HVACR Business

SEP 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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20 HVACR BUSINESS SEPTEMBER 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com continued from page 19 Spiffs I always wanted our coworkers to earn a lot of money through our company's spiff program. It means the company is getting business and making money and the co- workers are benefitting. I pay spiffs for the sale of residential service agreements, the renewal of the agreements, on the sale of various system enhancement products (accessories), on the sale of replacement systems, on sales leads leading to a presentation on a replacement system (whether or not the customer invests in the system) and on the sale of a duct cleaning job. Generally, spiffs are thought of as some- thing only a service technician can earn. But, I believe it's important to broaden the opportunity beyond just service tech- nicians and make them available to all co- workers (although the techs certainly have greatest opportunity and will generally earn the most money from spiffs). It is difficult to come up with spiff opportunities for installers, however they do at times get a customer to invest in a system enhancement product. I did invent another way of helping them earn spiffs and at the same time save the company money. We perform a quality assurance audit aer each replacement in- stallation. If the job requires absolutely no corrective action and if it is neat and pro- fessional appearing the installation crew earns a spiff. We also have the customer complete a brief performance evaluation and based on the results of the evaluation the installers can earn another spiff. Career Growth I learned the hard and expensive way that everyone does not want to be a high achiever. Some people simply want to come to work when they are supposed to, put in a good day's work and go home at the normal quitting time. I didn't understand that kind of thinking as I, and many of the people I had chosen to be around me, basically worked all of the time and we were driven to do our jobs better and keep growing the company. As a result I experienced far too much turnover. I learned the other people who were just doing their jobs and doing them well were supporting us in their way and I developed a deep appreciation of them. To accommodate the career minded outside coworkers we developed both a Service and Maintenance Technician Wage Plan and a little later an Installer Wage Plan. e Service and Maintenance Wage Plan identified four classes of maintenance technicians and six classes of service technicians. Each of the classes had a matching wage rate and a brief description of the required skills. We also developed a technical test for each of the classes. e wage plan was always made readily available to all tech- nicians and clearly laid out the way they could progress to higher pay grades if they wished to do so. e wage plan was based purely upon technical skills. It has nothing to do with a technician's ability to get customers to in- vest in our products and services. You can do that quite well with your spiff program. ere are three ways a technician can make more money. e first is to improve their technical skills and ask to be tested for the next class with a matching higher wage rate, the second is to get more cus- tomers to invest in the company's prod- ucts and services and earn spiffs. e third is to do both of the above two methods. Working for a Good Company Although most of us haven't thought about it in this way actually working for a good company is quite a reward in itself. Frankly, I believe that although there are a lot of contracting companies in our indus- try there are fewer good companies than there should be. Incidentally, in my opin- ion my previous remark is not limited to only the HVACR industry. A few years ago I read a renowned national consulting company's detailed report on coworker job satisfaction within the home services industry. And, as an HVAC residential retail company you are in the home service business. When the coworkers were asked how well they liked their jobs the overall re- sponse was not pretty. A person spends a lot of time at their job. It's a shame to be in the wrong company. u Ron Smith entered the HVAC industry in 1961. He has been a contractor, franchiser, consolidator, consultant and author, and has founded or acquired and managed 17 companies. He is recognized by many as basically inventing the HVAC residential retail business. He still consults with contractors and distributors and has released three books, HVAC Spells Wealth, "More & New" HVAC Spells Wealth and HVAC Light Commercial Service Agreements, along with a nine-disc audio CD set of HVAC Spells Wealth. Contact him at 470-253-8502 or 615-974-9589, or visit ronsmithhvac.com. It's important to broaden spiff opportunities beyond just service technicians and make them available to all coworkers. 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