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Meet Bruner’s Service Estimator Team!

Similar to our employee spotlight that we have each month, this month we will be highlighting two of Bruner’s service estimators – Lowell McElroy and Steve Price. Both Lowell and Steve estimate equipment repairs for the service department based on site visits, call-in business, and preventative maintenance or service call recommendations from a technician’s suggestions. They have also worked with engineers to help strategize for job preparation and execution. Let’s dig a little deeper in to each of their individual fun facts!

Lowell McElroy:

Lowell is going on his 14th year here at Bruner, and his favorite part of the job is that most days are different and he gets to meet and talk to new people. In his free time, he enjoys a little R&R, travel baseball, boating, and spending time with his family and friends. When it comes to food, he “likes it hot!”. Lowell cheers for the Steelers and his favorite season is fall. Surprisingly, his favorite vacation spot is home, but he also enjoys traveling to Tennessee and on occasion the beach.

Steve Price:

Steve has been with Bruner for 4 years, and his favorite part of the job is that it has allowed him to morph into many roles. Another aspect that he enjoys are the great co-workers that he gets to work with every day. Steve is currently enrolled as a full time student as well, working towards earning a degree in psychology. While he has been in customer service positions for half of his life, he can’t wait to get into psychology because it is something that has always been a dream of his. Steve’s favorite sports team is the Ohio State Buckeyes, and his favorite day of the week is Saturday. Lucky for him, his favorite holiday is just around the corner as it is Halloween. On a final note, Steve believes trust is an important value and is sure to instill this in is daughter as he watches her grow up.

5 Workplace Trends in 2012

As the workplace continues to evolve, be sure to keep up with your competitors by considering the following new trends in the workplace! For most companies, these new trends have potential to evolve into growth of your company.

1. Movement from management to leadership values – Employees can determine when an organization’s walk doesn’t fit the talk, and they are getting impatient working for managers who are less self-aware than they are. Instead, individuals today must lead with values such as collaboration and shared purpose. By engaging the workforce in a compelling shared vision and engaging their hearts as well as their minds, leaders can reap the best results.

2. A focus on workplace culture as a means to grow the business – Dedicating time, energy, and resources into creating a sustainable culture can eliminate money spent on marketing (think Google, Panera). Customers patronize businesses that care about their employees, and will even pay more if they believe their values are shared by the company.

3. Diversity makes a comeback – Today, organizations have a renewed interest in diversity, and it has to do with the customer and shareholders. From a customer relations perspective, companies need people inside their organizations who are representative of the people they are trying to reach outside.

4. Rise of virtual work relations – Although they can make it seem like you’re connected to the workplace 24/7, sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn makes it easier to retain relationships with current and past co-workers. This allows for greater amounts of information and expertise to be shared and leveraged which is always a benefit!

5. Organizations are getting flatter – Instant access technology means that employees are not as dependent on the hierarchies of the past for information. With that being said, managers can expect a new definition of team work. Instead of playing your individual role in the team, it’s all about what everyone is chipping in to accomplish what is needed.

We’ve got an Excellent Leader on Hand!

John Sleeper, Vice President of estimating and Pre-Construction here at Bruner Corp, recently completed the Builders Exchange Executive Leadership Excellence Experience (BXLX) officially becoming a member of the BXLX Class of 2012. The BXLX is a nine-month program for senior level executives in the commercial construction industry offered by the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio. This year, Sleeper was among 20 participants in the program.

When asked why he would recommend BXLX, Sleeper responded “This was an excellent opportunity to continue to learn new things from people with a variety of different experiences throughout the industry and the business world in general. It also offers the chance to connect with peers and competitors throughout the local industry.”

BXLX is supported by a grant from the Builders Exchange Foundation and offers education and coaching by nationally-recognized experts in construction leadership and business development. Bruner Corporation is a long-time member of the Builders Exchange of Central Ohio, a trade association serving the local commercial construction industry with 800 member firms.

To find out more about John’s experience, visit: http://www.bx.org/bxnews/Weekly%20Articles/2012%20Articles/07-03-2012/BXLX-Profile-Sleeper-7312.html

Employee Spotlight: Doug Linnabary

Dough Linnabary has been with Bruner since March of 2006. Currently working under the title of Job Support, Doug looks over the daily progress of job sites, creates schedules and makes sure they are carried out, over-sees and approves fabrication, and schedules materials and equipment. According to him, he is “basically the chief cook and bottle washer”.  His favorite part of the job thus far is seeing Project Noble come to a close. Project Noble has been very challenging to Doug in many ways, too many of which to list. Doug’s always liked completing a goal with his workers and standing back and being proud to put Bruner’s name on it.

Outside of Bruner, Doug likes to spend time with his family. He is very close to his four children and wife of 28 years this September. He isn’t quite sure “how she has put up with him this long”. He is also politically involved in the community that he lives in, loves to hunt, fish, water and snow ski, go boating, garden (not just flowers, vegetables too!), go motorcycling, and also work with wood. His favorite food is a traditional German dish called Rollauden. When asked what his favorite spots team was, he responded “the Browns of course”. Doug’s favorite vacation spot is Boone, North Carolina. His favorite colors are green, blue, and orange and specifically in that order! Finally, Doug’s favorite day of the week is “any day above the dirt”.

Another spotlight complete on one of our hard-working, trustworthy Bruner employees! Does Doug sounds like someone you would like to work with? Check out our career page for the latest openings and apply today if applicable.

INFOGRAPHIC: Business First Book of Lists Top Heating & Cooling Companies

In the 2011 Book of Lists published by Columbus Business First, Bruner topped the “Top Heating & Cooling Companies” chart. This is a distinction that we have earned several years running and we continue to aim to live up to the expectations this award sets. Our position is in no way secure, however, with such excellent competition in the central Ohio area.

INFOGRAPHIC: Top Heating & Cooling Companies

Looking for some HVAC tips from the top heating and cooling company in central Ohio? Check out our e-book containing 9 Tips to Keeping Your Mechanical Systems in Tip-Top Shape!

Contractors: Learn How to Boost Productivity and Lower Expenditures

“Companies that manage their labor and their inventory effectively are among the most profitable,” says Ruth King (@RuthKing) in HVACR Business Magazine. King used her wealth of knowledge and 25+ years of experience in the HVACR industry to share with HVACR Business readers how the contracting business can increase profits without increasing prices. The solution: productively manage your labor force.

Here are ten ways to do so:

  • Lock up your warehouse and parts room
  • Make sure that charges for nitrogen use, silver solder, vacuum pump (and the oil change after each use), reclaim units, and leak testing are included in your flat-rate pricing or added to the invoice
  • Add a charge of $0.50/pound for refrigerant disposal
  • Say thank you to your installers and service technicians by bringing them a soda or hot drink on the job
  • Create a sheet and have the customer sign off that they understand how to use a programmable thermostat
  • Use tickler files
  • Say, “It’s time for your prepaid maintenance check” instead of spring/fall tune up
  • Keep the second call of the day open
  • Use the camera in your phone or keep a digital camera in your truck
  • Track productivity

For further explanation of these guidelines, visit HVACRBusiness.com.

Promoting a Culture of Servant Leadership

As Bruner strives to grow as a business, we have adopted several practices to help propel us toward an employee’s first, customer-driven culture. One of those practices is the notion of Servant Leadership.

What is Servant Leadership, you ask? It’s a culture of serving those you lead; it’s a distribution of power and responsibility to allow employees to make their own decisions; it’s seeing things through the eyes of those you lead; it’s putting yourself in others’ shoes; and it’s keeping the well-being of fellow employees in mind.

Servant Leadership is not just a practice – it’s a culture of leading by example, which can be applied to both personal and professional lives. By embracing the role of a Servant Leader, you are choosing to uphold and embody the Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership. You seek lasting change, create authentic relationships, persevere with a non-anxious presence, invest in motivated people, and focus less on doing things the “right” way and more on doing what is right.

By empowering people and creating a positive work environment first, profits and success will follow.