Childers Enterprises Inc.
In 1989, Gregg Childers started Childers Enterprises in Beckley, West Virginia. After working for a mechanical contracting firm for eight years, Childers was given the task of starting a residential division. “After a few years the division was very successful,” recalls Childers. “I decided that residential HVAC was something that I wanted to continue to focus on so I set out on my own.”
In the competitive construction industry, a contracting company in the HVAC sector must provide products and services to set itself apart from the pack. Childers Enterprises believes in standing by the work it performs and providing the best customer service. “I believe it’s all about our attitude,” Childers explains. “Issues will always come up in this line of work and we can’t guarantee that they won’t. What we can guarantee is that we will solve any problem as quickly and efficiently as possible and do whatever it takes to make sure the customer’s needs are taken care of.”
With 35 full-time employees, Childers Enterprises serves approximately 20 counties through Virginia, and southern West Virginia. “We generally work with a 120-mile radius of Beckley,” says Childers. “We will go anywhere we need to though if a client requests us to.”
The aspect that Childers enjoys the most about his job is knowing that his customers are receiving the product and service that they pay for. The company is also very present in its community. “We do a lot of work for churches and that’s very gratifying as well,” says Childers.
While Childers is passionate about what he does, he did not always see himself going into the HVAC business. “It happened more by chance than anything,” says Childers. “I always knew I wanted to go into business for myself I just wasn’t always sure what it would be.” After a few years of studying at Marshall University, Childers decided that he needed a change. “I went there with my girlfriend at the time and her stepfather worked for a mechanical contractor in Beckley. He offered me a job in which I could also continue taking college courses in Beckley so that’s what I did and it’s all worked out for the best.”
Diversity in services
Aside from residential projects, Childers Enterprises also works in the hospitality sector. “We usually try to do at least one hotel project per year,” says Childers. The company has recently completed a job with Sleep Inn in Parkersburg, West Virginia. “We also did a Microtel in Lynchburg, Virginia.”
A new focus for Childers Enterprises is increasing its preventative maintenance program. Longevity of equipment is very important to customers and clients like to know that when they make a purchase, someone will be there to assist in maintaining and servicing that equipment. “We put our customers on a maintenance schedule which will be between one and four times per year depending on the customer and the service,” Childers explains. “When they are due for a maintenance check we will contact the customer to let them know.”
Childers Enterprises has been a Trane dealer since the company started. The maintenance program that the company is performing assists the customers to ensure there warranty is still valid. “What’s happening now is that all equipment has to be registered in order to receive the extended warranty, Childers explains. “Trane is very adamant that the maintenance is done every year for those warrantees to stay intact.”
As a subcontractor, Childers Enterprises self-performs a majority of its work. The exception is when a project requires crane operation – this is subcontracted. Childers Enterprises does have certified electricians on staff but will also sub out electrical work when needed. “If the electrical work is more than what involves our equipment, we may hire a strategic partner for that,” Childers explains. “We may do the same thing with plumbing. There is a certain amount of plumbing we can do but depending on how much is involved will determine if we sub that out as well.”
Childers Enterprises has established a solid network of subcontractors and suppliers since its start in 1989. The company aims to form enduring partnerships with the companies it works with and to establish loyalty on both sides. “We have certain vendors that we deal with more than others because of the relationships we have established,” notes Childers. “It’s very important to us to maintain those relationships because we help each other out when one of us is in a bind. These partnerships have never been more important than they are now.”
Childers Enterprises has thrived financially which Childers credits to his employees. “I have some employees that have been with me since day one and that is hard to find,” says Childers. “The main thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is the opportunity to help our customers and to help my employees grow professionally and personally.”
As the company continues to grow, Childers Enterprises Inc. will continue to focus on the needs of its customers while creating new and lasting relationships.
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