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Contractor Insights: White Service Company

March 1, 2008
Before he started his own business, Marvin White, president of White Service Co., Lubbock, TX, learned all he could about HVACR.
“It’s exciting to see how systems can be controlled over the Internet,” Marvin White says. “You can monitor the systems, receive alarm alerts, and have better prevention against food spoilage.”

Before he started his own business, Marvin White, president of White Service Co., Lubbock, TX, learned all he could about HVACR.

White’s refrigeration career began in 1975, when, as a high school graduate, he became an ice machine technician for Lubbock Ice Machine Co., working alongside his father, Loyd White. After five years, he joined Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, where he remained until 1995, when, at age 37, he and his wife Jackie, vice president, struck out on their own and founded White Service Co.

White became his own boss because he saw an opportunity to go into business for himself and took it. Now 50, he and Jackie have built a successful commercial refrigeration business that generates estimated gross sales of $2 million.

White’s seven technicians are busy covering a 100-mile radius around Lubbock. The company specializes in commercial refrigeration, walk-in and free-standing coolers, commercial freezers, and commercial air conditioning.

Texas Tech University is a regular customer, and soon the company will begin a project for salsa producer Santa Fe Specialty Co. That project will include an exhaust hood for steam kettles, and a 228,000 cfm makeup air unit with a 2 million btu of heat bringing in 100% of outside air.

White says the key to his success is “staying on top of training at all times. The education and training you obtain for yourself and your employees guarantee that you’ll understand the industry, the changes, and knowledge of the equipment. The better trained you are, the better you can meet your customers’ needs.”

The company will move into a new, 5,000 sq. ft. headquarters in April. The site features 1,600 sq. ft. of office space, and working models of walk-in coolers and other refrigeration equipment.

White is certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE) in air-to-air heat pumps, and air conditioning service, and was one of 150 contractors chosen to participate in NATE’s beta testing for its new refrigeration certification exam.

“The NATE refrigeration certification will help prepare technicians to be able to repair just about anything and be in-touch will new technology,” White says. He also schedules regular technician training and weekly, one-hour troubleshooting meetings, which give the team an opportunity to review daily routines, share technical problems, and find solutions to those problems.”

As evidence of White’s commitment to bringing advanced technology to his technicians and customers, he’s enrolling more of his technicians in factory training for the Intela- Traul microprocessor-based system by Traulsen & Co., Ft. Worth, TX. Traulsen’s patented Intela-Traul microprocessor-based system replaces electro-mechanical devices for precise temperature control and improved overall performance.

In addition to the company’s NATE certification, White’s technicians obtain training obtained through the South Plains chapter of Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

Get Involved to Grow Your Business
White serves as vice president of the South Plains ACCA chapter, is on the board of the Compact Trust of Texas, a workman’s compensation provider, and serves on the state board of ACCA Texas. A 10-year ACCA member, White says his industry activity makes running a business easier, because there’s always someone to talk to about a particular business management problem or technical hurdle.

“I attended the 2008 ACCA convention in Colorado Springs in February, and was able to network with more than 1,000 contractors,” White says. “With networking like that, if there’s a bug in your company, or you have an organizational problem, you can always find someone to help with a problem. For a contractor, I would say it all comes down to how much you want to get out of these associations. How much do you want to grow your business?”

Key White Service Co. employees include White’s brother Dale, service technician; Kirby Gryder, service manager; service technician Justin Pollard; Nick Watkins, who works on preventive maintenance agreements, Tom Kohlhost, installation manager; and Trina Barlow, administrative assistant.

About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.