Traverse City and Madison Heights, Michigan
Their goal was to capitalize on their skills and significant experience to provide testing, adjusting and balancing of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems to their clients.
Northern Test & Balance provides inspections of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and mechanical systems as well as design of these systems for industrial, commercial and some large scale residential markets. It provides cost effective processes to improve building operating efficiencies, reduce energy use, increase equipment life, improve air quality, and enhance occupant comfort and productivity.
The company was founded in 2011 by Mike Shaughnessy, a mechanical engineer, and Jim Kurylo, a T.A.B. (testing and balancing) and HVAC service technician. Their goal was to capitalize on their skills and significant experience to provide testing, adjusting and balancing of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems to their clients (mechanical contractors and construction managers). The cost of their service would become part of the overall bid for projects.
Shaughnessy and Kurylo bootstrapped the business for three years while they gained traction in the industry. In late 2014, they needed additional capital to purchase specialized equipment. At a Traverse City Chamber of Commerce small business event, Kurylo met a Northern Initiatives lender who recognized the potential of the business and became an advocate for their success. A business loan from Northern Initiatives helped them purchase the equipment, expand into new geographical locations, and continue their upward progression.
Currently, Shaughnessy and Kurylo are in the arduous process of gaining certification by the Testing, Adjusting and Balancing Bureau (TABB) which, through its alignment with the International Certification Board (ICB), is “the first program to synchronize all components of the complex HVAC industry.” The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers added TABB as a standard for certifying firms in 2003. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA) also endorses TABB’s procedures and supports the program for the consistency and quality met in the certification process. TABB is becoming firmly established in many major market areas today.
Although the certification process will take time and resources, Kurylo and Shaughnessy know it is an important competitive advantage for their future growth. As they continue with the process, the owners will have the opportunity to build their reputation and in turn, build upon their already effective customer service model.
Northern Test & Balance Impacts