Andy Jones was working for a multinational retailer when he first met Jason Tink. Jason was allocated to Andy’s team, as a full-time sub-contractor for refrigeration and air conditioning breakdowns, and installation, maintenance and commissioning work.
“Jason was a very diligent, hard worker. He was virtually on call 24/7 including public holidays and long weekends.”
And Andy Jones knows his stuff. His current role is with a large mechanical contracting company, running large building projects in the city and outer suburbs. They install HVAC and new equipment into buildings … it’s big budget stuff.
Understaffed and underqualified
Andy acknowledges the acute need for better, more qualified technicians.
“The problem with the refrigeration industry is that there is a massive shortage of refrigeration mechanics in Australia. We were desperately understaffed. And the mechanics we were getting through the business were highly underqualified.
As we got busier, we used more and more subcontractors, which wasn’t the answer because their standard of work wasn’t good enough.
Some call it a dying trade. People now want the plug and play option with no repairs, just replacement. But the technology we use in this particular industry still requires a high level of technical expertise.
We would have struggled without Jason.”
A hard slog
Andy and Jason worked together for three years, night and day – and developed a rock solid working relationship.
“It was a hard slog over those three years, but Jason helped me out a lot. His knowledge, skill and work ethic are the best I’ve seen.
But if there was one thing I could say, it would be that he takes on too much.
He should say no to some things. Jason never wants to let the side down.
He was always under the pump. The amount of work we had coming through was unbelievable.”
But it’s that work ethic and reliability that’s gotten Jason where he is today.
A bit of old fashioned jealousy…
Because Jason’s work ethic and skillset set him apart from the other contractors, it did cause some resentment within the team.
“And while I did have many qualified, capable mechanics in my team, most other contractors could only work certain hours, whereas Jason was able to work around the clock’
And because he has a dual mechanical engineering and refrigeration qualification, his knowledge is extensive. We got more out of Jason than we did out of the other mechanics. And it caused some resentment.
Mechanics in the refrigeration trade can be very competitive. It’s fierce.”
The ability to pick and choose
Jason’s in a great place with Big Bear now, and Andy recognises the effort that’s gone into structuring this business for long-term success.
“Jason can pick and choose his customers now. He has a team overflowing with experience and expertise and the future looks pretty rosy.”
But does it mean he’ll ease back on the hours he works? Not a chance.
Looking to the future
Andy hopes to engage Big Bear in the very near future. He acknowledges there’s a shortage of qualified technicians who can accurately perform air balancing, so that’s an exciting next move.
“Jason has a great understanding of the trade, because he’s a mechanical engineer as well.
He’s always done the right thing and fixed the problem. Sometimes at his own cost.
I know what he can do and I’m impressed.”