Nomad Group Travels North America to Keep Restaurant HVAC Systems Running Smoothly
For the people at Nomad Group, the name is more than where they work, it’s a way of life. Based in Pueblo, Colorado, the company has helped set up HVAC, controls, and other systems for hundreds of restaurants in 49 states and Canada. If in-person troubleshooting is required, somebody will be making travel plans.
“We’ve set ourselves up as a rapid response team at times,” said Bill Burnett, Nomad’s founder, and CEO. “First and foremost, we’re committed to our customers, and sometimes that means getting on an airplane that evening and troubleshooting a problem in person. Not everybody can do that.”
At Nomad, Bill has created a hybrid between a medium-sized company and a small family business. His children – Adam, Alex, Amanda, Christine, and Shane – are all Nomads, as well as his sons-in-law, Tommy Byrd, and Luke Clayton. Nomad Group integrates HVAC, lighting, audio, patio fans and heaters – anything that can be managed from a single wall control system. Like Trane, they are committed to improving indoor air quality, reducing energy consumption, and ensuring the temperature is always just right.
Control Systems Integrate Everything
Bill and his team began installing restaurant lighting setup and control. But as lighting and other features became more automated, he saw how powerful control systems could be to make restaurants more comfortable for guests, save energy and help troubleshoot problems.
“We realized that there was an opportunity with the air conditioning to connect it more intelligently and actually know what's going on,” said Bill. “Chris St. John and others at Trane saw the value, and around 2008 we began integrating the controller with a tablet interface.”
In addition to giving individual companies more insights into their systems, this approach connects Nomad to more than 300 restaurants in North America, giving them critical details to remotely manage problems and keep their systems running optimally. It’s not dissimilar to the computer diagnostics auto mechanics use to help repair cars – except in this case the car never has to leave the driveway. Having designed so many integrated control systems, Nomad has special insights into how they work.
“If a restaurant calls with an issue, we have all of the documentation from when it was built,” said Bill. “We can reference that as we're talking to them or talking to the contractor. We always encourage our customers to call us, even if they’re dealing with an issue that’s not necessarily ours. We have confidence we can solve their situation.”