Dual Temp is no average mechanical contractor. For fifty-plus years, the company has put every effort into evolving, transforming from a simple HVAC company into a full-service provider of air conditioning, heating, plumbing, pipefitting, and building automation controls.
Asked about Dual Temp’s sure-footed evolution over a half-century, Bradley Noel, President of this Lehigh Valley company says, “One of my thoughts on that is that Dual Temp keeps evolving. We look beyond the day-to-day challenges to where tomorrow is going to have opportunities. We also take care of our employees. We offer them a great place to work with excellent health benefits and opportunities to grow their career to the next level.”
Promotion from within is a strategy that has long served Dual Temp well. The company ensures that there are comprehensive digital and traditional training resources available to ensure its employee-partners have opportunities to advance their careers. All of the project managers, service managers, and CAD professionals at Dual Temp got their start in the field.
“It’s important to show a career path for our field staff. This could be exceling in technical trade expertise, or moving into an office role. I can feel our team improving each time we fill an office leadership role with someone who has come from the field,” said Noel.
“We have a full catalog of digital training we can leverage. We can assign it to people and help them meet their goals for their career, or help set goals for them in their career, and increase the use of technology – to our advantage – to get them there,” said Noel.
Dakota Brown is an employee partner who has grown his career with Dual Temp, moving up through the ranks to assume the role of service manager. Reflecting on his success, Brown says, “If you want long term success, you have to have employees that are happy. You have to show your employees that there’s the ability for them to grow into other roles as part of their career.
“It’s that kind of place that’s going to keep pushing us forward as we look to tomorrow and the next challenge.”
The next challenge
In this case, the next challenge is addressing the increase in demand for services while also overcoming a persistent skilled labor shortage. Part of the reason for the increase in demand is the legislative changes aimed at optimizing indoor air quality (IAQ) to minimize airborne COVID transmission.
“There’s money available to companies who take advantage and apply for funding to make investments in their indoor air quality so that their employees are safer, and they can [safely] bring people back to their buildings,” says Brown.
He notes that Dual Temp is more than happy to help clients devise a strategy to take advantage of that funding so as to have optimum impact on buildings and employees.
Brown acknowledges that every building is different, but that, nevertheless, Dual Temp always offers a true full-service experience for its customers. “We sit down on a case-by-case basis and make our recommendations based on their indoor air quality and the design of their system, and we make adjustments to their building automation systems.
“We have competitors who say they’re a full-service mechanical contractor, except they don’t do this or that. We really do all of it. We really can provide that one-stop destination for our customers to get the services that they need, in a timely fashion and with absolute transparency,” says Noel.
Transparency through technology
Transparency, in the case of Dual Temp, is a competitive advantage and a point of differentiation, and technology has a role to play in this regard. For twelve years, Dual Temp has invested in ensuring that the latest technologies and innovations are integrated into their operations. This includes ‘video-reporting’ for their customers’ peace of mind and a guarantee of a job well done.
According to Brown, “A lot of the time in our industry, the only things a customer sees from us are check-in, check-out, and billing. They don’t see what’s going on up on their roof – it’s a mystery to them. But with the video reporting that we provide to our customers we can be absolutely transparent with them, so they not only know that we were on the site, but they see exactly what we’re seeing, and they see exactly what we did.”
Optimizing with SightCall
Dual Temp’s technology-enabled team-based approach is facilitated by a platform called SightCall, which is an enterprise-grade video cloud program that gives the Dual Temp team scalability and capacity across its footprint, and a process by which its day-to-day operations can be optimized.
“It was already part of our culture to leverage technology, but we had to start looking at other ways to use technology through things like SightCall so that we can support that greener technician while they’re on the job,” says Brown.
SightCall provides connectivity amongst the various divisions and allows technicians on site to video conference product- or service-specific experts to troubleshoot any problems and deliver the optimum solution and the greatest possible value to the customer.
Each employee-partner at Dual Tech is valued because the company’s leadership team knows that success comes from the strength of the sum of its parts, which is why connectivity tools like SightCall are elevating the level of service it provides.
“We use technology, we have good people, we value them. We work together as one big company, one big team with our diverse backgrounds, fusing all that stuff together with the resources, the logistics – just making sure that people can stay on the job and support the territory we have,” says Brown, and he emphasizes that the company’s goal is to do so safely, above all else.
Efficiency with skilled labor
Efficiency is key to maximize the value of the company’s skilled labor more effectively. The company instituted material support and logistics to ensure that technicians have the materials on-site when they need them, instead of having to source them on their own, which caused delays and wasted valuable time.
“In the past we would have our field foremen and our field technicians run for parts, but skilled talent is too valuable to be running logistics for parts pickup. We support them in the field with our logistics team to get them what they need, when they need it, and to let them focus their unique skilled talents on the mechanical project, service call, or construction job that they’re on,” Noel says.
“I always say that safety comes first. Safety comes before profit. Safety comes before project schedule. Safety even comes before keeping the customer happy,” says Noel. “It’s up to us to prioritize our own safety and safety is an expectation.”
Brown echoes this sentiment: “That [attitude] trickles down through all the departments starting from Brad. We all know the expectation that our employee-partners show up here for work whole. They show up a certain way and we make sure they go home a certain way. Everyone needs to make sure they look out for themselves and the people they work with.”
Dual Temp also prioritizes the community. The three areas of emphasis in its philanthropic outreach are education, in particular reading programs for kindergarten through grade three students; food access programs to support the one in ten people in Lehigh Valley who struggle with food access; and seniors who are dependent on others for their basic needs.
“We’re cornerstone partners with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. These guys are experts at delivering these services where they are needed most and we participate with our time and our dollars,” says Noel.
Dual Temp hosts what it calls an annual Day of Caring, which is a day dedicated to getting its employees out in the community to volunteer in some way, be it Meals on Wheels, or performing maintenance and upkeep on a local youth home. Employees are paid for their workday but spend it in the community making it a better place for them all to call home.
The people of Dual Temp believe in leaving spaces better than when they found them, and in an industry that’s typically slow to evolve, it blazes a trail using technology and innovation to foster its own culture of success. And of course, seek out opportunity for the future.
A future with Dual Temp
Noel and Brown close by promoting a career with Dual Temp and a job in mechanical contracting in general, given the continued focus on improving indoor air quality generally. And of course, there’s also the consistent demand for mechanical retrofits and building improvements that will undoubtedly power the industry for the conceivable future.
“It’s a great industry to get into if you’re looking for employment. Or if you’re in a building trade right now and looking for a change, mechanical contracting – HVAC – is a really good move because you’ll always have work, you’re always busy, and it will only become more so.
“We have the technology available to us,” Brown adds, “the training, the resources, the support. If you want to make a move, we’ll support that change and we’re able to help build that new career path at our company.”