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Connected Partners: Service

Even the most well-constructed and installed mechanical systems require attention from time to time, and when they do, they often require it immediately. When this happens, having a mechanical Service team that understands the importance of readiness and responsiveness becomes critical in providing efficient results for clients.

This was the situation St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO, found itself in when two of the building's boilers required emergency replacement. Maintaining a controlled environment is important in healthcare for the comfort and treatment of patients. Andrew Williams, Senior Account Manager for the MMC Contractors Kansas City Service team, was the one to receive the call from St. Joseph Medical Center that their boilers were malfunctioning.

He mobilized his team after-hours to assess the situation. On-site, it was determined that it didn't make sense to repair the boilers. Each had malfunctioned for different reasons, a burner issue, and tube failure. It was decided the team would replace the machines instead.

“Oftentimes, when we assess a project for the first time, we are thinking on our feet and relying on past experiences to get a sense of what will work best in this situation,” said Derek Worthley, MMC Contractors Pipefitter and Plumber Journeyman, on Andrew’s team. “The fact that we’ve got such experienced guys on our team helps us make these calls and get moving on a solution quickly.”

With their plan of action in place, Andrew and his team began outreach to several vendors and were able to source the two boilers they needed for this project. This is no easy feat, given the increased delays in product sourcing and shipping caused by the current strain on supply chains around the world. It took around 10 days from the time of the client's initial call to the time the Service team had boilers ready for installation. Most lead times at the time were 20+ weeks.

"It was incredible," Andrew said. "Everything literally fell into place. I don't know if we could do it like that again."

While a perfect storm may have been brewing to allow things to fall into place, the Service teams are always prepared to think creatively to circumvent problems and find solutions for their customers. It is common in Service to encounter a shortage of the right tools for the job in the moment. Several calls come through in the middle of the night. Vendors aren’t open and things need to get up and running. Supply chains often require the teams to think creatively, finding ways to fix an issue with what is available to them until they’re able to source parts.

The Service team used the fair-weather conditions and the area affected by the boiler malfunctions to their advantage. Knowing that the medical mall was affected as opposed to the actual hospital side of the medical center meant that fewer patients were impacted by the malfunction and allowed them the opportunity to forgo interim solutions in this situation.

This project involved several moving parts and required an extended team comprised of trade partners to supply electricians, controls, and sheet metal workers, in addition to MMC Contractors' plumbers and pipefitters. The project’s scope included doing everything from switching out flues and integrating controls, to ensuring the combustion air was properly integrated to positively pressurize the rooms.

The Service team was able to assemble its team quickly. From start to finish, the whole project took about one month. In normal conditions, this would take around 8 weeks. The rock-solid relationships with vendors, trade partners, and the client our Service teams have helped make this project successful in half the time.

"We've worked together for so long," Andrew said. "We were able to put a budget together quickly, get everything buttoned up and submitted. The client said go for it, and we put the hammer down to get the job done."

Strong foundations of trust are just as important on the client-side as they are on the vendor side. Derek Novotney, Director of Plant Operations at St. Joseph & St. Mary's Medical Center Campuses, was new to his current role when the boilers malfunctioned, and a new contact to Andrew and his team. While this can pose complications due to a lack of a relationship, the MMC Contractors team was able to overcome this because of the deep trust that had been formed over several years with the hospital system as a whole. The team used their industry expertise to approach Derek straightforwardly to let him know the facts of the situation, what the best option for repair was, and they were able to move forward with the solution effectively and efficiently.

“Andrew and his team went above and beyond to take care of our facility, the patients, visitors, and staff it serves,” Novotney said. “Their quick turnaround provided heat to ensure comfort as we entered into the cold Midwest weather. I feel like MMC Contractors, Andrew, and his team had our best interest at the forefront of the project.”

Completing jobs like this with such a quick turnaround requires creativity and trust. Andrew says the culture we’re building at MMC Contactors is what sets us apart from other mechanical Service providers. For such a large corporation, there is a very small “mom and pop” feel. When we encounter issues, our teams know there is a large network of people we can call on to help, and that our team members are ready to lend a hand.

This culture is centered around the same trust that our Service teams build with external partners. Team members in the field know their team leaders will be on-site ready to help them through any issues that may occur. Counting on the integrity of the quality craftsmanship from each team member working beside you, and those overseeing a project creates the synergy needed to get the job done and done right.

"Clients want a fair price on quality craftsmanship and that's what we provide," Andrew said.

Our Service teams nationwide are equipped to ensure continuous, around-the-clock service for a variety of HVAC; plumbing process and high purity piping; sheet metal repair; and equipment setting; varying by location. 

As mechanical contractors we are constantly making connections – whether on the jobsite, in the community, with our valued trade partners, and more. These connected partnerships are critically important in constructing and servicing the essential structures in our lives.

Within Connected Partners — a thought leadership magazine created for valued clients and prospective partners of the MMC Contractors companies — we hope to provide you some essentials as well. You’ll find insight into trends important to our industry; stories of our partners making an impact; and resources you might find helpful in what you do every day.

As employee owners, we recognize the importance of adapting to the ever-changing industry, but it’s the strength of our partnerships that take all of us to the next level. The structures we create and the communities that value our collective success enable us to evolve and grow every day.