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Be a sponsor at AACP's Annual Golf Tournament!
Sept. 9, 2022 | Raspberry Falls Golf Club, Leesburg VA

Sponsorship is a great "out of office" opportunity! Showcase your company to AACP & HVAC industry professionals from Maryland, D.C. and Virginia!

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Three Keys to Leveraging Artificial Intelligence in Field Service

By: Adam Jaggers, CTO

The world of field service is quickly evolving. While the demand for field service work is skyrocketing, most providers are finding it difficult to meet the ever-growing demands of the market. It appears there are a couple key factors holding back growth: a limited availability of talent to provide services needed, and major constraints on the supply chain.

As field service providers look to scale their businesses, they are turning to technology like Artificial Intelligence to help them face the issues at hand and get the most out of their available resources. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to do more with less? But there’s a question that remains to be answered:  Will technology be able to deliver on its advertised promises?

There are endless technologies on the market that claim to leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). If you’re currently evaluating technologies to improve your business, here are three key considerations to keep in mind when making those important decisions:

1.  Identify Your Problems First. Technology Comes Second. When you start your search for technology to accelerate your business, it’s extremely important to initially define your pain points. For example, is your upsell rate too low? Are you experiencing too many second truck rolls?

Many companies start their search technology-first with the idea “we should be using Augmented reality”. When searching for technology, you will definitely find it! The problem comes when attempting to apply that technology to your business.

It’s important to understand your problems first so you can identify a technology solution that is built to remedy those issues. If you choose a solution that promises the technology features you desire, but doesn’t properly address pain points, you’ll be left with more problems than when you started. There is a very large gap between a raw technology and a fully formed business solution. It’s important to find a technology that has already traversed that gap.

2. Don’t Make Your Technician's Job Harder. The key to success in any field service business is adoption. Even more so when you are looking to adopt a technology that relies on the data collected in the field. It can be tempting to turn your technicians into walking data entry clerks, with 100-step checklists that gather every datapoint in every single circumstance. Please, don't do this. If your entire workforce doesn’t immediately resign and go work for your competitor, you would almost certainly end up with completely useless data being entered. We’ve all heard the adage, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

When looking for technologies that leverage data, make sure it offers an intuitive and easy-to-use experience for your technicians. Technologies that seriously consider user experience will be the cornerstone of successful data capture in the field.

3. Find Short-Term Wins. Long-term strategy is important. As a matter of fact, it’s critical to the continued success of any technology adoption. However, oftentimes Machine Learning (ML)/AI projects promise wins that will only come to fruition once months, or even years, of data is collected and analyzed. This can be detrimental to your technology project. Machine Learning technology is often expensive or difficult to implement (which can be its own red flag) but if your company isn’t getting any value in the short-to-medium term, it’s very easy for a ML/AI project to lose support and die before you can deliver the promised long-term value.

When road mapping your strategy, make sure to provide small wins to stakeholders as soon as possible. When asking a group of people to change their processes, focus and if possible, do your best to provide value back to those users as soon as day one. These small wins can keep your project alive and momentum strong. Detours are also encouraged along the way to your ultimate objective, so long as they supply valuable returns.

There is no “one size fits all” approach to adopting machine learning and artificial intelligence. There isn’t one single technology or provider that will solve all of your problems. The key takeaway is to make sure you stay laser focused on using technology to provide tangible business value to your company.  Most importantly, remember—the best technology in the world that no one adopts is actually the worst technology in the world.

Adam Jaggers, CTO
XOi Technologies

Adam Jaggers, CTO at XOi Technologies, has more than 10 years of experience building enterprise-grade artificial intelligence solutions. As an Army veteran, Adam is a proven leader who shares in XOi's mission of solving the skilled trades gap, matching his technical prowess with his drive for finding real-world solutions. Adam has led teams all over the globe to build and patent some of the most sophisticated production systems within the world's leading banks and healthcare providers, leveraging artificial intelligence to do so. At XOi, Adam is again able to apply his leadership and expertise to one of the most critical missions in the field service marketplace today.

Mary Kelly, Commander, USN, CSP, CPAE

CEO, Productive Leaders

Motivational, content-rich keynotes on leadership and business growth for virtual and live programs, conferences, corporate training, and events.
Executive coach for leadership development to improve profit growth. Best-selling author. Board member. Corporate advisor. Proud Navy Veteran.

Five Ways to Stay Positive When Stress Factors are High
By: Mary Kelly, CEO, Commander, USN, CSP, CPAE

Lots of team members say they are stressed right now.  It seems to be an easy default and too often, an excuse for not getting work accomplished.

What can we do to stay positive and focus when we are surrounded by stress?

1. Don’t admit defeat. Don’t decide that you are overwhelmed. It is so easy for people to say, “I’m overwhelmed during this time of crisis, challenge, or change.”  “I am so busy and people keep wanting my solutions.”  “I cannot get everything accomplished.”

Stop being defeatist.  Stop giving yourself reasons why you are watching TV instead of working in the middle of the day.

The problem magnifies when you convince yourself that you are overwhelmed.  Your brain and your body believe you.

Note: this is not the same as finding help for a mental health crisis – that is different.  This is about not feeding negative thoughts into your brain.

Instead, of telling yourself: “I am so overwhelmed, so I am not even going to try
Substitute: I have as much time in the day as Albert Einstein did. What am I going to do with this time?

“I have never been more knowledgeable or prepared for a crisis, challenge, or change. I know more now than I ever have. How can I best handle this situation?”

“I can handle everything when I map it out and deal with each piece of the situation. How can I break this down into action steps?”

“If not me, who? If not now, when?”

2. Know when to vent and when to act. Stress levels are high. People are impatient.  Don’t contribute to other people’s stress levels by complaining.  Your friends are those people you can call when you are having a rough day.  Your real friends will not just listen, they will help you brainstorm on solutions when it is time to make your list of action steps.

I have an amazing mastermind group who listen when I get frustrated and then prod me to move forward when it is time to act.  They do not let me wallow in self pity or other defeatist, non-productive emotions.

3. Control what you can control. We cannot control a lot of what is going on in the world. Watching the news and being barraged with bad news contributes to depression and anxiety. It gives us negative emotions, and contributes to the feelings of helplessness.  We cannot fix most of what we see on the news.  We often cannot control what is happening around us.

To visualize this
, I draw a bubble inside a bigger bubble. Inside the small bubble is what I can control, and I label it Things I Can Control. Inside the larger bubble are the things I cannot control, and I label it Things I Cannot Control. For a helpful exercise with your teams, have them draw the bubbles and make lists of the things that stress them and delineate what they cannot control as well as the things they can control.  Then help people come to a decision to focus on the aspects that we can control.

4. Remove yourself from the situation. Ask yourself, if I was seeing this situation for the first time, would I react this way? Some of our stressors are stressors because they are hot buttons for us. I am on planes a lot, and when people listen to music or watch movies with the sound on and no earphones, I am triggered.  I view this behavior as annoying and rude.  However, when I remove myself from the situation, and pretend that this is the first time I have seen that behavior, I might think, “Oh, maybe they don’t realize we can all hear that movie” or “Maybe they don’t know that their earbuds are not working.

 5. Change just for today.  Decide to handle everything with cheerful calm.  Just for today, make the conscious choice to stay positive despite everything going on.  It might just spread to tomorrow as well.

The Coolest HVAC Trends

By: GineersNow

The HVAC sector will always be in demand. The main issue at hand is how much demand this sector can anticipate year after year? The industry’s ability to innovate will play a large role in this. Consumers have access to more information than ever before as the globe continues to expand and grow. There is a wealth of information at their fingertips on best practices, installation methods, and mobility.

Here are a few of the trends that dominate the industry today.

  • In order to maintain competitive pricing, many in the HVAC sector have begun automating their sales and servicing procedures.
  • Building managers may now regulate lighting, ventilation, and other operations with a single control point thanks to newer technology like smartphone applications.
  • More efficient HVAC systems may be built in the future owing to better assessments of building environments made possible by the gathering and mining of big data and analytic information.
  • Local HVAC contractors will use software, SEO, widgets, and other internet tools and methods to interact with local clients who are studying their system.
  • As more prospective consumers utilize tablets, smartphones, and tablet PCs, the HVAC sector will continue to innovate via mobile solutions.
  • Consumers will increasingly rely on mobile devices to set up preventive maintenance and servicing plans as HVAC systems continue to create novel but complicated solutions for buildings.

Summer 2022

Letter from the Executive Director

Congratulations to the Class of 2022!

This year, we graduated 28 technicians in our Apprenticeship Program. Their effort over four years, along with the support, guidance, and supervision of their company warrants a major shout out.

Our Apprenticeship Program Director, Aleka McKenzie-Brown, continues to work with our Training & Certification Committee chaired by Mike Tucker, and our Lead Instructor, Randy Hamilton, to make improvements to our program.

As a hybrid model, we incorporate online learning with in-person labs. This year, our investment will enhance our library of videos which apprentices have already used while on-the-job. Of the many benefits to the online platform, there are two we hear about most often.

From the supervisors - "I can keep my technician on a job longer with the virtual option than I can when they need to travel and sit in traffic. We can service more customer this way."

From the apprentices - "I spend less time on the road and more time in the classroom. And, this program allows me to spend time with my family who sacrifices a lot for me to be in this program."

If you have not enrolled your apprentice in our program, please register them on or before this Friday, July 22!

In other news...

Our annual golf tournament will be held in September.

Our Heat Exchangers Experts seminar is in October. Registration is limited.

Baltimore will be the site of the ACCA Fall 2022 Meetings.

The Class of 2022

Simon Albertie | Presidential Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Haddon Baile | Frederick Air, Inc.

Jordi Barragan-Luna | Gary P Frank Heating and Cooling Inc.

Eli Bregman | Rod Miller Heating & Air Conditioning

Franklin Coca |Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

De'Narian Davis | American Residential Services

Gebrael Endrias | Foulger-Pratt Management

Pedro Flores | Parker-Pearce Service Experts

Juanmiguel Gonzalez | Reliable Engineering Services

Christopher Holland | Adrian L. Merton, Inc

Steven Kozdras | Adrian L. Merton, Inc

Robert Lilja | BMC/Clower Heating & Air Conditioning Inc

Bryan Lopez Lopez | BMC/Clower Heating & Air Conditioning Inc

Oscar Machado | Gary P Frank Heating and Cooling Inc.

Max Mazza | Gary P Frank Heating and Cooling Inc.

Dean McMahon | Thos. E. Clark, Inc.

Benjamin Miller | Virginia Mechanical Equipment Corp.

Joshua O’Neal-Lloyd

Danny Reyes | Frederick Air, Inc.

Gustavo Rodriguez | Shapiro & Duncan Mechanical Contractors

Mack Seal | Montgomery County Public Schools

Inocencio Segovia | Harvey W. Hottel, Inc.

Iver Silva | American Residential Services

Mark VanSickel | RJH Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Service, LLC

Dudley Vaughan | Shapiro & Duncan Mechanical Contractors

Emerson Velasquez | Gary P Frank Heating and Cooling Inc.

Jose Vilche | Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

Malcolm Walters | American Residential Services

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