Bell Mechanical Services LLC
Burgeoning business sparked by word-of-mouth referrals is a testament to quality work, especially when that repeat business is a respected national homebuilder or large commercial client. Since 2007, renowned homebuilders have been calling on family-run Bell Mechanical Services LLC to complete timely, reliable HVAC system installations. With offices in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Dallas-Fort Worth, Bell Mechanical has installed quality HVAC products in more than 20,000 homes.
“In 2015 alone we did 5,000 homes and we’re doing 2,000 homes a year for DSLD Homes,” shares Mike Bell, senior partner and founder of Bell Mechanical. “We do 100 percent of their HVAC work in Louisiana and Mississippi. They build somewhere around 52 homes a week and we’re one of the few vendors they choose to give all of their work to.” Nationwide players such as DSLD Homes, the largest homebuilder in Louisiana, trust Bell Mechanical for best-in class service and on-time, on-budget project delivery.
Major builders and high-end custom home companies also turn to Bell Mechanical in the competitive Dallas-Fort Worth market. “We can pick up pretty much any major regional builder due to our reputation and pricing,” says James Bell, Mike’s son and second-generation owner-operator of Bell Mechanical. “My father, brother, and I are owners and we’ve grown the company from the ground up.”
Bell Mechanical was established in 2007, building off long ranging experience. Mike’s son, Scott Bell, is now the residential manager of the company’s growing Dallas-Fort Worth division. Both brothers have been involved from the start. Both brothers began learning the trade at a very young age with hands on experience helping their Father.
The owners and senior management of Bell Mechanical bring decades of industry experience to the table. “When we started the company, we had a lot of experience in the residential-new construction market in Dallas and we’ve brought that experience to Louisiana,” says James. The company’s senior leadership is comprised of the Bell family; Mike, James and Scott, as well as Dan Smith, commercial division manager and Tony Zamanek, commercial sales manager.
Major markets, high volume
Bell Mechanical took root in Dallas and the company’s division is still thriving, but more offices have taken shape in the last decade. “We also have a satellite office in Lafayette, Louisiana, and there’s soon to be another on the North Shore, which will allow us to serve Mississippi more,” says James. “We’re one of the largest residential new construction HVAC companies in the Louisiana market. We go up to Lake Charles and all the way to Gulf Port, Mississippi. This gives us more buying power than our competition due to the large volume we do every year.”
“Our employee head count continues to stay in line with growth in both the Baton Rouge and Dallas-Fort Worth markets. About 60 percent of our business is out of Louisiana and 40 percent is in Dallas,” notes Mike.
Since 2009, Bell Mechanical’s Dallas division has continued to grow, landing more new residential and light commercial work through a majority of repeat business. “This is a huge achievement because Dallas is exploding and builders have a lot of options to choose from in this highly-competitive market,” explains Mike.
The company’s commercial division is also moving at a steady pace in Dallas-Fort Worth. “We do a lot of tenant finish out work for multistory office buildings, retail shopping centers, restaurants and even some industrial work,” shares Dan Smith, who heads up the Dallas commercial division. “The majority is service, retrofits and design-build projects. We’ve also been called on by telecommunications facilities for server room applications for some large, global companies.”
“All of our commercial work is repeat business, generated by word-of-mouth,” adds Smith. “We don’t have to solicit work; it’s all negotiated.”
Always on call
Bell Mechanical handles all aspects of HVAC systems, including: systems upgrades, air balancing, diagnostics, preventative maintenance, residential installation and retrofit service. “When a builder is looking for a custom system with a long life span or looking for emergency repairs, we’re prepared to do the job,” says James.
Bell Mechanical now employs an extensive customer-support team. “We offer 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year emergency service to make sure our customers don’t experience downtime with their air conditioning or heat,” says James. “We deliver expertise because the majority of our employees have worked in the industry for at least a decade.”
Bell Mechanical’s team delivers this combined experience, backed by the precise knowledge and skill of its senior management. Through continuing education the company is able to stay abreast with the latest technology in the industry and apply this knowledge in a variety of applications — new construction, service and retrofit situations. The only service the Bell Mechanical turns to subcontractors for is minimal rough-in labor.
Bell Mechanical has been recognized by customers, various business associations and vendors alike for its uncompromised service and dedication to quality installations. The company is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, both in Baton Rouge and Dallas-Fort Worth, and Bell Mechanical is a preferred Angie’s List contractor.
The company is a premier Lennox dealer and ongoing recipient of the dealer’s Centurion Award. Bell Mechanical was awarded the President’s Award by Goodman as one of its outstanding dealers in the U.S. for two years running and has been awarded Carrier’s Golden Oval Award in 2014 and the Silver Oval Award both in 2013 and 2012.
The team is also dedicated to giving back to the community. “We’ve supplied HVAC at St. Jude’s Children Home for several years running,” adds James.
Managing costs and ensuring steady growth
James says he spends a great deal of time on purchasing and ensuring Bell Mechanical is buying and using materials in the most cost-effective way possible. “We really examine costs and what’s going in and out of projects,” he says. “We strive for total sales growth to keep cash flow where it needs to be and so far, we’ve experienced year-over-year growth. We’ve been able to accomplish this by expanding into new markets.”
He says the amount of progress the company has made since inception is a great source of pride for Bell Mechanical team. “We’ve had many record-breaking months,” he adds.
Still, finding qualified labor is an ongoing challenge. “This is our biggest struggle,” says James. “There just seems to be less people wanting to get into this field. We’ve done our part to get involved at local tech and vocational schools and now we’re hiring more students right out of school.”
“We train them and offering them the on-the-job experience they need to be successful,” adds Mike. “Overall, this has helped to keep our employee base rolling.”
Bell Mechanical has plans to expand its service department and set up another satellite office on Louisiana’s North Shore, just above Lake Pontchartrain. “We’re in the process of acquiring this site now,” notes Mike. “We also see continued growth in Dallas and that division is experienced considerable expansion.”
“We’re always looking to grow our service base and get more contacts,” adds James. “We want to make sure homeowners call us long after the warranty is over. This begins with a quality installation up front.” And that’s what Bell Mechanical Services LLC continues to deliver: quality installations and service that some of the Texas and Louisiana’s biggest homebuilders and commercial customers continue to call on.
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