Distributor Finds Value in HARDI Certified Counter Specialist Program

May 19, 2009
21 of Aireco’s branch managers have completed the CCS program and are now HARDI Certified

A motivated and trained counter staff is one of the key principles on which Aireco has built a 57-year legacy. However, the rapid pace with which today’s HVACR industry is changing demands a structured and advanced training vehicle. Dan Hinchman, president of Aireco, Laurel, MD adopted HARDI ‘s Certified Counter Specialist (CCS) Program as a way to offer counter personnel a formal, structured program that encourages training and continued education with a focus on customer service product knowledge, people skills and attitude. The program was developed by HARDI (Heating, Airconditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International) to recognize the professionalism of the men and women at the wholesale counter and give them the opportunity to obtain credentials recognized in the field of HVACR distribution. Once enrolled, employees must meet a series of benchmarks in order to successfully attain one of the four levels of counter expertise as defined by the CCS program (Assistant, Associate, Senior and Certified). Various certifications, competencies and training hours advance employees until they eventually become HARDI Certified.

John Berry and Allison Huber, Aireco’s Training and Marketing Coordinator, implemented the CCS program John Berry believes it supports Aireco’s elite customer service philosophy. “Anyone can wait on a customer,” John says. “Our goal is to teach Aireco employees how to become customer service professionals by giving them the tools and the means to grow and improve. Aireco sets the standards high for good customer service, leading by positive example and exceeding our customers’ expectations.”

Giving customers excellent service, along with relevant information about products in a timely manner, has become essential in the distribution business, explains Aireco President, Dan Hinchman. “Keeping up with technological changes, customer service challenges and supply chain efficiencies require higher levels of learning than ever before,” he says. “The CCS program allows our employees to become effective sales and customer service personnel rapidly.”

Twenty-one of Aireco’s branch managers have completed the CCS program and are now HARDI Certified. They are:
Bill Bartholomew, Bill Hawkins, Brian Atkins, Burt Helwig, Charlie Jones, Dan Muller, Donnie Bailey, Ed Milliken, Greg Burke, Karen Beall, Ken Kochel, Ken Newbern, Kevin Eppard, Mike Chaney, Mike Gordon, Shannon Nixon, Steve Horton, Tim Dooley, Tom Morgan, Troy Sparrow, and Virgil Espiritu.

HARDI’s Certified Counter Specialist program is training each Aireco employee in the latest product knowledge and customer service skills. This, coupled with the company’s 39 locations, extensive inventory, in-house technical support, delivery, and emergency service, all help make up the fifty-seven year legacy that has become the “Aireco Advantage”.