Synergy hosted 71 members for our 2023 Service Operations Forum on Jan 22-25th at the Paris Las Vegas hotel in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s session featured a workshop with guest speaker Allison Linney, large group discussions, small peer-to-peer breakouts, and a Partner Fair.

The Service Operations Forum started with Allison Linney’s “The Art of Being a Great Boss” workshop. Allison shared her seven insights of managers who inspire employee engagement, which included practices like providing context to your employees, being extremely clear about what success looks like, and genuinely showing interest in team members.

In the afternoon, members talked in small groups about the steps they’re taking to uncover what’s truly important to the people they’re recruiting, how their company matches those needs, and the most innovative things they’ve done to find technicians.

“It was great to hear how everyone else is dealing with the issues we all deal with,” said Ryan English (Baker Group). “Everyone was open and honest. It’s the best part of Synergy.”

Attendees also talked about how they’re creating a career path for their team. More than 50 percent of the attendees have a defined career path for entry level technicians that details their future commitments and expectations. A little more than 40 percent of attendees have the same thing for office staff. At their tables, members shared the expectations they have, the metrics they use to track progress, and the partners they utilize along the way.

“The table conversations allow me to consider many different approaches to the same struggles throughout the industry,” said Scott Janowiecki (MSD).

Day two started with a discussion on labor efficiency and pricing strategy. Members talked about the categories they’re tracking, how every role within an organization can make a positive impact, and how much information they share with the field.

“Excellent discussions and great ideas,” said David Lebowitz (Oahu). “I’ll be discussing ways to evaluate our labor efficiency back home.”

Synergy continued the discussion of labor efficiency by sharing strategies on workload management. Angela Greiner (CCAC) and Lee Kawsky (MSD) both shared what their organizations are doing to stay on track during the busy season and with PM inspections.

Before lunch John Milkint (Chemours) shared a regulatory and refrigerant update with the group.

After lunch Scott Adams (JM Brennan) and Nathan Isbell (Vital Mechanical Service) shared how their field quoting process. More than 45 percent of attendees have a process to allow their technicians to quote in the field. Scott and Nathan shared the software they use, how they’re tracking quotes, and what it’s done for their organizations.

This is something that I would like to implement in the future,” said Rob Svoboda (Prairie Mechanical). “I walked away with some great ideas and some really good contact to help with this.”

Day two ended with the Synergy Partner Fair. Members got the opportunity to meet with Milwaukee Tool, National Compressor Exchange, ChillPro, XOi Technologies, DST, Nationwide Coils, and Chemours.

The Service Operations Forum ended on day three with a discussion on how to grow and retain your service base even in a down market. Attendees shared how their company attracts and adds new PM clients, the proactive steps they’re taking to assure client satisfaction, and the importance of onboarding new clients. Close to 60 percent of attendees have a formal process for onboarding clients.

This one really opened my eyes to an obvious opportunity to improve the customer experience,” said Marshall Andrews (Oklahoma Chiller).

The session ended with each attendee writing down their action plan of what they want to implement and goals they will accomplish when they return home.

“Every part of the forum was amazing,” said Joey Perez (ISS Mechanical). “It was great connecting with everyone and learning some many new things to help me this year.”