ADK Electric Corporation
ADK Electric Corporation (ADK) utilizes years of electrical contracting experience to reinvigorate systems across the country for the largest public institutions, hardware and software providers and data centers.
“We’ve been in business for 17 years,” says Kit Canaday, president of ADK. “It started out with three partners and now it’s just down to two: Dennis Kassian and myself, with one having retired. We all worked together for 20 years before we started ADK.”
At first, ADK focused primarily on Denver, Colo., but as the company grew over the years, so too did ADK’s geographical footprint. Now, the company works throughout the Front Range region of Texas and Wyoming, and has been known to work with isolated clients in such areas as Arizona, California, Utah, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio and New York.
A labor of love
ADK currently employees approximately 125 individuals, and according to Canaday, each worker is properly cared for by the company.
“We are hot and heavy on safety around here,” says Canaday. “We’ve got a patent on a piece of equipment that we haven’t put out, yet. We’re still running it through, for keeping guys safe when working around panels. We also run special training programs and visit sites weekly with a thorough checklist. The more areas that have more exposure, like working in dirt or around hot stuff, we have special processes that they have to follow in order to work there.”
Not surprisingly, Canaday is quick to add that the company’s biggest expenditure is labor. However, he says that the company does not see this as a negative. “We pay very well and have good benefits packages,” he explains. “A lot of guys have been here for between 10 and 15 years.”
In 2013, the company received the Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.’s Silver Level Step Award, which recognized ADK’s ongoing efforts to develop a quality safety program.
Working as a leader in the electrical contracting industry requires talented team members, and Canaday believes caring for employees is the best way to keep quality individuals in the company.
“We’re commercial electrical contractors, so I’ve got a guy that specializes in big tilt-up boxes,” he says. “I’ve got another guy that does a lot of public projects, big ones, like schools. I’ve got another guy that gets us into the oil fields.”
Having the capability to design and build large-scale electrical systems for the largest hardware and software providers requires more than talented individuals: it requires dedicated vendors and suppliers willing to cater to ADK’s mission as an electrical contractor.
“If you looked at our payables, it might be one or two small invoices on hold,” says Canaday. “Every project gets multiple quotes, and we have a great pool of suppliers and vendors to work with. I make sure that all the bills are paid every month and we make sure everything is cleared up as quickly as possible.”
With the backing of the company’s vendors, ADK can work with prominent insurance organizations that rank among the top 100 of the largest companies in America, according to Fortune magazine. “For one such company, ADK put together a data center that was $10.5 million in electrical and we did it in five months,” says Canaday. “We really moved on that one.” Canaday notes that the project was a design-assist platform with BCER Engineering.
Notably, ADK was also involved with the containerized versions of a software giant’s outdoor modular data centers. Additionally, the company has also completed projects for the largest satellite television and Internet providers, as well as for government facilities.
Pairing well with the company’s love of data centers is ADK’s recent implementation of digital practices. According to Canaday, ADK is using computers more and more throughout the company’s projects. From laptops to smartphones, emails to computerized corporate approvals, ADK’s administrative duties have been digitized and lifted off the company’s project managers.
The digitization of physical labor and menial tasks has helped ADK to survive the recent recession and economic roller coaster. “Businesses grow in plateaus, and it was a long time coming to get to that point,” says Canaday. “We saw it coming and had to work through that plateau.”
For ADK, working through equated to dropping from 260 employees in 2008 to the current approximation of 125. A difficult decision, says Canaday, but one that has since paid off, because the company’s current backlog is forcing ADK once again to recruit skilled workers.
“We are going to be extremely busy in 2014,” says Canaday, citing the company’s move into alternative energies, specifically a pairing up with Quantum Renewable Energy Inc., as a huge potential for future growth.
As for now, though, the team looks forward to continuing the company’s relationship with longstanding clients. Moving quickly into 2014, Kit Canaday and Dennis Kassian are proud to be at the forefront of each ADK Electric Corporation relationship.
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