BCU Electric Inc.
- Written by: Jeanee Dudley
- Produced by: Sean O'Reilly
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Ben Uselton established BCU Electric Inc. (BCU) in 1990 after working for more than a decade in the electrical construction market. Uselton began his career in 1978, working as an apprentice for a local contractor. Over the years, he worked in a number of high-performance industrial settings, learning from experience and building relationships with industry colleagues. His experience and knowledge of the industry have allowed Uselton to build a company with a strong niche in industrial electrical work, specifically wiring conveyor systems for a range of large distribution centers.
As BCU approaches 25 years in business, Uselton’s staff has grown from two to 73 people, including a team of skilled electricians. With a headquarters in Ashland, Ohio, the company works nationally, with licenses across the U.S. The company’s relationship with the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) helps keep the team informed and presents opportunities throughout the country on a regular basis.
Besides a niche in material handling systems, BCU has its share of the local market, as well. The company has a strong hold in the industrial market performing electrical installations, control system design, programming and panel fabrication.
Keeping customers moving
“Our niche in material handling systems really sets us apart,” Uselton says. “We wire conveyor systems and perform wiring for big distribution systems. Material handling is huge now. We work with a lot of big conveyor companies and we are working on projects like this in nine states right now.”
Conveyor work is challenging, specifically due to the tight scheduling that is typical for these projects. BCU works on a repeat basis in facilities, such as Walmart, which typically consists of a 48-hour window per project.
These projects generally consist of teardown, removing existing machinery and replacing it physically before Uselton and his team wire up systems. “Once we get it wired, the programmers have to go in and get it fine-tuned,” he explains. “We now have three in-house controls engineers, which means we can build control panels and perform programming. We are also in the data and fiber side of these projects.”
This diversification has helped the business to grow, particularly in the demanding material handling market. Clients benefit from BCU’s integrated services through cost and time efficiency.
Recent projects in material handling include work for Dollar Tree, Amazon, Lowes, Home Depot and other large distribution centers. The crew also performs pre-wiring for conveyor systems that ship overseas.
Within the materials handling industry, BCU has recently established a growing relationship with a company involved in tire processing plant construction. This heavy-duty market sector holds promise with a number of challenging, high-power projects coming up for the crew.
Standing apart from the crowd
With a strong focus on a specific sector of the industrial market, BCU is able to provide value to customers through integrated services. “Our services are not the cheapest in our industry, but we feel we provide the best value,” Uselton explains. “Safety is our priority and we take pride in the training our team has gone through. In this industry, we really only sell three things: labor craftsmanship, scheduling and price. When you combine those three factors, we offer the best value.”
Uselton’s employees work alongside manufacturers within the conveyor market in order to deliver the best results. The team is selective about projects, a factor that has helped BCU remain stable throughout the economic downturn and beyond. The company works with suppliers, subcontractors and clients who are on the same page as far as project goals. The result is a network of lasting relationships in the industry that is enhanced by BCU’s involvement with NECA.
Networking has been one of the greatest NECA membership benefits for BCU. “It is great to be able to connect with other people in our industry who take this work seriously,” Uselton says. “Our colleagues have a lot of resources, documentation and history, so if we need help with something, we can call NECA or another member to figure out how to resolve an issue.”
Uselton has also served on the NECA board, as well as several committees. He knows that involvement is vital to the industry. Apprentices and seasoned electricians benefit from training and networking opportunities. On top of that, NECA holds a large stake in promoting legislation that benefits workers, companies and the economy in general.
Relationships with industry partners and clients will continue to play a major role in the company’s success moving forward. Within the business, Uselton takes pride in low turnover and a team of dedicated, experienced employees. BCU is a close-knit group, comprised of professionals dedicated to the success and timely delivery of every project.
This dedication has resulted in a reputation for quality performance. Clients trust BCU to provide integrated, turnkey solutions quickly and efficiently. With a growing set of capabilities, the business is able to offer more to customers as time goes on. After more than 25 years, the company remains devoted to the high standards of quality that have made BCU Electric Inc. a leader in the industrial electrical market.
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