Ontario-based Consortium Mechanical is a one-stop destination for all refrigeration services. They have extensive experience in commercial and industrial refrigeration, heating, boilers, climate control, HVAC systems, and so on.
“We started out in March 2015 and have been expanding ever since,” says owner and operator Kevin Beer. “We currently have 12 employees.”
Consortium Mechanical provides 24-hour service — installation and maintenance to clients across sectors, which include laboratories, grocery stores, hospitals, retirement homes, school boards, pharmaceutical companies, etc.
“A typical workday is pretty hectic,” says Beer. “It includes a lot of emergency refrigeration service as well.”
While they are based in Ajax, Consortium Mechanical provides services across Ontario and even outside the province on request.
As their business (and staff) grew, Beer and his business partner felt the need for HR support.
“When we started out, all the guys we ended up hiring were people we had previously worked with in other companies. We never had employee contracts or employee manuals. There was no set precedent for internal operations. As we hired more staff, it became important to have these in place,” says Beer.
He says they considered training someone in-house for also handling HR, but it was not practical given the workload. They made some enquiries and were impressed with what Peninsula had to offer.
“All our queries were addressed in a prompt and professional manner. Peninsula helped us implement a manual and walked us through it. Cost wise it was great too,” says Beer.
“If you compare the cost of hiring someone for HR and Health & Safety (and we didn’t need someone full-time) to what Peninsula charges for the number of employees at my company — it is fractional,” says Beer. “The fact that Peninsula’s pricing is based on the number of employees in a company is a very good selling feature,” he says.
HR advice on how to handle difficult employees without exposing the company to lawsuits was another concern for Consortium Mechanical.
“We needed clarification on the proper procedure for disciplining employees. I am good at refrigeration and what I do, but I am not good with knowing the labour laws,” says Beer. “If things do go south, [with Peninsula] at least we’ve got somebody who understands everything to the full extent. It gives us peace of mind.”
“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been asked [by clients] about our COVID-19 safety policy,” says Beer.
“Peninsula has been incredibly proactive with COVID-19 related information and policies. Right from the onset, Peninsula was ready with a comprehensive policy that we were able to put out. Everybody was really receptive to it.”
One major concern for Consortium Mechanical during the pandemic was the safety of their vulnerable employees.
“Based on the severity of COVID-19 and given the target demographic, we decided to temporarily lay off one of our older employees,” says Beer. “But we needed guidance on how to do it properly,” he says.
“Besides the COVID-19 policy, Peninsula’s constant updates on what’s going on in the industry with regard to the pandemic has helped us navigate COVID-19 challenges,” says Beer.
The Peninsula service
Consortium Mechanical has been a Peninsula client now for almost a year.
“I have recommended Peninsula to a lot of people,” says Beer. “Everything that we needed; Peninsula has come through in a timely manner. Professional advice is always a phone call away. I think the longest we ever had to wait to get an answer from Peninsula was maybe a day and that is more than acceptable,” he says. “Peninsula is pretty good.”