Custom Facilities Contract Solves NAU Staffing Challenges and More

When Northern Arizona University (NAU) sent out a request for proposal for HVAC services, TDIndustries (TD) was eager to help. Having completed a multimillion-dollar HVAC and plumbing renovation at NAU’s Walkup Skydome in 2010, TD was already familiar with the sprawling campus of 176 buildings encompassing more than 7 million square feet. That knowledge, along with TD’s long history of Facilities Services and experience with higher education clients, resulted in a creative bid approach that provided a truly optimal solution for NAU.

What are Facilities Services?

Facilities Services ensure that a building’s operations can effectively serve the facilities’ use-purpose while protecting the safety and comfort of its occupants.

TD’s Facilities Services include the maintenance and management of HVAC, plumbing, electrical/lighting, fire/life and central utility plant systems, as well as janitorial and landscaping maintenance. TD’s team members work at the client site full-time, in this case supplementing an in-house team, to ensure the property operates efficiently while reducing the risk of downtime that could come with a failure of any of these functional systems.

From On-Call to On-Site: Why NAU Chose TD for its Campus

Like many other organizations, NAU was challenged to find enough qualified HVAC technicians to keep up with the needs of its substantial campus. That's why the university’s operations team issued an RFP for on-demand HVAC services.

Mic Sternard, Regional Sales Director for TD in Arizona, immediately recognized the opportunity to provide an alternative bid that would save NAU money while helping with ongoing staffing challenges. He worked closely with the TD team to gather information about NAU’s in-house crew, work order history and equipment. They then submitted a custom facilities services proposal that augmented NAU’s staff with highly qualified TD managers and technicians.

While hiring a full-time partner wasn’t originally on NAU’s radar, it was impossible to ignore this custom contract’s upstream and downstream benefits. NAU could keep its existing staff but look to TD to fulfill the remaining job openings with highly qualified and fully vetted technicians. Over a five-year period, TD’s HVAC technicians will work alongside the NAU staff to manage work orders and ensure all work is completed with the highest quality. NAU staffers will also get on-the-job training in all aspects of HVAC maintenance and management.

Additionally, the university doesn’t need to worry about hiring, retention, employee benefits and taxes for the extended staff. TD also provides service vehicles, reducing capital expenses for NAU. And since TD’s team members are working or on call 24/7, NAU doesn’t have to find emergency repair services for its HVAC equipment.

TD’s ability to customize its Facilities Services contract to perfectly suit NAU’s needs ultimately won the project. The long-term benefits will continue to produce a positive ROI for NAU.

Recruiting Expertise and the Quick Start Program – The Secret Sauce

Talent recruiting has always been a difficult and time-consuming process. In this post-pandemic world, it’s no secret that employers are competing to attract and retain the most qualified candidates, all while wages are on the rise. Job seekers have more resources – and more choices – than ever before. And they want more than just a job. Employees are seeking supportive companies that show respect and care for their well-being.

StartupTeam_NAUThere are many reasons skilled tradespeople choose to work for TDIndustries. Employee ownership, training opportunities, career growth and excellent pay and benefits are just the beginning. At TD, employees are referred to as Partners because every individual contributes to the company’s success. TD’s core values that include pursuing excellence, building and maintaining trusting relationships, diversity and inclusion, leading with a servant’s heart and fiercely protecting the safety of all Partners appeal to the brightest and best candidates. Once onboard, Partners quickly recognize they are working in an environment of integrity, trust and service to the community – creating the emotional connections and a sense of purpose that makes them want to stay.

"The Secret Sauce" lies in TD’s ability to hire and retain top talent while partnering with its clients to understand and fulfill their business needs fully. In the case of NAU, there was a great sense of urgency as some systems were down and a backlog of work orders was piling up.

TD established a Quick Start team to address this challenge, sending six Partners from Texas to NAU for two weeks. Doug Rodriguez, Senior Technical Account Manager, led this team that promptly set up shop and started knocking out open work orders. All the while, Omar Jasso, Senior Recruiter, rose to the challenge which included filling open positions as quickly as possible. Together, TD’s team and NAU staffers significantly reduced the backlog in time for the fall semester.

Where Are They Now?

Six months into this five-year contract, NAU's HVAC team is fully staffed by internal personnel and TD employees. Work orders are efficiently managed, and systems are operating at peak performance.

"Bryan Urton, our on-site Facilities Manager, and the hard work and dedication of our interconnected team made this possible," says Sternard. "Our early and ongoing success at NAU demonstrates the benefits of working with TDIndustries."

Stephanie Bauer, NAU’s Interim Associate Vice President, Facility Services, concurs. "We are very pleased with TD’s ability to staff up quickly, and the Quick Start team was a big plus. I would highly recommend TD," she says.

Considering Supplementing Your Facilities Services?

TDIndustries’ Facilities Management offerings are fully customizable to your specific needs. Reach out to us online or call 1-800-864-7817. We’ll take care of your facilities needs so you can get back to running your business.