University of Nebraska Omaha: You Know UNO, But Did You Know…
When you have a plumbing repair or emergency in your home, it’s beyond inconvenient. Now imagine what happens in a plumbing emergency at a facility that houses thousands. That’s the task facing David Meradith, Chief Engineer and Facilities Manager at University of Nebraska at Omaha. With more than 15,000 students and several thousand staff members, David knows how much time and accuracy matters. There is no time for second or third chances, and his first call is always Eyman.
“When we call, we needed them here yesterday. We have plumbers on site, and they do a fantastic job, but by the time we know we need Eyman, it’s bad.” David explained. “And when the big stuff breaks, it’s always on the weekend. Always after hours. This is good for our students, when we don’t have to shut down a building during class — but it also means there have been times we make a call at 1am. And when we do, they’ve got a man on the job by 2am.”
“For our biggest problems, Tom comes out himself. He knows this stuff, and he makes sure his staff knows it, too. It’s still nice to know he cares enough to come himself to see the job done. They have never turned a job down. They have never said “we don’t know how to do that”, and there is no other company in Omaha nearly as diverse. They do everything, and they do it right.”
Another reason David puts his trust in Eyman is the fact that the team knows who’s boss. “The Eymans make suggestions, and they definitely tell me what they think, but there’s never any pressure. They aren’t selling anything, so they aren’t there to get me to buy. They just tell us what they can do, give us options and tell us what they would choose. I can’t say a suggestion has been wrong before, and we usually end up on the same page. A few years back, we had a leak in the fire main. The guys came out and took a look and recommended it be replaced. It’s all so old — but they also said they could patch it, so we went with a patch. We figured we would revisit the problem in a few years, it had all lasted this long. It would last a few more years with a patch. A year later, the main blew 3 feet from the patch. They were right. It was time to replace it, so we finally did.”
“At some point, the line rotted right under Dodge. We called Tom because this was well above our pay grade. They looked it over and really took the time to problem solve in a really sustainable way, but the biggest problem they faced was that there was just no way to close down Dodge and excavate to get to the rot. They worked around it and pulled a new line directly through the old one, using all new material and breaking through the old clay tile. This fix has about a 200 year life span. Nobody outside of the project knew it was even happening because they did it in a way that was not disruptive to day to day operations.”
Eyman understands that the way you do business matters, and no matter how big your plumbing problem is, shutting down is a last resort, if it’s an option at all. What you do matters, and that matters to Eyman.