G & R Controls
- Written by: Tom Faunce
- Produced by: Maggie McPherson
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Since 1977, G & R Controls has been helping clients minimize expenses while maximizing efficiency, equipment life and indoor comfort as a commercial and industrial building controls contractor. As an Independent Field Office for Siemens Building Technologies, G & R Controls provides the latest technology of building automation controls to manage buildings’ environments, comfort and energy consumption. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, G & R Controls also has locations in Rapid City, Bismarck and Fargo and its service area stretches into the surrounding Midwestern states.
G & R Controls installs, programs, and maintains Siemens Building Automation Controls. By using a microprocessor-based building automation system, engineers can ensure that all of a facility’s mechanical equipment is working in tandem to provide an ideal indoor environment.
“We provide service on controls and mechanical equipment,” says Mike Mechtenberg, partner and president of G & R Controls. “We also do design-build and turnkey projects for complete mechanical retrofits where we’ll have subcontractors perform the mechanical work but we are the primary contractor.” While G & R Controls focuses heavily on serving the health care and educational sectors, the company also works in government offices and retail centers.
In addition to building controls, G & R Controls maintains a heating division through which the company sells equipment such as boilers, burners and pumps among other devices. “We provide service and maintenance contracts in that division as well,” says Mechtenberg.
G & R Controls strongly supports the communities in which it maintains offices through local chamber memberships and community development organizations. They are also active in national organizations including the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
A tight-knit community
As a locally owned and operated company, G & R Controls goes the extra mile to set itself apart from the competition. “It’s very important for us to provide really great customer service,” says Mechtenberg. “We see our customers every day in and outside of work. We even go to church with some of our clients and our children go to school together. Our personal relationships with our clientele are what make us different.”
After 36 years in the business, Mechtenberg still remains humble. A career in the building controls industry was not a path that he necessarily sought out. “I was just looking for a job back in 1979,” says Mechtenberg. “I didn’t know anything about the business but I met the man who owned the company and he offered me a job.” After learning about the business and the industry, Mechtenberg grew to enjoy the work and purchased the company in 1985.
Throughout his career, Mechtenberg has been involved in all aspects of the temperature control business including installation, service, sales and engineering. He has also served as a presenter on various topics of energy management and HVAC services at educational and health care facilities.
Multiple success factors
While the bottom line and profitability is often the ultimate measure of success for a company, G & R Controls analyzes multiple aspects of performance to indicate the direction of the business. Tracking the growth of the company is measured in comparison to customer satisfaction. “We have a dedicated sales person whose job is exclusively to travel around to our customers and measure satisfaction levels,” Mechtenberg explains. “We have a near 100 percent satisfaction rating right now. We also track and maintain strong employee retention.” G & R Controls employs nearly 100 people throughout its four locations.
Customer training has proven to be one of the most effective means of exceeding customers’ expectations for G & R Controls. Training not only strengthens relationships with their customers, but also demonstrates their loyalty to ‘Creating Customers for Life’ which is the company-wide objective. Twice each year, the company hosts a hands-on classroom training by factory Siemens-certified instructors for building operators, maintenance personnel and others. The course is designed to teach participants how to better monitor and control their building automation system using their APOGEE workstation.
The employee retention rate is largely due to the fact that as a fairly large company, G & R Controls maintains a hometown mentality. “It’s fun to come to work because of the great people we have working for us,” says Mechtenberg. “The people we work worth are the same people we associate with personally. It’s a tight-knit community.”
As the company progresses into the future, G & R Controls plans to continue along the path it has been on since 1977. “We don’t necessarily plan on taking on any new divisions or acquisitions in the near future,” says Mechtenberg. “We plan to continue what we currently do but we’re always striving to do it better and more efficiently.” The Bismarck location is a relatively new operation that the company plans to focus on establishing as well. “We plan to continue to grow our service business. Health care is a very important market to us so in the next one or two years we hope to expand our business in that sector.”
While the company continues to provide innovative solutions, customer service will remain a top priority for G & R Controls as it maintains a hometown work environment.
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