10 Questions for HVAC Contractors in the Post-Pandemic Economy
4 MIN. READ
Labor and supply shortages hit the HVAC industry hard in 2021. As the world transitions to a post-pandemic economy, and the HVAC industry begins to stabilize, opportunities for HVAC contractors are anticipated to return and expand.
But the HVAC sector will likely look different post-pandemic. HVAC contractors need to leverage technology and digital solutions to break into new markets. They should also be prepared to embrace eco-friendly solutions to cater to the new environmentally conscious consumer base. HVAC contractors need to answer 10 important questions that will aid them in navigating the new post-pandemic HVAC sector economy.
10 questions for HVAC contractors
1. Are you attracting new talent to account for the ongoing labor shortage?
The global COVID-19 pandemic changed many aspects of our lives. The pandemic directly disrupted the labor and workforce market, and the market is still struggling with residual and ongoing side effects from the crisis. Employers are dealing with labor shortages and the burden of not having access to experienced and talented workers. They are also dealing with a diminished labor pool since many folks have decided to not go back to work or to seek different work opportunities.
Employers have to attract potential employees with more competitive pay, fringe benefits, signing bonuses and attractive PTO and bonus structures. If employers intend to compete in this space, they must have their employment and compensation packages in order.
2. What is your process to keep up with the increase in technology, such as smart devices, new services, etc.?
Technology changes rapidly. To remain competitive, HVAC contractors must stay current on all the new technological advancements and changes within the industry. Do you know what kind of devices homeowners are seeking? Which units are the most efficient and cost-effective? Are they intuitive and user-friendly? Understanding these fundamentals and staying steeped in research will help you stay on top of HVAC trends.
3. Is your company positioned to offer eco-friendly services?
Many consumers and business owners aim to be “green” and environmentally conscious. The ability to explain and offer eco-friendly services can set your business apart from others. If you want to be taken seriously, you should require your business to offer these services. They could include smart thermostats, electric heat pumps, and energy-optimizing units.
4. Are you exploring HVAC trends in emerging industries, like renewable energy, geothermal, cannabis, etc.?
The HVAC industry is transforming. It is more than just installing new boilers or furnaces. HVAC contractors should be ready to pivot to other industries that are in demand or are emerging. Being able to offer services to the raging cannabis industry could prove very profitable. Diving into renewable energy can also be a rewarding endeavor. It could include offering geothermal services and solar-related projects.
5. Do you have training programs in place to help your employees adopt new technologies?
Hiring great talent can be challenging. But you might find training your new talent equally difficult, if not more so. Implement a robust training program to keep your team up to speed with HVAC trends and technology, or just to keep them refreshed on current best practices.
6. Which business processes can you reliably automate or entirely replace with technology in the short and medium terms?
Efficiency breeds profitability. Identify which business processes you can optimize and automate to streamline operations. This could include automating purchasing programs, employee onboarding, field service automation, and supply chain management. If you automate these, you can free up time to focus on other areas of the business.
7. Are you selecting and managing subcontractors effectively?
The HVAC industry relies heavily on subcontractors. As a result, this part of the business can make or break a company. Subcontractors are often customer-facing and essentially represent your HVAC business. Therefore, selecting the best subs and managing them can be a chore, but with the right software, you can simplify it. An efficient software can help you onboard, rate and reward subcontractors as well as secure all of the documentation that comes with them.
8. How well are you leveraging digital solutions for marketing, operations, etc.?
HVAC contractors who embrace the digital age and the tools that come with it are more apt to succeed in today's market. In keeping with HVAC trends, you can use software systems to reach new customers, hone operational flow, and improve revenue growth and profitability.
9. Do you have established procurement compliance practices in place?
Purchasing equipment and supplies is a regular routine for HVAC businesses. You will always need to keep specific supplies on hand, such as filters, belts, tools, and personal protective equipment (PPE). Saving money on these routine purchases is a great way to control expenses and improve the bottom line. Implement safeguards to ensure that the purchasing team is staying compliant while purchasing items and that they are getting the best deals and suppliers.
10. How resilient is your supply chain, and are you prepared for current and future supply shortages?
The last several months have seen huge disruptions in the global supply chain. This wreaked havoc on businesses around the world, including HVAC companies. It caused major delays in scheduled projects and dramatically raised prices for ordinary supplies. Prepare for future supply shortages and disruptions by leveraging software platforms to gain visibility into the global supply chain. This way, you can anticipate future problems and get instant shipment and price updates. Armed with this data, your business will be in a better position to maneuver within the market.
Raiven can help you keep pace with HVAC trends
Raiven can help your business prosper with purchasing and procurement solutions to save you time and money, while more efficiently managing your supply chain. Raiven provides you with access to industry-leading supplies that have pre-negotiated discounts and service levels that improve your profit margins.
To learn more about how Raiven can help, reach out today.