Case Studies

Cooper Mechanical Inc.

Family business provides quality products, service and integrity for 40 years

For 40 years, Cooper Mechanical Inc. has been a household name to residents of the greater Philadelphia area. Founded by Lou Cooper Sr. and his wife, Geraldine, Cooper Mechanical is a full-service commercial and residential mechanical and plumbing contractor specializing in expert, engineered installation and service. “We take pride in adding a personal touch to our service for our clients,” says Louis Cooper Jr., co-owner of Cooper Mechanical and son of Lou Sr. “Our customers’ trust is earned through superior performance.”

A family tradition

The Cooper Mechanical story began when Lou took a summer job unloading trucks for a plumbing supply house. After he graduated from high school, Lou was promoted to selling plumbing supplies full time behind the counter. Working as a plumber’s apprentice on weekends and evenings to earn extra money, Lou gained experience and became an expert in the field, eventually joining Plumbers Local 690 in Philadelphia.

Cooper Mechanical Inc.

Today his children, Lou Cooper Jr. and Vicki Cooper are involved with the day-to-day running of the business. Lou Jr., a master plumber in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, holds a degree in both business management and graphic design from Moravian College and heads the plumbing division. Vicki, a graduate of Drexel University, is responsible for the accounting and everyday administration of the company. While maintaining Lou Sr. and Geraldine’s principles in their practice, the next generation has helped the company expand by implementing the latest technology.

In such a competitive industry, Cooper Mechanical stands out from the competition by emphasizing 100 percent customer satisfaction, a business practice that has been essential in the company since day one. “Listening to our customers, servicing their needs to the best of our ability and installing quality materials at a reasonable price is the cornerstone of our existence,” says Lou Jr. “This has led to long-term relationships of trust and mutual respect between our family and the families we serve.”

Lou Jr. is responsible for expressing the importance of accountability and customer service to Cooper Mechanical’s talented staff. From upper management to supervisors and apprentices, a trickle-down effect is generated from seasoned employees to the next generation who will carry on the company name.

Renovation and preservation

A large number of the technicians and support staff have been with Cooper Mechanical for many years, making them the company’s most valuable asset. The many years of on-the-job-experience and training on the latest safety regulations, new products and building codes ensures that customers receive superior service. “Most of our employees have been with us for 20 to 30 years,” says Lou Jr. “We create one less hassle for the customer by always being properly staffed and readily available when we’re needed.”

While the types of projects that Cooper Mechanical completes tend to vary, the company performs a significant amount of work in custom new construction, including renovations and additions. “I particularly enjoy the custom and renovation work because each project is unique, with its own interesting challenges,” adds Lou Jr.  “There are often unforeseen issues that necessitate thinking outside the box, making it critical for all of the trades to be flexible and creative. It’s always very satisfying to walk through the completed job and see how well everything has come together,” adds Lou Jr. “All of this is possible because of the relationships we’ve built over the years with craftsmen and building contractors who include us in their projects.”

A niche market that Cooper Mechanical has tapped into is historical restoration, gaining clients that include inns and restaurants. A few years ago, Cooper Mechanical had the pleasure of working with Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville, Pennsylvania. The project involved the complete renovation of the existing building and Cooper Mechanical designed and installed the entire plumbing, heating and cooling system. The hotel dates back to the 1740s when it served as a haven for river travelers, traders and sportsmen.

A similar project was the Golden Pheasant Inn, which was built in 1857 and is home to the longest continuously-operated restaurant/hotel along the Delaware Canal. “Both projects came out beautifully,” recalls Lou Jr. “We’re fortunate here in Buck’s County to have so many historical buildings. By working in a lot of old structures we’re able to be creative in coming up with ways to install modern systems while maintaining the integrity of the buildings.”

From initial consultation through sale, installation and follow-up, Cooper Mechanical works as a team to ensure the company provides a quality product and service. “We are fortunate to have dedicated, longtime employees who care about our customers just as much as I do, and this shows in the quality of the work they perform and the gratifying compliments we receive,” shares Lou Jr.

Lou Jr. foresees continued customer growth for Cooper Mechanical through the continual integration of Lou Sr.’s original vision, which still drives company strategy, and by constantly incorporating new advancements in technology and highly efficient processes. “A by-product of this winning formula is that it not only drives new business, but it helps retain our excellent team of employees which is truly the secret of our success,” he says. Collectively, this will ensure that Cooper Mechanical Inc. maintains the philosophy upon which the company is built:  providing a quality product and service while upholding the highest level of integrity.

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