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“Providing solutions to problems for our customers has always been the driver, and the most rewarding element of the business”

“Providing solutions to problems for our customers has always been the driver, and the most rewarding element of the business”

Dyno-Rod’s franchisees are delivering invaluable assistance nationwide

For almost 60 years, Dyno-Rod has been providing its customers with a level of service otherwise unheard of within the domestic drainage market. In fact, long-time franchisee David Screen, who manages Runitem Ltd. alongside his father, Jim Screen, considers his operation “the fourth emergency service, with 24/7, 365-days-a-year levels of service.”

But what does the average day in the life look like for the duo, and why were they recognised as Dyno-Rod’s franchisee of the year? What Franchise spoke with the accomplished operators to learn more.

What does your day-to-day look like as a Dyno-Rod Franchisee?

DS: I arrive at the office at 06:30 to prepare for the day ahead, go through the jobs from the previous day, and collate any information from engineers where further works or quotations have been requested – as well as any out-of-hours activities that need attention.

My main focus first thing is to make sure the repair teams have all they need in terms of their day ahead, paperwork, quotations, and RAMS in place to make sure they know what they are doing.

Graeme, our operations manager, arrives at 07:00 and he deals with the engineers phoning in and dispatching jobs to get the day started. Following Graeme’s arrival, I am able to get on and answer emails, deal with any messages, sort any health and safety observations and near miss information from the engineers, and investigate any that need further attention.

Another member of staff arrives a 08:00, who is briefed by Graeme of any despatching issues and explains where everyone is so she can release him from that process and he can then concentrate on reporting on his activities the previous day and follow-up on quotations.

Operationally, a single call can change the planning for the whole day. I like to think as a team, we base our reputation on recognising and then converting these opportunities, forging strong relationships, delivering excellent customer service, and encouraging repeat business.

What led you to initially partner with Dyno-Rod as a franchisee?

JS: Initially, a friend who worked in the job centre called me and told me about an opportunity with a new company that claimed to have revolutionised the drainage industry with the first 24/7, 356-day emergency drain clearing service.

In May 1969, I was the first to be interviewed and got the job; working for a franchise started by the man who was the Pan Am navigator for pilot Jim Zockoll, founder of the Dyno-Rod franchise.

After 17 years of service, in 1986 they sold their franchise back to Dyno and I was employed by Dyno along with all of the staff I took from the previous franchise. During that time as a company-owned location, I was able to motivate the experienced staff I had and train new members of the team. Our operation was recognised by Jim Zockoll as outstanding.

At that time, Dyno-Rod was in the process of selling all five of the company-owned franchise sites and increasing the number to smaller operations.

I was given the opportunity to purchase the North East as a whole in August 1987, which was the inception of Runitem Ltd.

What kind of support have you been provided as a Dyno-Rod franchisee?

DS: There have been many changes over the last five to 10 years, especially in management within Dyno; however, recent changes have seen an improvement in the understanding of the challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. There seems to be more of a desire for us all to succeed. Key accounts in particular appear to be better managed, more productive, and at more realistic rates.

What do you find rewarding about being a Dyno-Rod franchisee?

DS: Providing solutions to problems for our customers has always been the driver and the most rewarding element of the business. This is fundamental to the reputation we have created and is practised from the first call to the completion of the task, however large or small.

An individual clearing a simple blockage for a domestic customer, to a team completing major structural repair or refurbishment for a large commercial client provides us with the opportunity to demonstrate the high standards we encourage from our staff and provides us all with a real sense of satisfaction.

The rewards are varied; being successful in business brings its own rewards, both personal and as a team, but having the ability to manage the business without the restraints of what can be achieved or what the focus of the business needs to make it such a rewarding place to work.

Why do you think Runitem LTD. was recognised as Dyno-Rod’s franchisee of the year?

DS: Being recognised as the top franchisee in a group of franchisees where the standards are so high is a great achievement. It’s one we are extremely proud of, and it’s not taken for granted. There has been a huge amount of hard work put into making the business successful, especially on the back of two of the most challenging years of operations for us all.

I believe consistency is the main reason we were awarded this prize. The management team of Jim, Gill and I have set the standards we aim to achieve across the whole business, operationally and financially.

Our KPIs, NPS and Trust Pilot scores all confirm our customers believe we are providing them with excellent performance. We know this down to the whole team performing to an exceptionally high standard on a consistent basis.

We pride ourselves on having a fantastic team here at Runitem. They are our biggest asset. Most are long serving with a number of staff being with us for over 20 years.

Dyno-Rod’s franchise opportunities are resales. If you have ambition and think you could make for an excellent franchisee, get in touch with the brand’s franchising team.

At a glance

Year established:


Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:

Full U.K. coverage

Investment range:

Only resales – £300,000 to £1.5m

Minimum required capital:


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