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The Ultimate Guide to Operational Excellence for Home Services Companies

Operational excellence is a concept that was initially developed in the 1970s by Dr. Joseph Juran, who was consulting with business leaders in Japan to help them become stronger and more competitive in the global marketplace. He eventually developed the basis for the Shingo Model, a framework for achieving operational excellence in manufacturing facilities. Today, operational excellence is a concept that can be applied to any type of business to improve efficiency, streamline processes, support sustainable growth, and better serve customers. (1) For home services companies, achieving operational excellence is critical for competing in an ever-changing marketplace with continually evolving technologies.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at operational excellence as it applies to home services companies (specifically plumbing, HVAC, and electrical) and the practices that will help you successfully adopt an operational excellence framework. 


home services employees working towards operational excellence

What Is Operational Excellence? 

Michael Sony of the Namibia University of Science and Technology defines operational excellence as follows:

Operational excellence in simple words is organizations making improvements to attain a competitive advantage. Modern day organizations not only maximize the benefits for [their] organizations, but also the customer and other stakeholder’s needs are taken care [of]. (2

In other words, operational excellence is a means of streamlining and improving daily operations to outshine competitors, while at the same time offering the fullest benefits to customers and company stakeholders. There are many different models for operational excellence that cater to different industries and operational functions.

On a more detailed level, operational excellence aims to address pain points that increase the costs and resources required to deliver specific services. For example, a plumbing company may adopt appointment booking software that automatically sends customers service reminders, follow-up emails, and maintenance reminders as part of their operational excellence framework. Using software to automate various aspects of customer relationship management can free up time for office staff and help streamline scheduling to reduce issues like overbooking.

For any element of operational excellence, sustainability is key. Many companies will implement changes and initially see great results, but those results will not be consistent over time. That’s because businesses operate in complex environments with dynamic factors to consider. Therefore, operational excellence should not be viewed as a single goal but rather as an ongoing process for continual improvement.

Related: Best Ways to Streamline a Business: Processes & Workflows 


Operational Excellence vs. Process Excellence 

Operational excellence is a term that is often used interchangeably with process excellence, but the two are not exactly the same. Operational excellence focuses on optimizing individual operational tasks within a business, while process excellence — or business excellence — is a bigger picture approach focused on improving the overall performance of a business. (3)


What Are the 4 Pillars of Operational Excellence? 

Operational excellence is generally divided into four pillars of success. (4) It is important to consider each as you implement an operational excellence framework within your business. 

  • Customer Satisfaction – Any home services provider knows that customers are king. Customer satisfaction is essential for building a business that homeowners can trust to take care of their property. Therefore, an enduring goal of your operational excellence framework should be to consistently improve customer experience. That may mean streamlining the appointment booking process through upgraded software, transitioning to a new inventory management system to procure the right parts and tools faster for shorter job times, or staying updated with industry trends to offer a wider set of service offerings ahead of local competitors. 
  • Employee Engagement – Employees are the drivers of operational excellence. As the individuals who actually carry out daily operations, your employees should be actively engaged in brainstorming new operational initiatives, offering feedback, and openly discussing pain points that arise in daily tasks. 
  • Commercial Impact – Of course, every business needs to think about its bottom line. Ultimately, operational excellence initiatives should serve to deliver more value to customers while improving the profitability of your services. 
  • Resource Usage – Finally, operational excellence focuses on reducing the use of resources in the form of physical assets, money, and employees’ time. In many cases, adopting new technologies helps to optimize resource usage to reduce operational costs. 

Related: How to Gather Reviews & Build Your Reputation


handshake while involing employees in operational excellence at home services company

How Can Home Services Companies Achieve Operational Excellence? 

While operational excellence has traditionally been perceived as a corporate initiative adopted by large organizations, it can be an equally effective practice for small businesses like local plumbing, HVAC, and electrical companies. (5) Adopting the ideology of operational excellence includes several key steps:

  • Define Clear Goals – By now you know what operational excellence means in a broad sense, but it’s time to define what it means for your business. What are your specific goals with this practice, and how will achieving these goals ultimately deliver more value to your customers? 
  • Involve Employees – Your employees should play an active role in your pursuit of operational excellence. From technicians to office staff to management, everyone should be on the same page about what needs to be done and why. 
  • Analyze Current Processes – To know what will work better for your company, you must assess what isn’t working and where improvements should be focused. You may need to use process mapping, value stream mapping, and other types of analyses to identify that pain points for your business that need the most attention. You might also look to customer feedback to learn where the customer experience may be falling short. 
  • Commit to Ongoing Improvements – It’s important to remember that operational excellence is not a one-and-done project. It should focus on the continual improvement of your daily operations to make your business more efficient and support your ongoing growth. 
  • Measure and Check In – Regular data analysis and employee check-ins will be necessary to measure progress and identify the next steps in continuing to improve. 

Related: Creating Your Plumbing Business Plan: Your Roadmap to Success 


Building People, Supporting Service

Operational excellence can set your business apart as a market leader in the home services sector, but you may need additional support, leadership, and resources to truly unlock the benefits of operational excellence for your company.

That’s where P3 Services can help. As a strategic partner and parent company of a growing network of local plumbing, HVAC, and electrical companies throughout the US, we provide the leadership support, employee training, recruitment solutions, data analysis, and technological resources you need to bring your company to the next level. As a P3 partner company, your business will continue to operate under the same brand but join a family of companies that share in your commitment to innovation, growth, and market leadership. 

Interested in learning more? Reach out to our team today



  1. Benjamin Babb, What Is Operational Excellence? A Complete Primer 2024,
  2. Michael Sony, Implementing sustainable operational excellence in organizations: an integrative viewpoint,
  3. Biswadip Banerjee, Business Excellence vs. Operations Excellence: Are they really different?,
  4. Thomas Kaae Marcus, Unlocking the Four Pillars of Operational Excellence
  5. Andrei Anca, Leveraging Operational Excellence for Small Business Success,