Established in the mid-1950s as a residential plumber, TP Mechanical shifted its focus to commercial projects and added HVAC and fire protection to its capabilities. It has experienced growth since its inception and evolved to include a much larger focus on commercial and industrial projects of varying sizes and complexity.
Bill Teepe started by installing water heaters for Sears and brought this knowledge and experience into his business. In the mid-1970s, Bill’s eldest son, Steve Teepe, joined the business and began contributing to the overall organization of the company, helping it strategically align itself to achieve targeted growth.
Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, TP Mechanical experienced rapid expansion. The company increased its service offerings, and its staff reached upwards of forty people. In the early 1980s, Scott Teepe, Bill’s youngest son, also joined the company. He helped the focus shift beyond commercial plumbing activity to encompass building heating, cooling and ventilation services, at which point the company really took off.
The company employed more than 120 people in the early 1990s and made significant revenue gains. Then in 1999, Scott and Steve Teepe sold the company to a national commercial contractor that was absorbing smaller mechanical contractors. TP Mechanical became a part of a national group until 2003, when the company’s leadership team decided to branch out on their own once again.
Both sides realized that TP Mechanical was a not a great fit for the national group, which had a primary focus on residential service. As part of the larger group, TP Mechanical, a commercial and industrial HVAC contractor, wasn’t working to its full capabilities or serving its niche customers. The Teepe family repurchased the company in 2003, and the move revitalized the company’s strength and overall growth moving forward.
Today, TP Mechanical has established a name for itself as a quality provider in the regions it serves. The company has now grown to close to 430 employees and enjoys an annual revenue of about $95 million. It serves a radius of approximately 100 miles from each of its offices including those in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, Ohio; Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky; and a service office in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Bill Riddle, president of TP Mechanical, when asked to reflect on how it has differentiated itself as a company, responded, “I think we provide a good value for our customers. We have a reputation of getting the job done in adverse conditions. We stand behind all of our commitments, and we provide quality from the top to bottom in all of the services that we offer.” TP Mechanical is quite busy, with sixty to seventy-five ongoing projects at any time.
TP Mechanical has become the leading provider of mechanical contracting, service and fabrication in the Midwest. They provide clients with complete solutions, including pre-construction expertise, contracting, fabricating, service and maintenance expertise, piping, plumbing, HVAC/R and fire protection.
TP Mechanical employs innovative solutions aimed at keeping costs down. The company maintains the highest standards of safety while upholding tight deadlines, increasing value for its customers and simultaneously reducing waste. These relationships are important to TP Mechanical, and the company’s success has been built upon these collaborative efforts.
TP Mechanical specializes in large-scale construction projects for the industrial, commercial, education, healthcare, hospitality, retail and institutional markets. It offers comprehensive mechanical contracting services, ranging from customized service and maintenance plans to design/build and fabrication. Their fully-equipped manufacturing facility is ISO 9001 certified to provide planning, assembly and pre-fabrication of mechanical systems.
TP Mechanical offers a full menu of multi-faceted services. Clients have a one-stop-shop for all of their building mechanical needs. From pre-construction planning to actual fabrication, the company utilizes building information modeling (BIM) software, innovative prefabrication techniques and LEED principles to ensure project success.
TP Mechanical assigns a person who will coordinate with the client, the architect and construction manager. The point person ensures that projects are streamlined and efficient to produce an outcome that provides value and satisfies customers. This helps not only reduce the costs of construction, but also lowers clients’ long-term building operation costs.
The company has the physical and operational capacities to satisfy all of its clients’ specific needs. TP Mechanical’s professional, trained and knowledgeable staff are also ready and able to lead even the most complex projects. Its emergency service teams are available at any time, year round, and guarantee a response time of four hours for maintenance contract clients by one of the company’s licensed professionals.
Understanding the importance of license maintenance in its industry, TP Mechanical maintains a strong focus on continuing education, instituting a learning management system and providing educational resources and training for those already licensed. TP Mechanical provides opportunities for their employees not only from a technical side, but also in terms of soft skills, such as verbal and written abilities and computer proficiency.
“To grow, we need to have the resources, and, in today’s market, hiring the resources from outside is not an easy task,” shared Riddle. “So, we’ve developed a leadership program that gives all of our management and employees an opportunity to participate. We have developed learning management software available for all employees, where they can electronically access 300 different courses that give them the ability to take classes.”
TP Mechanical personally trains its technicians to ensure that they are capable of utilizing the latest products and state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques to optimize output and ensure project success. Riddle explained that TP Mechanical prioritizes safety and requires that most employees have, at a minimum, a ten-hour OSHA training certificate before they are employed by the company. Management must have a minimum of 30-hours of training.
The company provides several OSHA-certified instructors who are safety auditors, ensuring that safety is a priority from the start. “In the mid-90s, it was different because the construction industry was about finishing projects and making the customers happy. Today, those schedules have shifted – condensed even more – but the alertness of safety is more prevalent today than it was years ago.”
TP Mechanical is deeply committed to the safety of its employees and its work sites. It has been recognized a number of times over the years for its commitment to safety. The company is especially proud of having been recognized for achieving over four million working hours without a lost-time incident.
It also boasts an Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of 0.63, which is quite an attribute. The EMR is used by insurance carriers to determine risks. A rate of 1.0 is the industry average; the lower the number, the lower the risk.
The company has earned the Associated Builders and Contractors’ (ABC) Accredited Quality Contractor certification, which recognizes construction firms that demonstrate a commitment to five key areas of corporate responsibility: quality, safety (STEP Gold, Platinum or Diamond Level Required), employee benefits, training and community relations.
In 2014, TP Mechanical earned the ABC Safety Employee of the Year Award, the ABC/OSHA Step Platinum Level Safety Achievement Award, the ABC Step Platinum Award and the BX Ohio Safety Award. So far this year, they have received the ABC 2015 Safety Award, Step Level V (500,000+ total work hours), ABC OSHA Step Diamond Award and ABC Community Service and Outreach Award.
TP Mechanical is a certified contractor in the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), and they were the first specialty contractor to be so certified in the United States. “We have a very low employee modification rate that allows us to be able to work for customers who have very highly technical safety requirements,” explained Riddle.
TP Mechanical ensures that it gives back to the communities that support it. The company takes part in a mentorship program for contractors as well as supporting local co-operative education programs in schools that help to develop the next generation of workers.
It contributes to a number of local charities and runs several special events in support of these fundraising efforts. TP Mechanical joins with a number of charitable organizations, including local hospitals, children’s hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House, to improve the quality of life in the communities in which its employees live. “We’re trying to give back as much as we can, and it makes sense because, ultimately, we know it’s the community that supports us,” shared Riddle.