Case Studies

Kaback Enterprises

New York's Finest Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Contractors

Seymour “Sy” Kaback founded Kaback Enterprises (KE) in 1948. With a degree in mechanical engineering, the U.S. Army educated Sy through leading universities, including Rutgers and NYU; he went on to become a licensed Professional Engineer in 1946.

Sy applied his abilities to a growing market for an emerging technology, Commercial Air Conditioning. His integration of design, installation and maintenance service was a unique approach that was the foundation of KE’s successful company structure.

The business went through several iterations before taking its current shape in 1971. Sadly, Sy passed on in 2005. Still, his legacy lives on under the management of John Murphy, president, as well as Donald Murphy and Vance Schipani, vice presidents of KE.

KE has since become one of the most reputable and successful HVAC contractors in New York. The company employs more than 100 employees out of a single location in New York, with approximately 99 percent of KE’s work based in the New York City area.

A Full-service Approach

KE offers broad capabilities to hundreds of clients in the commercial sector. Whether undertaking a new construction project, design-build project, value engineering, retrofit or basic repairs, the team performs quality work. From start to finish, the team of skilled tradespeople, technicians and project managers guide clients through design-build work, the engineering process and installation, as well as maintenance and repair work.

KE has always been on the forefront of the latest updates in HVAC technologies, such as energy recovery, variable refrigerant systems and cogeneration systems, as well as many more. KE’s expertise has efficiency benefits for both the tenant and landlord, securing future relations with both. With broad capabilities, KE is able to perform the most advanced technical portions of the work with highly trained personnel.

“Our factory-certified technicians are trained to keep up with these latest innovations,” says John. “This allows our confidence in the finished product. We also have the capability to do many of the smaller installation jobs with our installation and service team. For larger contracts, our strong network of subcontractors, whom we work with on a repeat basis, seamlessly complete these projects.”

The company places strong emphasis on relationships with strategic partners, an aspect of the business that has allowed KE to control cost and quality. These subcontractors, as well as the company’s suppliers, meet stringent standards of performance to ensure all projects are up to KE’s high expectations.

Attracting and Keeping Major Clients

The high quality outcome of KE’s work has attracted customers across the commercial market, explaining why John and his crew have been involved in a number of unique projects over the years.

The company had started work for the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation when Hurricane Sandy hit. In the middle of the $5 million job, the facility was flooded so badly that all construction had to stop. After cleanup, the crew got back to work, performing a successful contract to the satisfaction of clients.

The team has also worked for Crane and Company, a stationery company in New York. KE performed a $2 million job for Whole Foods in Brooklyn, as well as Syracuse University’s offices in Manhattan. The crew is currently involved in a $7 million renovation at the Federal Building in Brooklyn, which John expects to be finished by March 2014. The company has also established long-term partnerships with several major brands, including a contract with Starbucks to service 200 stores in the region.

Making Headway in a Changing Market

Throughout the recession, KE has faced a number of challenges. The construction market nearly dropped into oblivion, with opportunities at an all-time low and competition at an all-time high.

“The biggest challenge was to keep everyone working in the changing market,” John explains. “We adjusted our margins to stay competitive on installation work, and concentrated on service and maintenance with the changing market, and we were able to get many new customers. I don’t know what else the economy could throw at us to hurt small businesses; we haven’t seen any great changes, but once we dig out of this recession I think there will be a market boom.”

Nonetheless, the company is growing, and according to John, will continue to do so in the coming years. “We have expanded our service offering and maintained quality and attention to detail,” he continues. “Our focus is on profitability and customer satisfaction. We are lucky to have great people on our staff. There is very little turnover and we have a family atmosphere.”

To add to the company’s family atmosphere, John’s daughter has recently joined the business. Her background in project management, as well as business management skills, will continue to shape KE into the next generation. Above all else, John and his team recognize the value of relationships, a quality passed down through the years. By building on those partnerships and establishing new ones in the years to come, Kaback Enterprises will continue to carve out a lasting impression in the mechanical construction market in New York City and the surrounding areas.

Published on: July 9, 2014


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