Justin Hoffer and Jeff Wilmink stand next to the Excellence-Commitment mobile office while visiting Behler-Young Supply in Toledo, Ohio.
TOLEDO, Ohio - Prior to a grand opening festivity in early May, a large vehicle more befitting of a rock star than an HVACR trainer was parked in front of the newly remodeled Behler-Young Supply building.

The driver of the vehicle, Jeff Wilmink, is also president of Excellence-Commitment Inc. Along with Justin Hoffer, whose title is excellence manager, Wilmink uses the vehicle as his mobile office, visiting partners of the Excellence-Commitment process, including 18 HVACR contractors.

The mobile office is set up to accommodate indoor and outdoor meetings, since each meeting has a different number of participants. Meetings are divided between employees, managers, and owners during the one-day visit that Wilmink makes to each location.

The mobile office allows him to schedule onsite visits to partners that are within a day's drive of his northern Kentucky home.

It gives Wilmink and Hoffer the opportunity to meet with all employees of the partner companies, not just the owners.

Process Of Integration

The core philosophy of the Excellence-Commitment process is to integrate best practices among the partners. Wilmink feels the best way to do that is by integrating the best programs that each partner has developed.

"I'm not a consultant," he said. "What I do is take the best ideas from our contractors and integrate those processes, programs, and partners."

One way that Wilmink gets involved with employees is by discussing each company's profit and loss statements with them and showing how each employee's performance affects the company's bottom line. "This is a way to make an employee better and increase his or her fortune," he said.

Part of the integration process involves a "S.W.O.T." assessment. The acronym stands for "strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats." The assessment is based on interviews with employees, asking them to rate and evaluate the company. As companies contribute to the integration process by self-evaluation, the ideas are shared with other partners.

Wilmink points to sales opportunities and issues as one of the most important parts of the integration process. He has developed seven principles for this process:

  • Integrate sales profit and loss report.

  • Integrate flow chart programs.

  • Integrate sales ticket and folder programs.

  • Integrate site surveys programs.

  • Integrate estimates programs.

  • Integrate proposal programs.

  • Integrate commission/spiff programs.

    "The meat and potatoes of all businesses is sales," Wilmink said. He used the last principle - commissions and spiffs - to highlight the positive results of the integration process.

    "Contractors can change their whole marketing budget around by using techs to suggest equipment," he said. "You can harvest your own customer base.

    "Employees get spiffed by opening their eyes and going beyond what needs to be fixed. They explain the options that are available to customers."

    Before the mobile office pulls away from the parking lot, Wilmink likes to ensure that his members are better off than before he arrived for the visit. "I fix what is broke," he said. "I don't walk away. I fix it until it becomes part of the business culture."

    For more information, visit www.e-commit.com.

    Publication date: 06/13/2005