J.F. Ahern Co. of Fond du Lac, Wis., was recently presented with the E. Robert Kent Award from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America. The company was honored for its "Estimate to Invoice" project, a grass-roots program designed by Ahern's Pipe Fabrication Division to find internal ways to become more efficient while achieving desired growth. Within 18 months of implementing the program, the division increased sales by 279 percent, decreased overhead, increased sales per office employee by 271 percent, increased the hit ratio on dollars bid by 400 percent, and increased operating income.

The award, named after the past president of MCAA, recognizes the merit of innovations that improve productivity, enhance motivation, increase profits or achieve cost-effectiveness for the mechanical contracting industry.