By Kurt Twiford – President/CEO
I recently had the pleasure of reconnecting with a past customer over lunch. They have some new faces on their team who were not familiar with Conexus or our approach. I sat back and listened to an exchange between the client and my associate with a glint of pride and excitement to share what Conexus is all about.
The conversation meandered a little as the client asked indirect questions about our work style. It became evident that another vendor had burned them. There was one particular inquiry regarding graphics and service agreements that pushed my team to sit up and start asking for more clarity. The conversation was a bit uncomfortable as my technician tried to avoid saying anything negative of the previous vendor. Finally, the client’s real question took shape – they wanted to know if we were going to take the entire warranty period to finish our work. As the tech struggled to remain neutral toward the competitor and digest what the client was really asking, I couldn’t help but chuckle watching his internal conflict. I quietly rooted him on, “C’mon, say it …”
And then he declared, “That wouldn’t happen with Conexus!”
In a debrief of the meeting, the tech expressed bewilderment as to why someone would even ask that question. The reality is that there a many qualified and professional building automation systems companies who do great work, but unfortunately there are far more that are not committed to truly helping solve the client’s problems. We are proud of the work we do at Conexus, but at that moment over lunch, I was humbled. The fact that even the concept of not doing what is in the best interest of a customer was completely foreign to my team was a cultural win.
We have adopted the US Army Corps of Engineers commissioning procedures for all the work we do, whether commissioning is required or not. We don’t use the warranty period to check our work; and then, if that doesn’t work, push our clients into a service contract to complete it. We keep promises to complete work based on the agreed upon solution, and when we say it is complete, it’s complete.
As you are upgrading, retrofitting, or constructing your systems, here are three questions you should be asking your Building Automation partner:
- Do they have their own internal quality control procedures to ensure, and document, that the work is complete and accurate before the warranty starts?
- Will I own all of the tools, software, passwords and programs necessary to maintain the system?
- What type of service agreements or ongoing maintenance options do they offer both during and after the warranty period?
Having the direct conversation upfront can save you time, money and frustration in the long-run. Personally, I am looking forward to many more lunches with my team as they represent best-in-class solutions.