Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Power of Facial Gestures and Vocal Tone

By Steve Coscia

For months, I have been traveling across the United States speaking at HVAC Conferences and conducting training sessions. While business travel can be fun, the luster soon wears down due to the myriad of uncontrollable events which can arise.
During a recent return trip from the west coast, I boarded an airplane which was filled to capacity. Feeling exhausted and tired after a day on my feet, having conducted a six-hour HVAC training session, I sought an overhead compartment for my carry-on luggage. The only available compartment had a garment bag laid horizontally across the entire length. This careless use of an entire overhead compartment for one piece of luggage seemed excessive to me, so with a conspicuously puzzled look on my face, I glanced around to see if anyone would speak up about their garment bag. I made eye contact with all the passengers in near proximity and no one owned up to this wastefulness. Seeking a resolution, I loudly asked “Is this anyone’s garment bag?” A coy, thirty-something man who averted my eye contact earlier spoke in an indignant and condescending tone and said, “Don’t screw up my clothes.”  His tone of voice spoke volumes about his negative attitude.

So I gave him “the look.” Not a word was uttered and none was needed because my facial expression said it all. He meekly looked away as I carefully rearranged the overhead compartment to fit more baggage without disturbing his precious cargo.
Perhaps my early lessons about “the look” go back to childhood. My father knew exactly how to convey a warning without saying a word. He did it with “the look.” After a few seconds, which seemed more like an eternity, my dad would use his serious “tone of voice” to ensure that his message got through.
An HVAC Service manager’s facial expressions and tone of voice can convey a variety of emotions – both in person and over the phone. Non-verbal behavior need not always be serious and negative. A positive and enthusiastic glance along with a thumb up gesture conveys a message of “a job well done.”
Sensible use of non-verbal behavior and proper tone of voice is a powerful tactic for HVAC Service Managers. In the absence of preparation, prior to making an important phone call, an apprehensive and uncertain tone of voice can reveal much and diminish a manager’s vocal image over the phone.
Communication is not what you say over the phone; it is what the person hears. And the vocal image is conjured up in the imagination of the listener. What do you want people to imagine about your vocal image?

Take it to the next level and watch Steve’s video, Click HERE: http://www.coscia.com/toughmgr.php

Steve Coscia biography:
Steve Coscia helps HVACR companies make more money through increased customer retention, improved upselling and reduced on-the-job stress. He is the author of the HVAC Customer Service Handbook. A best selling author and 20-year customer service specialist, Steve presents keynote speeches and facilitates HVACR customer service workshops. To get a glimpse of Steve’s book, go here:
http://www.coscia.com/hvacbook.php

The Warning Watchdog™ Versus Another Alarm System

by Mike Holscher, Senior Product Engineer for Jackson Systems, LLC.

Recently, Jackson Systems had an opportunity to compare our condensing unit alarm system, the Warning Watchdog™, to another air conditioning alarm system on the market. While we knew that we had a great product in the Warning Watchdog™, even we were surprised on how well our product fared against the competition. Here is a summary of our test results.

The labor required for the installation of the Warning Watchdog™ is minimal compared to the competition. The Warning Watchdog™ does not require that you run any copper tubing nor does it require any soldering. The competition’s alarm system requires that you mount their pressure sensor on a separate length of copper tubing running from the condensing unit to the inside of the building. This requires soldering and is extremely labor intensive and costly.

Another labor intensive feature of the competition’s system is that their sensors are not wired in series but rather home runned back to the alarm panel. This requires the contractor to pull extra wire and also to land up to 16 wires back to the control panel when protecting multiple condensing units. The Warning Watchdog™ requires that you only run two wires back to the control panel to protect one or more condensing systems.

The Warning Watchdog™ panel has a very easy to use and clearly labeled terminal strip. The number of terminals on the Warning Watchdog™ is 8, with all 8 terminals labeled. The competition does not have labels for their terminals. They also have forty (40) terminals. Forty terminals that are not labeled! We feel clear communication is important and makes for an easy choice when considering product selection.

We also noted that the competition does not have a circuit timer that shuts off the alarm siren after a predetermined amount of time. Most communities will not allow a siren to sound indefinitely. The Warning Watchdog™ has a timing circuit that silences the alarm after 5 minutes of operation.

The Warning Watchdog™ has a green LED that shows the sensors are wired correctly. The competition does not have any type of indicator to show that the controls were wired correctly.

Another feature that differentiates the Warning Watchdog™ from the competition is that we use a closed loop for the sensors while the competition uses an open loop for the sensors. This is a very important distinction. In our closed loop system, if the sensor wiring is cut, the alarm will be triggered. In an open loop system, if any of the sensor wires are cut the system will be disabled. We believe a closed loop system is superior to an open loop because an open loop can easily be disarmed or bypassed.

Lastly, an interesting marketing claim by the competition is that other alarm systems, possibly they are including the Warning Watchdog™, gives false alarms due to a drop in outdoor temperature. The Warning Watchdog™ does not give false alarms as we mount the pressure switch on the liquid line of the condensing unit. The competition mounts their pressure switch on the suction line which could give a false alarm during low ambient startup.

With our state-of-the-art electronics, voltage monitoring relay, pressure switch, and closed loop control circuit, the Warning Watchdog™ gives the most reliable protection, with the easiest installation without false alarms.

Protect your condensing unit investment with the best alarm system in the industry, the Warning Watchdog™ by Jackson Systems.

For more information on the Warning Watchdog™, visit http://www.jacksonsystems.com.

Jackson Systems Takes Gold, Silver, and Bronze at the 2011 Dealer Design Awards

Jackson Systems, LLC, an Indiana-based, award-winning HVAC manufacturer and wholesaler, has won Dealer Design Awards’ Gold Award in the Commercial Controls Category for the Wireless Zone One, the Silver Award in the Components and Accessories Category for the Wireless Comfort Relay Kit, and the Bronze Award in the Residential Controls Category for the Wireless Comfort WCZ-600 Zone Panel.

Wireless Zone One, Gold Award in Commercial Controls Category

Jackson Systems LLC’s Wireless Zone One™ (WZ1™) damper assemblies are installed in the ductwork supplying an individual zone and are designed to prevent or eliminate overcooling and/or overheating of individual zones within a commercial building. The assemblies consist of the damper, control module and sensor, and a WZ1-T thermostat.

Wireless Comfort WR-400 Relay Kit, Silver Award in Components and Accessories Category

The Wireless Comfort™ WR-400™ from Jackson Systems is a wireless relay kit that allows a contractor to wirelessly “add” connections to hundreds of applications. Typically, it is used when upgrading a client to a multi-stage condensing unit or heat pump and there are not enough wires running out to a unit. The kit contains two four-channel transceivers. The transceivers are small and can fit into weather-proof enclosures for outdoor use.

“As has been our experience with all Jackson System products and service … outstanding!” said one contractor judge.

Wireless Comfort WCZ-600 Zone Panel, Bronze Award in Residential Controls Category

Wireless Comfort WCZ-600 zone panel from Jackson Systems, LLC, is a six-zone, two-position forced-air zone control panel. It offers universal control for single-stage, multistage, heat pump, and dual-fuel systems (up to four heat/two cool).

“This is an impressive system due to the use of wireless technology,” said one judge. “We are installing more and more zone systems, and the ability to be able to not have to run wires between the panel and the dampers and thermostats would give us an opportunity to sell them in applications where previously it was impractical.”

We at Jackson Systems are honored to receive these awards. For more information on these award-winning products, visit www.jacksonsystems.com or call us at 888-652-9663.

 

The Benefits of Automatic Flow Limiting Valves over Traditional Automatic Balancing Valves

By Marie of Flo-Pac, LLC.

Automatic balancing valves offer a number of benefits over manual balancing
valves
or circuit setters.  Automatic flow limiting valves (or AFLs) offer even more benefits than traditional automatic balancing valves, and these features can reduce costs incurred by the final system.

Like most other valves, an AFL valve is capable of detecting the rate of flow by reading the pressure differential across the valve.  However, a totally accurate measure of the gallons-per-minute passing through the water system cannot be attained by measuring the flow rate across the valve.  If the valve cannot accurately measure the flow rate, the entire system will be unable to calibrate itself for optimal performance and energy savings –effectively eliminating some of the benefit of using automatic balancing valves over manual valves in the first place.

The difference lies in the AFL valve’s ability to measure GPM accurately by reading the differential pressure through the cartridge.  This provides an  accurate picture of the GPM flow rate, which allows the water system to automatically balance itself to achieve the right pressure and flow. Having the right settings means that the system will run more efficiently, which helps save on energy costs and future repair costs.  It also makes troubleshooting easier if something in the system were to go wrong.  Asking for an automatic flow limiting valve can help reduce overall costs in the future and make your entire project run smoother in the present.

BackPack Attack 2011

The BackPack Attack is an annual school supply drive fore Indianapolis and Marion County students. Since 1999, BackPack Attack has collected more than 2.8 million school supplier for children in the Indianapolis Public Schools as well as other schools in Marion, Boone, Hancock and Hendricks counties. Last year, the program collected 16,000 backpacks, which was more than ever before.

This summer, Jackson Systems’ employees have been collecting school supplies to donate to the program.

“This is the third year that Jackson Systems has participated in the BackPack Attack program. Last year our employees donated 531 school supplies and we’re aiming to top that number this year,” says Kelly Kuner-Sexton, Human Resources Manager at Jackson Systems.

Want to get involved with BackPack Attack? There is still time to donate! check out http://www.indybackpackattack.org/, or find them on facebook.

Thermostat Recycling Corporation Posts 28% Increase in Thermostat Recycling in 2010

Outreach, legislation, and strategic partnerships contribute to the recovery of 1,878 pound of mercury.

May 10, 2011 – The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), an industry-funded non-profit, today announced a 28% increase in its overall collections in 2010. With the support of over 3,600 HVAC
wholesale distributors, HVAC contractors, local governments, and retailers acting as collection points, TRC recovered nearly one ton of mercury during the year.

TRC’s collection sites in Maryland, California, Florida, and Pennsylvania recovered the most mercury with 385 pounds, 188 pounds, 134 pounds, and 99 pounds respectively.

Additionally, TRC added over 700 new collection locations in 2010. The vast majority were HVAC wholesale distributors, which have volunteered to collect and arrange for transport waste mercury
thermostats. In the last two years, TRC has added over 1,400 collection locations to its network.

“Without the participation and support of the HVAC industry, this increase in collections would not have been possible,” said Mark Tibbetts, Executive Director of TRC. “We are particularly pleased with the increase in collection sites resulting from the relationship with Heating Airconditioning, Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI). Their support has been instrumental in recent growth.”

More information on TRC’s program is available in its 2010 Annual Report, available at www.thermostat-recycle.com/media.

About TRC

TRC is an industry-funded non-profit corporation supported by 32 manufacturers who historically branded and sold mercury thermostats in the U.S. TRC assumes all costs to transport and properly dispose of mercury-switch thermostats removed from service. Since its inception TRC has recovered over 1.1 million thermostats, diverting nearly five tons of mercury from solid waste. Nationally, TRC has over 3,600 collection locations in 48 states. Follow us at www.twitter.com/#!/tstat_recycle.

Jackson Systems is one of TRC’s collection sites. We are happy to help their recycling efforts, and we promote sustainability in our offices every day. Has your company sent materials to TRC as well? What does your company do to help the environment?

Nexstar® Network Announces New President & CEO Effective November 2011

The Nexstar® Network Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jack Tester has been appointed President & CEO, effective November 2011. After an extensive one-year search by a specially formed committee, Board Chair Tammy Ferris said, “We all agree that Tester is the best candidate for the job.”
Tester is no stranger to Nexstar. He has served as Coaching Manager for five years, supervising a team of coaches and providing guidance, training and proven systems to 400+ members. His Nexstar experience actually began much earlier in 1992 as the first employee of Nexstar (then named Contractors 2000), recruited by Nexstar founder Frank Blau. Tester was the executive director of the organization until 1998.’
Jack is looking forward to leading the business development and best practices organization into the future. “There is no organization that provides its members with more or better tools to win in the marketplace,” says Tester. “ I look forward to helping our members increase sales and profits in my new role as we continue to reach our full potential together.”
Prior to Contractors 2000, Jack was the Assistant Executive Director of the Minnesota PHCC and also spent seven years with American Residential Services, serving as a Regional Vice President and Vice President of Residential Services. In this position, he was responsible for sales and marketing of the overall company and developed best practices management programs for 64 locations.
Nexstar’s current President & CEO Greg Niemi will hand the reins over to Tester in November after 11 years of service. Together with the Board of Directors, Greg has put together a succession training and mentoring program to allow for a smooth transition. This will ensure that Nexstar maintains high standards and best practices and retains the culture and integrity of the organization. The program mirrors the succession planning training that Nexstar provides to members.
Niemi says he will leave things in good shape and good hands. “I’m proud to have the very best contractors belonging to the very best business development and training organization in the world,” said Niemi. “I’m ever so thankful to our founders, our members, partners and talented staff. Nexstar truly is the world-class model of the industry.”
For more information on Nexstar® Network, go to www.nexstarnetwork.com or contact Lisa Schardt or Bryan Martin at 888.240.STAR.

 

Jackson Systems is proud to be a Nexstar Strategic Partner, and congratulates Jack Tester on his new position.

Jackson Systems, LLC Honored as One of the 2011 Indiana Companies to Watch

Jackson Systems, LLC, has been recognized as one of the 2011 Indiana Companies to Watch, an awards program presented by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, its Small Business Development Center network, Purdue University and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

Forty-three companies from Indiana will be honored as outstanding second-stage companies during the fourth annual Indiana Companies to Watch awards program, held on Aug. 25 in Indianapolis.

Companies to Watch is an awards program that celebrates Indiana’s privately held second-stage companies, typically those businesses that are past the startup phase, are considered to be established, and face issues of growth, not survival.

Companies honored range in industries and have headquarters based in 19 counties throughout the state. Among the 43 honored companies in 2011 is Jackson Systems, LLC.

Jackson Systems, LLC, is an award-winning HVAC manufacturer and wholesaler. Through our mission to provide the best quality and most contractor-friendly control products and service in the industry, we work each day to deliver excellence. Founded in 1997, Jackson Systems today is  celebrated as one of the fastest growing companies in Indiana. Jackson Systems serves customers worldwide as a leading direct-to-contractor zone control manufacturer and distributor.

Combining the skills of our talented technical engineers and the customer service support of our sales team, Jackson Systems sets the standard from creating contractor-friendly products and available support teams to help our customers achieve success. Jackson Systems is the direct choice for simple controls. For formal quotes, design assistance or additional information, visit www.jacksonsystems.com or call 888-652-9663.

About Indiana Companies to Watch

Companies to Watch firms must employ between six and 150 full-time equivalent employees, have between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue or working capital in place, and demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on employee or sales growth, exceptional entrepreneurial leadership, sustainable competitive advantage or other notable strengths.

This year more than 300 Indiana companies were nominated and 213 companies submitted applications for the Companies to Watch program. From that pool, 111 finalists were selected, and 43 companies emerged to become the 2011 class of Indiana Companies to Watch.

This awards program is unique because of its focus on second-stage companies. The impact of these companies on Indiana’s economy is immense. During 2006-2008 Indiana’s resident companies averaged more than 33,000 second-stage establishments according to YourEconomy.org, an online resource of the Edward Lowe Foundation. Those second-stage companies employed more than 784,000 workers.

Looking at the contributions of these companies from a different perspective, from 2006-2008 only 9.5 percent of Indiana’s resident establishments were in the second-stage category, however, they generated 37 percent of net new jobs.

Indiana Companies to Watch is a collaboration among the Indiana Economic Development Corp., through its Small Business Development Center Network, Purdue University and the Edward Lowe Foundation.

This program would not be possible without the generous support of Barnes & Thornburg LLP  as well as Premier Capital Corporation, Katz, Sapper & Miller, KeyBank and Ivy Tech Community College. The program is also supported by media sponsors BizVoice magazine, Inside Indiana Business and Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly.

About the program presenters:

The state of Indiana’s lead economic development agency, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation oversees Indiana’s statewide business attraction and development efforts, coordinates state programs, and incentives for companies looking to grow in Indiana, and provides assistance and funding to Indiana entrepreneurs and high-tech start-ups.

The Indiana Small Business Development Center Network offers free and low-cost strategic assistance for growth oriented entrepreneurs and businesses with less than 500 employees. Funded in part by the federal and state government, the ISBDC is focused on growing the economy through small businesses.

As Indiana’s land-grant university, Purdue University has a long history and commitment to Indiana’s economic development. In today’s knowledge based economy, this commitment is more important than ever. Purdue supports the Companies to Watch program through its Office of Engagement, Center for Regional Development, Burton Morgan Center for  entrepreneurship, College of Agriculture, Purdue Extension, Technical Assistance Program, and the Purdue Research Foundation.

The Edward Lowe Foundation inspired the creation of the Companies to Watch program to celebrate second-stage entrepreneurs and their companies. Established in 1985, the Edward Lowe Foundation is a Michigan-based nonprofit organization that supports entrepreneurship through recognition, education and research with a focus on second-stage companies—those that have moved beyond the startup phase and seek significant, steady growth. The foundation also encourages economic gardening, an entrepreneur-centered strategy providing balance to the traditional approach of business recruitment.

2nd Annual Contracting Week Taking Place in October, Registration Now Open

For Immediate Release
July 5, 2011
Media Contact: Melissa Broadus, 703-575-4477
melissa.broadus@acca.org

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the nation’s largest association of indoor environmental systems professionals, has opened registration for Contracting Week being held October 18 -21 in Nashville, Tennessee.
For the second year, ACCA is bringing together four unique learning events in one location over four days. By holding these events at the same time, it allows contractors in a number of fields to come together for specialized training and networking. By having the meetings together over the course of one week, participants gain a number of options for expanding their leadership skills. Contractors can attend one event, or choose specially-priced packages for two events or even the whole week.
Contracting Week 2011 is presented by ACCA in partnership with the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS. The events of Contracting Week 2011 will be held at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee from October 18-21, 2011. Registration is now open, along with program information, at www.contractingweek.com.
Kicking off the week on October 18 and 19 are two new events, the Technology and Business Systems Forum and the Geothermal Contracting Roundtable.

The Technology and Business Systems Forum is a two day event that is for contractors, not geeks! It is aimed at contracting business owners, operations managers, office managers, service and sales managers — NOT technology geeks. We’ll offer a wide variety of sessions led by contractors and experts, explaining in plain-English language what these new tools do, if you should use them, and if so, how to use them right. Some of the topics that will be covered are:

Improving Profitability: Connecting Technology, People and Performance
Redesigning & Upgrading Your Website
Straight Talk on Technology & Business Solutions
To the Cloud and Beyond

The Geothermal Contracting Roundtable is a unique and intense one day event geared towards businesses that design, install, and maintain geothermal systems. This full day, interactive learning experience will bring you together with the top geothermal contractors and leaders in the industry to share best practices, innovative ideas, and practical solutions to give you a competitive edge. Some of the topics that will be covered are:

Designing Drilling Fields for Maximum Efficiency
Selling and Financing Geothermal Systems
Shrinking the Geothermal Footprint
Drilling Down Drilling Relationship

On October 20 and 21, the 4th Annual National HVACR ServiceManagers Forum, which has developed into ACCA’s most popular managers meeting, returns with a new series of networking events and seminars led by service managers and contractors from all over the country focused on management skills, team development, and lead generation. And for the first time this year, the forum will feature 12 unique learning labs to choose from, providing a more customized learning experience. Some of the topics that will be covered are:

Are You Maximizing the Value of Each Service and Maintenance Call?
Timing is Everything! Hiring the Right People at the Right Time
From Team Member to Boss – Making a Successful Transition
Creating a Culture of Integrity & Profitability within Your Service Company

The 8th Annual Commercial Contracting Roundtable will also be held October 20 and 21. This intensive schedule of learning labs focuses on the leadership skills you need to succeed with commercial service and sales innovation. You’ll spend time with top contractors, management experts, and industry innovators who have come together in this unique forum to help you meet and exceed all your business goals. The focus is on the big picture at this event, offering commercial firm owners and executives a chance to enhance their leadership skills and grow their businesses in a challenging environment. Some of the topics that will be covered are:

The Business of Energy
How to Enhance the Value of Your HVAC Company
High Quality/High Performance – How Corporate Culture Impacts Organizational Success
Foundation for Growing Commercial Service

Registration is now open for all four events held during Contracting Week at www.contractingweek.com or by calling 703-824-8856. There are also specially-priced packages available, allowing participants to sign up for two events or the whole week. Early bird registration, with a $50 discount, is available until July 31. Limited sponsorship opportunities are also available for each event; for display and sponsorship info, contact Kimberly Hurley at 703-824-8861 or kimberly.hurley@acca.org.

Jackson Systems is a proud sponsor of ACCA’s contracting week. We hope to see everyone there!

Common Courtesy Must be More Common

by Steve Coscia, www.coscia.com.
Our mothers in many cases probably gave us our first and best customer service lesson when they taught us to say “May I,” “Please,” and “Thank you.” These polite words still work wonders toward building rapport with customers. The correct word along with a positive tone of voice transforms a greeting into something special. How can something so simple be so profound? The answer is not always obvious. Innovative HVAC, plumbing and refrigeration companies have included the phrases “May I,” “Please,” and “Thank you” into their culture in an effort to differentiate themselves from their competition. Why? Because too many service companies do not inculcate this behavior as a core principle among their employees.

Company owners interested in changing their employee’s behavior (and the amorphous “culture”) begin by leading the way and demonstrating the changed behavior, values and improved communications style. Employees will not always believe what they read or hear, at least not sufficiently to galvanize them into action. They believe what they SEE.

Customer expectations among homeowners regarding technical service professionals’ communication skills are that manners and eloquence are secondary. The image that customers have regarding what a technical worker should look and sound like are based on personal experience or hearsay. These biases sometimes run deep. Yet this bias is an opportunity for service companies to gain a competitive edge and strategic advantage.

A profound opportunity to differentiate your service company can be achieved in how a service professional answers his phone when a customer returns a voice-mail message. A customer who calls a service professional back has no expectation beyond the information to be shared. However, when a service professional begins each returned phone message with the phrase, “Thank you for returning my call,” then the customer hears the something special. What the customer hears is almost always more important than what a service professional says.

When asking a customer for their address, a service professional should ask, “May I please have the street address?” because this provides further courteous differentiation.

Using the phrases “May I,” “Please,” and “Thank you” has a dramatic effect on a customer encounter. The infusion of politeness results in two key benefits. The first thing it does is to surprise and delight customers, since the service
professional’s communication style is unexpected. The customer’s surprise is
usually audible. This also helps establish a calm tone and demeanor during the
call. The second benefit is the service professional’s Halo Effect, which results in greater customer flexibility. Both benefits simplify subsequent work.

 

At Jackson Systems, we pride ourselves on having such a polite and courteous staff. We hope this reflects in how our customers view our company. Have you noticed a positive response in your customers by making simple changes, such as the phrasing Steve discussed?

Jackson Systems Welcomes New C.O.O.

Jackson Systems, LLC, is proud to welcome Carl Kasten as Chief Operating Officer (C.O.O.) to our team.

As C.O.O., Carl will be responsible for the operations in most areas of the company, including Information Technology, Operations, Finance and Human Resources. Additionally, he will play a vital role with Jackson Systems’ Sales and Marketing teams, especially when it comes to analyzing data. He will also be assisting in the Custom Controls division with researching new opportunities and administration.

“We are truly excited to have Carl join the Jackson Systems’ team. His many years of experience leading large organizations will be greatly beneficial to us as we enter our next rapid growth phase. Carl understands for us to remain successful, Jackson Systems must continue to build a strong infrastructure, so that customer service remains the company’s number one asset during our growth. Carl also brings a sense of perspective about the importance of family, friends and having fun,” says Tom Jackson, C.E.O. of Jackson Systems, LLC.

Carl graduated from Butler University with an MBA in Finance and Marketing. He also studied Aerospace Administration and Business at Indiana State University. Prior to joining Jackson Systems, LLC, Carl held the position of Senior Supply Chain Manager at ProTrans International. In addition to his professional life, Carl is a pilot who enjoys traveling with his family. He lives in Avon, IN with his wife and three children.