In this installment, we’re continuing with more of the 13 questions you should pose to a vendor that you’re considering for your national HVAC work. These questions can help you, as a commercial facility manager, understand who is best qualified to handle HVAC maintenance and repair requirements at each of your locations.

As a quick recap, in our first post, we covered the following questions:

Question #1: How long have you been in business?
Question #2: Who are your current customers?
Question #3: What services do you provide?

Question #4:
How long have you been delivering each of those services?

This may seem similar to Question #1, but it goes deeper. Some companies (actually, we’ve found quite a few through the years) will list a variety of HVAC services that they offer. In reality, though, their greatest strength may lie in delivering one or two key services, while they only have limited experience delivering other services that they list.

For example, they may say they offer HVAC project management; but in reality, they have only completed a few projects that were much smaller in size and scale than what you require.

Question #5:
Who are your internal experts who can assist me with each of the services that you provide?

For example, do you have an in-house HVAC technician that I can talk to when I need to, as opposed to someone from customer service? Providing HVAC maintenance, repair and replacement at dozens, hundreds or even thousands of locations is a complex task, and an enormous responsibility. The vendor you delegate to handle this must have in-house experts that you can call on when You need technical information – whether it’s for a simple question, a routine issue, or an emergency.

Question #6:
What is your quoting process?

It’s a simple question: “Tell me how your quote process works. From the time I call you, to the time I get the quote in my hand, what happens in your company?” This will lead the discussion to a very different level, and will be discussed indepth on a later issue

Question #7:
What is your current quote approval percentage?

Quote approvals are votes of confidence; statements of trust. In the HVAC realm, you can always find a cheaper quote. But if eight out of 10 times, a customer approves a vendor’s quote, then that speaks volumes about the level of trust that vendor has established with the customer.

In our next blog, we’ll consider some additional questions to ask. As mentioned before, past HVAC blog posts on our website contain great insight on important HVAC topics, so we invite you to scan through them. To inquire about CLS’s national HVAC services, or all other CLS services, please call us at 800-548-3542.