2019 Service Management Forum Highlights!

Over 35 members met in Scottsdale, AZ January 23rd – 26th to attend our Service Management Forum where members share best practices, learn about new technology and bring home a few ideas to save time and money within their own organizations.  “These meetings are a fast track to making great things better and they always help with the reduction of trial and error.  The collaboration between peers is always invigorating.” Chris Stokes, Air Controls

John Howman, President of Allied Consulting Group and Chairman of two Vistage groups spent the first day with us discussing how to hire the right people and the cost associated if you do not.  One big takeaway was when you have a questionable employee you need to ask yourself; Are they better than nothing?  For homework, the attendees were all asked to read “The Ideal Team Player” by Patrick Lencioni and we discussed how to hire and identify the three must have traits in an employee.  They need to be Hungry, Humble and Smart.   John shared the keys to building a great team and gave the attendees some new interview questions to ask forcing them to dig deeper and make successful hires enabling them to select the right people in order to create a great team culture within their organizations.

On our second day, we discussed developing talent within our organizations and recruiting methods and onboarding.  Two members shared how they are thinking outside the box to entice the younger generation to check out the trades.  Curt Stramel and Eric Dinges (Glassman Corporation) showed the group an agenda and some pictures of their 3rd Annual Technical Trades Day which has grown to over 100 high school kids spending the day at their facility and learning more about the trades as a career option.  Dave Robistow (VHV Company) explained how they started having open houses to gain and attract energetic and young individuals into the trades.  They hosted a few open houses in 2018 where students spent time at seven different stations learning about each one.  This has been highly successful for them and they have had a couple students ask to job shadow to learn more about possibilities in the industry.  

Frank Quintanar (J&J Air Conditioning) presented on how he motivates and inspires his team by making a personal connection and really caring about his employees’ success as well as their personal life and families.  Janet Kelleher (The Unified Group) facilitated discussion on employee incentives, rewards and recognition and the difference between them.  Members shared what they are doing that is making the most impact. 

On the last day, we had a large group discussion on how to become more efficient in your estimating process, Financial Metrics and KPI’s that you should be measuring and members shared their dashboards with the group to show what and how they are measuring KPI’s important to them.  We finished the day discussing the service process; scheduling, dispatching, managing work orders, billing and days to bill and the technicians’ role in the process.  

Throughout the meeting we had breakouts on motivating and inspiring your team and the groups discussed their biggest challenges and received ideas and feedback from their peers to help solve them upon return.  “It’s awesome to know you are not alone and that you can rely on other members’ experience for guidance.”  Daniel Cisneros, J&J Air Conditioning.   Best ideas and new technology that have made an impact on our members’ business over the past year were presented throughout the meeting.  We learned about different tool tracking software and received member feedback on using them, a coil cleaner that has saved 25% on labor expense, Appion Vacuum Pumps to evacuate VRF systems and how this has saved a huge amount of time and how one member has created and shared their staffing plan with the group which has given them the ability to have employees in place prior to peak business.  “The Unified Group is such a great concept.  We are brothers and sisters standing together facing the same issues inside and outside our office walls.  So much good always comes from these meetings.  We all benefit greatly!”  Rachel Sykes, Service Unlimited, Inc.

Special thank you to our task force:  Dave Johnson (B&I Contractors), Ed Tworek (Huckestein Mechanical Services), Frank Quintanar (J&J Air Conditioning) and Rachel Sykes (Service Unlimited, Inc.) who had multiple calls to choose a speaker, finalize topics and homework and create an impactful agenda!