Interview with Brad Sims, HVAC Service Manager, Lee Company
Brad Sims Interview from XOEye on Vimeo.
As a third-generation employee, Brad Sims grew up with a Lee Company truck in the driveway.
Now, after 13 years with the company, Sims has the unique perspective of having seen the business from a lot of different angles: before he was the HVAC Service Manager, he was a technician, a foreman, a superintendent and a salesman.
“I enjoy my job because I like providing solutions to customers and carrying the mission of Lee Company to our marketplace,” Sims said.
In his current role, Sims oversees teams in HVAC maintenance and service for Lee Company’s commercial customers. His main priority is ensuring that his team is equipped to do their jobs well.
"I see myself as a support provider, rather than the boss,” Sims said. “It’s all about being there to remove any obstacles and provide them with training and resources to make their jobs as easy as possible."
Sims’ team relies heavily on their peers, along with their supervisors, to provide technical assistance on-site.
“Our group of technicians range from people who are brand new to the industry to folks with over 30 years of experience,” Sims said. “My challenge is figuring out how the leverage the knowledge of our experienced technicians while still allowing them to do their own jobs.”
For Sims, the wearable technology solutions provided by XOEye have transformed the way his team communicates and learns. XOEye provided Sims with new wearable technology tools and its Vision software platform to help keep his team connected.
“Giving them the ability to get real-time input on projects is a huge tool in our daily work,” Sims said. “Our experienced techs are able to put eyes on something without having to go to that site—the time and productivity that saves is a huge benefit.”
Customer relations is another big priority for Sims. He wants to empower his staff with the decision-making power to serve our customers well. XOEye’s technology not only allows his team to collaborate with each other, it improves their ability to communicate with the client.
"Technical capability is a big part of our work—but so is communication,” he said. “Not only do you need to be able to fix the customer’s problem, you also need to be able to clearly explain how you fixed it and the reasons behind your decision."
In an industry like HVAC service and repair, where a bulk of the work is done in places like roofs and basements, bringing the customer to the problem isn’t always a viable option.
“With XOEye, we can bring customers a video of the issue, rather than them having to come to it,” Sims said. “We’re able to provide supporting documentation for why we need to replace this machine or this part. It’s a huge benefit to us and to the customer for justifying repairs."
By bringing visibility to the solution with XOEye systems, Lee Company is able to gain customer trust and demonstrate value in a tangible way.
"We use XOEye systems to document current conditions, supplement our diagnosis, and share those images with the customers,” Sims said. "Then, we can use it to document the change at the end of the repair and provide a complete overview of the repair process from start to finish."
The data gathered using XOEye’s technology has also been valuable in supporting repair proposals for customers that need buy-in from a boss or board.
“We can use the technology to support the customer and provide them with documentation that will make it easier for them to get the final approval they need to keep their business running,” Sims said.
When it comes to measuring success, Sims can point to increased calls per day and productivity gains—but, in the end, his main goal is bringing value to the customer.
"The metrics that are most important to me are customer satisfaction and contract retention because those show me we are doing our job well,” Sims said. “What are we doing to give the customer something they can’t get from someone else? That’s the ultimate goal when using new technology like this."
Although Sims immediately saw the opportunity that XOEye presented to his team and to Lee Company, Sims wasn’t sure how his employees would adapt to the change.
"I was anticipating some hesitation or push back,” Sims said. “To my surprise, our senior technicians were really excited about the prospect. It wasn’t difficult for them to see that XOEye brings value to both them and the customer.”
Because XOEye gives technicians the ability to record their on-site troubleshooting so that less experienced technicians can review it later, Lee Company is building a reserve of training materials while simultaneously solving customer problems.
XOEye provides Sims with the ability to bridge some of his teams’ technical capability gaps. The workflow improvements that resulted from partnering with XOEye have allowed Lee Company to implement a triage support center as part of INSIGHT, Lee Company’s technology-driven service platform. This support center has already improved Sims’ ability to quickly train and empower employees.
“In the future, I envision myself spending less time training because our training will be supplemented by a video database,” Sims said. “Those materials can be used for new hires or even for current employees who need additional training around a specific capability.”
As someone who has always welcomed change, Sims is excited to be working for a company that understands the value of innovation.
"What I like about Lee Company is that we are willing to partner with companies like XOEye to bring new ideas and new approaches to change things up,” Sims said. “We’ve already distinguished ourselves as leaders. That makes me proud to work here and use this technology."