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One class and a single question saved a Manager over $50,000.00

Much more than $50,000.00

Why Property and Service Managers should go to Maintenance Training and why Supervisors don’t always make the best trainers.

Last week I was teaching an HVAC certification class and was very glad to see that a Manager came to get her certification so she could learn more about how the service side of her property works and get HVAC certified. During class she wanted to know if she could ask me a question that was not really related to this class specifically but it was an HVAC question so of course I said “sure”.

Her question was, “Is it true that you have to replace all of the HVAC systems every 15 years?”. I was a little surprised to be asked that by a Manager but at the same time very grateful she asked and could get an answer that would save a lot of time, money, and headaches. So, after a brief pause of surprise, I asked her why she asked the question and where she got that information. She said “My Maintenance Supervisor told me that every 15 years you are required to replace all of the HVAC systems and since ours are almost that old we need to start budgeting to replace all of them over the next few years”. She indicated that he had already begun replacing the HVAC systems on a consistent scheduled basis since last year but since the cost was so high she thought she’d ask me “just to make sure”.

After getting some more information, it became glaringly obvious why her property had unnecessarily high expenses. Unfortunately it was all due to a Supervisor with industry experience, but not much knowledge and skill in the HVAC trade. He was passing this inaccurate information on as well as other misinformation regarding repairs and maintenance expenses.  What was more revealing was this Manager expressed how little interest the Maintenance Supervisor had in attending training, which was at the core of this entire problem.

I can say that in my travels and experience I have come across many others with false or inaccurate information such as this particular Supervisor. After talking with many Technicians, Managers, and Supervisors, it is evident Supervisors should attend training from a subject matter expert and not always be the primary person training their team on every aspect of the business. It is even more beneficial when the Manager and Service Manager attend together.

Obviously we want good habits and accurate information to be taught, but unfortunately it can be very costly when misinformation is passed on, not only to the service team, but also to those authorizing the work and responsible for running an efficient and profitable multi-million dollar asset.

There are plenty and I mean plenty of fantastic Service Managers in the industry but when the Property Manager and Service Manger train with each other they develop a much greater sense of trust in the other person and demonstrate to the associates they are a team. Training together results in more informed decisions for the betterment of the team and property and most importantly situations like the one above can be totally avoided.

Fore more information or to schedule training contact Mark Cukro