At Phoenix Mechanical, there is a long tradition of caring for the customer.
At Phoenix Mechanical, there is a long tradition of caring for the customer. In business since 1971, owner Bob Draper and his staff have worked on everything from replacing faucets in homes to installing large mechanical systems for commercial customers. With nearly 50 years of service, Phoenix Mechanical has accumulated the experience to make sure their customers get the products and services they need to be comfortable in their homes and businesses. As Draper says, “We offer our customers peace of mind. We’ve been around a long time and we will be here into the future.”
The day begins
The crew gathers early each morning to receive their assignments for the day. Foreman Johnny Martinez organizes the job tickets and hands them out to the technicians. Each crew member goes to the extensive warehouse and parts department managed by “parts wizard” Ky Sturges to gather the supplies that they will need for each job. Already on each of the iconic red Phoenix Mechanical trucks, there are standard parts that might be required during the day.
Specialized items like duct work can be designed and produced in the steel metal fabrication shop. The warehouse has in stock equipment such as water heaters and boilers that also heat radiant floor systems and tankless water heaters. On the showroom floor, there are displays of sinks and faucets that customers can view to help them make decisions for their homes and businesses. A fully stocked retail area includes parts and supplies for swimming pools, hot tubs and water softeners.
Nothing goes to waste. Sturges makes sure that leftover pipe and parts are recycled. Used parts like rubber couplings might find a new life in art or small scale construction projects at the school where his wife works. In an effort to save energy, all the light bulbs in the business are being changed over to LEDs.
With 37 members on the staff, there are experts in plumbing, heating, air conditioning, refrigeration and electrical work. There is cross-training as well, so that each technician has a well-rounded background. With the large staff, there is a wealth of knowledge that can be brought to bear on complex problems.
The technicians work on minor plumbing repairs, as well as installation of major systems for clients like the University of New Mexico-Taos. They provide on-going services for institutions like Taos Municipal Schools, as well as the town of Taos and Taos County.
Phoenix Mechanical has built their business on responsiveness. Knowing that plumbing and mechanical problems can arise at all hours of the day and night, someone can always be reached by phone, even after-hours. A temporary solution offered over the phone might make it possible for the customer to feel safe until morning, when a crew member can arrive to fix the problem.
The latest in technology available through Phoenix Mechanical includes thermostats that are activated remotely through smartphones. Customers can make changes while they are away, so that when they return home their houses will be warm or cool when they arrive. Specialized programs allow thermostats for solar panels, pools and hot tubs to be controlled remotely.
If people have questions about the safety of their well water, they can contact Phoenix Mechanical for water testing and analysis. Same-day tests are available for mineral content, and an E. coli test that is incubated over a longer period is also among the services offered.
Longtime staff members
Some of the crew members were born and raised in Taos and bring their knowledge of the community along with their technical skills to the job. Some have worked there for decades. Flo Brown, who handles accounts receivable and helps cover the front desk, has been with the company for 17 years this summer. Nancy Nesbit, who takes care of billing for the company and assists with dispatch duties, has been there for more than 15 years, while Barbara Mondragon has worked with accounts payable for more than four years.
When asked what makes Phoenix Mechanical a special place to work, Sturges says, “We all work together well. It’s like a brotherhood.” He’s happy to be working with a solid local company. In the past he worked as a truck driver hauling freight but felt like he was missing too much of his eight-year-old daughter Sophie’s growing up.
The company experienced a difficult loss this year. Longtime staff member Tony Romo passed away in January. Romo started as a helper to journeyman plumber Marlin Thommes when he was 19 years old. He rose up to be one of the managers at Phoenix Mechanical. Tragically, he died suddenly of a heart attack when he was 48 years old. He had worked at the company for 30 years. Today his son Antonio works at Phoenix Mechanical.
Surrounded by pictures of past team members, training certificates and numerous Best of Taos awards, the staff works each day to help make life a little better for their customers. Looking back on almost 50 years in business, owner Draper says, “I think the reason that we are still here serving the community is a dedication to customer service and a little bit of luck.”
Contact Phoenix Mechanical at (575) 758-3027 or stop by 1217 Gusdorf Road. Visit them online at phoenixmechanical.net.
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