Carrier Brings Six-Sigma to New Hampshire Contractor

April 9, 2009
Focus on identifying the work flow step-by-step

Carrier, one of United Technology Corporation’s group of companies, came to Exeter, NH, on Wednesday and Thursday, April 1 & 2, to work through a lean, 6-Sigma process with TradeWinds Mechanical Services.
“TradeWinds is the first customer to whom we’ve offered to teach this process after having gone through it for ourselves,” explains John Stiene, Northeast regional operations manager for Carrier, who attended the training. “Having Carrier partner with us is a great opportunity,” adds Carol Dodge, TradeWinds’ purchasing manager whose is responsible for bringing 6-Sigma ideas into practice at TradeWinds.
Customers Achieving Profitability (CAP) involves mapping a work process and identifying the work flow step-by-step. Technician Frankie Ingrassia and field service manager Kevin Whiting and a number of TradeWinds’ headquarters staff participated in defining the work flow from receipt of a service order to the completed repair of the HVAC unit. The CAP process involves writing each step on a sticky note and applying it to the board. Once the steps are all identified, then inefficiencies can be found and improvements jointly made. Then it needs to be communicated in a way that brings buy-in from all involved in the work process.
“It’s about processes and communications,” Stiene says. “It’s not about spending more money to make improvements. It's about discerning what your customers want and therefore are willing to pay for, as well as the processes you, as a business, require.” The end goal for this training process is to shorten the time it takes to quote a job from 2-3 days down to 24 hours, which is what TradeWinds’ customers want.
TradeWinds is reaping the benefits of Carrier’s expertise. “It’s not just about how TradeWinds works with Carrier, but how TradeWinds works with all its customers and vendors,” Steine says.
TradeWinds sources say the company intends to reach out to its customers to teach them the Six-Sigma process, because it’s good business all the way around.
TradeWinds Mechanical Services, Exeter, NH, is celebrating its 14th anniversary. It services HVACR systems in commercial properties from Maine to Virginia. Because of a unique decentralized dispatch process, TradeWinds is able to use its own technicians to provide consistent high quality service to its customers.