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    In Support of Service: Introduction

    April 1, 2012
    The quality of technicians’ daily field service experience depends on how well-prepared they are for what lies ahead.

    Does your company's goal of providing top-shelf service often become a "Mission: Impossible," thwarted by those evil villains of chaos, ignorance, and confusion?

    The success of your field service team can be most easily disrupted by a lack of organization. We're not talking about running out of copier paper, or a breakdown in the lunchroom fridge. We're talking about your arena of competition: the field, your business. How your team performs on service calls is critical to your company's continued success.

    Excellent field service relies on behind-the-scenes planning each and every day. If trucks aren't organized, technicians will spend valuable minutes searching for tools, components, or paperwork. Out in the field — in the critical gaze of a paying customer — isn't the time to be cleaning out a truck or looking for a tool.

    You can't allow for tool frenzy in your business. The right tools must be available to your techs. "Especially when we're talking about those instruments used to diagnose, commission, test, and balance an HVAC system," adds HVAC business owner Tom Spall. Are you providing many of the tools your technicians need to act as the professionals they claim to be? If not funding tools in total, are you, at the very least, helping with a tool allowance based on performance? Benson's, in Tallahassee, FL, uses a payroll-deduction plan you can read about in the article "TOOLS: Equip Your Technicians For Success", which includes commentary by Spall, Daniel Boyette, and Vince DiFilippo.

    As a commercial HVAC contractor, your building service must include retrocommissioning. Throughout your service region, building owners and managers, — and their freezing or roasting tenants — are calling for improved comfort. That's where you come in, as the expert who can retrocommission buildings that have suffered through poor service and little or no initial commissioning. Read what Greg MacDonald of Brewer-Garrett has to say about the value of retrocommissioning.

    It's vital to determine the cause of compressor failure accurately, or the replacement compressor will be doomed to failure as well. The article by David Sylves of Bitzer, provides a very informative description of the causes of compressor breakdown, as a way to help technicians improve their diagnosing skills and prevent a costly, reputation-denting callback.

    We believe you’ll find value in this special series on service support. When you take excellent service to heart, you'll be more inclined to examine these important areas of organization, tool management, the opportunities of retrocommissioning, and compressor service troubleshooting. Moving forward, you can apply these principles to other areas of your business as well.

    May your Summer of 2012 be filled with organization, expanding horizons, and overall service excellence! — The Editors