Air Conditioning Technology & Services Inc.
“I don’t care what you call me, just call me,” says Barry McCray, president of Air Conditioning Technology & Services Inc. (ACTS), as customers fondly address the company.
McCray founded ACTS in 1989, and the company is preparing to celebrate its 26-year anniversary in 2015. Just 23 years old when he started ACTS, McCray has watched his company grow from five employees to today’s 19. Working with both commercial and residential HVAC, ACTS focuses mostly on service and the replacement market, although it does its fair share of new construction, as well.
As opposed to just focusing on getting the customer the cheapest price, ACTS focuses on meeting its customers’ comfort needs. “We try to encourage clients to buy the highest efficiency they can comfortably afford,” McCray explains.
ACTS has maintained a philosophy over the years that each customer is the only customer until the end of a job. “The service that we provide to each customer is the only service we provide at that time,” says McCray. “We want our customer to feel like we are only focusing on them, until we get to the next customer.”
With its base of operations in Thomasville, Georgia, ACTS generally works within a 60-mile radius of its headquarters. Although the company doesn’t solicit business outside of its normal reach, it willingly works with customers who specifically request its services farther away, if needed.
Even though ACTS works within a short drive of most customers, McCray often stays at the office late, burning the midnight oil, to get work done when the phones are quiet for the night.
“Usually, my wife has already had supper by the time I get home and sometimes calls to remind me it is time to stop,” McCray laughs.
ACTS has been a Carrier dealer for over 25 years, as well as a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer since 2004. The relationship created a winning team and mutual success. With a steady customer base in a relatively small area, ACTS services everything from high schools and hospitals to individual residences.
In its first year of business, the company began working with a local and highly prestigious hospital, John D. Archbold Memorial, and its network of associate facilities; a relationship that continues today.
In 2009, ACTS began a complete renovation of the local high school, carefully replacing every system in the building over an 8-month period. In 2013 ACTS partnered with Thomas University to complete a 9-month project on a new academic building on campus.
Projects that use a design-build structure are some of the more rewarding projects for McCray. The company is currently in the process of working with a local nursing home, bringing in additional outside air. With a need for a quick turnaround, ACTS worked with a design-build concept to help speed up the process for the client. “We got the design team together, and we’re trying to finish it in the next two or three weeks,” McCray explains.
McCray takes great pride in the fact that ACTS was called in by a general contractor for work on the nursing home, without having a prior relationship, purely based on ACTS’ reputation. “It was rewarding to know that they trusted us enough,” he says.
ACTS started working with refrigeration three years ago, which helped grow the business. The company has now begun investing time in training for control systems, in an effort to keep up with a changing market.
“Our company is always focused on training our employees,” says McCray. “Training is very important. It helps us expand the company, as well as provide opportunities for our employees.”
McCray finds great value in his employees, and considers the team as close as his own family. “We want to see our employees succeed and get recognition,” he continues. “When you have a group of employees who have remained loyal to your company, you want to remain loyal to them.”
According to McCray, the company takes great pride that 100 percent of its service technicians are NATE-certified. “Their dedication and loyalty is demonstrated daily in their work ethic, strive for personal excellence and extend our company’s rapport with each customer,” he details proudly.
For most growing companies, the biggest struggle is finding quality labor. “Many look for jobs in the health care field or manufacturing,” says McCray. “I tell everyone I interview; this is an industry that has great opportunities. However, we work on air conditioning, not in air conditioning.”
Reaching a peak year in 2009, ACTS squeaked through the economic downturn and has since been coming back strong. “We have been fortunate to keep our employees working full weeks even through the slowest times,” McCray explains. “Air conditioning is always going to be needed in South Georgia.”
With more projects on the horizon and a strong, loyal group of employees, contractors and customers, there’s not much keeping McCray awake at night. “The relationships we forge every day build our company and establish our desired reputation,” he details. “It’s a great feeling to work with others who share your goals and know so many appreciate the work accomplished.”
Air Conditioning Technology & Services Inc. will continue providing acts of comfort to those around Thomasville for years to come.
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