Posted on 06/20/2019 at 08:28PM in Summer 2019: Industry Newsletter
A City of Culture, Food and Color: Our Site Visit to Cartagena, Colombia
I’m am beyond excited to share with all of you our recent site visit to Cartagena, Colombia. Our travel team, Bill Glockner, Maribel Venegas and I traveled to Cartagena in May to experience the beauty of this city and plan our amazing customer trip happening in May 2020. For any of you who are wondering, is this a destination I want to go to? Is it safe? What is Cartagena all about? You’ll want to read on and hear why Cartagena is a destination you don’t want to miss out on. Leading up to our recent site visit, my only knowledge of Cartagena is what I was able find on Google and what I heard from friends and family who have visited. I know that Cartagena is rated as one of the top 10 destinations in the world to visit providing a good balance of history, food, and culture, however, I still had many questions and needed to experience it for myself.
In a nut shell, Cartagena lived up to everything I imagined it to be and so much more. It’s a safe, beautiful and magical city. I fully understand why this colonial city is one of the most popular destinations for tourists to visit. Its narrow colonial streets, ancient walls, grand plazas, and Spanish-style houses with their giant doors and wooden terraces, phenomenal restaurants, incredible nightlife, make this city a place everyone will want to go back to again and again. Here are a few of my favorite experiences in Cartagena. This is just a taste of what’s in store for you when you join us next year.
THE WALLED CITY
The walled city was my favorite part of Cartagena. Nestled in the center of Cartagena, the old city is surrounded by ancient stone walls and full of so much culture. Beautiful buildings, delicious, cutting edge restaurants and cafes, lively music, town squares full of life, funky bars…what’s not to love? The old city is so colorful and bright and offers so much to explore.
Shopping in the walled city is yet another incredible experience. While walking through the narrow colonial streets, local vendors are selling little knick knacks like fedoras, ankle bracelets, etc. It’s a fun way to take in the city’s culture and experience some of the things Colombian’s cherish. There’s also plenty of unique stores for higher end shopping that rounded our tour through the walled city.
If you love a great party atmosphere, Cartagena's booming party scene certainly delivers. The music here is serious business. Salsa beats and booty bass, Cartagena's clubs offer a sexy style and spirit to dance the night away. One of our favorite clubs, Alquimico bar, a former two-story mansion dating back to 1910 that sits in the heart of the Walled City. This super sexy bar offers incredible music and features delicious cocktails. This is definitely a bar you’ll want to go into while strolling through the streets in the Walled City.
We also had the pleasure of visiting the Getsemani neighborhood. This area centers on Holy Trinity Square, where laid-back groups gather to drink beer, listen to street musicians and snack on delicious street food. There are plenty of brewpubs, cocktail bars offering live latin music and one of my most favorites of them all, Havana.
THE HYATT REGENCY
The Hyatt Regency is a breathtaking hotel with panoramic views of the walled city and the Caribbean waters. Our team toured every inch of this hotel (even behind the scenes). The 261 room hotel is filled with every amenity you can imagine. Three gorgeous infinity pools, a relaxing spa, coffee bar, fitness room, incredible restaurants and so much more. The Hyatt Regency delivered an amazing five star experience our entire stay.
CASTILLO DE SAN FELIPE DE BARAJAS
There are so many incredible places to tour while in Cartagena. One of my favorite tours was Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas that was built by the Spanish in 1536. This fortress sits in the middle of the city overlooking the caribbean coast and provides incredible views of the entire city of Cartagena. At the top of the fortress you can wander through the tunnels of the fortress and take in the sights and sounds of a truly historic fortress.
This is just a glimpse into what to expect when we all travel to Cartagena in May 2020. If you haven’t signed up for this amazing adventure, it’s not too late. Our trip promotion started in March 2019 and even if you haven’t signed up, you are still earning trip points as of March. To be eligible for this trip, you must register for the trip simply by going to www.travelwithhirsch.com. Fill out the registration form and your company will be assigned a trip quota. Every month of the promotional period, you will receive an email with how many trip points you’ve accumulated and the progress you are making towards your goal of traveling with Hirsch to Cartagena.
We look forward to traveling with you next year! If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email - 818-756-0900 ext. 99618 or [email protected].
Posted on 06/20/2019 at 08:28PM in Summer 2019: Industry Newsletter
In the winter of 1933, a man left his career in finance on a hunch. Joe Hirsch had little more than a dream, some modest savings and a gut feeling. But when he spotted an abandoned plumbing supply business in Los Angeles, he knew it would be the first home for Southern California’s plumbing partner, Hirsch Pipe & Supply. Today, with 23 locations from Los Angeles to San Diego, that commitment and focus on servicing our customer is stronger than ever. We spoke with LA Branch Manager, Frank Carrillo, and longtime employee and regional manager, Jiro Akasaka to get their insight on the original branch and how its changed over time.
Frank Carrillo has been the Branch Manager of the Los Angeles branch for 11 years since transferring from our Long Beach location in 2008. Although the industry and its products may have evolved over the years, Frank still sees the Hirsch L.A. pride and tradition that lives on through its tenured employees and a few hometown favorite customers now in their nineties! When asked about the best part of working for Hirsch, Frank notes “the strong sense of knowing that many great people went through this location. From Joe Hirsch to present. So many names of people who helped shape what Hirsch is today.”
Jiro Akasaka currently works as the Director of Branch Operations and Regional Manager for Hirsch Pipe & Supply Branches. However, he got his start on October 4, 1976 as a driver! Jiro worked his way up to warehouse, counter/phone sales, and pricing before being promoted to Branch Manager of the Hollywood Location. Throughout his time with Hirsch, Jiro has seen huge process changes over the years such as: COMPUTERS! Everything was done manually when he started. Invoices had to be printed out manually from price books and inventory was purchased based on experience and visually looking at inventory levels in the bins. The customer has changed too, he notes, as the evolution of technology has sped up how quickly business moves. Another huge difference is how many more products are available, Jiro recalls that “Before there were standard product customers used but now there are so many more choices in every application.” Even with all these changes, one thing has remained consistent, and that is Hirsch is still a great place to work! As Jiro can attest to, “We provide opportunity – we want our employees to be successful. We are employee oriented, meaning we care about our employees.”
A huge thank you to the hardworking team and customers at our Los Angeles branch today and throughout the years. Through this branch and all those since, the Hirsch legacy continues to live on and grow. #HirschHasIt
Posted on 06/20/2019 at 08:27PM in Summer 2019: Industry Newsletter
Hirsch's 23 Convenient Locations Help Get The Job Done
Your Neighborhood Plumbing Supplier
We strive to always be there for you, and with 23 convenient Hirsch locations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego County, we really are. You don’t only work in one place, so we don’t only have parts in one place. Wherever you’re working, there’s a handy Hirsch location right around the corner — each with a huge selection. With Hirsch, you can plan your day around your jobs instead of around your drives.
GPS Tracking Can Benefit Both Your Business and Customers
Keeping tabs on your service vans and trucks can help improve customer satisfaction and keep technicians safe on the road
There’s no way around it: Running a business in the plumbing industry means a lot of time on the road. You and your personnel drive to and from jobs all day. On any one day, you may have several plumbers out at the same time, and keeping track of everyone’s location and projects can be tough. That’s where a global positioning system comes in. Designed to seamlessly and conveniently track your vehicles’ locations and travel times, a GPS gives you real-time information on where your plumbers are and when. Consider some of the top benefits that come from GPS tracking for plumbing companies like yours:
GIVE REAL-TIME UPDATES
How many times have you had to take half a day off work to wait for the cable repairman? Did it make you feel excited about working with that company again in the future? Probably not.
Three- to four-hour arrival windows are simply not a great way to make people happy. No one wants to be waiting for a delivery or service call for hours on end. Yet, you know how work in the field goes, and sometimes you can’t give customers an exact time that your technician or representative will be at their location. GPS fleet tracking gives you the ability to provide your customer with real-time information about your arrival time. If you know that your driver will be an hour late because of a hang-up at a stop, you can give this information to the customer, and he or she can fill that time productively.
By being proactive in providing customers with delivery or service call arrival information, you give your customers a better overall experience. When they need what you offer again in the future, they will remember your company positively.
FASTER ARRIVAL IMPROVES CUSTOMER SERVICE
In addition to giving more accurate, up-to-date arrival times, you will be able to get your workers to your customers more quickly when you have GPS tracking capabilities. When a customer has an emergency and calls you for service, you can look in your tracking program and find the closest employee. Then, you can contact employees to see how long they will be at their current job and send them in a timely manner. If the closest technician won’t be available for a while, you can use the system to find the next closest and send him or her instead.
Once the technician is on the road, use the fleet tracking system’s routing services to send him or her on the best possible path to the customer’s location. Depending on traffic and other delays, this may not be the most direct route. With fleet tracking, you can avoid delays and have a faster arrival time to your customer who is facing an emergency.
REDUCE DISPUTES BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND EMPLOYEEWhen you have fleet tracking technology installed on your company vehicles, you will know where your vehicles are at all times. This means that you will have a way to verify the number of hours your employee was at the customer’s location.
If your customer has a question about the amount of time billed, you will have an accurate record you can turn to that shows how long your technician or employee was on site. This, then, eliminates the temptation for employees to pad the bill for time they were not at the location. Accurate billing backed by proof will increase your customers’ overall satisfaction with your service.
LOWERED COSTS CAN BE PASSED ONFleet tracking has been proven repeatedly to lower costs for the fleets that use it well. This does not directly affect your customers, but it can if you choose to pass those savings on to your customers. If you can effectively lower your overhead and then lower your prices without reducing your income, you will find that your customers are happier with the services they receive from you. After all, everyone wants to save a little money, right?
IMPROVE YOUR COMPANY’S REPUTATIONIf your company is driving marked vehicles and your drivers are using unsafe driving practices, your reputation in the community is suffering. However, once your drivers leave the office or garage, you have little control over their behaviors. Fleet tracking gives you the tools to track driver behavior, so you can put a stop to unsafe driving practices. Improving your company’s reputation will help make your customer service more effective because your customers will have a positive idea about your company in mind before you even arrive.
Exceeding customers’ expectations with every visit is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. Fleet tracking technology is one tool you can use to do this well.
Posted on 06/19/2019 at 08:34PM in Summer 2019: Industry Newsletter
Nortiz EZ Series
Engineered expressly for the North American residential market, the EZ Series of high-efficiency, condensing tankless water heaters from Noritz America are designed to cut installation time and cost when replacing larger, storage tank-type units. The Energy Star-rated EZ98-DV and EZ111-DV (Energy Factor: 0.97) join the previously released EZTR40 to provide professional installers and their homeowner-customers with a wider range of tankless options, covering the majority of residential, tank-replacement opportunities. The EZ models can each vent using dual- 2 or 3 inch single-pipe (PVC or CPVC) as well as 2-inch Flex, which can be fed through the existing B-Vent — again saving time and material. (Note: The choice of a single-pipe versus a dual-pipe configuration will depend on the air quality of the particular application.) In another first, multiple-unit installations for very large applications can reduce costs through common venting (coming in Aug).
TOP MOUNTED CONNECTIONS
Both new EZ models have their hot- and cold- water connections located on top of the unit — not the bottom, like most tankless heaters. This positioning allows the flexible water lines used by the previous tank heater to be quickly and easily reconnected to the new unit.
WIFI CAPABLEThe Noritz Connect app is compatible with both of the new units, allowing for wireless remote control of -heater functions, as well as diagnostic and maintenance reminders.
DUAL STAINLESS STEEL HEAT EXCHANGER
Inside each EZ model are two stainless steel heat exchangers that have a greater resistance to corrosion and scale buildup than other materials, thereby boosting system life.
Omega Flex TracPipe AutoSnap
The new patent pending AutoSnap® straight fittings are the only CSST fittings that do not require any disassembly or reassembly of the fitting to the TracPipe®CounterStrike® CSST. This greatly reduces installation difficulty and time as there are no small loose gaskets, O-rings, or retainer rings to contend with in a dark and/or cold work place environment!
AutoSnap is CSA listed and features a metal to metal cup seal without any exposed stainless steel pipebehind the new fitting.Reduced torque value and reusability all make for an optimum installer friendly fitting!Read More