Category: Service

TYFOOM Microlearning Safety Training Opportunity for MCAA Members

MCAA recently teamed up with TYFOOM to provide members with an opportunity to make microlearning safety training available to their workers. As a benefit of membership, members that subscribe to the service will receive a 10% discount off the standard price of the service. Your company would determine the frequency and subject matter of each brief safety training session. Here’s how it works…

  1. Workers receive a notification on their mobile devices at the frequency of your choosing, i.e. once a day, once a week, etc.
  2. They watch a 1-2 minute safety training video clip.
  3. Each trainee answers 3 quick questions on his/her mobile device.
  4. The system tracks and documents each trainee’s progress.

BROCHURE

National Service and Maintenance Agreement Negotiations to Begin Spring 2020

The National Service and Maintenance Agreement continues to be an excellent tool used by  HVACR and plumbing service contractors around the country to grow market share and remain competitive in this highly competitive market.  The current National Agreement is effective through July 31, 2020.  The MSCA Labor Committee will be discussing potential changes or modifications with the UA later this year.  Although we anticipate very few changes, we would appreciate your input or recommendations on terms and conditions which you feel may be helpful in expanding your service business.  Please send all comments to bdolim@mcaa.org  by December 6, 2019.

Distracted Driving Accidents Continue to Rise – These Resources Help You Address the Issue Head-On

U.S. vehicle fatalities in 2018 exceeded 40,000, a 14% increase over the level just four years ago (2014). In 2017, the most recent year for which data on vehicle fatalities caused by distracted driving is available, there were 3,166 fatalities known to be caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving includes texting and cell phone use while driving, as well as other types of poor driving behaviors. MCAA resources can help you curb these behaviors.

Get Up to Speed Quickly

MCAA’s Distracted Driving Safety Bulletin will bring you up to speed quickly.

Download

Establish Rules of the Road

MCAA’s Distracted Driving Reduction and Prevention Guide will help you:

  • Establish a written policy to reduce or prevent distracted driving in your company
  • Train all affected drivers/workers
  • Learn about technologies to reduce or prevent distracted driving

Download

Provide Additional Worker Training

MCAA’s Workplace Distractions Safety Training Video will help your workers recognize and avoid the four most common industry-related workplace distractions:

  • Driving distractions
  • Electronic distractions
  • Environmental distractions
  • Personal distractions

Download or play the video

Accompanying materials are also available to assist you in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight Key Training Points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document Worker Training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that Workers Understand the Training Concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Want Even More Safety Resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have Questions or Need Personal Assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

Interested in Plumbing Service? The PCA Roundtable Is Open for Registration

Commercial plumbing service offers a lot of benefits to contractors. Although it can be difficult to begin or optimize, it offers a lot of benefits including higher margins and reliable work flow.  This roundtable is a one-day meeting intended for both established plumbing service operations and contractors interested in getting into plumbing service.

Located at the Loews Chicago O’Hare, it offers attendees the ability to fly in and out the same day or minimize the amount of time away from the operations.

Report Shows MCAA Members Don’t Invest Enough in Tech Budget and Manpower

In 2018, MCAA sponsored a JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report that surveyed over 2,800 professionals in the construction industry. In the newly released MCAA-Focused Report, the responses given by MCAA members were separated and compared to those of the rest of the construction industry.

While MCAA members are getting heavily involved in VDC and mobile technology, they are behind the rest of the industry when it comes to some aspects of R&D. As the report’s primary researcher, Liz Beechinor from JBKnowledge points out, “Our research is showing that the construction industry as a whole is behind on R&D spending compared to other industries, but when we take a look at MCAA members’ responses and compare that to the construction industry, they are even further behind. Fewer MCAA contractors have dedicated R&D budget and employees dedicated to R&D.”

According to a 2017 McKinsey Report, the construction industry as a whole spends less than 1% of their revenue on R&D. Compared to the auto industry, which spends 3.5%, and the aerospace industry, which spends 4.5%, this can seem relatively underfunded.

What is even more concerning is construction companies’ lack of any R&D budget. The 2018 MCAA-Focused Construction Technology Report showed that 56.8% of those surveyed had no budget for R&D, while 63.5% of MCAA members reported that they didn’t budget for R&D.

The same could be said for having employees dedicated to R&D. In the last few years, we have seen more MCAA and MSCA contractors dedicate manpower to technology research and implementation, but on average, they are still behind the rest of the industry.

Most respondents that identified as MCAA members reported that they had one or two people dedicated to R&D, while 37% do not have employees dedicated to R&D. During a presentation on the topic at MCAA19, MCAA’s Director, Construction Technology Sean McGuire explained, “While we are seeing more members take technology seriously, smaller companies are going to always be more limited on budget and manpower that they can dedicate towards research and implementation. Larger GCs and CMs can absorb these costs a little easier simply as a function of their size.”

Being bigger does not necessarily mean better though.  As Sean notes, “While research and staff budgets can be absorbed by larger companies easier, the bigger you are, the harder implementation becomes. Small companies can adopt changes a lot faster because you can get less people pulling in the same direction faster.  Large companies have to dedicate more resources to implementation and follow up.”

This lines up with another report question that asked what the most limiting factor was for adopting new technology. Not surprisingly, lack of staff and budget received the highest response rates and were concerns for nearly half of the MCAA respondents. The report provides further insight into these questions as well as BIM productivity and estimation and mobile device and hardware use.

New Products Will Be Unveiled at MCAA Tech Conference

New products can bring change to the industry.  This happens in one of two ways – evolutionary or revolutionary. Sometimes it is easy to spot the difference.  A new feature in software that can make the user interface easier is an evolutionary design. It makes the next incremental step in the process and while adding value and productivity, does so in a small way.

Revolutionary products can bring exponential change to the industry.  These are products that create new processes that eliminate old ones. An example of a revolutionary change would be the robotic total station.  Instead of tape measures and T-squares, total stations use BIM, control points and positioning lasers to accurately determine locations in a construction project today.  New processes are used entirely, but huge productivity gains are made.

While most evolutionary products that move the process forward are beneficial, revolutionary products that can bring exponential productivity increases are celebrated.  During the opening session of the MCAA Tech Conference, James Benham will present multiple products that can be classified as revolutionary. If there is one session that cannot be missed at the conference, it will be this one.

In order to showcase how these new products will impact MCAA members, James Benham will bring in the experts.  This will include contractors that have beta tested them, research teams that have evaluated them and the developers themselves who will provide demonstrations of their purpose.  Some of these new products will be available immediately, some later in the year, but all will have an impact on our industry.

To learn more or register for the conference, visit the MCAA Technology Conference Website.

Construction Technologists Don’t Just Hack, They Find Artful Use

Written by: Jonathan Marsh, CTO/Division Manager Virtual Design and Construction, William T. Spaeder Company


In my role as a Construction Technologist, I am often accused of hacking.   As a result I have a great desire to better communicate what it means to “hack”, since there is a negative connotation tied to cybersecurity or even attacking with blunt force. Not that I don’t hack things—I do—but there is something outside of hacking that I consider artful use. If we’re talking about the Construction Technologist (Con Tech) we need to talk about the idea of hacking, but I think we need to separate what we are being forced to hack or modify and what we simply enhance, develop, or see potential in. The things we are enhancing or developing are really more about artful use.

Artful use is seeing the greater range of usefulness in an existing tool. For example, when watching s­omeone use a paintbrush, artful use is understanding that that brush can be used to paint the wall or paint the Sistine Chapel.  To paint the Sistine Chapel, you’ll likely have to hack the brush.  Modifying it to your purpose by breaking it down, build it into other brushes with varying bristle lengths, and identify artists capable of seeing what to paint. I think that a big part of what it is to be a Con Tech is looking at someone painting a wall and seeing that potential artful use.

I see hacking as being a little different, and it may or may not include artful use. Hacking is making what you have work and it is definitely a big part of being an effective Con Tech.  I think we are always looking for the missing tools in construction.  By ‘missing tools’ I mean the specialized tools that are needed by the mechanical trades but do not exist or are not present on the jobsite. An easy way to find a missing tool is to look for something that’s not being used conventionally.

For example, if someone is using the screwdriver to pound a nail, the missing tool might look like a hammer, or nail gun, or adhesives. The point being that the screwdriver is a workaround, but not an artful use. We are not looking for a better potential use of a screwdriver. We are looking for an altogether missing tool.

These missing tools and artful uses are often easy to see on a job site or in the Fab shop. That’s why I think Con Techs should spend a considerable amount of time observing or possibly working with the craftsmen in the field looking for missing tools, materials, methods and potential artful use. Every time I step on a job site I look at what craftsmen do with their tools with an eye to unconventional uses. Some of the best ideas have grown out of watching people use their tools in some absurd way. That can communicate louder than words what is really needed.

Physically being on the jobsite is also important in finding the right people to work with. As we introduce new tools and technologies, we need to identify people that are likely to be able to use the tools and share our vision. Like the artist in the example above, the tool really is nothing without a hand to direct it and a vision to follow. When you’re on the jobsite look for those people that are using their tools in innovative ways, the people that are good at adaptation. They are surprisingly easy to find on most jobsites but are not always the foreman. Finding those people is vital because ultimately, they will become your developers and advocates. They also are the people that are going to tell you when it’s a fail. Pick people that can see what you are shooting for and that you respect enough to believe when they tell you it’s not working.

I really hope as the Con Tech takes on a more conventional role in the industry we can better define and communicate to the teams we work with what we are doing, and how they can take part. In that vein, what are areas where you see the biggest disconnect when communicating what you do to the rest of your teams? And are there simple terms or ideas that would help us clean up some of the muddy thinking about what we do?

 

 

Protect Your Fitters, Plumbers, and Service Techs From the Extreme Heat By Reminding Them About Heat Illnesses and Prevention Methods

Now is a great time to remind your fitters, plumbers, service technicians, and their supervisors about heat illnesses and how to prevent them.  The heat illnesses we’re most concerned about include heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, and heat cramps.

HEAT STROKE: The body loses its ability to sweat and can’t control its temperature. Heat stroke is a medical emergency.

HEAT EXHAUSTION: The body sweats away too much water and salt.

HEAT SYNCOPE: The body’s blood pressure becomes too low resulting in dizziness or fainting.

HEAT CRAMPS: The body experiences painful muscle spasms.

To help prevent heat illnesses:

  • Provide training for all affected workers on heat illnesses and prevention methods.
  • On extremely hot days, reduce the physical demands on your workers as much as possible.
  • Work tasks that are particularly physically demanding should be performed early in the morning or later in the afternoon avoiding the hottest part of the day.
  • Provide a constant supply of cold water.
  • Encourage your workers to drink at least a full cup of cold water every 15 to 20 minutes throughout each day.
  • Encourage your workers to avoid drinking alcohol, caffeine, and high sugar content drinks during periods of extremely hot temperatures.
  • Allow frequent rest periods in cool shaded areas.
  • Encourage your workers to wear light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics that are also designed to filter out harmful UV rays.
  • Keep a close watch on workers who are at higher risk for heat illnesses. For example, workers required to wear hot personal protective equipment, such as arc flash gear, welding gear, respirators, etc., and overweight workers may be at higher risk.

Distracted Driving Accidents Continue to Rise – These Resources Help You Address the Issue Head-On

Traffic fatalities increased by 6% in 2016, and 27% of crashes involve drivers talking and/or texting on cell phones. With daunting numbers like these, it’s no surprise that distracted driving is a concern for mechanical construction and service companies. These MCAA resources will help you address this concern head-on.

Get up to speed quickly

MCAA’s Distracted Driving Safety Bulletin will bring you up to speed quickly.

Download

Establish rules of the road

MCAA’s Distracted Driving Reduction and Prevention Guide will help you:

  • Establish a written policy to reduce or prevent distracted driving in your company
  • Train all affected drivers/workers
  • Learn about technologies to reduce or prevent distracted driving

Download

Provide additional worker training

MCAA’s Workplace Distractions Safety Training Video will help your workers recognize and avoid the four most common industry-related workplace distractions:

  • Driving distractions
  • Electronic distractions
  • Environmental distractions
  • Personal distractions

Download or play the video

Accompanying materials are also available to assist you in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight key training points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document worker training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that workers understand the training concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Want even more safety resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have questions or need personal assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

Keep Your Service Techs Safe in the Field – This Video Can Help!

MCAA’s Mechanical Service Safety Training Video teaches your service techs how to protect themselves from the most common safety hazards in the field.

Your workers will learn:

  • How to conduct a quick walk-around vehicle inspection
  • Why it’s important to preplan their days to ensure that they have the right tools, materials and safety equipment on hand
  • How to protect themselves and others while driving
  • Why they should check in with their supervisor or someone at the office when working alone
  • How to safely set up and use ladders
  • When fall prevention/protection are needed and how to properly protect themselves
  • How to protect themselves from electrical hazards while working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less
  • What additional protection is needed when working on equipment pushing more than 480 volts

Download or play the video

There’s More…

Accompanying materials are also available to assist you in highlighting key training points, documenting worker training and confirming that workers understand the training concepts:

Highlight key training points

Download the Pocket Guide

Document worker training

Download the Documentation Sheet

Confirm that workers understand the training concepts

Download the Test

Download the Test Answer Key

Want More Safety Resources?

MCAA has you covered, with a full range of resources to help you protect your workers from injury and comply with applicable safety regulations. Here’s where to find them:

On our Direct Links to MCAA & MSCA Safety Resources page, where they’re listed by category with links.

Go there now

In the Resource Center, where you can use the blue Refine Your Search bar to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for.

Visit the Resource Center

Have questions or need personal assistance?

Contact MCAA’s Pete Chaney.

PCA Debuts New Seminar for Plumbing Service Contractors

This summer, the PCA is beta testing a new seminar on Plumbing Service to its members.  The Plumbing Service Roundtable is designed to be an efficient, one-day seminar that will allow attendees to be out of the office as little as possible.

The roundtable is scheduled for June 21st at the Hilton Chicago O’Hare, conveniently attached to the airport.  With a program scheduled from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, attendees will have the ability to fly in and out the same day to maximize their time out of the office.

Sessions will primarily be led by contractors with the intention to open up dialog between attendees and share best practices.  The curriculum will include content on recruiting, training, technology, inventory, sales and truck setup.

With this new session being a beta-test, registration will be limited to 35 attendees and a limit of only one attendee per company.  It is also recommended that attendees already be engaged in plumbing service at some level in order to share their experiences.

Registration is open and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  For more information, download the brochure or register online.

 

Hackers Cripple Boeing with Ransomware

Nick Espinosa, Chief Security Fanatic and featured speaker at the upcoming MSCA18 Conference, gives a quick update about what happened and how MCAA and MSCA contractors are often targeted as access points for larger corporations. Update and patch your software so that you are not the easy prey for criminal hackers.

Member Company, Arista, Boosts Consumer Confidence with New XOi Wearable Technology

The collaboration of member company Arista, NYC metro area’s leading HVAC contractor, and XOi Technologies revolutionizes the way the HVAC service industry interacts with clients by empowering customers to see the tasks completed on a service call rather than trying to decipher job details from a bill. Customers no longer have to rely solely on trust when assessing job performance and are provided with video documentation of each service call.

Leading HVAC companies, like Arista, are beginning to use new video documentation technology provided by companies similar to XOi Technologies that helps them prove the value they provide to their customers with planned maintenance and repair service.

An HVAC technician in the field uses wearable technology that looks like a pair of
safety glasses, but actually allows them to take video of what they see and do. They can record video evidence that shows you exactly what they’re doing and why.

Arista’s evidence-based approach to service assures customers they are getting what they pay for; the bill matches the services rendered. The video documentation is a useful record-keeping tool, especially for business owners and property managers in charge of multiple sites.

MSCA Connect DATELINE Jan/Feb 2018

Click and CONNECT with DATELINE, MSCA’s monthly newsletter! What you need to know to catch up on the latest news and information and all things – MSCA.

New MCAA Safety Bulletin Covers Key Changes to NFPA 70E (Electrical Safety in the Workplace)

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recently released its latest standard covering electrical safety in the workplace. The most current version of the standard, which is on a 3-year revision cycle, is NFPA 70E – 2018. MCAA has prepared a safety bulletin covering the key changes that affect mechanical service workers who are working on equipment pushing 480 volts or less. The bulletin highlights the key changes on the front page, and provides a side-by-side comparison of the key changes between the 2015 and 2018 versions of the standard on subsequent pages.

Safety Bulletin

Additional MCAA/MSCA safety resources to help your company address the key changes to NFPA 70E  for 2018 will be available later this month. The resources include:

  • A new model lockout/tagout program for electrical safety in the workplace (the revised standard requires a written electrical safety lockout/tagout program); and
  • A revised model program on Electrical Safety for Service (Based on NFPA 70E – 2018).

If you have questions about the new standard, please contact Pete Chaney at pchaney@mcaa.org, or 301-990-2214.

Sales Masters Attendees Say that MSCA Sales Masters Program Delivers the Best ROI!

“My personal experience with the Sales Masters program was prolific and educational. Our instructors were dynamic in a way that allowed you to showcase your strengths and improve your weaknesses. Thanks to their program, I achieved an overall higher closing ratio.”  
Eli M. Mimari – H.T. Lyons, Inc.

News Update – for a Limited Time ONLY, the Sales Masters Program is waiving the prerequisite of attendance at the Sales Leadership Symposium so take advantage of this waiver and enroll now. Week One is April 15-19, 2018 in Oak Brook, IL and Week Two is November 4-9, 2018 in Houston, TX. Limited spaces available and no prerequisite, so sign up today!

The curriculum, designed by in-the-field experts in partnership with sales specialists from the University of Houston Sales Excellence Institute, is for the intermediate to advance level service sales employee. The tools and insights learned in Sales Masters are certain to take your sales professionals to the next level and allow them to become the go-to resource for their teams and customers.

REGISTER HERE TODAY

Strengthen Your Service Dispatcher’s Performance!

Registration is now open for the much-anticipated and in demand MSCA Dispatchers Professional Development Training Program to be held September 12-13, 2018 in Kansas City, MO!

As the first point of contact for your customers, service dispatchers are vital to your business. To ensure these crucial team members are well-prepared to effectively perform their role, register them for the MSCA Dispatchers Professional Development Training Program.

New and experienced dispatchers will gain valuable insights and understanding about their importance to your business and its current and future success. This class SELLS OUT FAST so sign up your dispatchers today!

Past MSCA Chair Dick Starr Featured in Contracting Business Magazine

The CB Interview: Dick Starr

Controls innovator and past MSCA chair, Dick Starr, reflects on his career in controls, the HVAC industry, his experience and service with MSCA and MCAA and shares his years of knowledge in this interview.

Dick recently sold his company, The Enterprise Corporation, that he purchased in 1977 to a colleague within his network but he will continue to be involved in its daily functioning.

Read the article by clicking the button below.

2018 Regional Training Course Catalog Now Available

The United Association Training Department is pleased to offer HVACR industry courses in an agreement with the following major HVACR manufacturers through the 2018 Regional Training System: Carrier Corporation, Daikin and Johnson Controls.

These classes are being offered at NO charge to attendees – registration fees will be covered by the ITF. Employers will be responsible for wages and all travel costs. Class size is limited and these classes fill up quickly. Priority is given to UA instructors.

Contact your local UA Training Coordinator to register through UA University. For course descriptions and requirements, please download the course catalog. You can find the courses described below beginning on page 12.