March 2022 Newsletter

A Word from our President

cody

by – Cody Hanna-Hanna Heating & Air

Hopefully this week is the last of the cold weather. Like most of you, I’m looking forward to transitioning into some spring weather and getting spring maintenance started.

This month’s meeting is at the Scotch on the 17th @ 11:45. Federated Insurance will be there to talk about safe driving for employees and how companies can implement safe driving practices.

Don’t forget to bring your business card for a chance to win $100. Hope to see you there!

Please feel free to email or call Cody at (316) 945-3481 or cody@hannainc.com with any concerns or questions.


Diane

Diane L. Fettis Frederick was born March 13, 1958 to Everett and Joan Fettis in Wichita, KS., who preceded her in death in 2005. She died on February 26, 2022 after a short illness. Diane is survived by the love of her life, Ray R. Frederick, Jr.; precious children, Jack (Leslie), Jeff (Nicole), Ami Martinez (David), Ryan (Linda); 4 grandchildren, Kale, Max, James and Abbie; siblings, Lisa Fettis, Dan Fettis; niece, Lauren Fettis; uncle, Perry Conway; beloved puppy, Charlotte; and a crazy cat, fondly named PIG.

Also survived by lifelong friends, Tami Nielsen Fulton, Maureen Kennedy, Liz Rieger McGinness; lunch club, Leslie Robinson Horigan, Susan Fahnestock Aenchbacher, Shan Jabara, Alison Tracy, Debbie Potash Clem, and Alisa West; and two of her best buddies ever, Mark Mitchell and Mark Giles.

Diane graduated from Wichita State University in 1982 and, after her children were in school, she started her company – Keystone Support Services, LLC, as a certified geriatric care manager. Her company was dedicated to helping families with geriatric care issues, mental health options and developmental disabilities. Keystone closed in 2021 after Diane’s retirement. She loved helping others and had amazing memories from the times spent running her company.

She will be remembered by all for her amazing sense of humor, love of her family and friends as well as her willingness to help anyone!

At Diane’s request a private family gathering is planned. In lieu of flowers please donate to: The Mount Hope Animal Sanctuary, 15007 E. Greenfield Rd., Burrton, KS. 67020, A 501c3 nonprofit organization; or, to the Kansas Humane Society, 3313 N. Hillside, Wichita, KS 67219.

Diane would leave us with these words, “As my Dad would say, ‘It’s a great life’, and it has been!!!”
Services in care of Downing & Lahey East Mortuary.



Education

Thank you to everyone who attended this years classes.

The board will be looking at doing some

classes Fall 2022


KCCA $500 TOOL SCHOLARSHIP
The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.


February’s General Meeting

Thanks to the Kansas weather we had to cancel the February meeting.

Hope to see you @ future meetings!! All general meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month except August & December.


2021-2022 Meetings

 
March             Federated @ Scotch & Sirloin
April                Wichita City Mayor @ Scotch & Sirloin
May                WSU Tech @ WSU Tech
June               Tom Roberts @ Scotch & Sirloin

This list is subjust to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.

HVAC Field-Service Computer Software, Apps Becoming a Staple

Mobile apps can help diagnose, document work, even sell


APPS ON THE JOB: Many HVAC technicians now carry computer tablets or mobile phones armed with apps that can provide service histories, wiring diagrams, nearby parts suppliers, and more. (Courtesy of Unsplash)

February 14, 2022

Matt Jachman

Computer software for HVAC contractors has expanded from a business management tool that helps with scheduling, dispatching, and bookkeeping into a versatile asset that can also serve as a technician’s assistant, warehouse clerk, salesperson, and more — often during the same service call.

Contractors are using computer software, especially mobile apps accessed through a smartphone or computer tablet, to help techs in the field diagnose equipment problems, keep inventory, document work performed, and explain it to their customers. Some HVAC apps can also build estimates, present service options to homeowners and business owners, access financing for big-ticket repairs and replacements, and process payments.

“This is a tool that techs are using on every job, and we’re consistently providing” support, said Aaron Salow, founder and CEO of XOi Technologies, a Nashville-based software company built around three basic field-service trades that touch every home and business: HVAC, electrical, and plumbing.

Salow said he launched XOi in 2013 after seeing that what he calls the “curb-to-curb space” in field-service businesses was “vastly underserved.”

Chris Hunter, who started his career as an HVAC technician and is now director of customer relations at ServiceTitan, a Los Angeles-based company founded in 2007 that has a software platform for trades businesses that serves more than 7,500 customers in the United States and Canada, had a similar awakening.

“I saw the need,” said Hunter, who built an HVAC, plumbing, and electrical contracting business called Hunter Super Techs in Ardmore, Oklahoma, before joining ServiceTitan. “I felt the pain of the way the industry did things.”

Hunter signed his company up with ServiceTitan in 2014.

“The ability to have extreme visibility into all aspects of your business … that helped me right away,” added Hunter.

There are more than a dozen players in the U.S. HVAC field-service software market, and plenty of movement in the industry.

For example, Bluon Inc., in Irvine, California, recently announced nearly $37 million in new financing for the development of its e-commerce platform, further software development, and the growth of its sales and technical support teams. ServiceTitan and XOi last fall formed a partnership that’s described as an expansion of the existing integration of those two systems. And Successware, based in Columbia, Maryland, is planning a February release of a new communications system that will be able to interact with phone calls, emails, text messages and even messages sent via social media, plus a completely revamped office platform to be launched later this year.

Technician and Customer Support

Field-service apps can make an HVAC tech’s jobs easier and help them multitask better, developers say.

“Everything the tech needs to do the job and upsell is in the mobile app,” said Tony Nicolaidis, chief revenue officer at Successware, which is a veteran in field-services software that dates back to 1995.

The Successware app will give a technician the service history of a particular address, locate any needed parts at a nearby supplier, prompt a tech to take photos or videos of the work, and, if needed, connect with the head office via FaceTime for backup and mentoring.

Software also helps HVAC contractors with incoming service calls, dispatching, geolocation of job sites, pre-built forms that need to be completed before a job can be closed out, and explaining to customers — with the help of photographs and videos — what HVAC problems need to be fixed.

“It sets the tech up for success before they even get there,” said Hunter.

At XOi, the software is focused more on the technical aspects of a trade rather than on ancillary tasks such as dispatching and accounting. HVAC techs start a job by taking a photo of the data plate on the equipment to be serviced; the app then calls up a service history for that unit as well as available information on that make and model, such as manuals, wiring diagrams, and service bulletins.

“The tech the hero there,” said Salow, the XOi founder. “And the ability to give them tools they can use is going to expand your business.”

XOi can also links a techs with the support center at his or her employer, if offered, and to support centers that some equipment manufacturers have available; XOi also started its own virtual mentoring center late last year.

The multilevel communications available through its software — between contractors, distributors, OEMs, and customers — allow for information-sharing that can improve the HVAC industry as a whole, Salow said. Manufacturers, for example, are able to get better feedback on how their products are performing in the field.

“All the way through that value chain, we’re providing solutions,” he said.

On the customer-facing side, HVAC software can present equipment replacement options in a “good-better-best” format, with upfront pricing included, create estimates and invoices, guide buyers through a quick credit-approval process, and accept payments by credit and debit cards, checks, and even electronic transfers.

Customers can be invited to give reviews once a job is completed.

“Most technicians love getting a good review,” said Hunter.

Industry Trends

Successware’s field-service software can either be hosted on a contractor client’s own server or in the cloud, and the latter arrangement seems to be the trend in the industry.

Successware’s next-generation platform will be entirely in the cloud, a company spokeswoman said. The XOi and ServiceTitan HVAC platforms are cloud-based.

Hunter said he became a cloud convert back when he ran Hunter Super Techs and his shop’s server crashed on a hot Oklahoma summer day.

“We’ve got all these techs who don’t know where to go. We don’t know how to access the data,” Hunter said. “That’s the day we made the switch.”

Documenting repair and installation work, through HVAC software, is another trend those in the industry see.

Invention might be the mother of necessity in that case: Nicolaidis, at Successware, said he’s seeing more and more contractors that are requiring techs to take before-and-after photographs or videos as part of every call.

“Customers love to see what was done at their home,” said Salow


DIAGNOSE, DOCUMENT: Technicians can use some apps to troubleshoot HVAC system problems and document their work. The inset shows prompts that an HVAC technician might see while using an XOi Technologies app. (Courtesy of XOi Technologies)


Funny Photos


risk management corner

A Company Vehicle Crash Could Impact Everyone 

A devastating company vehicle crash can leave a lasting impact at your business in more ways than you may realize. Businesses may need to consider the negative repercussions stemming from “social inflation,” or, negative public sentiment and mistrust towards businesses among jury members. They may also need to contend with “nuclear verdicts;” an award that is significantly higher than would be expected given the facts of the case.

In litigation, jurors are sending a clear message that businesses can be held accountable for the actions of their employee d rivers; but have you considered the long-term effects that the crash itself could have on your employees — or your business?

Employee Impact. As your most valuable asset, your employees need to understand the real dangers of operating company vehicles in order to avoid potential life-altering, or life-ending crashes.

A crash could be a traumatic experience, not only for the driver or passengers, but for their fellow employees. Knowing that one of your employees may have sustained severe injuries, or perhaps did not survive, could have a lasting impact on everyone at your business. Any injuries or long-term disabilities sustained might lead to costly workers compensation claims and settlements. On top of that, your employee may be out of work for an extended period of time.

Business Impact. With the costs of nuclear verdicts continuing to rise, your business may be on the line as well. For example, if a jury awards a claimant a nuclear verdict, insurance may only cover a portion of that payment. The rest of the cost could go to you as the business owner, which may lead to bankruptcy if you cannot pay — and the loss of your business and your employees’ jobs. The harsh realities of these crashes occur all too often. Using proper training and creating a strong company driving policy could help avoid crashes and help to keep your employees — and your business — safe.

Create a Strong Driving Policy. A strong policy could:
 Prohibit company drivers from using mobile devices and other distractions behind the wheel
 Where appropriate, incorporate driver standards and screening for company drivers
 Outline expectations for safe vehicle usage
 Clarify consequences for failure to follow the company policy
 Go beyond the minimum local, state, and federal laws applicable to your business

Communicate, Demonstrate, and Enforce Your Policy. Every employee should be trained, and regularly retrained, on your driving policy. Be sure to keep records of any trainings that are completed by employees. Lead by example, and present information in a fresh and memorable way to increase retention. Follow through on the consequences of consistently failing to comply with your company driving policy.Knowing that all employees have access to life-saving knowledge can benefit their health and safety, and your company’s bottom line. A strong commitment to workplace safety, and a solid driving policy, could help prevent vehicle crashes from occurring in the first place. Evaluate your company policies, look for opportunities to reduce distractions, reinforce your safety culture, and help make the roads a safer place for everyone.

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