Case Studies

HTS Texas

Providing reliable and efficient HVAC equipment to reduce total building ownership costs

With offices in Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Beaumont, Texas, HTS Texas provides custom HVAC services for projects of all magnitudes in the commercial, institutional and industrial sectors. With a wide array of clients, HTS Texas can be found providing its services to large campuses, single buildings and retrofitting systems in occupied premises. The company also provides HVAC solutions where systems must be upgraded or adapted to meet code requirements and/ or provide lower total ownership costs.

HTS Texas was established in 2001 by its parent company, HTS, a full-service commercial and industrial HVAC equipment provider in North America. HTS Texas has become one of the largest providers of custom HVAC solutions in its region. As a one-stop shop, HTS Texas offers a full suite of HVAC equipment, airside products and energy management solutions, including service and retrofit. The company also offers building automation, air-handling unit refurbishment and aftermarket parts. The company’s substantial product offering includes equipment from Daikin, Haakon Industries, Twin City Fan & Blower, Dynamic Air Quality Solutions, Krueger, Arizon, and more.

HTS Texas not only provides an array of quality products and services, but also engages its clients with highly trained professional engineering and technical sales staff. HTS Texas’ competent engineering teams help building owners and the teams they assemble make informed decisions about rapidly changing HVAC technology to deliver cleaner, more efficient and more reliable air and water building infrastructure systems. The company is also heavily involved in providing education across Texas by offering fundamentals of HVAC courses, as well as ongoing training in emerging technologies in the industry.

A step above the rest

Mike Donovan, president and owner of HTS Texas, says that managing relationships not only with clients but also with manufacturers is a key to success in the HVAC industry. “In this business, it’s important to get connected geographically with multiple manufacturers,” he explains. “Wherever you can achieve geographic exclusivity with those partnerships is where you are going to grow your business.”

In staying ahead of the game when it comes to technology, HTS Texas employs its own software development staff and owns its enterprise and operating software. With an information technology (IT) support and programming staff, HTS Texas is able to continually update its enterprise system. “We feel it’s a real game changer as no one else in our field does this,” says Donovan. “We’re actually rolling out our next big revision to the system in March.”

In servicing its customers, HTS Texas deals with several client sectors. These include owners and operators of the equipment, such as facility owners or maintenance personnel. There are also the specifying engineers, who include mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and then mechanical contractors who provide installation services. “Those three sectors are who we market our services to,” says Donovan. “We’ll also touch base with architects and general contractors as needed to close a specific project, educate them on the merits of our systems, or to assist them in budgeting in a preconstruction format.”

The diversity of HTS Texas not only allowed the company to survive the economic downturn in 2008 and 2009, but experienced its best years, largely due to its service capabilities. Using this momentum, the company expanded into northern Texas with the plan of increasing its service division, which in turn allowed the company to expand its controls business. “Instead of pressing the brakes like a lot of other people in the industry, we stepped on the gas,” recalls Donovan. “We increased our workforce and placed people accordingly throughout the state so when the economy came back around in Houston, San Antonio and Austin we were very well poised to capitalize.”

An entrepreneurial spirit

Donovan is a 2009, 2010 and 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. As president and owner of HTS Texas, he has incorporated market-changing, innovative concepts and personalized customer service, enabling the company to grow from startup in 2001 to grossing $163 million in 2015. This fast-paced growth allowed the company to receive Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 award in 2001, 2014 and 2015, Houston Chronicle’s Best Workplaces Award in 2010 and 2011 and land on the Inc. 5000 list in 2015.

The sky is limit for HTS Texas, according to Donovan. With his high-energy, entrepreneurial spirit, Donovan plans on growing the company with no limits to what HTS Texas can achieve. “I’m one of those people that are never satisfied,” he says. “We’re just going to have to keep growing until I am satisfied and I’m not sure what that looks like for us right now. We’ll have to be huge.”

Donovan was initially drawn to HTS Texas for the entrepreneurial opportunity. Claiming to be an entrepreneur since he was 11 years old, Donovan explains that the parent company, HTS, presented an existing business model that he was able to pull from while allowing his and his employees’ own ideas and creativity contribute to the growth and success of HTS Texas. “HTS and HTS Texas are canvases for creativity,” Donovan explains. “If someone is creative, we can find a spot for them on our team.”

The initial growth plans for HTS Texas involve investing in and expanding the current divisions the company currently operates. Ensuring that all operations of the company are continuously profitable and are leading the industry is the process in which HTS Texas is currently engaged. The next step for the business is to geographically expand, which it will do based on market strength and not necessarily contiguousness. “The markets that we are looking into are sizable markets,” Donovan explains. “It’s really not appealing to us to go into a market of less than 500,000 people.”

HTS Texas currently remains in a prime position to build upon its success. With central Texas as one of the strongest air conditioning markets in the world, HTS Texas is positioned to grow approximately 18 percent annually. “Austin has been really great for us in the past 18 months because its economy has really flourished,” says Donovan. “It’s the first time I’ve really seen a sustained economic boom there since we’ve been in business.”

As HTS Texas grows and expands its market share, the company will maintain a steadfast commitment to the shared success of all individuals involved in the design, selection, installation and maintenance of the right HVAC solution for each project. With an unwavering emphasis on the end-user satisfaction, HTS Texas provides the most reliable and efficient equipment to significantly reduce total building ownership costs.

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