‘Do the Right Thing’ is Key to Air Specialty’s Success

The Business View – April 2016 / Small Business of the Month

4-2016 BV_SBOMIt might sound simple, but Jerry Anderson credits a very straightforward principle with helping the business he launched 23 years ago with partner Larry Ezell continue to thrive.


“Do the right thing,” said Anderson, co-owner of Air Specialty of South Alabama Inc. The company has been named the Mobile Area Chamber’s Small Business of the Month.


That driving force, he said, helped propel the Semmes business from its modest beginnings out of a mobile home and garage in 1991 to a leading provider of heating and ventilation services for residential, commercial, industrial and maritime clients.


“Anytime you deal with third parties, it would be really easy to turn your back when something goes wrong – say, with a manufacturer’s product – and walk away, but that’s not how we do business,” Anderson said. “If we come to your house or your business and something happens that’s not our fault – maybe it’s a set warranty expiring on a piece manufactured by somebody else – we try to decipher what’s right, what’s fair and not run from the problem but deal with it.”


Air Specialty now employs 37 people and uses an advanced computerized tracking system to coordinate all projects and work orders across its 20,000-squarefoot inventory, operations, logistics, manufacturing and fabrication services footprint.


In addition to the HVAC mechanical installation, project management, mechanical service, metal fabrication, controls and energy management solutions and equipment protective coating, Air Specialty also provides duct cleaning as well as the design of custom air conditioning and refrigeration systems.


And business has been good, Anderson said, with the company reporting that 2015 revenues were up about 5 percent, despite a substantial downturn in the maritime sector.


“I’d definitely say our commercial side is the strongest right now,” he said, crediting inroads made via the Mobile Area Chamber for some of that success. “Semmes is a growing area of Mobile County. Without the (Mobile) Chamber recruiting new businesses in our area, our community and business would not be what it is today,” he said.


Click here to read The Business View – April 2016