Alcan Electrical & Engineering Inc.
Since 1972, Alcan Electrical & Engineering Inc. (Alcan) has built a trusted reputation recognized throughout Alaska for quality electrical performance. In Alaska’s extremely challenging market, Alcan has not only survived, but thrived for more than 41 years.
“It’s an ever-changing market and you have to be more proactive than reactive,” explains Scott Bringmann, president of Alcan. “You have little niches and work with certain customers, but you also need to react quickly to be successful in this market.”
The Alaskan-owned and -operated company has been navigating the challenging market since 1972. “We’re a second generation, family-owned business,” shares Bringmann. “Since my father retired, my brother and I assumed ownership. We have evolved over the years alongside the industry and although we’re no longer a small company, we’ve tried to maintain family-owned values.”
Today, Alcan serves all of the state’s largest areas, including Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau. “We cover most aspects of electrical service, from commercial to industrial, access control, telecommunications, outside line, security, oil patch work and maintenance,” notes Bringmann.
Extensive In-house Service
Alcan has had a hand in the development of many of Alaska’s office buildings, universities, hospitals, airports, schools, hotels, retail facilities, treatment plants and a variety of other critical facilities and infrastructure. From preconstruction and design-build expertise to low voltage systems, outside line construction, telecommunication cabling and equipment installation, Alcan coordinates all project requirements 100 percent in-house.
“We don’t subcontract anything; we do it all ourselves on most projects we are involved in,” ensures Bringmann. “Depending on the project we assist the utility with outside line work, but we have contracts with power utility companies that allow us to do it ourselves, as well.”
In-house service means time-saving, money-saving solutions for Alcan’s clients. The company’s design-build and preconstruction team provides electrical and telecommunications design expertise from project conception to closeout.
“We provide cost estimates for projects from the feasibility stage through contract agreements. We offer cost analysis through value engineering, constructability practices and the use of CADD to identify potential savings and constructability issues.” -Alcan’s website reads.
AlcanTel, a division on Alcan, specializes in telephone and video surveillance systems, as well as data networks, security access, wireless networks, access control and network cabling, allowing the company to address the sophisticated needs of today’s buildings. Bringmann says the company’s wide-ranging capabilities stem from a talented pool of employees.
“We have about 185 skilled tradespeople,” he details. “We have people with different strengths and who think differently, but at the same time, we’re all moving toward the same goal.”
Alcan’s portfolio and scope of work is as extensive as the company’s in-house strengths. “We have worked on a variety of facilities across the state,” notes Bringmann. “We completed the Goose Creek Correctional Center, as well as two large fish hatcheries in Anchorage and Fairbanks. We also are working on the University of Alaska sports arena and the Mantanuska Electric Association power plant.”
The Alcan team is currently finishing a remodel of Service High School, too. “We have also done numerous projects for Providence Hospital, including the TCC Transitional Care Center,” continues Bringmann. “We regularly service repeat clients; in fact, about 70 percent of our work is repeat business.”
Relying on Relationships and Diversity
Bringmann says it’s these steadfast relationships that have kept Alcan afloat during challenging economic times. “We have taken a huge hit in the government sector as a result of federal cut backs,” he explains. “There are several large military bases in this area and the work has dwindled down substantially as federal spending has slowed.”
Regardless, Alcan forged ahead, leaning on relationships and maintenance contracts established over the years.
“We just keep our name and face out there and work with the clients we currently have,” says Bringmann. “A few years ago, we had nearly 270 employees. We’ve had to cut back and reduce our crew sizes to coincide with the dip in the market here.”
Alcan also relies on strong connections with organizations such as the National Electric Contractors Association (NECA) Alaska chapter. “We’re all competitors, but at the end of the day we’re in this business together,” adds Bringmann. “As the president of the contractor’s association I wear multiple hats. I try to bring members together for better education for them and their companies. We work with the local IBEW union to come to labor negotiations, networking and educational opportunities.”
In recent years, Bringmann has seen a wave of young professionals enter both NECA and Alcan. “At one time I was the youngest guy around; I’m not the oldest, but I’m getting up there,” he reveals. “Our people are our biggest asset. It’s important to retain good people and attract the next generation and it’s refreshing to see them come up through the ranks.”
Relationships, reputation and dedicated employees have helped Alcan ride out challenging times, as well as continue to focus on a bright future. Alcan Electrical & Engineering Inc. remains Alaskan-owned and -operated as one of the biggest players in the dynamic market.
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