Haier Plumbing & Heating Inc.
- Written by: Kadie Jepsen
- Produced by: John Carioti
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Haier Plumbing & Heating Inc. (Haier) was founded in 1966 by Fred Haier and began as a small plumbing operation. Since then, the company has diversified its capabilities, including work for water and wastewater treatment plants and sanitary sewer infrastructure work, as well as commercial plumbing. Haier has grown to become a much larger operation.
Jim Rossel, Fred’s son-in-law and now president of Haier, started with the company in 1977. “I joined the company right out of high school and was taught the business along the way,” Jim details. He now has over 37 years of experience that have aided in becoming an integral part of the company. Jim manages day to day operations of Haier and works alongside Fred’s three daughters, another son-in-law and several of Fred’s grandchildren.
Self-performing and subcontracting
Self-performing more tasks than its competition gives Haier a competitive advantage. “We self-perform both directional and horizontal boring jacks, which helps us get a lot of work,” Jim says. “We self-perform a lot of things that other folks will subcontract out.”
Having the equipment and know-how to self-perform the majority of its jobs allows the team to work directly with customers and accomplish the project’s goals without the middle men and markup that comes with lower-tier subcontractors.
However, Haier does strategically subcontract certain areas of its projects when someone else is a better fit for the work; electrical work, painting, carpentry work, cast-in-place concrete structures and any HVAC-type work are typically subcontracted.
Due to the company’s longevity, Haier has been able to develop fruitful relationships with good local subcontractors. “We do have certain subcontractors that are more successful on our projects than others, but we’ve worked with many subs over the years,” Jim notes.
According to Jim, it’s very important to have strong relationships with subcontractors. These relationships allow the project to run smoothly for the company and for the client, as well as keep the project from becoming overly stressful or unpredictable.
Haier is located in Illinois and the work that it does covers a 100-mile radius from its office location. The company has worked with many clients over the years but the majority of its client base comes from local municipalities.
“We just did an $11 million rehab to the Stookey Township wastewater treatment plant,” Jim details. “We also had a storm and sanitary sewer separation project in Wood River, Illinois, we worked on that for a couple of years.”
Haier has done several projects in Belleville, Illinois; some of the work that was done includes storm water and sanitary sewer separation projects. “The work we do in Belleville is a great project for us and we enjoy working with the people there,” Jim explains.
“We enjoy working there because of the people we work with,” he continues. “As far as the owners and the engineers – we have a good relationship with those folks.”
A family-owned business with long southern Illinois roots, Haier strives to gain and maintain good relationships in the surrounding area. This really helps to distinguish the company as reputable and stable.
Currently, Haier is working on the southwestern Illinois Levee District. For this particular project, the work includes installing relief wells, some correction piping and a pump station.
Gauging success and the future
Haier has found that its success can largely be measured by the safety and reliability of the company and the employees. “Safety will always be a concern,” Jim says. “As long as there are no injuries and the work remains clean and efficient.”
The reliability, more specifically the work ethic, of the employees is what gives Jim a sense of accomplishment in regards to the company. Gathering the right team members to assist in building a successful company can be difficult. Jim notes that Haier has managed to hire and retain an outstanding employee base, which can be attributed to the company’s commitment to treating the employees with respect.
In the future, Jim hopes to see the company grow. “Hopefully we will continue to expand and look for new projects,” he details.
Haier has managed to build an extremely successful company since its founding in 1966. Through his 37 years of experience, Jim has discovered what it takes to run a successful company and manage a team of dedicated employees, as well.
Although Haier keeps within a 100-mile radius of its office, the company has found abundant work and ample opportunities for growth and success through diversifying its capabilities. Haier Plumbing & Heating Inc. capable of servicing any waste-water treatment necessities, sanitary sewer infrastructure work or commercial plumbing needs, quickly and efficiently.
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