Niagara/Hamilton businesses join forces for equipment sales, service and maintenance
GTA Construction Report special feature
Mr. Furnace Huero and Sure-Fix Food Equipment Service amalgamated in August 2013 to provide one-stop convenience and professionalism in the Hamilton/Niagara area.
The two organizations had operated independently for 30 years, serving distinctive but related markets. Now, Mr. Furnace Huero has distinctive residential and commercial branches within the joint company.
“We are always looking for better ways to serve our clients and recognized there were synergies between our client base and Sure-Fix,” said general manager Mike Petrus. “They specialized in restaurant equipment sales, service and installation but didn’t service the refrigeration, plumbing and heating side. We were the opposite.”
Now commercial and institutional clients can work with one company for equipment sales, service and maintenance.
“I believe in the 80/20 rule,” says Petrus. “Eighty per cent of the work is about relationships and the other 20 per cent about the task at hand.”
Accordingly, Petrus says he encourages staff to build relationships, appreciating that the client is the boss who must impressed.
“We have many staff who start their apprenticeships with us and continue long after they are licensed journeymen,” he said. “We understand we are only as strong as our weakest link, so we use a program of coaching to ensure our staff is trained and professional. We use both internal and external sources to achieve this.”
Petrus says Mr. Furnace Huero and Sure-Fix partners with parts, product and service providers who understand the urgency in responding to client demands. “If we get a call from a client we want to address it in a timely and professional manner,” he said. “Time is as important as the task at hand and the people we partner with support that.”
Internal systems and software have been developed to co-ordinate the businesses.
Petrus says there is a focus on maintaining a positive and connected work environment for staff and that the most important client is the one the company already has, rather than the one that might come along tomorrow. “No matter the size of the job we send clients hand-written personal thank you cards,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the issue, how simple or how complex, people want to know they are being looked after.”
The company joined a safety group this year, which meets monthly, and has resulted in extensive health, safety and environment committees. “We work with some industrial clients who want us to be part of third party safety audits. All of this makes us a better company and ensures our staff a better working environment.”
Here is what some people are saying about Mr. Furnace Huero, reflecting in part long-term relationships with the previously independent branches of the business.
Niagara Plumbing and Supply
Mario Miele, president of Niagara Plumbing and Supply, has worked with Mr. Furnace for 20 years.
“The staff at Mr. Furnace has always been very easy to deal with,” he said. “They are very service oriented and have ways of solving problems through knowledge and strong organizational skills that benefits the client and makes things easy for us.”
Jason Fletcher, a supervisor with Marks Supply, says Mr. Furnace’s employees are professional-looking and “very skilled and knowledgeable.”
“They know what parts they need when they call and are good at problem solving,” he said. “If they have questions they are good at open a dialogue to get the information they need to work to a quick resolution.”
Marks will direct ship parts to job sites, supporting Mr. Furnace in the field to provide better customer response and support.
Gus Sequeira is senior construction manager with CLV Group, a property management company with properties throughout the Golden Horseshoe area. Responsible to oversee work at various locations, he says, “For the last four years, the CLV Group has been working with Mr. Furnace Huero Sure-Fix to carry out a variety of activities, from simple mechanical projects to major boiler replacement installations.”
He adds that CLV relies on the expertise of its contractors for consultation, as well as dependable service, and workmanship and that Mr. Furnace Huero Sure-Fix comes fully recommended as fitting these needs.
Niagara Catholic District School Board
Tony Ferrara, manager of facilities services with the Niagara Catholic District School Board, credits Mr Furnace Huero with professionalism and workmanship at several of the board’s properties from Thorold to Welland and Niagara Falls.
Chartwells, Compass Group Canada
Brian Nagy, director of support services with Chartwells, Compass Group Canada, describes a postive and long-term relationship with Sure-Fix spanning several years.
Chartwells operates Ridley College in St. Catharines, an independent school with 635 students from junior kindergarten through grade 12. Two kitchens serve the more than 300 boarding students, which include 200 international students.
Nagy says, “Sure-Fix handles the service contract for all equipment in the two kitchens. We have had exceptional service with quick turnarounds involving any equipment repairs. The scheduled maintenance program ensures minimal disruption and preventative maintenance keeps us running smoothly. Sure-Fix continues to meet and exceed the demands of Chartwells.”
The Skylon Tower
Brett Cournoyea, executive chef with The Skyon Tower, says the restaurant has relied on Sure-Fix since he came on board in 1986. “In my career here I have never had to call Sure-Fix bad to re-examine an issue they repaired. I really appreciate the consideration given to my staff as they work around the service staff while repairs are being completed.”
He adds that emergeny calls are completed efficiently and Sure-Fix has never left the restaurant in a compromising position.
Water and Wasterwater Services, Niagar Region
Zoltan Mod, manager of water systems maintenance, water and wastewater services for the Niagara Region says, “We have used Mr. Furnace Huero for many years. Mike Petrus and staff have always illustrated a professional manner, completed tasks on schedule, provided quality workmanship while following proper policies and procedures. We can depend on them to respond in a timely manner should an emergency arise.”
Anthony Continelli, president of PBG Homes says, “Our company has worked with Mr. Furnace on several projects which have ben completed in a timely and professional manner. As well, post construction service has been very impressive.”