Damian de Vincentis and his team at BeOnd Plumbing are often the first responders when things go wrong. He talks to Alison Dean about his plumbing journey, the importance of continuous training and customer care.
Damian de Vincentis was staring down the barrel of one of life’s big questions: what will I do when I finish school?
“I hadn’t become the star footballer I thought I would become,” the now 30 year old said with a laugh.
“I started exploring trades and did weekend work with a local plumber, and I fell in love with the profession.”
After Year 11, Damian converted his work with D & B Plumbing into an apprenticeship. “It was hard work, long hours and the pay wasn’t great. I did it all because I had my eye on the bigger picture.”
That bigger picture was to secure all the knowledge he could from his boss, his clients, his teachers at trade school and those in his life so that he could start his own successful business. “The discipline I learnt from those days of work was important training for my work today. The juggling of jobs and the challenge of dealing with different people, taught me all about time management, people management and customer service,” he said.
“At BeOnd, we appreciate the great deal of trust that is given to us as a company when invited into homes and businesses to carry out work. Our plumbers are put through a rigorous training program where the levels of customer service expected are clearly explained. Our ethos of putting the customer first resonates throughout the company.”
Damian said the importance of customer care today was even more vital than when he began his career. “In those days, plumbers’ main source of work was delivered via word of mouth, maybe a little from the local papers. Now, it is more competitive. You are wide open
and exposed in terms of possible feedback from the public on Facebook.”
Damian started BeOnd as a sole trader in 2015. It was just him and a van but he didn’t stay in this position for long. “I had a vision of where I wanted to see BeOnd. I aligned myself quickly with Master Plumbers and a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). I invested aggressively to set myself up.”
In the beginning he focussed on servicing the real estate and body corporate sector, which was a highly-competitive space. “We wanted to find a niche in the market and set a benchmark for plumbing. We attended a few storms and we realised we had a passion for responsive-maintenance plumbing. We fell into the insurance side and made our mark to offer exceptional value making properties storm safe and thereafter carrying out the work.
BeOnd plumbing is a fully registered, licensed company, committed to responding to any major storm or catastrophic event.
“Our crews are accredited in emergency management through SES Victoria and trained in stormseal,” Damian said. “We also train in defensive driving and are vigilant around OHS and PPE (personal protective equipment). Many people talk about these things but when you are out in the storms and up on roofs, there is no room for error.”
During the April storms some of BeOnd’s clients put them on standby for a storm coming across from Adelaide that hit metropolitan Melbourne.
When the storms hit, BeOnd attended a number of schools that had roof damage and leaks. The SES informed the insurance companies,
which rely on BeOnd to do the work. “It was a busy 48 hours tarping roofs, storm sealing buildings and securing leaks.”
In May, BeOnd was on standby in the aftermath of the devastating Tasmanian storms.
“By the time insurance gets the claims in and deal with the 3000-4000 claims; actual work might not take place for a month or two.
The poor policy holder is distraught so we act as a mediator and get the job done quickly and to a high standard.”
For Damian and BeOnd it is not just about customers, it’s about the community. Damian and his brother Giulian, who joined BeOnd in 2016 and built up the electrical side of the business, are committed to “paying it forward”.
In March, the team at BeOnd Electrical donated a full day of labour and a high-definition surveillance system to 88 year old Joseph whose
possessions were stolen when his Mentone home was broken into.
Joseph contacted a radio station to tell his story, when the team at BeOnd heard the story they reached out to make the donation. On their Facebook they wrote: “Inspire kindness and Pay it Forward”.
BeOnd routinely donate their time during Good Friday and Christmas appeals. But Damian said that it was in his local street, during Christmas, that his brother really shines. “Giulian is big into Christmas displays. The street closes down in Greensborough where he animates the lighting to music. It’s huge for the children and the community.”
This intense love of Christmas lights made a career as an electrician an obvious choice and with his brother as a plumber it just made sense to join the business.
“Now we are in business together and we are often called out to the same job.”
Why Damian is part of Master Plumbers
“I joined Master Plumbers pretty quickly after starting the business.
It was important for us to align ourselves with a high-end and quality association” Damian told API.
For him, Master Plumbers stands for the same quality and professionalism that he strives for each day.
“We want to be that benchmark company. We want to align ourselves with organisations that encapsulate who we are.”
He said being a part of Master Plumbers is being a part of an industry family. “The access we have had to skilled employer advice is just priceless,” he said.
“Even the Master Plumbers breakfasts that I have bought my boys to, it all reiterates the professionalism and the culture that BeOnd embodies.”
“We strive for a good company culture that ensures that no day is a chore. Matching with Master Plumbers provides that family feel; an organisation that has got your back.”