Boston Standard
Pictured are some of Boston Standard's technician and management team. The company employs 94.

2021 Contractors of Excellence: Boston Standard Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

June 29, 2021
Joseph Wood prioritizes a work-life balance, in a company culture focused on professionalism, integrity and respect.

2021 'Contractors of Excellence' Series: Raising the Bar

What does it mean when we describe a company as “leading” the industry? Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word as “coming or ranking first” and “exercising leadership” and “providing direction or guidance.”

This month, we focus on companies located in the eastern part of the United States that are leading in their local communities by providing exceptional service to their customers. They do this by hiring technicians who fit into the company culture, and focusing on education and training.

Boston Standard Plumbing, Heating and Cooling
Location: Mattapan, Mass.
Owner: Joseph Wood 

A 20-year veteran of the heating industry, Joseph Wood briefly worked with his brother before striking out on his own in 2008 — in the middle of the Great Recession.

“It was an interesting time to start because the world was in a rough spot at that moment,” he recalls. “I was able to hire my mother, who has a great office background. She was one of my first employees.” 

He and his wife, Laura, who has an MBA, put together a business plan and acquired a loan from the Small Business Administration. The company weathered the economic storm and now employs 94 people. 

His goals for the company changed over the years, from getting an office to growing the company. “The goals always change, but what we've tried to do is align our goals to be great. We want customers to be happy and employees to be happy. This year's first goal is to get 200 or more five-star reviews, to use as a barometer for how we're doing.” 

The second goal is to reduce callbacks and increase satisfaction percentages for Boston Standards’ bonus program called The Perfect Install. “We have a commissioning process we use,” Wood explains. We started the program with our installers where the bonuses get larger as the ratio increases. So our goal this year is to get 95 percent or greater.” 

When office and field staff work together to ensure customer satisfaction, everyone wins, he adds. 

Employee retention and referrals is the third company goal. “I understand the cost of hiring and the cost of losing someone,” he says. A member of PHCC, ACCA and Service Nation Alliance, Boston Standard offers weekly training and quarterly manufacturer training to keep his technicians up-to-date on the latest industry technology. 

And Wood prioritizes a work-life balance for his employees. “It's so hard to find people that we try to really balance a home life with work and make sure people get to do the things they need to do in the family. I don't think it would ever be fair for me to expect someone to be wildly successful at work every day and then go home and not be winning there, too.” 

These goals go hand in hand with a company culture focused on professionalism, integrity and respect. 

“I believe we're torchbearers for the industry; we're trying to raise the profile of the trade,” Wood says. “Our techs are clean and neat. We're trying to raise the image of home service techs and put an awesome team on the field.”

He adds that contractors need to take the initiative in their communities to educate young people and their parents that going into the HVAC or other trades can offer a lucrative and fulfilling career. 

“We're in an industry where you're not going to get outsourced,” Wood says. “You get to control your destiny and run your own business, if you want to. You’ll have skills that you get to keep forever. You're not going out of style.”

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to Contracting Business magazine, Contractor and HPAC Engineering. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 20 years experience in the plumbing and heating industry. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].