The Unified Group hosted its 14th Service Management Forum on Jan. 22nd-25th in San Antonio with 63 attendees representing 44 member companies. The three day session focused on leadership and people skills, improving operational efficiency, and sales and client retention.
The session kicked off with speaker, Steve Thomas’ Creating a Coaching Culture session. He encouraged attendees to “sip” the information and strategies presented.
“Too many times you come back from a training session with a pad full of notes of things you’re going to change,” said Steve. “Then work gets in the way and that note pad gets lost. Sip; don’t guzzle.” Over the day Steve stressed the important roles that people skills and core values play in building an effective team.
“At times I felt like Steve must have spied on my company prior to his session,” said Michael Haen (JW Danforth).
Over the next two days members also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of Unified Group members who have already implemented some form of field automation. Each panel member shared what product/service their company is using, challenges encountered during implementation, initial and ongoing costs, and return on investment.
“The field automation member panel provided good insight. It will help immensely on avoiding pitfalls,” said Joe Ardagna (CESCO). Other meeting topics included Using Financial Data to Make Solid Business Decisions for the Service Department and Best Practices in Safety.
"Since service managers don't have many peers this is an excellent environment for us to 'take the pulse' of our beloved industry. I'll be a better leader as a result," Marty Gilliam (ThermaServe).
"I received numerous responses to the email tool question I posted from the group members, all with very helpful information. Considering the time of year and how busy we all are, I was totally impressed with the level of detail within the various responses. Impressive and very unselfish of our members to take the time to do this for us. Please acknowledge their good will by saying "thank you" from all their friends at CESCO"
Even after one day at this conference, my confidence in my job and the desire to grow has increased.
"The Unified Group is unique to any other membership we belong to in the way that we are able to openly share the "nuts and bolts" of the challenges we face on a daily basis with other members who are in the same business, but are not our direct competitiors. There is a good chance that another member of the group has faced the same issues we are working through and can offer advice and/or a solution that has worked for them."