Goettl Air Conditioning Phoenix Blog : Archive for the ‘Air Conditioning’ Category

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Originally published: 12.01.17 by HVACR Business Staff

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

We sat down with Ken Goodrich, owner and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning. Recently, Goettl made a $10 million investment on a mixed-use building that will become its headquarters and state-of-the-art technician training center. Goodrich discussed growing up in the industry, the art of acquiring companies and the need to give back to the community.

1. How did you get started in this industry?

I was recruited by my father, at the age of 10, to hold the flashlight for him while he worked on air conditioners. By the time I was old enough to drive, I was proficient as an air conditioning technician and ran service calls.

2. Is this what you always wanted to do?

No. I grew up in Las Vegas and it can be miserably hot on those roofs. I decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to make a living, so I went to college and got a degree in finance. When I interviewed for finance jobs, I’d get offers that were half of what I was making in HVACR. I couldn’t wrap my head around making half the pay, so I just decided to start my own business and go with what I knew.

3. So, you actually started your own company?

About the time I decided to return to HVAC, my dad fell ill and passed away. I purchased the business from my mother, it was called Racee Air Conditioning. I went to work on building an enterprise rather than a family business.

4. How did that business evolve?

Over the next 10 years, I had my struggles learning how to run a business and understanding how to implement business systems and processes, as well as creating management teams and leading people. Eventually, I built a fairly successful company, which attracted an HVACR industry consolidator in 1997.

5. What did you do next?

I sold the company and worked for them for a couple of years. Being a part of a larger company exposed me to operating processes, acquisition strategies and new perspectives on how bigger business is done. I was intrigued to see if I could take that knowledge and apply it to another company.

6. So, you started another company?

In 2001, armed with my new-found perspective, I started putting some businesses together in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and we grew sizeable in those markets. We had five locations and ended up selling them to the same buyer as last time, in early 2008. I became the division vice-president, then the president of the Western Division for several years, when the opportunity presented itself to purchase Goettl Air Conditioning. It was something I could not pass up, as Goettl has been a part of my career since I started.

7. What intrigued you about acquiring Goettl?

Goettl was the brand of the first air conditioner I shined the flashlight on for my dad when I was 10-years-old. Goettls were designed to operate in the high ambient temperatures of the Sonoran and Mohave Deserts. So, when I was growing up and learning the business, my dad installed Goettls.

8. How many businesses have you acquired?

In my career I’ve acquired 60 or more businesses. In my latest venture, I have acquired four, one in California, and three in Las Vegas. We currently have branches in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Corona, Calif.

9. Are there more plans to grow?

Yes. We’re aiming to significantly increase our footprint throughout California. Our next move is toward Sacramento, and then going further into Los Angeles. We’re in what they call the Inland Empire, Riverside County area, which is hot weather. But, we want to expand that office to service further towards the coast and the L.A. county border.

10. How do you ensure you’re not too big?

I’m the guy who says, “Okay. We can go now” or “We need to slow down a little bit”, and it’s all based on performance metrics. We count 22 things every single day. We talk about the cause and the effect of why those numbers are right or wrong, and what to do about it. If we’re not routinely hitting those metrics, we slow down and regain our focus.

11. What’s the key to acquiring a company?

The number one thing you have to start with is leadership — leadership inside the branch or the business. Usually, when I find struggling companies, it’s because they’re struggling with management.

12. How do you fix that?

We establish a culture of achievement, customer service, accountability and teamwork. We create that culture, and then we accelerate the performance of the business. If I had to break it down to one thing, its leadership.

13. Once you install leadership, what’s next?

You have to find the talent. This is one of the key reasons for the new Goettl University, because we’re not only going to train our technicians and installers, we’re going to train our next management teams. Leadership skills and management skills will be part of our curriculum.

14. How are you setting up that curriculum?

We’ve recruited two industry trainers and they’re currently preparing the curriculum for all the key, basic understandings of the trade, and repairing and installing air conditioning systems. We’ve also taken that to the next level whereby we’re really close to being done McDonaldizing our business.

15. Can you explain that?

We have every repair, every type of installation documented — pictures and a training curriculum on each and every one of them, so that we can bring a guy in who has some experience, and then we’re going teach him to build a Big Mac our way, so to speak.

16. Can you tell us about your sponsorship at the College of Southern Nevada?

When the economy was down in 2008, they were looking at programs to cut out, and the HVACR school was one on the chopping block. I really respect the head of the program, Dennis Soukop. He’s put out some great people and done so much for the industry, I couldn’t let the program fail. I created a $250,000 endowment to basically show the college and the governor that the program had meaning and supporters.

17. What else has Goettl done to help the school?

We’ve also done an endowment for $100,000 to help veterans who graduate from the program. It gives them their first set of tools of the trade. There are two other scholarships: one is the Son of a Gun Scholarship which you’re eligible to receive if you’re the son of a contractor and want to learn the trade.

18. Why is it so important to give back like that?

It’s incumbent upon all business owners to give back to the communities in which they earn their livings. It’s also an effective way to rally your team around things other than the business to create a good work environment. If we rally the team around giving back to the community, helping the veterans or helping the homeless, it builds a stronger team.

19. How important is a company culture?

It’s everything. Culture is one of the key elements to a good turnaround. It’s the leadership and the culture.

20. How do you ensure you’re getting the quality you expect from your team?

I clearly define who we are and communicate that to the team. I define our vision and our mission, and we establish best practices to achieve these things. We also develop a culture of accountability to ensure we deliver an outstanding customer experience each time we are in a home and we motivate our team to achieve our goals.

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Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Originally published: 12.01.17 by HVACR Business Staff

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning

We sat down with Ken Goodrich, owner and CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning. Recently, Goettl made a $10 million investment on a mixed-use building that will become its headquarters and state-of-the-art technician training center. Goodrich discussed growing up in the industry, the art of acquiring companies and the need to give back to the community.

1. How did you get started in this industry?

I was recruited by my father, at the age of 10, to hold the flashlight for him while he worked on air conditioners. By the time I was old enough to drive, I was proficient as an air conditioning technician and ran service calls.

2. Is this what you always wanted to do?

No. I grew up in Las Vegas and it can be miserably hot on those roofs. I decided that wasn’t the way I wanted to make a living, so I went to college and got a degree in finance. When I interviewed for finance jobs, I’d get offers that were half of what I was making in HVACR. I couldn’t wrap my head around making half the pay, so I just decided to start my own business and go with what I knew.

3. So, you actually started your own company?

About the time I decided to return to HVAC, my dad fell ill and passed away. I purchased the business from my mother, it was called Racee Air Conditioning. I went to work on building an enterprise rather than a family business.

4. How did that business evolve?

Over the next 10 years, I had my struggles learning how to run a business and understanding how to implement business systems and processes, as well as creating management teams and leading people. Eventually, I built a fairly successful company, which attracted an HVACR industry consolidator in 1997.

5. What did you do next?

I sold the company and worked for them for a couple of years. Being a part of a larger company exposed me to operating processes, acquisition strategies and new perspectives on how bigger business is done. I was intrigued to see if I could take that knowledge and apply it to another company.

6. So, you started another company?

In 2001, armed with my new-found perspective, I started putting some businesses together in Las Vegas and Phoenix, and we grew sizeable in those markets. We had five locations and ended up selling them to the same buyer as last time, in early 2008. I became the division vice-president, then the president of the Western Division for several years, when the opportunity presented itself to purchase Goettl Air Conditioning. It was something I could not pass up, as Goettl has been a part of my career since I started.

7. What intrigued you about acquiring Goettl?

Goettl was the brand of the first air conditioner I shined the flashlight on for my dad when I was 10-years-old. Goettls were designed to operate in the high ambient temperatures of the Sonoran and Mohave Deserts. So, when I was growing up and learning the business, my dad installed Goettls.

8. How many businesses have you acquired?

In my career I’ve acquired 60 or more businesses. In my latest venture, I have acquired four, one in California, and three in Las Vegas. We currently have branches in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson and Corona, Calif.

9. Are there more plans to grow?

Yes. We’re aiming to significantly increase our footprint throughout California. Our next move is toward Sacramento, and then going further into Los Angeles. We’re in what they call the Inland Empire, Riverside County area, which is hot weather. But, we want to expand that office to service further towards the coast and the L.A. county border.

10. How do you ensure you’re not too big?

I’m the guy who says, “Okay. We can go now” or “We need to slow down a little bit”, and it’s all based on performance metrics. We count 22 things every single day. We talk about the cause and the effect of why those numbers are right or wrong, and what to do about it. If we’re not routinely hitting those metrics, we slow down and regain our focus.

11. What’s the key to acquiring a company?

The number one thing you have to start with is leadership — leadership inside the branch or the business. Usually, when I find struggling companies, it’s because they’re struggling with management.

12. How do you fix that?

We establish a culture of achievement, customer service, accountability and teamwork. We create that culture, and then we accelerate the performance of the business. If I had to break it down to one thing, its leadership.

13. Once you install leadership, what’s next?

You have to find the talent. This is one of the key reasons for the new Goettl University, because we’re not only going to train our technicians and installers, we’re going to train our next management teams. Leadership skills and management skills will be part of our curriculum.

14. How are you setting up that curriculum?

We’ve recruited two industry trainers and they’re currently preparing the curriculum for all the key, basic understandings of the trade, and repairing and installing air conditioning systems. We’ve also taken that to the next level whereby we’re really close to being done McDonaldizing our business.

15. Can you explain that?

We have every repair, every type of installation documented — pictures and a training curriculum on each and every one of them, so that we can bring a guy in who has some experience, and then we’re going teach him to build a Big Mac our way, so to speak.

16. Can you tell us about your sponsorship at the College of Southern Nevada?

When the economy was down in 2008, they were looking at programs to cut out, and the HVACR school was one on the chopping block. I really respect the head of the program, Dennis Soukop. He’s put out some great people and done so much for the industry, I couldn’t let the program fail. I created a $250,000 endowment to basically show the college and the governor that the program had meaning and supporters.

17. What else has Goettl done to help the school?

We’ve also done an endowment for $100,000 to help veterans who graduate from the program. It gives them their first set of tools of the trade. There are two other scholarships: one is the Son of a Gun Scholarship which you’re eligible to receive if you’re the son of a contractor and want to learn the trade.

18. Why is it so important to give back like that?

It’s incumbent upon all business owners to give back to the communities in which they earn their livings. It’s also an effective way to rally your team around things other than the business to create a good work environment. If we rally the team around giving back to the community, helping the veterans or helping the homeless, it builds a stronger team.

19. How important is a company culture?

It’s everything. Culture is one of the key elements to a good turnaround. It’s the leadership and the culture.

20. How do you ensure you’re getting the quality you expect from your team?

I clearly define who we are and communicate that to the team. I define our vision and our mission, and we establish best practices to achieve these things. We also develop a culture of accountability to ensure we deliver an outstanding customer experience each time we are in a home and we motivate our team to achieve our goals.

Continue Reading

Why You Need Prompt Air Conditioning Repairs

Monday, November 20th, 2017

AC-technicianWhen your heater is not functioning exactly as it should, you may give it a little more time than you really should, since we don’t battle winter storms and subfreezing temperatures here the way that they do in other areas of the country. The truth is, however, that any problems with any HVAC systems should be dealt with as soon as possible. Because of how extreme the heat of our summer season can be, you’ll definitely want to get your AC right back on track when something goes wrong.

Remember, when it comes to your air conditioner there is really no such thing as a problem “minor” enough to ignore. You’ll be suffering a number of drawbacks when you ignore the signs that you need air conditioning repairs in Mesa, AZ. Don’t tempt fate just because your air conditioner has not broken down yet. Instead, dial our number the moment that you suspect trouble is brewing. It’s always in your best interest.

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AC Problems: Faulty Capacitors

Monday, November 6th, 2017

ac-tech-workingWouldn’t it be great, particularly in as hot a climate as ours, to know that no problems would never befall your air conditioning system? As those of us living here in the real world know, of course, this goal is tragically impossible. An air conditioner is a mechanical system with many moving parts and electrical components. Occasional operational problems are a certainty,  not a possibility. Eventually, you are going to require professional air conditioning repair in Chandler, AZ. Contact us when you do.

As we mentioned above, there are a lot of different moving parts and components in any air conditioning system. Any problem with any one of these components is all that it takes to cause serious operational issues with your AC. Left unresolved, such problems could wind up doing real damage to the system. One problem that you may encounter is a failing capacitor. In today’s post,  we’ll take a peek behind the curtain to discuss what capacitors do, and how a failing capacitor can affect your system.

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AC Repair Warning Signs: Strange Sounds

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

service-timeWhen it comes to living comfortably in our area, your air conditioning system is a major player. With weather as hot as ours is for much of the year, your air conditioner is going to be putting in a lot of working hours. That is exactly why it is so important that you take every precaution possible to keep your system functioning properly and reliably. This includes taking care of any problems with your air conditioner as soon as you have any reason to believe that there is a problem to begin with.

While a malfunctioning air conditioner is always bad news, the good news is that there are generally some warning signs that your system is struggling. Among the most common of these red flags are strange operating sounds. If your air conditioner doesn’t sound the way it usually does all of a sudden, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s no big deal. Dial our number to have the problem resolved with professional AC repair in Mesa, AZ.

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What You Can Do to Prevent AC Problems

Monday, October 9th, 2017

AC-technician-manifoldWhen you run your air conditioner as hard as we have to in this part of the country, you have to expect that you are going to run into trouble with that system at some point. There are a lot of different components in your air conditioner, and trouble with any one of them will spell trouble for the system at large. Today, we are going to share some tips with you that will help you to keep the occurrence of air conditioning problems to a bare minimum.

Now, it is important to reiterate that no amount of care, no preventative measures, will make your air conditioner 100% reliable. At some point, you’ll still find yourself in need of professional air conditioning repair in Chandler, AZ. When you do, we strongly recommend that you schedule any necessary repair services as soon as possible. That will help to limit the extent of any damages to your system. And now, here’s what you can do to keep the need for repairs at bay.

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AC Repair Warning Signs: Hot Spots

Monday, September 25th, 2017

comfortable-womanWhen you live in a climate as hot as ours, any problems with your air conditioning are cause for concern. The last thing that you want to do is to let problems get to a point where your system breaks down entirely. There are a lot of warning signs that your air conditioner may be in trouble, and one of the most obvious of these warnings are hot spots throughout the house. When properly sized and installed, your air conditioner should be capable of cooling your home effectively and evenly throughout.

Now, not every instance of hot spots in your home is going to be the result of air conditioning problems. Some are, though, and having the problem diagnosed professionally is a must if you want to resolve it before further issues develop. Leave your air conditioning repairs in Phoenix, AZ to the pros on our team, and know that your system will get the attention that it needs to succeed throughout the hottest time of the year. 

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AC FAQ: What’s Up with These Hot Spots?

Monday, September 11th, 2017

AC-techniciansFor those of us that have made Arizona our home, high temperatures are a part of daily life. Just because we choose to live in this climate, of course, does not mean that we are immune to the discomfort that the heat can cause. Even those of us that can appreciate the heat of summer the most need to be able to keep cool and healthy. That is why running into trouble with our air conditioning systems is so alarming in this area.

Remember, an air conditioner does not — and really should not — need to break down entirely before the homeowner takes the initiative to schedule service. Typically, there are several warning factors that can warn of trouble brewing with an air conditioner. Sometimes, though, such symptoms may not be a result of a malfunctioning air conditioner itself. Following are some reasons why you may encounter hot spots in your home, and what that may mean for your air conditioner in Chandler, AZ.

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Short Cycling: What it Means for Your AC

Monday, August 28th, 2017

woman-with-fanIn our area, it is obviously incredibly important to have a great air conditioner that you can rely on in order to make it through the days not only comfortably, but safely as well. The heat is just too intense to take any chances with your air conditioner in Mesa,  AZ. Considering all of the hard work that your air conditioner has to do each and every day, it should really come as no surprise to hear that it may encounter operational problems at some point.

If and when you do run into trouble with your air conditioner, remember that it is always in your best interest to schedule prompt, professional air conditioning repairs. The longer that you wait to have your system professionally repaired, the worse off it is likely to be. Never assume that you should just wait for the system to break down entirely before you bother to have it repaired.  That will only lead to greater inconvenience.

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AC Tip: Keep the Filter Fresh

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Air-filterQuick — what’s the best way in which to keep your air conditioner in the best working condition possible? If you answered “with routine air conditioning maintenance,” then you are correct! What if we asked you what role you yourself should be playing in the maintenance of your air conditioning system, though? Yes, you should leave the bulk of this to your AC tune-up technician. However, there is one vital step that must be completed much more frequently than once a year during this tune-up.

That step? Replacing the air filter in your air conditioner. If you really want your air conditioner in Maricopa, AZ to function at peak performance and efficiency levels — which we can safely assume is the case — then you are going to need to keep a clean filter in the system. While it may not seem like that major a component, the air filter in your air conditioner can have a very negative impact on your system at large if it is not kept fresh.

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