Jay Rifenbary, 2017 Vistage Speaker of the Year, gave his 695th presentation to my Chief Executive group at a retreat this past weekend. His focus was on Core Values, and having no excuses for accountability and balance in your life and your career.
Growth is happening at a quick rate in the Pacific Northwest. Natural beauty is all over the place. It costs more to live here, but people want to be around the mountains and water.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Boeing, and a host of others want to be where high quality employees can be found. We have seen high costs in construction, yet the work keeps coming.
Supply chain disruptions and steel prices contribute to the higher prices here, and expectations are the increase level off. My friend who leads a large retailer supply chain group says it might not get better until 2023!
At least I get to work through these problems in a beautiful place.
Who knew months ago that supply chains would be disrupted in HVAC the way we see today? It is not just HVAC. I ordered a replacement car last month for my leased car ending December 2021. The new car won’t arrive until December! Good timing.
Most of the factories we represent at ACI Mechanical and HVAC Sales are privately held, and had fewer product availability problems, than publicly held firms. In my opinion it is because private companies Like Loren Cook Co. and Price Industries are not afraid to have real inventory on hand. We stocked up on Gree Mini Splits and VRF last year, and it is paying off with customers buying our products, in part because we simply have the products on hand! We just sold out of all of our 50 foot line sets, just because we had them.
We like to follow the old saying “You cannot sell from an empty wagon”.
HVAC applications are often complex. Solving them in person is far more fun than over email or Teams. Our Portland office celebrated with an Open House on July 13th with over 170 guests in attendance. Face to face problem solving and relationship building!
We had a featured speaker from the Oregon Energy Trust, teaching on changes in the Oregon Energy Code. Many manufacturers taught on their latest products for comfort and efficiency by design.
Some of my favorite photos included or stand-in Mark Trader, away for his Honeymoon with new wife Katie!
Six months ago we gambled by setting a July date for ACI Open House events in Portland and Seattle. You know…the kind where we shake hands, talk about products and projects, and frankly just connect in person. It looks like the right decision!
Seattle opens up “fully” on June 30th. The city celebrated 70+% vaccination rates, the first US City to make it.
If you are in Seattle or Portland during the week of July 12-15th stop by and say hello!
I have worked in the HVAC Products business since 1988, and never once time have I seen the inflationary pressure than this year. Look at this three year graph of cold rolled steel:
Some of our manufacturers have issued three price increases within five months. Normally increases look like 2.5% to 4% in one year. Now we are seeing 10% + increases on products made of steel. For customers it is a real challenge, and for us it becomes an exercise in extra tight communication with our contractors to keep them ahead of the increase curve.
Our company has implemented EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, founded by Gino Wickman. It’s a great tool for Vision, Traction, and Accountability. One of my favorite parts of the program is a deep dive into company Core Values.
These values already existed, and answer the question, “What is important to the people at ACI?” Here are the results:
Our employees all agreed, these values reflect who we are!
This is my second winter in Seattle. After six years in Minneapolis I have lived in warmer places like Dallas. Seattle winters are mild, one of the pleasant surprises of this beautiful city. One surprise is the biannual snowstorm!
I was a little worried about my GREE VRF heat pump after windchills in the 15F temperature range. It turns out the heating is fine down to 4F, temps rarely seen in Seattle. Some models with UltraHeat work down to -31F. I feel good about pulling my old gas furnace and replacing it with a heat pump.
Good news is I still have that shovel from Minneapolis!
One of the most creative things I have seen in years is this video from Ruskin. The character is “Amelia Airflow” and she flies through the air to show us how air moves in a building. It is a simple, fun, and accurate description of air as a fluid.