We Live in Interesting Times
The spring of 2020 will go down in history as being one of the strangest periods for this country and the world. With the wildfire spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the subsequent shut down of the world’s economies, being in business is so much harder. Homeowners are sheltering in place and frequently are too worried about their safety to let service contractors into their homes.
In Cleveland, OH, one contractor – DiMarco & Associates ‘ has certainly seen their service business fall off. But according to company owner and president, Ben DiMarco, this is not a major issue for him. You see, his company is diversified. No eggs are in the same basket, so to speak.
DiMarco & Associates began life in March 2005 as a testing and balancing consulting company. Today 70% of its $5 million in gross revenues come from the commercial marketplace and 30% is residential. Within those two main markets, the company offers a wide variety of services and disciplines to help their customers be safe, comfortable, and healthy in both their commercial and residential environments.
This is, as Ben DiMarco says, in the firm’s ‘DNA’ and because of this, they are successfully weathering the COVID-19 storm.
‘I like to think of our company in a perpetual state of metamorphosis,’ he says. ‘Part of that is how my management team, which includes our Service Manager Henry Sterling, and a few other key people, think about and approach continuous performance improvements.
I believe this is what makes us unique in our marketplace. Because of that, we’ve been able to keep everyone working and earning while simultaneously keeping our customers safe and working as well.’
DiMarco: A Specialties Specialist
DiMarco adds, ‘What is cool about this company is our ability to work on really large commercial/industrial projects as well as small residential ones. Being diverse is a huge saving grace, especially during times like now. But it can be difficult too.’
He says it requires ongoing studying and training. It means being on a quest to always get better at what they do.
‘You have to be willing to learn about and work on things you may never have worked on before ‘ like Hydronics, for example,’ he says.
DiMarco and Associates operates not only in the residential, commercial, and industrial arenas, but they perform service, installations, new construction, retrofit, Design/Build, and a lot of system optimization and retro-commissioning. And they do this with just 28 employees, two of whom are part-time. That means most of the field personnel work both residential and commercial projects.
‘That can be difficult for some technicians,’ he continues. ‘It means one day you’re installing a residential air conditioning replacement, the next day you are working on a 20-ton commercial rooftop system with zoning on a new construction site. That can be daunting. It requires plenty of organizational skills and compartmentalization.
‘But it keeps them busy and they are very happy about that.’
Today, he says the difficulties of such transitions are only enhanced with the need for social distancing and new hand-washing protocols. ‘For me, the difficulties of running this kind of operation are to focus on thinking ahead of potential hurdles and how to leap over them.’
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