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Call it a Wrap!

By Charles Bursey, Sr.

By now, I know most of you have noticed that several oil, mechanical companies and even Dunkin Donut’s have been wrapping their vehicles with some pretty fancy and eye catching advertising designs. I must admit that many have caught my eye as well, and I have said to myself: “Now, that’s impressive.” It’s amazing what can be done with a technology.

I recently had the opportunity to watch a vehicle wrapping of the service vans from a Rhode Island company. The wrapping company arrived with a large box truck with an oversize printer and computer. The Wrappers, as I will call them, started printing the pictures and lettering that was custom designed to meet the owner’s specific need and applied them to several vehicles.

I asked The Wrappers, So what’s the real purpose? Is this simply something new and, as I mentioned, eye catching and affordable?

They explained that the days are gone when we would call in a sign painter to spend hours making a template and hand painting the company branding on our vehicles and buildings. These new digital wraps can advertise every type of service or product, including a website, phone number and pictures of specific products. The truck and van wraps that I have seen are large enough to be noticed by travelers from a distance. This could well mean new business for the company that invested in this new marketing effort, along with the huge effort being made to put more marketing on the website and other electronic media.

When it comes to marketing our industry, I have always felt that every man or woman working in any company, regardless of the position, must be an advertiser for the company. Every technician should be able to promote their company, by being able to explain every one of their company’s benefits.  At the same time, technicians should generate enough additional business to support his or her position.

On another note, I recently visited a friend’s house and he mentioned he recently started hearing a gurgling sound in the heat pipes. My first question was, when did he have his annual tune-up? The answer was yesterday and that there was no mention of additional service needed. With that said, he and I proceeded to his basement and the boiler seemed to functioned very well, except for the waterfall pipe noise.

As I admired how clean the jacket and burner was, I couldn’t help notice that the boiler gauge had zero pressure. After letting the boiler cool down, I attempted to lift the fast fill lever on the pressure reducing valve and I could tell that it was not functioning because there was no sound of water flowing. This resulted in another service call, and on a Sunday during a football half time.

This is an example how the service technician could have replaced the valve while doing the tune up and generated more revenue. This not only resulted in an extra call and my friend was left wondering just how good his service company was. No comment on my part, but I hope every reader or owner will instruct their technicians/marketer’s to look for the opportunity  to generate extra work, if needed while in the basement. This is not only quality service, but more revenue.

By the way, as I call this a wrap, I hope that all contractors are aware of the new Federal regulations coming on April 16, 2015, pertaining to water heaters with circulator efficiency ratings to come next. If you’re not check with your supplier, because by the printing of this article they will have the information.

Charlie Bursey began his long career in the oil heating industry in 1963. He has delivered coal, kerosene and oil and serviced heating and cooling equipment. He has also managed service departments, worked for a manufacturer and currently works with F.W. Webb, Warwick, R.I. He is a recipient of the Association of Oil & Energy Service Professionals’ prestigious Hugh McKee Award for making an outstanding contribution to the fuel oil industry; having had an understanding and cooperation with his/her fellowman; and having unselfishly aided the industry in education and related activities.

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