CHICAGO — As an HVAC contractor business owner, where can you go to obtain a completely integrated mix of online training, onsite classroom training and consulting, and conference training, covering every essential area required for a contracting business to be successful and grow? The EGIA Contractor University!
As a decades old national non-profit organization, EGIA’s core mission is to advance energy-efficiency and renewable-energy solutions through the home improvement and renewable energy industries. EGIA does this by working closely with contractors, regional distributors and product manufacturers, as well as with electric and gas utilities, and government sponsors of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
EGIA’s core mission is to advance energy-efficiency and renewable-energy solutions through the home improvement and renewable energy industries.
EGIA is currently comprised of more than 6,000 independent building improvement companies and approximately 18,000 affiliated companies through EGIA’s Energy Partners program, targeting manufacturers and distributors of high-efficiency products and equipment.EGIA focuses on where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in terms of providing the skills, knowledge, tools and training, to help businesses be more successful and more profitable.
“The largest percentage of EGIA members are HVAC contractors, but a key thing that makes EGIA different from other associations is that it’s not vertically integrated – it doesn’t focus on just a single product area like HVAC or solar or insulation,” explained Bruce Matulich, EGIA CEO, executive director. “What we do is take a ‘horizontal slice’ across the entire home services contracting industry with a focus primarily on energy efficient/renewable homes upgrades. EGIA really focuses on where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in terms of providing the skills, knowledge, tools and training, to help businesses be more successful and more profitable. We are focused on giving contractors the tools they need to build a successful and sustainable business.”
According to Matulich, the bulk of EGIA member companies fall into one or more of the following categories: HVAC, solar, insulation, home performance, windows and doors, and general remodeling; plus, there are roofing, plumbing and electrical contractors to a lesser degree, but these are additional areas that will continue to grow at a quicker pace in the future.The majority of EGIA member companies fall into one or more of the following categories: HVAC, solar, insulation, home performance, windows and doors, and general remodeling. plus, there are roofing, plumbing and electrical contractors to a lesser degree, but these are additional areas that will continue to grow at a quicker pace in the future.
“For contractors this focus on high-efficiency home upgrades is important because selling and installing high-efficiency equipment, typically means generating higher margins, the ability to upsell larger projects and greater overall project profitability,” said Matulich. “Also in many areas the contractor is able to tap into incentives and rebates paid out by manufacturers on high efficiency equipment and take advantage of significant utility rebates that are available around the country.”
Benefits of Contractor University
What makes Contractor University, EGIA’s education and training division, so unique is the consistent message that is used as a common thread throughout the online training, onsite classroom training and consulting, and conference training.
“We took a consistent message and processes being taught, and that message is carried throughout the breakout sessions, keynotes and online classes — everything,” said Matulich. “It is great that there is a consistency running through all of this — this is really powerful and not the case elsewhere.”
We took a consistent message and processes being taught, and that message is carried throughout the breakout sessions, keynotes and online classes — everything."
— Bruce Matulich, exec. director, EGIA
Highly Qualified Faculty
EGIA also has a very impressive faculty of expert trainers and consultants. When forming the Contractor University faculty, 10 to 12 of the industry’s best minds and most respected consultants were brought onboard.
“Many of our trainers and consultants were frustrated about how contractor training in general is being done, so we put this whole integrated process together, plus, we are a true nonprofit,” said Matulich. “We are not trying to make a profit off of training; instead we are channeling all the membership proceeds back into our training and our member benefit program to create maximum value for contractors.”
Another unique and beneficial Contractor University offering is that EGIA focuses on follow through. An online best practices survey enables the contractor to perform a thorough self-assessment of their business that then drives a set of very specific and tailored improvement strategies (or a road map) pointing them towards the highest potential areas of improvement. The survey results direct contractors to specific training videos, proven best practices, procedures, checklists and other tools for implementation.
Not only does the contractor have all the tools to tap into business best practices, they will also have an accountability coach to ensure the contractor does work on implementing what he or she learned through Contractor University.EGIA memberships reaches across the United States.
“What happens so many times is you go to training and get all jazzed up, wanting to utilize in your business what you learned, but when you get back to the office there is so much to do, you are back in the daily grind and you cannot find the time,” explained Matulich. “Then you don’t end up focusing on and internalizing and implementing what you learned. So we have accountability coaches assigned to the contractors to make sure they get the maximum value out of the training.” It’s not about attending the training — it’s about what the contractor does with the training that matters.
The accountability coach — an EGIA staff member or trainer — is the person that keeps in contact with the contractor and helps them move through the implementation process back in the office, so they don’t put what they learned on the sidelines.
The accountability coach — an EGIA staff member or trainer — is the person that keeps in contact with the contractor and helps them move through the implementation process back in the office, so they don’t put what they learned on the sidelines.Online program training topics include: leadership, pricing, service management, material handling, planning, marketing, service/maintenance and many more.
“All of our trainers are willing to take contractor questions at any time,” said Matulich. “We have an online process available for the contractors — they can use the online form to submit questions. One of our subject matter experts will get back to them, answer their question and point them to other training and educational opportunities that might exist within our online training repository.”
Another area that helps contractor owners is the core curriculum, which offers comprehensive training for employees, so they can learn about best practices in their specific job areas, such as customer service, sales, etc.
“What many contractors are doing is they incorporate the core curriculum into their own training, so when a new employee is hired they go through the online training curriculum; plus, they are using the training as a way to move employees through their organization,” explained Matulich. “For example, if I want to become a technician, I need to pass technician training and also complete the technician sales curriculum, too.
“That dual capability of training the leaders of the company, so they are implementing the best practices processes and giving their employees the high-quality core curriculum they can implement into their own training, saves contractors a lot of time and focus, plus they know the employee will emerge with really valuable education,” added Matulich.
CLICK HERE to learn more about EGIA and Contractor University
Contractors’ Experiences — See, firsthand, what some contractors have to say about attending Contractor University training courses!
"First and foremost, I would like to thank you again for the training last week. I truly believe it's a life-transforming event. This has been a very productive week for me. Since the class, I sold every job but one. Thank you again for all that you did for me the last two days. I am ecstatic about my future." — Eugene Privalov; JR Putman, Inc. (The Invincible Replacement Sales Professional Workshop)
"I have never had this level of training anywhere. Words cannot describe the value. Simply amazing." — Ryan Cornell; Service Champions (Technician Communication & Selling Workshop)
"I love all the training on the website. I have gone through 95% of all your stuff and reworked several things as a result. You have so many of the answers I have been looking for. Thank you again!" — David Kizer; Superior Heating & Air Inc. (Contracting Best Practices Online Learning Platform)
"Every contractor should be part of this organization, period. The investment is minimal compared to the value you receive. Stop whining about not making money and join EGIA now! We've spent thousands on other groups and have received none of these benefits."— Jim Lowinski; NORTHSTAR Heating & Cooling