Building and maintaining successful relationships is critical to the sustainability of any business. For HVACR contractors, driving growth in the midst of a talent shortage makes nurturing internal and external relationships even more critical. Internally, we are challenged to keep our technicians engaged and support their career development to minimize the likelihood of employee turnover. Externally, meeting — if not exceeding — the demands of our customers is one way in which we can assure repeat business.
So, where do contractors find support? In my more than two decades of experience, I have found that the better distributors in our industry offer programs that help build successful contractors. These programs often involve or encourage training and certification.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that "Distributors Do More With NATE," which is the theme of the February 2019 edition of NATE magazine. Top distributors are keen on providing value-added services to their contractor customers, and many do so as NATE-approved training and/or testing facilities. The value of certification to contractors is widely understood: contractors employing NATE-certified technicians receive the benefits of professionalism, customer satisfaction and profitability. More opportunities for repeat business mean distributors can sell more equipment sooner. Simply put, NATE certification is a win-win for everyone. You will learn just how beneficial those relationships are as we take a closer look at the Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer program and the Lennox Premier Dealer program. and hear firsthand from the contractors who benefit from the respective distributor programs. You also will learn more about the other distributors that partner with NATE as testing facilities.
For the past 12 years, NATE has partnered with HARDI to recognize member companies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to technician development through the NATE certification program. In December, NATE presented Top Certifier Awards to seven deserving distributors. The Top Certifier and Top Southeastern Region Certifier, Mingledorff's of Norcross, Ga., earned the award for the past few years, consecutively. Award winners are featured in this issue.
Much has been done to streamline NATE's operations over the past few years and to facilitate the ease with which exams are administered. So, if you are a distributor with interest in supporting workforce development through certification, I encourage you to step up with NATE and register as a NATE-approved training and/or testing facility — you'll be in good company.