Bornquist Inc.

BornquistBornquist Inc. makes things easy for clients with its products and services.

By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Publishing

When customers have questions about the products Bornquist Inc. offers, they can count on getting clear answers from the experts on its staff. “Technical expertise has been one of the reasons we’ve been so successful,” HVAC Sales Manager Dan Watkins says.

Chicago-based Bornquist Inc. represents product lines for the HVAC, plumbing, industrial and architectural markets for clients in the Chicagoland area, as well as northern Illinois and eastern Iowa.Bornquist info box

Founder George Bornquist started the company in 1937 after working for Bell & Gossett, a provider of pumps, circulators and heat exchangers that they still represent to this day.

Bornquist Inc. has grown to a recent peak of 70 employees and has two principal locations in Chicago and East Moline, Ill. The East Moline office came from the company’s acquisition of The John A. Sandberg Company, which in addition to traditional HVAC and plumbing lines, specializes in access doors, toilet partitions and bathroom accessories.

Today, “We maintain the Sandberg name, not only because we appreciate the value of our various brands, but appreciate the brand Sandberg has,” President David Everhart says.

“We’re also proud of the manufacturers we represent,” he says, noting that its top lines include Xylem/Bell & Gossett Pumps, SPX/Marley Cooling Towers, AERCO Boilers and Danfoss Variable Speed Drives. Bornquist tries to carry products that are innovative and competitively priced. 

These lines already are/or must have the potential to be one of the top three performers in our market. “We want to be the most recognized, reliable, efficient and easiest to work with in the industry. Many of our top lines are also locally manufactured, in Chicago and in the Midwest. Bell & Gossett Pumps, Metraflex and Danfoss are all manufactured in Illinois. Danfoss, Marley Cooling towers, Watts-Radiant and Bock Water Heaters are all manufactured in the Midwest. “ 

An Experienced Team

Bornquist Inc. employs an experienced inside and outside staff, which includes Everhart, who joined the company in 1988 after graduating from Purdue University. “I interviewed with Bornquist and several other rep firms,” he recalls, noting that he chose the company and never looked back.

Watkins also joined the firm in 2001 after graduating from The University of Illinois at Chicago. Initially, “I started in inside sales,” he says, adding he later moved to outside sales and began serving various customers, including wholesalers, contractors and end users.

Everhart credits Bornquist Inc.’s success to its people, many of whom have been very loyal and have decades-long tenures. The company has nurtured this loyalty by providing them with autonomy. “We give people a fair amount of latitude to make their own niche in the organization,” he says. “Bornquist’s inside and outside staff lead our industry with experience, including the manufacturers that we represent.”

He praises the company’s estimating department, which “does more than just estimating,” Everhart asserts. “We’re building it out with more and more talented engineering people so we’re able to provide more design and application assistance.”

Everhart also highlights its Integrated Design Engineering Assistance (IDEA) Group, which focuses on optimizing the performance of its systems by selecting equipment more carefully and by pairing together the strengths of the specific brands that they represent. “It’s also a training group for our future salespeople, as they transition out,” he adds. “You have to know your way around a project. The concept of the IDEA group is to provide our customers with the same system performance, and more efficiency, for less money, by intelligently using the strengths of our comprehensive equipment package.” 

The same single-source mentality also saves customers time and money because issuing a single purchase order to one vendor means there is only one place to go for project management and any performance, service and warranty requirements. 

Service Focused

Bornquist Inc. currently stands as a leader in its market, particularly as it services clients with hydronic HVAC products in the Chicagoland area. As it does this, “We try to become synonymous with the manufacturers we represent,” Everhart says. 

The company also strives to provide more value-added services to its clients as its market becomes more competitive. This has set Bornquist Inc. apart from some of its competitors, who have stripped down the services they provide, he says.

Bornquist co-operates with their manufacturers and local service contractor partners to provide warranty and service support. For example, its service department operates with the goal of supporting its sales department with such tasks as factory authorized warranty service and trouble shooting. “We always have the attitude that our equipment operating correctly is our major focus,” he says.

Bornquist Inc. also operates with the mantra that it is “calling on the customer to save them time,” Everhart adds. “We’re trying to bring them products that save them time, ideas that save them time and services that save them time.

“We also believe customers buy on risk as much as they do on price,” he says. “We’re trying to reduce their risk.” 

Making Updates

Bornquist Inc. has several projects in the works that bring Everhart pride, including updates to its website. “We’re adding new content [and plan] to do that on a regular basis,” he says. 

Bornquist has recently redesigned their website so that it is a “window” into all of the manufacturers they represent. “All of the manufacturers we represent, including their design tools are easily accessible and featured there. 

“We have also recently added more consistent blogs about our manufacturers and the systems we provide, and will soon add our own tools for equipment selection and finding our loyal wholesale distribution partners.” 

The company also is always looking for good, self-motivated people. “With some of our icons in the industry retiring soon, we’ve been hiring and developing new employees to create their own legacy,” Everhart says. “We’re proud of our culture in the company [and plan] to maintain it while incorporating more modern attitudes.”

One aspect of its culture that Bornquist, Inc. will continue is providing flexibility to its employees. For example, “We’re very proud of our family focus.”

Everhart sees a strong future ahead for Bornquist Inc., which will continue on its current path when it comes to its work environment. 

But Everhart and Operations & Technology Manager Dennis Casimiro predict some changes. “We’re going to have to be more flexible with different approaches to our market. We believe that to be more successful our company needs to embrace the way technology fits into everything we do, from office and communication tools to cutting-edge integrated equipment controls, to whatever the future brings.” 

Corporate Head Office

Construction Today Magazine

Cringleford Business Centre
Intwood Road
Cringleford, Norwich, UK
NR4 6AU

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North American Office

Construction Today Magazine

Finelight Media
207 E. Ohio Street Suite 351
Chicago, IL 60611

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