I recently attended an amazing course on Marketing and Selling HVAC Equipment, in which there were too many take-aways to even mention in a series of blogs. There was one particular question that generated a ton of conversation and seemed so simple: Why do you need an Installation Manual?
Most companies in the HVAC Industry, in most trades for that matter, started out as one or two man shops; ‘Chuck in a Truck’ so to speak. As you grow, there are several things these business owners have a hard time letting go, one of the most time consuming is the actual work/installation. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a small, growth minded, high quality contractor. The trouble here is finding the time to do everything needed for a company, like creating procedures, standards, and repeatable processes. If you do not do this now, when will you have the time?
- Use in your Sales Process: The use of high quality digital images, and video, in your sales process to explain how the best caliber of installation will take place, step-by-step, is an easy way to create and display value in your presentation. Unless you like being the low-bidder, and competing on price…
- Standard for training: In order to provide a training manual, and constant reminder for your installers on the correct quality and materials used, an Installation Manual is a way to trust the employees will continue at the high standard you already set for your company
- Parity between installation crews: Without a standard for installations, the lack of parity naturally causes the idea of “A” and “B” (hopefully not “C”) crews. If everyone is working to the same high standard, there should be no difference in the final product. Then you can work on training/labor hours…
- Standard for Merit Pay Increases: How do you reward an installer, or not reward them, if there is no standard for their work? They need to know what to do better, even better what they have done well. This standard will give them things to strive towards, a way to keep their morale high, and pay equal to their performance.
There are a variety of topics that can be included in this, here are a few ideas, but certainly not limited to:
- Area Preparation, like drop clothes
- Safety Equipment, Ladder Safety
- Installation Accessories like lineset covers, condensate pumps, safety switches
- Sealing of Home Penetrations
- Quality Installation Checklist
- Startup Checklist
Does your company have an Installation Manual? What types of items are in your manuals?