Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA (left), and Skip Snyder, chairman of ACCA (center), joined Eric Woerner, ACCA Indiana chapter president, at the chapter’s January meeting.
INDIANAPOLIS - At the January meeting of the Indiana chapter of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (Indiana ACCA), members got a chance to rub shoulders with two of the top executives from the national headquarters of ACCA. Paul Stalknecht, president and CEO of ACCA, and Skip Snyder, chairman of ACCA, brought a national perspective to the chapter's Indianapolis meeting.

Snyder, president of the Snyder Company Inc., Upper Darby, Pa., talked about business cycles and listed some contractors' biggest concerns, which he termed, "The world according to Skip."

"We are living in a dynamic business environment, and we have to embrace that," he said.

Snyder stressed that it is important for contractors to work together to raise the bar of professionalism. He encouraged ACCA members to invite nonmembers to join the group.

"There are so many others who are not sitting in this room who are not doing it right," he said. "And I challenge all of you to bring these people to these meetings."

Snyder listed several areas of concern to the HVACR trade and his organization, including:

  • Price sensitivity.

  • Technician shortage.

  • Insurance.

  • Government.

  • State licensing.

  • Value of ACCA membership.

    Addressing Price Concerns

    Snyder said that contractors worried about pricing need to invite competitors to these types of meetings. "In order to compete with lowballers, you have to get these people into this room - to learn what their profit potential is," he stated.

    He pointed out that there is a big difference between a technician and a quality technician - making the search for the best even harder. "How do you measure a quality technician?" he asked.

    Snyder also said that contractors control their own destiny and should not "depend on legislators to help with the labor shortage."

    Snyder said it is important for contractors to get involved in licensing and urged members to work with lobbyists in the legislature. "If you are going to live by the law, you might as well write the law," he said.

    He pointed to developments in New Jersey, where legislators are considering requirements to insure all service contracts through a third party. "If this passes, you have to give up your service contracts," he stated, "or you need to find a way to compete with entities that have $100,000,000 in shareholder equity."

    Regarding the benefits of an ACCA membership, Snyder said that he sees great value in the organization's MIX® Groups - groups of contractors from different, noncompetitive regions of the country who assist each other. "Being in a MIX Group is the single best business decision I have ever made," said Snyder.

    Sidebar: Indiana ACCA Members List Concerns

    Attendees of the ACCA chapter meeting in Indianapolis were asked to list the biggest concerns facing them in 2005. Members were given a list of concerns and asked to rank the three most important to them in an informal survey.

    The choices and number of responses for each were:

    Insurance - 10

    Economy - 8

    Worker shortage - 7

    Price cutting - 6

    Marketing/advertising - 5

    Competition - 5

    Training - 4

    New efficiency requirement - 2

    Government - 2

    Refrigerant changeover - 1

    Publication date: 02/14/2005