Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: April 2016

Maintenance - Important for Safety

Electrical distribution systems serve us on a daily basis, regardless of if we are sitting in our home, driving down the road, or at work. This important infrastructure must be maintained, if not for longevity sake, then for safety sake.


What It Takes to Be a Project Manager

Say your boss, the owner, or CEO of the electrical firm you work for came to you with some exciting news. He offers you a 500,000 hour job to manage. Of course your boss was excited. The job he just handed over to you will bring in approximately $65 million over the next 4 years. You on the other hand, although excited, are shaking in your boots just thinking about it. In the past twenty or so years of working for this firm or the three firms before it, the largest job you ever managed was 200,000 hours, and you almost lost your shirt on that project. That job was well on its way to becoming one of those “killer jobs;” the kind that everyone in the industry talks about for years. Now you’re about to look down the throat of a beast that can either make you or sink the company you work so hard for, and take everyone down with it.


Lessons from a Long-Standing Industry Leader

Being a leader is a responsibility not everyone can take on. It takes flexibility, foresight, and true ability to work with others. For Klein Tools, we’ve remained an industry frontrunner for the past 159 years by supporting our customers, adapting to change, keeping a close eye on demand, and identifying our audiences’ needs. And similar to the electricians and tradesmen we make tools for, we get out what we put in – work ethic is still number one.


4 Things That Must Be Reinforced by Leaders

Have you noticed that things tend to slip?

Yeah, you noticed that.

It’s like walking up a sand dune... if you stand still, you’ll start sliding backwards. And that’s reality for all the people in your business.

Among all the issues on your radar, there are four that you really have to reinforce. And I mean all the time. Those four are Values, Processes, Accountability, and Undivided Attention.


End in Mind - Keep Your Eye on the Ball

Keep your eye on the ball. You may have heard your coach tell you that over and over until you realized that’s just what you needed to do in order to succeed. In business, the message is the same, and it doesn’t change when it comes to electrical safety. In order to keep our eye on the ball, we need a clear understanding of what that ball is. When it all comes together, our designs, plans, and actions ensure we achieve our goals.


Becoming an Expert in Multiple Markets

So you’ve cut your teeth and made a name for yourself by carving out your own special niche in your local market. You’re now known as the go-to contractor for your specialty and it’s taken years for you to achieve that stature. You’ve watched the market fall and weathered the storm. Now you’ve been paying attention to the market around you, and while it’s coming back, you have a feeling the market is shifting and not coming back in areas that have been strongholds for you in the past. You’re suspicious that other markets are taking off, but you’re not sure they are worth pursuing. You would like to expand into other markets, but that means expanding outside of your niche market and venturing into uncharted waters. All the while still feeling a little jaded from your last experience, which ended up costing you six figures off your bottom line, and you’re still not sure what went wrong.


Knowledge Is Key to Pursuing Vertical Markets

When pursuing business growth in new, unfamiliar markets, independent electrical contractors should understand the needs of that particular market and the various product and service options available to meet those needs. They must know the characteristic challenges each particular market poses to electrical systems operation and use effective tactics and supporting tools to convey that knowledge to prospective customers.


How to Provide Value

I have been hearing Ted Garrison's [construction consultant and contributing columnist for Insights] mantra for many years now that bringing value is the key to doing business. I have to agree with that premise one thousand times over. People want value for their investment. If something is of value, people are willing to pay for it. Granted, some of it is perceived value, but nonetheless, it is value to them.