Results 118 to 130 of 137
03-18-2013, 09:34 AM #118Professional Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Tidewater Virginia
In a time when the local residential and light commercial "mom and pops" were charging $55/hr and almost no parts markup to bring in and keep business, I calculated a 10% profit margin (most industries would consider this austerity) for my one man shop at $137/hr with no parts markup and paying myself about $20/hr! I'm sure I could have made it work with the customer base and my quality of work / reputation, but growing a business where the first question out of the customer's mouth is "what's your labor rate?" would have severely limited the situation. I decided not to open the doors as a result.
An employee / tech making $20/hr costs the employer $45-50/hr with the expenses on average. Add in the overhead and support employees, van, fuel, parts stock, licensing, taxes and everything else that keeps the doors open, and it's easy to see why our industry doesn't run the 30-40% profit margins of some other industries in the US.
03-18-2013, 10:02 AM #119Professional Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Tidewater Virginia
In the end, doesn't the sales/vs/service question come down to ethics? My code of ethics says diagnose the problem as completely as possible, place the options and the risks in front of the customer and let them decide how to spend THEIR money. This is not to say that I will give them the option to reactivate a machine that's unsafe to operate (for both their well-being and my liability), but if I believe with my best professional opinion that they can get a couple more years of useful operation from a system at a reasonable cost to operate, I'll make that clear to them. Most of my customers trust my judgement (they wouldn't let me in the door if they didn't) and I want the best for them in longevity, reliability and cost. In the end the decision is theirs... It doesn't matter if the blower is 12" in diameter or 12'. If I think a better way, an option or an upgrade will help take care of a problem for my customer, I'll suggest it and get them a price if they're interested. This attitude keeps me productive, keeps my personal numbers high enough to win awards and takes the best care of the customer that I can. It's worked for over 20 years for me now working on units from window shakers to 200+ tons in manufactured housing, residential, commercial and industrial.
Last edited by bearfromobx; 03-18-2013 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Clarity issue
03-18-2013, 10:07 AM #120
Amazed at the Negative responses
Here are some of the highlights that i would like to address
1) I forgot to include the Vacation in the benefits , its 1 week after 1 year,2 weeks after 2 years .3 weeks after 3 years , plus birthdays after 1 year , plus Xmas day,thanksgiving , july 4th and xmas eve , and good friday .
2) We are not a Rip off company ! the Add was misconstruid and then the thread went downhill form there
3) Why are we looking for more techs , great question , we are expanding , revenue is up 42 % in 2012 and we project 35% growth in 2013 , we still have the same 5 techs from 2012 and the same 6 installers since 2004 !
4) Service techs only run on average 4 to 5 calls per day not 10 or more as mentioned by others who read neagativly into my add
5) High stress environment , give me a break if its 105 degrees and you are replacing a blower motor in a 130 degree attic .THATS HIGH STRESS .
Any commercial techs who have not tried Residential service continue what you are doing , its not for everyone , however if you are a young residential tech who wants to see a carreer path and be trained by men with intergrity give us a call or visit our website at www.coolairsam.com
no i didnt spell check for any spell check wacko out there !
03-18-2013, 10:34 AM #121
I see you addressed none of my comments.
I rest my case.
03-18-2013, 11:57 AM #122
Licensed in Texas since 1983 TACLB590C
This is our second Residential company , sold the first one in 97 to a consolidator.
03-18-2013, 01:45 PM #123
I'm busy, as I am certain you are as well, so I quoted my main points for you.
If you found negativity in some of the posts, it is because of what this industry seems to have become in the residential sector. There are many guys that can smile and charm and sell a new system to replace that 4 year old dinosaur in the basement.
How many can do actual service work? I think that number is shrinking, and quickly. BUT, does that raise the wages for the talented service technician?
No, because he is being replaced with a sales technician that will make much more money for the residential contractor.
03-18-2013, 01:57 PM #124
03-18-2013, 03:31 PM #125
The problem is this:
The industry must be willing to reward top people. If they don't, owners will continue to get what they are willing to pay for.
03-19-2013, 02:21 AM #126Professional Member*
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Chicago area
Will you ever stop giving us your resume?
The last guy I worked with that did that almost killed everyone in a 4 story office building after replacing an inducer motor with the wheel installed backwards. He too was a top notch chiller guy, at least thats what he kept telling me every time I saw him.
03-19-2013, 07:42 AM #127Technical incompetence is NOT a sales tool....
03-19-2013, 07:51 AM #128
Certainly, chiller work is good work that pays well. But that work, or its position in the industry food pyramid, is not the issue.
The issue is whether the residential sector, with the most HVAC workers, can increase its the attractiveness to draw in talented workers, when there are many other venues for those individuals to be employed.
With the increase in software development, and the lack of education of middle class kids in math and science, where will the resi techs of the future come from?
Will the industry be dumbed-down by self-diagnostic microprocessors telling the tech which part to replace??
Will equipment service life be further shortened so that replacing four year old systems actually becomes justified??
With all the choices of today, you have to be willing to pay and train and reward good techs if you want them. If you act like the tech is a sales guy, you won't have techs that can diagnose and repair.
This creates a niche for companies that have guys that CAN repair, but you will have to PAY them.
03-19-2013, 10:54 PM #129
I have only been in the trade since 2006, so i'm not a seasoned vet, but i have noticed a few things in my general area. There are a few companies in our area that pay their techs flat rate + parts sales commission. I have seen/met some very good techs from these companies, but also some very very bad ones. I came upon an 18 year-old RTU that had been pretty much overhauled. the only things that had not been replaced included the condensing coil and the RTU chassis. Everything else was new and dated. it had all been done in two consecutive days. The operations manager returned from vacation to find the outrageous bill and terminated their service contract. the following day the service manager showed up and tried to buy back the contract. In my opinion flat rate and commission from sales can turn even the most trustworthy, honest tech into a deceitful one. I can't speak for anyone but myself, but i have mouths to feed at home and if my paycheck depended on parts commission i would be selling parts left and right. In our area anyway its just not in the best interest of the customer.
03-20-2013, 06:45 AM #130
On the other hand, I have had clients who will steadfastly avoid replacing a unit like the one you described. They instead will pay nearly the cost of a new unit for repairs, as long as it is less than the replacement cost. The difference is the accounting for repairs versus a capital expenditure.
In the case you described, not all of those parts may have failed, and that is the problem with making pay dependent upon the number of parts a tech can replace.