By Kevin Bartley, Division Manager with Nexus 5 Group
In the Beginning
When I joined the Nexus 5 Group team in November 2018, the field techs were made up of multi-family maintenance staff. The techs were well versed in all aspects of multi-family installation and service oriented trades such as HVAC, Plumbing, Electric and Make Ready.
To be honest, I didn't come from this industry and had a hard time understanding the business plan. Even though the division was profitable, it was taking a tremendous amount of resources to operate. I have a background in Commercial and Industrial Mechanical and felt that this would be a good move. I had the experience in the Kansas City Market and the resources to make the change. After a long discussion with John Hinman (Managing Director) and Tom Cowan (Director of Operations), the decision was mutual. We would work together to shape the future of the Mechanical Division.
In 2021, Nexus 5 Group will formally launch the Mechanical Division. Even though the Service Division has been doing some light commercial work in 2020, the platform for mechanical did not fit the Service Division’s long term plan. The Service Division has many skilled tradesmen in several different trades. The Service Division will remain intact, but splitting off the Mechanical Division made the most sense.
Accountability is major part of the equation and I'm a numbers guy. I need to know where and how much at all times.
The Service Division will continue to focus on the things they do best. The Mechanical Division will focus on sheet metal, fabrication, mechanical piping, and plumbing.
Hiring specialized tradesmen that have specific skills in each of the trades will allow the Mechanical Division to be more efficient, and ultimately more profitable. With the tremendous growth in commercial construction that the Construction Division has seen over the last two years, it is paving the way for Mechanical Division growth.
In 2019, I began assembling the team. Curt Ledom (Superintendent) was hired in April, Clifton Printy (Assistant Superintendent) was hired in July and Jim Hays (Project Manager) was hired in December. This gave the team, including myself over 120 years of mechanical experience.
In 2020, we began the process of adding skilled tradesmen to the team. Although challenging, not only finding the skilled tradesmen to complete the work but focusing on finding the “correct” people that fit our unique Nexus 5 culture to adhere to our Five Core Values is just as important. Moving into 2021, we will add the construction plumbing trade into the mix. This will encompass both plumbing and mechanical piping, allowing us to expand the business footprint to take on more complex jobs.
Creating the Mechanical Division brought a new set of challenges to Nexus 5 Group.
One thing with a mechanical contractor is that they take up a lot of space. In 2019 we added a sheet metal fabrication shop which quickly consumed the current warehouse space. Also, by tripling the manpower of the old Service Division, we needed an expansion.
In 2020, the decisions was made to expand the warehouse space from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet. The existing training room in the warehouse was too small for our needs. It was the best time for an expansion. In December 2020, Nexus began the construction of its new 1,200 square foot training room. This will allow the group to continue to hold meetings for all team members at one time.
2021 will be an exciting year for Nexus 5 Group. A lot of time, money and effort has been invested in the last few years to build an amazing team. As with the rest of the Construction Division, all of the stars are starting to align for the Service and Mechanical Division. Doing the work is only half of the battle. When you have a support team and the competitive spirit that this group has, it makes looking forward much easier.
Enjoying getting up and coming to work with this team every day makes all of the difference. Being positive and having a winning attitude matters. The Mechanical Division will succeed and do great things in the future. And best of all, I get a front row seat.