• Contractingbusiness 1449 Cb1111 Bassett

    From the Field

    Nov. 1, 2011
    Bassett Mechanical, a leading, full-service mechanical contractor based in Kaukauna, WI, held an open house recently to share its success with friends and customers, and celebrate 75 years of growth. More than 400 guests were in attendance.

    Bassett Mechanical Stays True to Values During Constant Change; Celebrates 75 Years in Business

    Bassett Mechanical, a leading, full-service mechanical contractor based in Kaukauna, WI, held an open house recently to share its success with friends and customers, and celebrate 75 years of growth. More than 400 guests were in attendance.

    The firm's main message for visitors was that, while Bassett has grown into a company at the forefront of emerging global trends, such as renewable energy and lean manufacturing, its core mission statement — to be a customer-centric and employee-driven company — remains firmly in place.

    "As we celebrate 75 years in business, a lot has changed at Bassett," says Kim Bassett-Heitzmann, CEO of Bassett Mechanical, "but the things that always remain are our dedicated employees, company values, rich history, and making customer service number one."

    The company motto for several decades has been, "We answer to you." It's prominently displayed alongside its award-winning lean-based manufacturing stations and products under construction.

    In recent years, under Bassett-Heitzmann's leadership, the company has expanded its mechanical contracting capabilities in the frozen and refrigerated food processing and healthcare industries, continued to develop its service operations in Madison and Milwaukee, and added renewable energy and oil and gas equipment to its metals manufacturing portfolio. Bassett-Heitzmann attributes the company's commitment to lean manufacturing as a key factor enabling the company to grow in a down economy.

    To round out its 75th year, Bassett will sponsor an employee "Red Kettle Challenge" day for the Salvation Army in December. Bassett has committed to a matching grant of up to $7,500 for money raised during the event.

    "Our corporate values drive us to give back to the community, which is especially important when more people are impacted by the current challenging economic conditions," Bassett-Heitzmann says.

    "The strategies that we've put in place have already shown us that we are well-positioned to remain strong even in the uncertain economic times that are in front of us," Bassett-Heitzmann adds. "New business opportunities continue to fill the sales pipeline. Our task is to stay focused on these strategies."

    In other company news, David Williams has joined Bassett Mechanical as vice president, manufacturing. he oversees Bassett's manufacturing division, including sheet metal fabrication, piping, and pressure vessel fabrication.

    "I'm very excited to have David join our team at Bassett. I'm confident that he'll make a significant contribution to our manufacturing division, and will help us continue to grow our company," says Bassett-Heitzmann.

    Crockett Facilities Services a Leader Around the Beltway

    Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI), Bowie, MD, is nearing the end of one chapter in its history, and moving on to another. Established almost a decade ago as an 8(a) woman-owned, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Crockett Facilities Services has become a leading Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) minority business enterprise contractor. Its 200 employees deliver building operations and maintenance, and mechanical HVAC services to commercial and government clients. The "new phase" of its history will begin next year, when the company's 8(a) status will come to an end, and it will function without any of the benefits of the 8(a) classification. Its President and Chief Executive Officer, Cynthia Crockett, says the company is ready. In fact, it's been taking on non-8(a) projects since its inception.

    "We're on a firm footing," Crockett says. "We've been bidding on projects, and obtaining as much work as we can. We've also hired a marketing director so we can obtain more commercial work. We've invested a lot in our company through safety, training, and apprenticeships. I see other 8(a) companies that haven't pursued non-8(a) contracts, and will even try to generate another 8(a) company. They don't have self-reliance at any time. The 8(a) classification provided us with a great opportunity, but it's not and will not be our sole source of income."

    Crockett and her husband, vice president Mark Crockett, have made a concerted effort to market to commercial companies throughout the company's first decade, so as not to be dependent on government projects. It will remain a key facet of its business because of its track record and reputation for excellence. Another key focus for the company is providing energy-efficient solutions, notes Mark Crockett.

    "With HVAC representing 35% of all operating costs in a building, making this equipment run more efficiently can positively impact the bottom line," he says.

    CFSI is a Mechanical Service Contractors of America (MSCA) STAR®-Qualified contractor. In 2010, it was named the Small Business Contractor of the Year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Agricultural Research Service. In September, Cynthia Crockett was named to the Baltimore SmartCEO magazine Smart100, a special group of Baltimore business leaders chosen for their leadership, strategic vision, and character.

    CFSI has grown through reliability, integrity, safety, and a commitment to service.

    "If we say we're going to do something, we do it, and we do it right the first time," Cynthia Crockett emphasizes. "When people contract with us, they're not going to have to worry whether or not we're going to do what we say we'll do. And, on that awful chance that we've done the work and there's something that needs attention we fix it, at our cost. We own it, and want to deliver 100% satisfaction."

    Read more about CFSI online, by visiting http://bit.ly/CBCrockett.


    The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) reminds homeowners that the fall season is the ideal opportunity to prepare heating equipment for the cold winter months to ensure the unit operates at its highest efficiency. The message stresses the importance of hiring qualified, NATE-certified technicians. http://bit.ly/AHRItips


    2001: For the year 2001, we could say it was the start of a "recruitment odyssey" as the industry was searching for new talent. Associate Editor Valerie Stakes, in an editorial, "Actions Speak Louder than Words," described key steps in recruiting. First, educate yourself about available resources in schools, associations and manufacturers. Next, be innovative in recruiting practices. Advertise, but also look for other cultural outlets in your city. Finally, take action. If there isn’t a special program in your area, start one. Dick Starr’s involvement with Cleveland Local 120 is an example. It led to a successful program between local vocational schools and the Cleveland MSCA chapter. "Because there's an industry-wide problem that needs all our help, share your innovative ideas with your peers," Stakes wrote.

    TODAY, we also want to hear from readers: what are you doing to find new talent? Write to [email protected]

    There's An APP For That!

    Emerson Climate Technologies has launched two new mobile apps for HVACR contractors. The Emerson X-Check™ Competitor Cross Reference app for valves, controls and system protectors, and the Emerson PT Pro™Pressure Temperature Tool app to help contractors while in the field. The PT Pro app makes saturated pressure and temperature conversions easier for contractors while onsite. The app asks the user to select a refrigerant and to select whether they’re at or above sea level. By entering the pressure, (Psig or Bar), the user receives the correct saturated temperature. Contractors can download the apps online at http://www.emersonClimate.com/mobileapps.