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When not to offer training to HVAC installers?

After more than a year of pandemic and talking about the impact of that pandemic on sectors like the European installation industry, I think we can all agree that it is about time we go back to normal. In the case of this sector, ‘normal’ means discussing the impact of trends like qualitative and quantitative labour shortages caused by growing shortages of skilled HVAC installers and plumbers that have to deal with increasingly complex products and systems, changing laws and regulations, digitalisation and so on.

To keep up to date with developments, and to get less experienced installers up to par, trainings are a must-have remedy. Trainings are also beneficial for manufacturers and wholesalers, as they can strengthen the relationship customers have with their companies and brands. However, when installers are super busy, they will not be able to find the time to follow trainings, trainings that will ultimately save them time.

Given that paradox, it is essential to know when installers expect to have the time to follow trainings. That is why we asked that question to 700 HVAC installers and plumbers from 6 European countries during the interviews for the Q1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation MonitorWhen not to offer training to HVAC installers?

European Mechanical Installation Monitor Q1 2021 - USP Marketing Consultancy

Looking at Germany, France and Poland, winter seems to be the preferred time to follow trainings. Although January and February score quite high in the UK as well, July is actually the preferred month for training according to installers there. In Belgium, preference seems to culminate around the month of May.

And then there is the Netherlands, where differences are small. That could mean that many Dutch installers are either always too busy to follow trainings, or they just do not have a clear preference, maybe because Dutch weather is renowned for the ability to show several seasons in a single day.

Seasonal change and weather make the difference 

What has the weather got to do with it you may ask? Well at this point, even discussing the weather is better than discussing the pandemic, and this topic blissfully allows us to do that since preferences seem to be tied to seasonal influence. Although HVAC installers from different countries do not agree on when they prefer training, they most certainly agree on when they do not prefer training, which is in autumn.

As days are noticeably shortening and temperatures drop in autumn, HVAC installers are busy making sure people’s installations are ready for the winter to come. After being less active during summer months, those systems may show sudden malfunctions when having to deal with the drop in temperature. Aside from such Autumn troubles, the last days of summer do not seem preferred for training in Germany, Poland and especially France either.

Timing is of the essence

Whatever the reason may be, most HVAC installers from the UK, Germany, France, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands seem to agree that between August and November is not a great time for trainings. But what does all this matter for manufacturers?

As other results in the Q1 2021 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor point out, the manufacturers are the most important source of information about trainings for the European HVAC installers, which is a great position to use tactically. The above shows that European installers do not want to bother with training during certain months, but what if you offer them the information about and opportunity of training just after those busy months in which they probably encountered certain issues that could be solved by certain types of training?

To find out which certain issues and certain types of training are encountered or preferred in which countries, we refer you to the Q1 2021 report of USP Marketing Consultancy’s European Mechanical Installation Monitor.