Category Archives: Training

Building an Effective Web Site

There are many factors that impact the usability of a Web site. From the look of the site to how easy it is to navigate, can impact a customers decision to do business with you. Also remember, effective Web design is judged by your customers, not you.

When designing (or redesigning) your site, you first must determine what you want users to get from the experience. This will guide the look and information you include on your site. Also keep in mind, customers using the Internet tend to want information quickly, so be clear and make the information easy to understand.

Don’t get cute with fonts. It is easy to litter a site with too many different fonts. San serif fonts work the best. Try to not use more than 3 fonts in your site to keep it simple.

Navigation is key. This determines how people move around your site. Use breadcrumbs (links at the top of the page to navigate users back to a particular page), arrange content into sections, keep menus simple and easy to understand.

Finally, studies show people scan computer screens in an “F” pattern, first viewing the top and left of the screen. Use this natural behavior to cater to your customers.

There are many great Web site building tools available online, so you don’t have to be a designer or a coder to create a beautiful and usable site. Take queues from the sites you visit often and don’t be afraid to make changes if you are not getting the results you expect. Happy Web site building!

Time Management in the Real World

There are so many systems developed to help you manage your time. Problem is these systems manage “clock time” – or the 24 hours in a day. Unless your job and life are so structured that you can actually plan the day around every minute, clock time management is not very useful. “Real Time” management is the key to making the most of your day. And possibly relieving some of the stress of feeling like you have to manage every minute of clock time.

Real time is a mental process. We create real time. Real time drags or flies by. The good news is we can control real time because it is in our heads. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, there are only three ways to spend time: thoughts, conversations and actions.

Here is a link to the full article with 10 tips on how to manage your time. It’s worth your time to read it!

FBI Issues Warning on Illegal Use of Flammable Refrigerants – Story courtesy of ICOR International

Article courtesy of Gordon McKinney, ICOR International, Inc.

From the onset, the federally mandated phase out of R-22 has been rife with controversy, and the confusion created by fluctuating prices as well as the never-ending supply and demand uncertainty has left refrigerant distributors, users, and equipment owners, extremely vulnerable.
A number of obscure companies have been selling R-22 alternative refrigerants that are marketed as “Natural Refrigerants”, and “Drop Ins”. They boast that these refrigerants are “Inexpensive”, “Do not require any certification to purchase”, and “Can be mixed with R-22”. The horrible truth is that these so called “Natural Refrigerants”, are comprised primarily of highly flammable gases such as propane and they are illegal for use in AC applications.

The FBI has recently issued a warning to be on the alert for refrigerant substitutes that have not been approved by the EPA. Reports are on the rise worldwide of explosions, fires, and severe injuries, including fatalities, as the result of these flammable refrigerants being used in unapproved ACR applications. In 2013 the EPA took action against at least one U.S., company for selling an unapproved flammable refrigerant, yet many believe that without an increased enforcement effort, this problem will lead to even greater safety hazards and tremendous liability issues.

There are safe, and well established, non-ozone depleting refrigerants, like ICOR’s NU-22B, that are EPA approved for servicing R-22 systems in a wide range of applications. However, some HVACR product distributors, and refrigerant users, have been lured into supporting inferior products because of their cheap price. Along with the many hazards that flammable refrigerants pose to users and equipment owners, there are a few other “cheap” R-22 alternative refrigerants being misrepresented, and subsequently misapplied, that are leading to serious losses in system efficiency and compressor failures. Products like R-407C are relatively inexpensive, but are not suitable for use as a direct replacement for existing R-22 applications without changing the mineral oil to POE oil and flushing the line sets. The cost of the additional system conversion requirements make R-407C, and other products with similar requirements, the least practical option for servicing existing R-22 equipment.

The long term liabilities associated with selling and using hazardous, and or inferior R-22 replacements, are causing many to realize that cheap options are very seldom the best options.

If you know of anyone distributing or using flammable refrigerants in unapproved applications or non-EPA approved refrigerants and counterfeits, notify the FBI or the EPA immediately. Doing so will save lives.

Women in HVACR Host Live Podcast with Steve Coscia

f4f129ac3776225dad727bbafcd57ad0Steve Coscia, founder of Coscia Communication, has generously donated his time and expertise for a live online event hosted by the Women in HVACR organization. This live podcast will take place on Thursday, July 17 at 2pm ET. Steve will share “Extreme Customer Service Values and How-To’s”. No matter our position in this great industry, we can all polish our customer service skills on a daily basis. Steve is a widely published and quoted authority in the customer service industry.

To save your spot for this limited opportunity live podcast, click here Steve Coscia Live Podcast.

12 Technical Rules of Thumb for Installing Zoning

Z-300-HPS
1. In most cases, it will not be necessary to modify duct sizing when installing a zoning system.

2. It is a good practice to size the smallest zone to handle approximately 25% of the system CFM.

3. Never undersize the ductwork.

4. Upsizing registers in the smallest zone to the next larger size should be considered.

5. You can double the rated CFM of a register before it starts to become noisy.

6. Multi-stage equipment is always a better choice with a zoning system.

7. It is always better to slightly undersize the HVAC equipment than to oversize it.

8. Never locate a thermostat in a hallway.

9. Dampers should be installed at least 2 feet away from the plenum when possible.

10. Always use a separate 24 volt transformer to power the zone panel. Do not use the equipment transformer.

11. Always tag all wires, especially from dampers and thermostats.

12. Some basements may require setting the zone thermostat in the auto mode during the cooling season for the following reasons: basement walls are cold as a result of being underground, uninsulated ductwork located in the basement acts as a cooling radiator, ductwork leaking air, cold air falls.


For questions about zoning or for a quote on a zoning system, call us at 888.652.9663.

New E-Commerce Site Makes Ordering Easier

E-commerce ShotWe recently updated the look and navigation of our Web site to make it easier to find the great products you are searching for. A large part of this upgrade was improvements to our online ordering system. The new E-commerce tool is easier to use and contains more information about your account. With the new site, past orders can be viewed, quotes can be viewed and changed to orders and you can upload a CSV file of common or repetitive orders. These are just a few of the new features of the site. To help you better take advantage of the new E-commerce offerings, we have created a guide to navigating the site. We hope you find the changes useful and using the site a more enjoyable experience. Download the E-commerce User Guide

Future Workforce Concerns

Steve Coscia

Steve Coscia

At a conference in Baltimore, Steve Coscia engaged an audience of mostly college instructors about the future of the workforce. He shared an interesting research study from Bryant & Stratton College and and Wakefield Research focused on soft skills in the workforce. These soft skills include communication, teamwork, attitude and problem solving. Steve recently shared some of the studies findings on his blog. We wanted to share this important information which will have an on-going impact on the future of our workforce. Click here to read Steve’s post: Education, Evidence and Employment.

Greg McAfee to Host HVAC Business Boot Camp

build-your-businessIf Greg McAfee can do it…in Dayton, Ohio, you can too! Greg made an investment of $274.00 and worked to become the leading HVAC service provider in an area that’s been deemed one of the ten worst places to do business in the United States, Dayton, Ohio. Learn how he went from his humbling beginnings to a growing multi-million dollar company.

And now, Former Marine Greg McAfee and his Team are ready to share their knowledge, systems and quality practices with HVAC Business Owners and managers. The Boot Camp will be held on April 8 – 9 at Greg’s Dayton headquarters. Click here for more information or to register: HVAC Business Boot Camp

HVAC Business Boot Camp Open for Registration

build-your-businessIf Greg McAfee can do it…in Dayton, Ohio, you can too! Greg made an investment of $274.00 and worked to become the leading HVAC service provider in an area that’s been deemed one of the ten worst places to do business in the United States, Dayton, Ohio. Learn how he went from his humbling beginnings to a growing multi-million dollar company.

And now, Former Marine Greg McAfee and his Team are ready to share their knowledge, systems and quality practices with HVAC Business Owners and managers. There is an early bird discount for registrations made by February 14. Click here for more information or to register: HVAC Business Boot Camp

Steve Coscia to Host Webinar on Smarter Sales and Service

webinar_homepage1Steve Coscia is putting his money where his mouth is. Steve will give you almost $300 in resources that you can immediately put into play in your business.

First is an exclusive recording of a customer service seminar conducted for faculty and students at Northern Virginia Community College. It’s a 3 video set where Steve discusses advanced strategies for solid customer satisfaction. Second is a live talk-radio interview recording in which Steve discusses the causes of stress and techniques to stop it in its tracks. And third, a gift for the current or aspiring manager. A video based on the solid principles that enable a manager or supervisor to lead, motivate and inspire.

These resources are available to you immediately upon registration for Steve’s next live webinar, Smarter Sales and Service, on November 21 at 1:00pm EST. In this one hour webinar, you will get a custom-designed set of keys to unlock more sales, improved customer retention and greater profit. He will share scripts, flowcharts and templates – tools that will immediately open the floodgates to cash flow. Not only will the webinar be available for download after the event, yours to keep for future reference, it carries a 100% money back guarantee. No questions asked. And you’re getting resources worth almost five times the nominal cost of the webinar as soon as you register.

This event is limited to 100 seats and it will sell out. End the year with a clear vision of increased profitability in 2014 and register right now.

Teamwork, Mutual Respect and Customer Service by Steve Coscia

Steve Coscia

Steve Coscia

Establishing a culture of Teamwork is the optimal goal of customer service managers and it begins with the leader’s core beliefs and his ability to convey a vision. The core beliefs are often established through past experiences which influence a manager’s ability to create a world-class service culture.

For me, building a culture of teamwork, cooperation and mutual respect among departments is the result of an experience which occurred in 1974 while I worked in a warehouse. It was my job to drive a forklift, unload trucks, and pick and ship orders. I was a typical blue- collar worker who wore steel-toe shoes and blue jeans. My office counterparts, a little older than me, wore dress shoes, white shirts and ties. Back then, there were distinct differences between the guys who worked on the carpet (in the office) and the guys, like me, who worked in the warehouse.

The office guys spoke with customers, wrote new orders and guaranteed expedited shipments – all of which impacted me, but unfortunately I wasn’t invited to participate in the logistics of order fulfillment. This meant that I was often the last to know about orders that had to go out today. My office counterparts would venture onto the warehouse floor, seek me out and sternly insist that their order be sent today or else. Being resourceful and creative, I always figured out a way to squeeze their expedited orders into the workload mix. None of which ever resulted in a kind word of thanks or appreciation – after all, I was just a warehouse worker. My office counterparts took all the credit for the sale, the expedited fulfillment and the customer’s gratitude.

My experiences as a warehouse worker greatly influenced my style when I became a customer service manager in the 1980’s. I impressed upon my staff an understanding that warehouse workers make us look good because they convert our words into actions. I would say, We might be able to commit to a shipping deadline, but they guys in the back make it happen – and for that, we acknowledge their effort. Employees are more willing to cooperate when they have learned, through past experience, that they are part of the solution that makes the entire organization achieve business goals. I urge managers everywhere to build a culture of teamwork, cooperation and mutual respect.

Steve Coscia

Classrooms and Conversations from Steve Coscia

Coscia-NVCC

While serving clients in Virginia, I drove throughout this beautiful state with its lovely woodlands, awesome mountains and flowing rivers. While driving in my truck, through small towns and on a few back roads, I felt privileged to experience such splendor.

 

About a month ago, knowing I’d be in Virginia soon, I contacted Dick Wirz, the Assistant Dean of the AC & Refrigeration Program at Northern Virginia Community College. After telling Dick that I’d be serving clients near his college, he graciously invited me to deliver a soft skills seminar in the college auditorium.

 

See how Steve’s seminar turned out! Read the full article

Service Leaders Make a Difference by Steve Coscia

It happened slowly. The service, which used to be terrific, was showing signs of degradation.

For me, it’s the little things that count. It’s a welcome smile, an invitation to be seated, a quick request for my beverage order and frequent visits to my table just to make sure everything was OK. The restaurant owner, who was almost always present in the past, had been absent during my last few visits.

She was a lovely woman with a pleasant disposition and boundless energy. Her entire demeanor just exuded and attitude of “welcome to my place.” It was as though “her place” was her house and she meant to show off just how comfortable and relaxed you could become by just being there. I’d say she held the bar high and encouraged those around her to stretch their capabilities and step outside their comfort zones so that visitors to her place would feel welcome, relaxed and well-served. She demonstrated her role as a leader and in any service industry good leadership is essential. Read more at http://www.coscia.com/service-leaders-make-a-difference.

Live Streaming Training

Jackson Systems Offers Live Streaming Training

Twice a month we invite contractors to join us at our Indianapolis location for no cost training sessions. We are excited to share that we are now offering our training via a live online stream to accommodate contractors outside of the Indianapolis area.

 

Each training is designed to introduce you to new products and give you the tools and knowledge you need to master it. We want you to leave our training with confidence, knowing you can offer a new product to a client without worrying if you can install it correctly. Trying something for the first time can be daunting, and with a busy life sometimes it is easier to stick to what you know. When it comes to business, however, embracing the new is necessary to stay in the game.  We think our live streaming training is the perfect solution to balancing your busy life and educating yourself on new products so you can stay relevant.

 

Check out our events page to see a listing of our upcoming training dates and the products we will be discussing. Next up is White Rogers training so sign up today to attend in person or online.

 

How it works

 

The online training is hosted through GoToMeeting, which is a simple, user friendly format. For your first training session, you will need to “arrive” or log in early to download the system software, which only takes a few minutes.

 

What to expect

 

We use a high end web cam to stream the live training session so you don’t miss a beat. When the training goes from the hands on, step-by-step walk through training that you need to see to follow, we switch the screen to a presentation of information on the subject.   Throughout the presentation there is a live chat option to get any questions you have addressed. The presentation ends with a Question and Answer session so you can hear questions from other contractors.

 

The next training is this Thursday at 5 pm eastern time. If you can’t make it, don’t sweat. We will offer all of the training sessions on our website for you to access whenever you need them.

 

 

The Talented Steve Coscia

Last week, I was a featured speaker at the Mechanical Systems Week conference in Chicago.  Thousands of plumbing, heating and refrigeration professionals were there.

Imagine my surprise when I found a beautiful, white baby grand piano just outside the room in which I’d be speaking.  And the piano was in tune – amazing!

I sat on the bench and started playing the jazz standard, When Sunny Gets Blue by Marvin Fisher. Like magic, a small crowd gathered and everyone was smiling. Music makes people happy!

 

 

What happened later is not to be believed.  Total pandemonium!  Be on the lookout for my next message to learn about the chaos that erupted in the room, just prior to my speech.

On a side note, I want to convey a word of thanks to those who have made this year so exciting.  We have sold a record number of Customer Service Training Systems as a result of word-of-mouth marketing among industry pros.  It’s reassuring to have so many folks saying nice things about our educational materials.

If my travel brings me to a city near you, let’s meet. Call me at 610-853-9836.

Steve Coscia
Coscia Communications Inc.
www.coscia.com

 

STEVE’S TRAVEL SCHEDULE! Near You?
08/22/2012 Nova Scotia, CAN
08/23/2012 Nova Scotia, CAN
08/24/2012 Nova Scotia, CAN
09/12/2012 Oakland, CA
09/13/2012 Concord, CA
09/14/2012 Concord, CA
09/18/2012 Chicago, IL
09/19/2012 Chicago, IL
09/20/2012 Chicago, IL
09/21/2012 Chicago, IL
10/02/2012 Birmingham, AL
10/03/2012 Birmingham, AL
10/05/2012 Philadelphia, PA
10/16/2012 Houston, TX
10/23/2012 Raleigh, NC
10/24/2012 Columbia, SC
10/25/2012 Charlotte, NC
10/30/2012 Knoxville, TN
10/31/2012 Nashville, TN
11/27/2012 Birmingham, AL

 

 

Copy-of-O

Jackson Systems 2012 Fall/Winter Training Schedule

Jackson Systems has released their training schedule for the fall/winter of 2012.  All of the training classes will take place on a Thursday at Jackson Systems in their training room from 5:00pm-7:00pm

 

 

To RSVP for a class: visit www.jacksonsystems.com/events. Registration links will be posted 3 weeks prior to class date.

 

 

1)     BZD- Barometric Zone Damper

New Z-201 and Z-301 zone panels

Thursday October 4th

Class taught by Ron, Phil, Kurt of Jackson Systems

 

2)     Honeywell training-Products TBA

Thursday October 25th

Class taught by Tom Giorgio of Honeywell

 

3)     White Rodgers thermostat training

Thursday November 8th

Class taught by Joe Trimbach of White Rodgers

 

4)     Smoke Detectors

Thursday December 6th           

Class taught by Mark Falkiewicz of Air Products and Controls

 

5)     Ecobee new Smart SI thermostat

Thursday December 20th

Class taught by Jay Kress of Ecobee

 

6)     VCS-Ventilation Control System

New T-32-TS Thermostat

Thursday January 10th

Class taught by Phil and Kurt of Jackson Systems

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