kind of have specialized skill sets.

I am a member of several boards, QUESTAR BOCES (and) Hudson Valley Community College. Some of our people are training for certain classes and we will be recruiting from them.

Best of the Capital Region 2022

Best of the Capital Region 2022

Union Times

Winners: See who won in each category of the Best of the Capital Region 2002 contest. Prefer something for your coffee table or something to stash in your car for a quick reference? Order our 68-page magazine and we’ll send it to you for free.

There are 100 categories divided into four groups — including 14 new categories this year.

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