I’m a bIg fan of “tag lines” and websites that present the reader with the
company’s mission statement simply
and effectively. One of my favorites is
mcKinstry’s website ( www.mckinstry.
com) because it reveals a company that
is at once competent and committed.
You, the viewer, don’t really need to go
farther than the opening page to know
that mcKinstry is a special company.
The tag line, “for the Life of the building,” lets the customer know that mcKinstry is a follow-through company,
I picked up on one of aichle’s presentations (primarily
dealing with hospital audits) at the Emerging Technologies
Symposium in Ontario in may, and the only disappointment—shared by all those present — was that there wasn’t
enough time. We all left wanting more. Immediately following the ETS presentation, I called aichle and asked him to
present his commercial audit program during the greenPlumbers’ portion of the WaterSmart Innovations Conference
in Las Vegas, Oct. 4-9, 2010.
Some of you might know that greenPlumbers presents
all of our five core environmental courses before and during
the WaterSmart Innovations Conference. We were pleased to
have more than 100 contractors take all five classes at each of
the first two WaterSmart meetings. This year, aichle’s com-
mercial audit presentation will be in addition to the regular
courses, and will be geared to mechanical contractors. more
information is available on our website.
WHY DESKTOP CONSERVATION?
It is much more difficult to build customer loyalty into residential markets than commercial markets, mostly because
many homeowners fear that an ongoing relationship will
cost them money for an intangible return. Homeowners
believe that their air conditioners, furnaces, toilets and appliances will continue to work for many years without having
to rely on the installing contractor for continued assistance.
Yes, these products will continue to work
— but the environmental movement has
given contractors the opportunity to prove
to customers that merely working isn’t
enough. new technology and the demand
to reduce energy and water bills through
lower use and higher efficiency are helping
customers realize that continued efficiency
is just as important as the original sale.
Steve allen, director of sustainable technology for the United association of
Plumbers and Pipefitters, calls the concept
“green over time.” The true value of efficient products is not how much they save when installed, but
how much they save over the life of the product.
Desktop conservation, which essentially presents homeowners with the opportunity to have all the tools necessary to
monitor and manage their water, gas and electric usage and
costs, will be a critical sales tool for contractors who want to
build a loyal base of customers. Customers that know how
much their products and their behavior are affecting their
energy and water costs are the best customers you can have —
if they recognize you as the contractor with the solutions.
One way to be the contractor with the solutions is to search
for those solutions now. It is premature to start hyping desktop conservation systems now, because the price point for
residential use is still too high. but there are significant developments that make it likely we will have affordable systems
for homeowners in the next couple of years.
now is the time to think about how your company can
provide “green over time” services.
the opportunity to
prove to customers
merely working isn’t
Steve Lehtonen is executive director of GreenPlumbers USA, Sacramento, Calif. He can be reached at