ACHRNEWS

Beutler Thrives In New Construction Market

August 25, 2004
Beutler Corp. is one of the major residential HVAC contracting, engineering, and sheet metal fabricating companies in the United States. Is it any wonder that the Sacramento, Calif.-based company placed among The News' roster of major league residential new construction contractors for 2004? In fact, it finished right behind leadoff hitter and The News' repeat top slugger for 2003 - Chas Roberts Air Conditioning Co., Phoenix.

Chas Roberts recorded $134 million-plus in residential new construction for 2003. Beutler was not too far behind, recording more than $117 million. In the big picture, Chas Roberts' 2003 total income was $144 million. Beutler chalked up $137 million.

Both firms far outdistanced the pack with their respective financial figures. Following Beutler in the rankings was Tempo Mechanical, Irving, Texas, which placed a still-impressive third with more than $15 million in residential new construction for 2003.

"At Beutler, we work hard to deliver solutions, not just products and labor," said president Rick Wylie, who has guided the team since 1986. "We're proud that our achievements have earned us recognition among our peers in the building industry and others. Our pride is not about receiving the awards themselves, but for what they stand for - the excellence we strive to create every day."

Beutler Corp.’s board of directors (from left): Tom Beutler, vice president and chief financial officer; Gary Beutler, chairman of the board; Rick Wylie, president; Steve Brown, vice president of marketing and corporate growth; Rob Penrod, vice president and chief engineer; Jeff Starsky, vice president of legal and government affairs; and Scott Sahota, vice president of construction. (Photo provided by Beutler Corp.)

Key Strategies

Founded in 1947, Beutler's core business is supplying heating and air conditioning systems to Northern California home builders. The company operates four facilities in Northern California and employs more than 1,800 workers. According to Wylie, Beutler is the only single employer offering a three-year, state-certified apprenticeship program in California.

Wylie said Beutler is committed to continuous and comprehensive training opportunities for its employees. This is one of the company's five key strategies, all zeroing in on customer satisfaction. In Wylie's estimation, training allows the company's employees to "enjoy career-growth opportunities, and our customers will enjoy higher-quality products of greater value and reliability."

"We will attempt to always promote from within the organization and these training activities will be designed to help accomplish that goal," said Wylie. "All employees will have appropriate supervision and/or training on tasks they are expected to do alone."

The company's other key strategies are:

  • Growth. Wylie said the company is committed to aggressive growth and taking advantage of opportunities at both the business and personal levels. "Aggressive business growth fuels the opportunities needed for our employees to attain their full personal potential and helps reduce the effects of cyclical business downturns for our career employees," he said.

  • Innovation. Pure and simple, Wylie wants Beutler to be the "innovative industry leader" in all of its products and services. "Our goal," he said, "is to continually bring to the market new products and technologies which add practical benefits to our customers."

  • Industry consultation. Beutler aims to be the "industry expert" and "trusted consultant" for its customers, said Wylie. "We add value to their finished product through this consultant partnership."

  • Continuous improvement. "We have a passionate desire for continuous improvement," said Wylie. "We continually strive to replace good ideas and processes with great ideas and processes. We always seek to provide more for less.

    "Our history began when our founder, Del Beutler, started the company out of his garage," said Wylie. "From that day, he set the highest standards for heating and air conditioning. Today the company's leaders continue his legacy by following a vision and set of guiding principles that direct our activities. That discipline has helped make Beutler the largest, most innovative, most customer-focused heating and air conditioning company in California."

    Company History

    Founder Del Beutler had honed his skills as a sheet metal specialist for two years in the U.S. Navy in the 1940s, after spending a year working for a local sheet metal shop. He went on to get his own contractor's license.

    The postwar housing boom in California promised great prosperity. Beutler concentrated on heating and ducting systems for tract homes and commercial buildings. As the demand for cooling systems increased, Beutler concentrated his efforts in that direction, too.

    The first air conditioners were water-cooled, creating massive amounts of spent water and environmental problems. Beutler devised systems that recycled the water, but the contamination problems seemed insurmountable.

    Finally, air-cooled systems were introduced and an entire industry was born. Beutler began working to improve the efficiency of fans, ducting, vents, and insulation. Always developing something new, Del Beutler created a "think tank atmosphere" for his employees, said Wylie.

    Five decades and more than 300,000 installations later, Beutler Corp. is now in the hands of Gary Beutler, who is the chairman of the board of the company his father founded. Meanwhile, Tom Beutler has been vice president and chief financial officer since 1974.

    Aggressive Growth

    Today, Beutler continues to be the No. 1 mechanical contracting firm in Sacramento, according to Sacramento Business Journal. The local newspaper has given the top distinction to Beutler 13 out of the last 14 years.

    "Few companies can match the depth of Beutler's residential heating and air conditioning experience," said Wylie. "Beutler has worked side by side with home builders to create comfortable, energy-efficient environments in more than 200,000 homes throughout Northern California. We put investment, innovation, and inspiration into every step of the building process. Our relationship with the homeowner doesn't stop at move-in day."

    The company's sheet metal facility is considered among the largest, if not the largest, on the West Coast. With this facility, Beutler can "deliver the right product, right on time, and right on the money," said Wylie.

    "We have the flexibility and expertise to provide value-added alternatives, eliminate waste, and focus on each customer's unique needs," he pointed out.

    Another Beutler advantage is assisting customers with utility rebates. "We can advise builders about lesser-known options, not just the obvious rebate programs," said the company's president. "Our knowledge provides more choices and, best of all, we'll complete the time-consuming energy rebate paperwork, so builders don't have to."

    There is even a Custom Home Division at Beutler. This division offers, among other things:

  • "Complete" engineering and design-build.

  • Design review and approvals by in-house mechanical engineers.

  • A variety of warranty programs.

  • Maintenance and service contracts.

    Truly, all one has to do is turn to the company's succinctly stated vision statement: "To be the clear provider of choice in all of our served markets while providing great opportunities and rewards to our customers, employees, vendors, and owners. We will accomplish our vision through maintaining a positive culture and environment that supports our guiding principles and key strategies. We are committed to creating customer-satisfying processes and people. We will actively engage our customers in grading our success at meeting this commitment."

    Publication date: 08/30/2004