Quality Plumbing & Heating of Bunker Hill Inc.
Quality Plumbing & Heating of Bunker Hill Inc. (QPH) has been in business since 1968, when brothers Buford and Delbert McDaniel established the family plumbing and heating company in central Indiana. Two years later, Buford bought out his brother’s share.
The company has grown significantly over the years; however, has not forgotten its rich history. The original owner and founder passed the business down to his children, Brenda Carson and Jerry McDaniel, in 1987. Brenda and Jerry successfully steered the company for 25 years; 2012, again, marked the passing of the torch. Jesse Carson, Brenda’s son and current vice president, along with Joe Rosinski, Jerry’s stepson and current operations manager, bring QPH to three generations of family operation.
“I’ve been with the family business since 1996,” Jesse recounts. “I started working in the industry right out of high school. I went to school for construction management and did a five-year apprenticeship within the trade. Eventually, I worked my way up through the company, seeing all aspects of operation from the field to the office.”
The company’s highly capable team of between 40 and over 100 professionals fluctuates to accommodate the busy seasonal and shutdown schedules that are required during a calendar year. The team operates from headquarters in Bunker Hill, Ind., with two regional offices in Greenburg and Kokomo, Ind. The team delivers commercial plan and specification work, commercial service, industrial, light commercial and restaurant, as well as residential sales and service.
It is evident the QPH team enjoys delivering on projects. “Clients need us to fix a problem and we want to be the person to do it,” explains Brad, residential manager of the Kokomo office.
The company’s genuine eagerness to please is well-engrained throughout all team members, and something QPH prides itself on. “We’re very trustworthy; our word means something,” says Joe. “When we tell them we’re going to do something, we do it.”
As a union shop, QPH’s employees are not only dedicated, but also highly trained. Field employees go through a five-year apprenticeship program that offers experience in the field along with a college education. “We have high quality workers because of that training,” Jesse explains. “Our team really cares about their work; they take pride in a job well done and their ability to support and promote the company.”
Historically, most of the company’s work is in the commercial market, including work for hospitals and schools, though Jesse says QPH is gaining ground in the residential sector. While the company has performed residential work since 1978, it did not have a division that solely focused on residential service until approximately three years ago.
According to Brad, being in the highly competitive construction market, the company realized there is a great need for skilled technicians. Therefore, in partnership with the union, the company formed a residential division utilizing a lower light commercial residential scale to gain market share.
Furthermore, the QPH team, along with several other signatory contractors, has established an alternative hybrid apprenticeship program that allows the company to draw from skilled labor force trained in HVAC, plumbing and building science. “The No. 1 problem was having a plumbing call and while on-site, the plumber was not able to fix the issue, because it was HVAC in nature,” Brad explains. “We have broken this gap that all contractors have had for years. QPH’s new hybrid technician will be able to repair all HVAC and plumbing issues they come across.”
“Residentially, one of the most important things is that we make sure when we leave, the customer is satisfied with the product, with our craftsmanship and the way that our guys conduct and carry themselves and represent the quality in the QPH,” explains Brad.
Staying with Technology
QPH utilizes state-of-the-art technology. “We now are laying out our work via a Trimble machine, which locates points for hangers and penetrations from two dimensional and 3-D drawings,” Jesse explains. “Using high-performance lasers, the crew recently laid out an eight-story dorm for Purdue University. We were able to lay out everything while another contractor was doing the concrete structure. We are now able to perform work while the structure is going up allowing us to save labor and shorten the build time.”
In addition to top-notch technology, the team is willing to take it one step further. QPH also delivered a biochemistry project at Purdue University’s Binley Hall, which utilized 100 percent American-made products. “The logistics and verification of that can be tedious,” chuckles Joe. “Getting the materials on the jobsite, installing it, testing it, covering it, was a major hurdle. Now there is another step; proving the materials origin. You have to really put in the effort. And document everything.”
QPH installed plumbing and HVAC systems for the building, which consisted of low, medium and high pressure steam, hydronic hot water, chilled water, medical gas, such as oxygen, medical air, carbon dioxide, vacuum, Nitrogen, domestic hot, cold, tempid, deionized water, waste, lab waste and other mechanical systems. The building at Purdue University had it all; above the ceilings was a maze of piping. “The technology we implanted really played to our advantage,” recalls Joe.
Building and maintaining relationships
Like many contractors throughout the United States, QPH faced challenges to growth throughout the recession. “It really hit everyone, but especially areas around our three locations, which are automotive communities,” Jesse says. “The area saw a huge increase in unemployment, which as the whole world saw slowed the economy. People didn’t have money to spend let alone build.” To stay afloat, the business transitioned to service work, a move that has kept important client relationships intact while providing revenue for the company.
The business’ flexibility was a major factor in the team’s continued success, with another factor being strong partnerships. QPH has established relationships with suppliers, subcontractors and other strategic partners that have strengthened the company over the years. QPH’s connection with the union shop as an industry partner has ensured that the team can draw from a strong and experienced labor force when business picks up.
Jesse and Joe take great pride in the company’s customer retention. “Our goal is always to create lifelong customers,” Jesse explains. “We do that by solving customers’ problems. We establish expectations and then try to exceed them, but it is more important for us to take pride in what we do. We perform every job as if it was our own.”
As the market picks up, Jesse and his team continue to look for new opportunities for growth. Further expansion into the residential market will help boost volume, but he says his first priority is, and always will be, quality and service. To meet that goal, the crew has adopted the whole house approach. “In order to provide the best results in the home the equipment, ductwork, building envelope all must work together,” says Joe. Residential customers can look forward to energy efficient equipment and comfortable homes, courtesy of QPH’s qualified staff.
In 2018, QPH will celebrate 50 years in business. Jesse, Joe and the QPH team are not planning a celebration just yet, but the family takes great pride in the longevity the market and loyal employees have fostered over the years. As the big anniversary approaches, Quality Plumbing & Heating of Bunker Hill Inc. will continue evolve and innovate with the changing industry.
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