- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Victor Martins
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
For 26 years, family-owned and -operated Bardi Mechanical has provided trusted HVAC service to commercial and residential customers in metro Atlanta, seven surrounding counties and coastal regions. In the last several years, Bardi has diversified, adding new commercial and residential plumbing, as well as fireplace and outdoor kitchen and grill services. With every new service the company’s commitment to quality service at a fair price, backed by honesty and integrity, remain essential to Bardi’s business model.
Since Alex Bardi, current president and CEO, and his wife, Susan, founded the business in 1989, Bardi’s mission has been to do right by its customers and the communities it serves. “Even before expansion, when we were known mainly for mechanical services, business was based on my personal core values which can be summed up easily, ‘always, always do the right thing’,” explains Alex.
Core values steer business
Alex has led by example, building the business with his moral compass as the navigator. “This philosophy has always served me well in the past and continues to do so,” he says. “It helps guide us as a company – when we have a difficult decision at hand, we always refer back to our core values.”
Alex got his start in the industry after graduating from Georgia Tech in 1982 with a degree in mechanical engineering. “I worked for a small HVAC company and was fortunate to learn all aspects of the business,” he recounts. “In 1989, I decided to go out on my own and my wife and I started Bardi. Last year we celebrated our 25-year anniversary, and in April this year moved into a spacious, new facility.”
After a quarter century in business, Bardi now employs 100 professionals, but Alex says the company’s reach extends well beyond employees. “We touch a lot of people when you factor in employees and our large subcontractor base,” he says. “I wanted to measure just how many people we really impact and I’ve found it’s in the 600 to 800 range. We’re fortunate that this little business sustains so many people and it’s a testament to being able to give back to our community.”
While many companies donate to local charitable causes and participate in annual events, Bardi has taken it a step further by establishing the Bardi Foundation. “Three years ago we started the Bardi Foundation because we feel like the community and our customers have done so much for our business, we really wanted to give back,” explains Alex.
As a faith-based business, Alex says he takes time to count his blessings and wanted to share his success with others. “Our first actions revolved around aiding customers and employees in crises,” he says. “Then we began to help community organizations. Today, our nonprofit is supported by the company, employee and private donations.”
The Bardi Foundation supports organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the local YMCA, the Norcross Co-op Ministry and a recycling program through Nobis Works, where Bardi donates HVAC scrap metal, saving tons of waste from Atlanta landfills.
Bouncing back and diversifying
While keeping core values and community connections central to the way it conducts business, Bardi expanded and diversified services in recent years adding automation, controls and plumbing to the commercial side of the business, while building a robust residential division offering heating, cooling and plumbing. The company’s charitable work throughout the community has helped build trust among homeowners.
Today, the company’s strongest market is the commercial sector. “We’re working with about 80 percent commercial clients and the other 20 percent is on the service side,” notes Alex.
The public sector has also been a strong fallback for Bardi through lean times. “After the recession starting in 2008 and recent years, it’s been a rough go,” admits Alex. “The private sector really dried up in Atlanta; we had to reinvent ourselves and create a new business model for sustainability. We redirected to the public sector, mainly K-12 institutions and new school construction.”
“This business really helped us survive the worst economy in many years,” says Alex. “In fact, we have doubled our revenue in the last five years, not once, but twice. And today, we have a $16 million backlog of strong work and the market has really looked up in the last six to eight months; margins are much more robust and better than in the past.”
One thing Alex says the company has learned is to not put all of its eggs in one basket. “Our big initiative is diversification so we don’t have to be so dependent on commercial mechanical customers,” he says. “We’ve learned not to be so reliant on one sector through the recession and we’re working to be more service-oriented.”
Bardi’s crews can service any make or model of HVAC systems, including Lennox, American Standard, Carrier, Trane, Bryant, York and more. The company stocks a full line of heating and cooling products, including humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers and the even the latest in solar technology.
“All services come with a 100 percent guarantee warranty to ensure the best customer service possible,” says Alex. “When we visit your home or business for a service call, we’ll listen to your needs, perform an in-depth evaluation and then present an option that’s the best fit for you and the budget.”
“On the residential side we just added fireplace, gas hearth and patio services, which makes a nice addition to our current lineup and distinguishes Bardi from competitors,” adds Alex. “Our hope is to eventually have a showroom for a line of outdoor kitchens, gas grills and outdoor fire pits.”
A well-recognized leader
Bardi’s business acumen in mechanical installation and service has served the company well in its expansion into residential heating and air, as well as indoor air quality, plumbing, water conservation services, gas hearth and patio services. While Bardi’s list of options is lengthy, the company excels in all categories.
Bardi holds an A-plus rating by the Better Business Bureau and has been honored numerous times in areas of customer service, overall service and safety awards by vendors, industry associations and regional business organizations.
This reputation lends to repeat business time and time again and Bardi’s distinct standing in the community. “The Atlanta market is humming in all sectors,” says Alex. “Commercial new construction and renovations are moving in the right direction; the residential market is improving because people have more disposable income for upgrades and replacements.”
Now that the economy is back on track, Bardi is well positioned to further growth and expansion. “It all comes back to our core values,” Alex reiterates. “We have a truly inspired team here that wants to deliver great service, build relationships and give back and for me, its fun to watch this blossom. This atmosphere makes for a great culture and people want to work here.”
After more than 26 years in business, Bardi Mechanical is building on a trusted name founded on more than just customer service and value, but also actively empowering local communities.
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