Getting to Know the HVAC Industry Better

HVAC industry know-how is ever evolving - how do you keep up with all the changes? Perhaps you attend your product lines' dealer meetings, read up online, or take other measures.

We interviewed David Fein, vice president of sales and marketing and chief operating officer at Comfort Saves Solutions (a division of Robison Oil in Mount Kisco, New York). To keep up with his industry, Fein meets quarterly with a group of eight non-competing companies in the area.

Here's what Fein had to say about this unique practice:

What types of items do you discuss with the group?
We set an agenda, and we have a moderator who orchestrates the whole thing. The topics are usually about how we manage service personnel, advertising, compensation, interviewing, and hiring. We usually go for two days, and depending on the topic we talk about, those key personnel show up to the meeting.

Why do you meet with the group?
We meet and network - one company may tell us how they run their coal center, and they view how we operate our sales department. It's about sharing and growing in a noncompetitive market.

How do you think this benefits your business as well as theirs?
Gosh, anything from basic letters, advertising pieces, contacts for vendors, marketing, and manufacturers - what's working for them, and even finding out the things that haven't worked for other people. We develop good relationships with people. I've been going for three years. If you go to one meeting, you'll leave that meeting and say, "wow."

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