Before we get into the topic of finding the best service contractors, we would like to share with you a story from Envoy’s CEO, Scott Reyes:
“About seven years ago at a Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association conference, I was attending an education session led by a national HVAC company. Near the end of the session, the speaker asked:
‘How many of you in this room have children?’
Most of the people in the room raised their hand.
‘How many of you with your hands raised dream of your children growing up to be HVAC technicians?’ he added.
Only a few hands were still raised, and I recognized a couple of them. They had their hands raised because they ran HVAC companies.
Our culture and our industry have looked down on skilled trades for a very long time. This is difficult to see in the mirror and painful to admit to ourselves. It is, however, very true.
We do it in the way we value a college education over a technical trade education. We do it in the way we pay vendors and technicians, always looking for the lowest rate. We treat people like a commodity, a throwaway thing, and then get frustrated when these same people whose jobs we do not value and whose careers we do not want our children to pursue, don't meet our expectations.
So to me, it starts with being more human. It begins with giving people the dignity, trust, and value they deserve. It starts with relationships.
Contracts, agreements, and expectations are all great and necessary parts of the process. But they are meaningless outside of a foundation built on relationships.
This is what I believe.
Treating people well and listening will fix most problems. It starts with giving people dignity.
I tell you this story to make this point. If you treat your service contractors like a means to an end or a commodity, they will treat you the same way. However, if you approach these business relationships, and all of your others, like relationships, you will find you have partners who watch your back.”
That being said, there are five simple attributes which we find great service contractors possess.
This means the contractor works in the same community they live in, often not traveling more than 30 miles.
They perform one trade or a set of related trades (HVAC and refrigeration).
They have a knowledgeable and actively involved owner. Companies with involved owners tend to have better trained and more professional field technicians.
Office Manager or Dispatcher
They have an office manager or dispatcher. This is someone in the office who communicates updates, manages schedules, and can work with your CMMS.
$2 Million Insurance Policy
Companies with at least $2 million in general liability insurance are more established companies and can name your company as an additional insured. This covers your liability in addition to theirs.
If you stick to hiring vendors with these characteristics, you will find more professional service, better response time, faster work completion times, and lower average invoices.