By Natalie Simms
After 45 years in the heating and air business, Ware Mechanical’s Mike Littlejohn is ready to hang up his tool belt and travel the world. He will be retiring in October from the company he founded in 1984 with Bud Ware. Littlejohn is passing the business down to the next generation with his son B.J. already assuming ownership of the company.
“Bud and I had already been working about 10 years together for another company when we started Ware Mechanical in 1984,” says Mike. “I’ve been in 45 years now and its now time to get out. I’ve been working in heating and air since I got out of high school, so I’m ready to slow down.”
Littlejohn assumed sole ownership of the company in 2008 when Bud retired and has been steadily growing and maintaining the quality customer service Ware Mechanical is known for over the last 10 years.
“The industry continues to change…in the last 15 years, I’ve seen everything going to computers with electronic controls over the mechanical controls…its just all going electronic like everything else,” says Mike. “We are constantly sending our guys for training on new products.”
While there are no changes expected in the company as B.J. takes the helm, he does plan to expand the company’s technology capabilities to make workflow more efficient for their 12 employees.
“We will continue to strive for quality work and great customer service, but will also be moving forward in technology to help us be more efficient,” says B.J. “We still have all of our service tickets on paper that our guys have to fill out by hand and then return to office at end of the day. Soon we will have tablets for each truck so that we can fill out the service tickets quickly and electronically send to the office. It will make us more efficient and hopefully be able to see more customers in one day.”
B.J. has been working with his dad for the last 15 years and has already been learning the ropes of the office for the last couple of years.
“I have worked in the field for many years and been working in the office the last four or five years. We’ve been working towards this for a while, so the transition is going very smoothly,” he says.
As for Mike, he’s ready to travel with his wife. “We have a bucket list of things to see, of course, I will still be around and able to work as needed on an on-call basis,” he says.
“I am just glad to be able to hand off the company to my son rather than sell it to someone else. I am glad to have him carry it on.”
Ware Mechanical is located at 29 Riverside Industrial Park and is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Service technicians are on-call 24 hours a day and can be reached at 706-234-3051. For more information, visit www.waremechanical.com.