If you’ve ever worked with Duthie Power’s Rentals Department, you’ve no doubt met Sal Hernandez. A self-professed “jack of all trades” guy, Sal has been sharing his hustle and creativity with Duthie Power since 2006. And hustle and creativity are necessary in the rentals department where emergency calls can come at any hour, any day.
Before Duthie, Sal worked to set up temporary power for housing construction projects during the housing boom, eventually working in management. A similar path occurred at Duthie where Sal started as a technician for the rental generator department then moved up to Assistant Manager, then Manager. A natural leader (just ask the pack of dogs in his office!), Sal plays a pivotal role at Duthie.
What is a day in the life of the Rentals Manager?
“It starts early with answering phone calls from customers; sometimes as early as 5am. I’m the guy who answers the phone at 5am, 1am, Saturday, Sunday…I deal with all the after-hours emergency calls,” explains Sal. “Customers take priority each day at Duthie, followed by ensuring our team of technicians is dispatched on-time and prepared for the jobs of the day.”
The Rentals Department is different from Duthie Power’s Service Department in many ways, with a key difference being that the Rentals team does their own fueling and services the fleet of rental generators in-house.
“On occasion, our departments work together. For example, when a customer needs a rental generator while their standby generator is getting serviced with a load test, or if they notice the generator needs a repair that will take it offline for a while. Our rental generator will do the same function as their generator while it’s down so the service department can complete all repairs.”
Can you think of any memorable events in your time at Duthie Power?
“In my tenure as manager, a standout time was when San Diego had the fires and all of SoCal lost power. I remember being awake for 30+ hours fielding calls. We own one of the largest rental fleets in all Southern California. If we’re out, most likely so is everyone else.”
What’s your favorite part of the job?
“For me, I love the hustle of completing jobs and making customers happy. We thrive on being able to help people then hearing the relief in customers who are happy when we answer the phone right away.”
“As with all businesses, relationships are everything, and my crew truly understands the word ‘emergency.’ We treat every call like an emergency in our customer service approach. We got a call one time at 2am, and the customer said they called another company at 11pm but got not answer. We answered and hooked up a generator that night, then the other company returned the call at 8am. This happens often. Communication is the whole key to being a standout and successful company.”
“The bottom line is – I love my job. I love what I do. It’s why I come in on the weekend.”