Podcast #18

“Company Aquisition”

Featuring Kevin Frump

Intro: Welcome to Profiles In Prosperity with your host David Heimer.

David Heimer: Hi, this is David Heimer. I’m delighted today to be joined by Kevin Frump, General Manager and part-owner of Illiana Heating and Air Conditioning in Cedar Lake, Indiana. Illiana’s is a very successful company. They won best in region six years in a row best contractor to work for from the HVAC, our news, and residential HVAC contractor of the year from contracting business, all impressive awards. They are a consistently profitable company with very strong growth. Now, Kevin took an unusual route to our industry. He has an engineering degree and he worked for a large manufacturing company for seven years before joining Illiana, which is a company that is owned by his wife’s father or was owned by his wife’s father. Since joining Illiana, Kevin has introduced a number of innovations and the company has more than doubled in revenues. Kevin is married to his charming and beautiful wife, Wendy. They have four kids and they’re in the process of adopting another. So Kevin Frump, welcome to Profiles In Prosperity. Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.

Kevin Frump: Absolutely. Thanks for having me, David.

David Heimer: There are a lot of interesting things about you and Illiana that we could discuss. But today I’d like to focus on two and the first of those is performance pay. You have given I think what is the most cogent explanation of performance pay that I ever heard. And I was wondering if you could tell us why you implemented performance pay, how you implemented it and what the results were?

Kevin Frump: Yes. Performance pay is something that over the last four or five years has had a real shift in the way that we approach both labor management, as well as pricing and just the general way we go to business when it comes to how much time it takes to do a job. And I’ll talk a little bit more about that but the reality is that when I started in the business seven years ago, like so many people, it seems like we were constantly fighting and essentially losing the battle of how long a job should take, particularly on installation. But service also had its moments as well, where you sent the guys out on a job and salesmen had been there. The installation manager had seen the information on the job. We knew what we were sending out, we knew it was a wide-open basement and yet we’d send a two man team of qualified installers out and they’d come back at 4:30-5 o’clock in the afternoon, after eight or nine hours. So, you know you’re talking 18 or 19 man-hours to complete this job and it was always the struggle that they were paid by the hour.