What is Cold Craft Inc.'s Secret to Longevity? Company Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

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According to a Dunn & Bradstreet report, "Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years." So what helped a mid sized HVACR company to get to it's 20 year anniversary?

Kent Penning and his technical staff focuses on continuous improvement in servicing and installing HVAC/R equipment

Kent Penning Founder and President of Cold Craft, Inc. is also an HVAC/R Instructor at San Jose City College keeps his technical skills sharp and access to new up and coming talent

"It's hard to find a medium sized HVACR company, we are not so small we can’t service our customers and not so large that you get lost in the numbers, and impossible to find one of our size, our competence and our diversity." Penning said.

According to Dunn & Bradstreet reports, "Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37% chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years." So what is Cold Craft, Inc.’s secret in celebrating it's 20 year anniversary?

When Campbell, CA resident Kent Penning (pictured below) opened Cold Craft, Inc. commercial and residential heating and cooling contractor opened the doors other technicians thought he was crazy. What does a technical guy know about running a business? 1991 a time of turmoil, the cold war had officially come to an end but the first Gulf War was about to start, SCUD missiles were being fired into Israel…the Irish Republican Army (IRA) was on the attack and the Exxon Valdez had a bit of a spill… in general people were in a holding pattern when it came to opening a new business.

Kent originally opened Cold Craft, Inc. thinking that he would have less stress and more freedom and flexibility in his life. He later found out how much more work, stress and commitment a business was. Six (6) months after starting Cold Craft, Inc. the first employee was hired. The first couple of years was simply survival, his AA in business and his technical competence helped him weather the first couple of years and the up and down economic times facing the company. “As with a lot of small business owners there were some sleepless nights. Knowing where the payroll was going to come from to controlling mistakes in the field.” Fast forward 20 years and Kent’s business is still around. The business today is grossing $2.3 million and has 14 employees. The company hired people to specialize in both residential and commercial heating and cooling as well as refrigeration, biotech, server room cooling, large change outs for apartment complexes, wine cellars and work for wineries.

“We have collaborated with larger and smaller players in the commercial sector such as Facebook, Google, Chavez Markets, Zanotto’s Markets, Hewlett Packard, Roche, DNAX and apartment complexes like the Villa Camino in Sunnyvale.” said Susan Nichol, Executive VP at Cold Craft.

Penning added, “We are known in the industry as the solution providers for more difficult HVACR situations. We are constantly experiencing new adventures, from being contacted out of the blue on a Friday afternoon by a mushroom grower that was panicking about losing their crop from lack of cooling to large companies that have hundreds of thousands at stake should their product be warmed up due to a - 80˚ C (-110˚ F) freezer failure.”

A few minutes later, a desperate customer arrived at the shop with his wine cellar equipment and needed help before the holiday. Penning said that he has known of this customer for some time and it was great to actually meet him. Penning said he has capitalized on some nice heating, cooling and refrigeration niches in the industry that sets Cold Craft apart from the competition.

Penning has consistently focused on education for him he keeps up his skills through continuous education and teaching HVACR classes at San Jose City College. His technicians also keep up this tradition with North American Technical Excellence (NATE) certification. Mr. Penning also believes strongly in Customer Care and has been certified by Diamond Certification for many years.

"It's hard to find a medium sized HVACR company, we are not so small we can’t service our customers and not so large that you get lost in the numbers, and impossible to find one of our size, our competence and our diversity." Penning said.

If you are interested in learning how Cold Craft's experienece and knowledge can work for you or your business please look us up at http://www.coldcraft.com.

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Susan Nichol
Cold Craft
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