Seminars on green building, politics and maintenance agreements are just a few highlights for contractor attendees of Network '05, Sept. 7-10, Orlando, Fla., a joint meeting of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association and the American Supply Association.

Seminars on green building, politics and maintenance agreements are just a few highlights for contractor attendees of Network '05, a joint meeting of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association and the American Supply Association, Sept. 7-10, Orlando.

Network '05 includes separate seminars for contractors and suppliers, as well as joint meetings for both groups.

The following seminars are for PHCC attendees and take place on Sept. 8. Some seminars run concurrently:

  • “Red and Blue States: An Analysis of Advocacy Programs in PHCC Member States,” 1:45-3:15 p.m., moderated by Lake Coulson, vice president/government relations, PHCC.

    Is it easier to get legislation through in a red state? A blue state? Come prepared for a lively and entertaining discussion from a panel of experts from PHCC red and blue state and local associations regarding legislative and regulatory developments. Come hear the strategies employed by these advocates and how they are “advancing the ball” on issues that threaten the profitability of the PHCC members.

  • “Winning at the Negotiation Game,” 1:45-3:15 p.m. by Kirk Alter.

    Is “getting the last look” at bid time and “splitting the difference” on change orders working for you? Too many contractors are settling for less than they could because their negotiation skills are underdeveloped.

    Learn how to create a winning negotiating game plan; tap into more power than you think you have; set proper targets; avoid classic traps and tactics; implement effective counter measures; deal with deadlocks; guard against tricks and, most importantly, win by gaining and keeping successful agreements.

  • “Burn-Out!! Put Out the Fire and Take Back Your Life,” 1:45-3:15 p.m. by Linda Francis. Do you barely remember when your business used to be fun? Do you need some balance in your life? So what's the problem anyway? Most likely it's you and the choices you are making - or not. Take time to learn some stress-busting time management and personal skills that can make all the difference in your business and your life.

  • “Residential Maintenance Agreements: Building Bridges to Long-Term Clients,” 1:45-5 p.m., by Mike Maynard, business coach for the Quality Service Contractors.

    This seminar will show how to build your own residential maintenance agreement program, how to price it and the technician selling process. The presentation will include marketing materials, technician training, and creating career paths using maintenance agreements.

  • “Building Green - Gaining Competitive Advantage,” 3:30-5 p.m. by Kirk Alter.

    Owners, architects, builders and manufacturers are turning green! Contractors should too if they want to stay in the construction game in the 21st century. From single-family residential projects to billion-dollar skyscrapers, the construction industry has already “gone green.” Are you up to speed, or are you falling behind? This seminar is designed to provide you with a detailed overview of the state of the green industry, and some hands-on experience in adopting a green approach to your business.

  • “Attitude is Everything, Everything is Attitude!” 3:30-5 p.m. by Linda Francis.

    A motivational presentation on goal setting, balance in life and business, attitude, time management, positive thinking, and more. Attendees will be asked to think about the choices they make with their lives, their attitudes, and to review how and why they do what they do.

    Joint Sessions: The following are joint PHCC-ASA sessions:

  • “Building the Chain: Creating a Culture of Trust in the Supply Channel,” 8:30-10 a.m., Sept. 9.

    The service-and-repair contractor says, “I need to carry a large inventory because I don't know what my supplier has in stock and availability of replacement parts is the key to my success.”

    The new construction contractor says, “One of the quickest ways to add money to the project's bottom line is to get three prices and then get a good buy-out.”

    The wholesaler counters with, “Contractors never plan anything and then are surprised and irritated when products are back-ordered; they don't understand the basics of materials management and the supply process.”

    The manufacturer says, “Wholesalers are only interested in price. They're willing to carry any product line as long as it's cheap and refuse to help sell value-added products and services. Plus, contractors and wholesalers aren't interested enough in using technology to streamline the process.”

    Sound familiar? Our industry's culture with respect to materials management and the supply of materials - from the manufacturer's production floor to the local supply house to final installation by the contractor - is seriously flawed, and is killing the profitability of all three entities.

    The amount of profit lost due to order entry; shipping timeliness and accuracy; damage; back-orders and the length of time it takes to process warranty parts; rework in the field; and billing reconciliation is staggering.

    What if we could create a culture in our respective industries that greatly reduced these problems? Profit would increase; productivity would increase; and customer satisfaction would increase at all levels.

    This panel discussion will include representatives from all three sectors: contractors - both service and repair and new construction - wholesalers and manufacturers to create a forum where audience participants can discuss tangible and actionable ways to improve the supply chain process in order to increase profitability and satisfaction.

  • “Apollo 13: 'Failure is Not an Option,' ” 10:15-11:15 a.m., Sept. 9. A special keynote address features astronaut James Lovell, who was aboard the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, and Gene Kranz, mission controller, who helped bring Lovell and two other astronauts safely back to earth.

    Lovell and Kranz will discuss and define teamwork as it applies to business owners, and how competence, perseverance, and leadership combine to assure ultimate victory in any circumstances. Be it in a crisis situation or a day in the office, this dynamic team emphasizes the importance of control in communication and individual responsibility. For both men, who began their careers at the very beginning of the technological age, success as a unit is intertwined with focused leadership, trust and values, motivation, and the ability to understand that there is no achievement without risk.

  • “Disney Institute Seminar - Leadership Excellence,” 8:45-10:15 a.m., Sept. 10.

    Explore Disney's strategies and methods for improving team results through great leadership. Without strong leadership, organizations will not grow and succeed.

  • “Financial Nuts and Bolts,” 10:30 a.m.-12 noon, Sept. 10 by Mike Maynard, business coach for the QSC.

    When you look at your financial statement, do you know everything that the numbers are telling you? Learn how to manage your balance sheet, operate above your break-even point, improve cash flow, and use your profit & loss statement to measure performance and identify problems.

  • “Succession Planning: Passing on the Mantle,” 10:30 a.m.-12 noon, Sept. 10 by Kirk Alter.

    Rather than a single, dramatic movement, the smooth succession of a business resembles a flow of events that occurs over time. Like a well-run relay race, the handing over of a company should be graceful, carefully strategized and well-executed if it is to be successful.

    A well-thought out succession plan - a kind of insurance policy - is essential to the continuation of a business, no matter what the size and structure.

    This seminar will additionally provide attendees with some highlights of the new PHC Educational Foundation's “Owners & Key Managers Seminar,” being introduced this fall.

  • “Attitude is Everything, Everything is Attitude” 10:30 a.m.-12 noon, Sept. 10 by Linda Francis.

  • “Behind the Scenes Tour of the Walt Disney World Resort,” 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sept. 10 (a $115 optional event).

    Take an opportunity to see the many innovative ideas of Walt Disney that eventually led to the creation of the Walt Disney World Resort. Visit Textile Services with a state-of-the-art laundry facility, Splash Mountain to see how the plumbing for this attraction is designed and works, and journey beneath the Magic Kingdom Park to visit support systems in the “Utilidor,” and more. This tour is not available to the general public, and is only offered to convention groups. Box lunch included.

    To register for Network '05, call the PHCC at 800/533-7694 or log on to