The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry has changed the way buildings are designed, constructed, and used. Subsequently, modern technological and electronic developments have reshaped how these systems are installed, how they operate, and how they are maintained. The result is a previously unseen standard of HVAC systems which are now smaller, smarter and more efficient than ever seen before.

Having a cutting-edge product is the starting point for success in any industry, but it is not enough. The same can be said in the case of HVAC companies who face many specific problems that can complicate the smooth-running of their operations.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of the 5 biggest challenges in 2018 for HVAC companies and provided some tips on how facilitate the work of the technicians and the running of operations.

1. Complex teams

Managing a technical assistance team is a difficult and demanding process that can take up too much of your time with the constant distribution of work assignments, checking up on staff, planning and monitoring of operations etc.

To make these fundamental tasks easier, we suggest the use of Infraspeak Planner, a recent module that can help increase operational performance in HVAC companies.

Its use is similar to other well-known traditional calendars but is considerably more intuitive and intelligent. Using this programme, managers are able to assign tasks to a particular technician through a simple drag-and-drop feature, and monitor the run of operations in detail. It is perfect for complex teams since it is possible to organise the work of the different teams and departments, reduce the time taken for each task and indirectly control expenses.

Infraspeak Planner makes the manager’s much easier and allows them to invest more time in strategic planning whilst preventing knowledge from being lost.

Find more about planning operations in complex teams in our article about managing operations with complex maintenance teams.

2. Communication

All technical assistants or sales representatives, indeed any member of staff, must be regularly trained so that they remain at the top of their game and feel well supported. We recommend at least three hours of coaching a month which is the perfect amount of time to ensure good communication flows between teams.

As well this time being invested back into your team’s personal development, it allows you to speed up processes whilst also shedding excess bureaucracy along the way. Centralising information allows technicians to understand their role and to work without being impeded by frustrating time-consuming stumbling blocks.

We have previously written in detail about how to improve communication within maintenance operations.

3. Costs 

HVAC service companies are feeling an increasing need to invest in specialised equipment and cutting-edge technology to keep ahead of the game. Consequently, to make matters more complicated, they also struggling to set competitive prices that won’t turn customers to other rival companies. It is something of a vicious circle.

The trick is to try to maintain a balance and offset what is spent by reducing costs at other opportunities. As we all know, time is money, so efficient management translates into fewer failure corrections, less money waste and more time optimization. Infraspeak can help with this as it allows for the elimination of up to 70% of the administrative work associated with maintenance. The gains from the use of the application become significantly higher than the cost of running it, and allow you to invest in technology without raising prices.

4. Climate

HVAC companies are busiest at times of extreme cold or heat. Extreme temperatures increase the number of calls and technicians become inundated with the number of maintenance requests they have to deal with. Consequently, high summer and winter are the times where there is the most demand on HVAC companies to deliver a flawless service.

As a business that experiences seasonal highs and lows, it is crucial that you manage your finances and planning schedule well to make the most of busy times and withstand more quiet periods of the year.

5. Customers

Although not always the fault of HVAC companies or their staff, paying customers can quickly become very impatient and dissatisfied at the failure of something like air conditioning. Of course excellent customer interaction is important, but an even better tactic is to avoid the situation all together!

The best solution to control unexpected issues is to invest in proper preventive maintenance, which ensures that equipment works in full conditions for longer, with better performance and fewer failures. Changing the filters regularly, checking the registers, and scheduling seasonal cleanings are just some examples of what should be done.