(September 18, 2019) — Scrambling to meet growing demand in a strong construction economy while also retooling operations to reflect a changing industry, electrical contractors are faced with a challenge akin to changing a tire on a moving vehicle. They must keep their eyes on the busy road in front of them but also make sure their businesses are ready for the long haul and changing road conditions.
“Construction is following in the footsteps of industrialization,” says Clay Scharff, president and CEO of ArchKey Solutions (No. 12), a St. Louis-based electrical contractor formed in 2018 to bring together two operating subsidiaries for greater synergy, collaboration, and customer responsiveness (St. Louis-based Sachs Electric and Minneapolis-based Parsons Electric). “It’s been slow to come and talked about for years, but now the pain is great enough to force a change. Industry data tells us the size and complexity of projects are growing exponentially, while our industry is not (keeping pace).”
Since the 1930s, Sachs Electric has been the preferred electrical contractor for the St. Louis Cardinals, and for almost two decades Parsons Technologies has facilitated A/V event support and system maintenance at Busch Stadium. Both Sachs and Parsons are ArchKey Solutions Companies.
Miller Electric Co. (No. 25), Jacksonville, Fla., also sees pressure growing for electrical contractors to adapt to an evolving construction industry.
“Our industry has a reputation of being slow to adopt new technologies, but that’s changing over time as the world becomes more digital,” says Kyle Hensley, chief financial officer, adding that the company now has an executive solely responsible for guiding Miller’s digital transformation.
CSI Electrical Contractors partnered with DPR Construction to provide electrical construction to Behr Paint headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. The team renovated this three-story building, including a new gym, an indoor-outdoor space, offices, and more.
At Sprig Electric (No. 32), San Jose, Calif., eyes are on the horizon, trying to assess how a changing electrical infrastructure could ultimately impact traditional electrical contractors in the future.
One of the company’s long-term challenges, says President and Chief Information Officer Mark Mandarelli, is “managing the [impact of the] industry’s transition to low-voltage applications for what was traditionally electrical work. ‘Smart’ buildings with many more digital devices incorporated will affect how a building operates and how things are designed, installed, and managed.”
Sprig Electric ranks 32nd in EC&M’s 2019 Top 50 Electrical Contractors
AJ Ramirez, 669-230-4481
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