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Columbia Business Monthly

#19 - Thomas Mechanical LLC

Dec 10, 2018 12:21PM ● By Kathleen Maris
Year Founded: 2004
Founder: Martin Lowry
Headquarters location: Laurens
Number of employees (start): 3
Number of employees (present): 50

Thomas Mechanical is a privately held company headquartered in Laurens. The company provides a wide range of construction and maintenance services including heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC), process piping (chilled water, steam, hot water, cooling water, compressed air, gases, and chemical), equipment installation, metal fabrication, and fire protection (ordinary hazard, EFSR, fire pumps, tanks). 

Thomas Mechanical’s team possesses complete turn-key capabilities including project conception, design (including professional engineer stamped drawings for permitting), construction, and commissioning.

Thomas Mechanical’s service department is focused on providing full-service solutions. The company specializes in maintenance and repair of heating and air conditioning systems, as well as replacement and upgrades of all types of equipment. Inspection and maintenance of fire protection systems is also provided by our staff.  

The company’s trained and certified technicians have extensive knowledge of VRV/VFR, package and split DX/heat pumps, chillers, boilers, gas fired heaters, cooling towers, refrigeration, and controls/building automation systems.

What’s in store for your company?
Martin Lowry (President): The construction market continues to be strong and we plan to capitalize on this strength to grow our business. This will be a responsible controlled growth that will further our reputation of providing quality services to our customers. Our growth will likely be organic, but we will always look at any opportunity to grow by acquisition as well.

What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry?
Change in the construction business is slow, but we do see more opportunities in the design-build segment. It currently represents a large portion of our business, and as more projects are required to be fast tracked, we see this continuing. Thomas Mechanical is very well positioned to capitalize on this trend.

What word of advice, if any, has shaped your career and who gave it or where did you read it?
I’m not sure where I read it or heard it but, “Surround yourself with good trustworthy people who may not always tell you what you want to hear but have the company’s best interests in mind.”

What are you doing to make sure your company sticks around for the long haul? 
I’m a huge believer in watching cash flow and limiting debt. We survived the last U.S. financial crisis by subscribing to this philosophy, and it will serve us well for long-term sustainable success.

What is your preferred method of communication — phone call, text message, email — and why?
I use them all.  I prefer text for short succinct messages, email for things that need to be documented, and calls for discussion purposes.

Given the ease and ability to be engaged in work 24/7, how do you and how often do you break free from the job?
I don’t break free from work often.  I’m still very much involved and engaged in all our projects, but I’m trying to be more managerial as we grow.  Hopefully that will enable me to break free more often.  I like to tell our people, “I just want to know what time it is. I don’t need to know how the watch is made.”