These differences don’t matter. Each company has several things in common:
- They all have what I’ll call a servant-leader mindset. This means they focus on providing the service their customers want and need
- Company owners believe in training and invest heavily in it
- They treat employees as family and work to create career paths and growth opportunities for them. Training is a big part of that
- Each company’s management believes in equipping their teams with the tools and instruments they need to conduct system performance testing and ductwork renovations correctly.
How they approach high performance also differs from company to company, but they all say it requires dedication, perseverance, and the ability to learn from mistakes.
Kevin Heikkila of Integrity TAB says, “The key is how our team listens to customers, how they talk with them, and how they ask open-ended questions.
“Knowledge is the secret weapon to help you help your customers. It will bring you more business. It helps create your success. So be tenacious in your efforts, and don’t hesitate to call someone when you have a question. That is how you build relationships and increase your knowledge about your partners, customers, business, and projects. Those relationships help build trust, and we all know how important that is.”
Lessons Learned from Ductwork Renovations and More
One of the most challenging lessons most of our contractor spotlight companies say they faced was how to price their work correctly. Tom Hearn says this is true for every contractor out there. “But when you are operating as a High-Performance Contractor, proper pricing is key to making it work. After all, if we are testing, measuring, and diagnosing problems correctly, we provide customers with great value. That is worth charging the right price.”
Hearn adds that another lesson he learned implementing High-Performance processes was to “make it part of how we usually run our processes in the company. Testing and measuring are required. They are not negotiable.”
Culture is another common factor among these companies. Jeff Wheat says a culture focused in delivering High-Performance HVAC systems to customers is the mission. “But it’s not like we are there yet. It is a changing and evolving process that requires someone to lead it.
“For me, what makes things successful is when our field team understands and believes in it. It’s always a matter of training them and keeping them up to date on everything.”
Cody Novini at SoCal Airflow Pros agrees. “NCI’s high-performance contracting approach is all we do. Testing, measuring, and diagnosing airflow, static pressure, and other readings change you from being a contractor who guesses into a true professional,” he says.
Novini sums up the lessons from implementing a performance approach into his business: “No matter where you are in your career – a tech fresh out of school or a grizzled veteran — you need always to be a student. You should always be willing to learn. You will be learning until the day you die, or the industry will surpass you.”
Ultimately, these Contractor Spotlight stories show other contractors that High-Performance works if you make it part of your daily processes and culture. The companies highlighted here are proof that it is doable and profitable.
As you continue working toward implementing this culture and approach into your company, don’t be surprised if you receive a phone call or email asking you to share your story.
It’s an opportunity to share your successes and help raise this industry’s professionalism.