BROADVIEW, Ill. —  The ability to adapt was the topic that kicked off the first day of The Unified Group’s virtual Service Management Forum in January. More than 40 service professionals from within the association’s network of independent HVAC commercial contractors tuned in to hear Alyson Van Hooser, keynote speaker and leadership development trainer with Van Hooser Associates Inc. Her presentation, titled “Future-Proof Leadership: Creating Innovative Teams Built to Last,” outlined adaptability as the number one skill today’s leaders must develop.

“I always love getting to talk to others who are experiencing the same or similar struggles,” said Chrissy Rizzo of Service Unlimited Inc. “It really helps drive home that we aren’t alone in this industry and we’re all trying to get to the same goals.”

During the second day, Melissa Dick from Atlas CFO joined the group to talk about measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) in service. Gretchen Riddle (A&G Services) and Desiree Cespedes (Standard Plumbing & Heating, Inc.) then shared the KPIs they implemented after attending last year’s Service Management Forum and how measuring these helped them achieve their financial and strategic goals within their organizations.

“I've heard of KPIs before, but something about the way Melissa presented them made me want to actually do something with them,” said Matt Blauch of Blauch Brothers Inc. “I've already emailed my service office staff and asked for recommendations of KPIs they'd like to see weekly. I plan to post them on a board somewhere they can be seen easily and also send a weekly email with the KPIs.”

The rest of the session included group discussion on technician incentive programs, emerging technologies, tool management systems, indoor air quality products, as well as sharing best ideas that members have implemented. There were also small group breakout sessions to help solve the biggest challenges service professionals were currently facing.

“The best part of the meeting is the insight from each team and the willingness to share information to help others,” said Jeff Forbes of Standard Plumbing & Heating. “If I didn’t attend this meeting, I would have missed seeing everyone working to help one another and some fresh ideas that will help our department.”

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