This month, Chapman Air & Heat, Dallas, TX, celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Chapman Air & Heat started as a residential construction company Feb. 10, 1981. From there, the company developed its customer service base "one client at a time," according to company Founder and President Marvin Chapman.

Today, that client base numbers more than 45,000, and the company's 70-plus fulltime employees provide service to both the residential and commercial markets. The company's sales in 2010 topped $8 million.

Over the years, the company developed its own employee-friendly software that is used for service, dispatch, accounting, and sales and marketing. On the sales side, annual sales budgets and defined goals are set for all departments, and then monitored weekly to check their progress.

Chapman focuses on team building and training from within. The company holds weekly in-house technical training for service and new products, sales presentation role-playing and talking points, and also hosts apprenticeship programs. Marvin Chapman credits much of the company’s success to an uncomplicated management philosophy that allows employees to do their jobs

"We employ qualified associates and they're allowed to be creative and innovative," he says. "Our management style is to allow our employees to do their jobs, and we reinforce and encourage them along the way. We allow employees to express their perspectives and opinions, and we care for their personal welfare, as well. The company strives for every employee to assume an ownership role on a daily basis."

Hire the Best, Price Fairly
All Chapman Air & Heat clients are contacted four to six times during the year, to discuss annual maintenance plans, seasonal tune-ups, and new equipment offerings.

"We're never satisfied with the quality of our work until we hear it over and over from our clients" Chapman says. "Simply put, our clients define our quality, and each and every employee is well aware of that."

Chapman also offers a recipe for success to other contractors who would like to celebrate a 30th anniversary:

"Hire the best person for the job, manage production carefully, live client service, instill in people a strong desire to get the job done, have a 'can do' attitude, know your clients, constantly strive for new clients, and price your services and products fairly for the quality of work performed," he says.

"Have a vision, create a plan, and execute the plan. It's all about the execution," he says.