Bill’s Electric Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
In 2012 Bill’s Electric Inc. (BEI) can celebrate a history that dates back almost 70 years. Bill Gregory, who started as an electrician in the mid-’40s, founded the original Bill’s Electric in 1952. The company was purchased and incorporated in 1962 by Roy Wilson, whose son Dale acquired it in 1985. Dale’s son Brandon is currently vice president and plays a key role in the company.
Dale has greatly diversified the company’s services and enhanced its revenues in the years since, but the current business has always held strong to the long tradition of doing “what it takes” to get the job done right. It takes a special electrical contracting company to make it this long, and it takes an even more rare one to feel like its just getting started. That is the attitude of BEI – a strong, principled and professional company that looks at every job as a chance to exceed customer expectations.
A Wealth of Services Across Four States
BEI began in southwest Missouri and continues to be known in that area as a company providing premier electrical service and additional value to the region’s residential, commercial and industrial customers. Whether handling critical planning and project management, automation, motor controls, machinery hook-ups and control panels or navigating the complexities of remodels to new projects, BEI is equipped to manage all electrical requirements at every level from small residential installations and repairs to multimillion-dollar ground-up construction.
The firm serves a four-state area that includes Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. In order to provide quick and convenient solutions BEI maintains between 160 and 250 employees split between three strategically placed locations: Webb City, Mo., Springfield, Mo., and Lowell, Ark. The foremost objective of the firm is to build long-lasting relationships with its clients. BEI accomplishes this by maintaining a strict commitment to quality workmanship and excellent service, while giving every project its undivided attention. No matter the size or difficulty of the project, BEI provides an unparalleled level of attention to the work at hand.
BEI offers its clients additional value through its use of design-build services. The firm is involved from the conceptual design stage through the physical wiring of electrical systems. This can include anything from service sizing, lighting applications, and power requirements to custom industrial control panels to operate machinery. “We have very good relationships with general contractors, architects and engineers, and they look to us for design-build input that goes into a project in order to keep the cost reasonable,” says Cheri Straughn, chief estimator and project manager at the firm. “When they’re looking to keep costs down they turn to us.”
In addition to design-build work, BEI provides ongoing, year-round maintenance for retail centers, commercial property owners and property managers. The company also does emergency after-hours services. Customers feel like they are in good hands 24/7 when they are with BEI.
Powering Healthcare for the Region
Some of the clients that trust the firm the most are those in the institutional and healthcare fields. Working within this marketplace can be tricky, and requires detailed and exhaustive collaboration with architects, general contractors, subcontractors, inspectors and material suppliers. There is significant coordination that must go on across trades involved in the process. BEI’s longstanding relationships over its six-plus decades are a key factor when working on such difficult projects.
Straughn points to two healthcare projects in particular as examples of the firm’s capabilities, explaining, “We recently completed a project for Cox Hospital in Springfield, Mo. This consisted of the addition of three 1.5-megawatt generators and redistribution of the emergency power system. It was a massive, very intricate project to take power down and get it back up while the hospital was still occupied. It needs to be done strategically, and there’s no room for error because the hospital can’t cease operations.”
In addition, the firm is in the middle of a project for the VA Hospital in Fayetteville that’s lasted several years already. This is a multimillion dollar electrical project.
Straughn also mentions some of the commercial projects the firm has undertaken recently since the May 22 tornado took out much of the city. “We provided the power for a temporary Home Depot in Joplin, Mo.,” she says. “They are set up in a tent with a new store going up right behind it. We are also working on the new store and it is scheduled to be complete in November 2011. We’ve been asked to look at the possibility of taking the temporary distribution system for the tent and reinstalling it on a mobile trailer so they can utilize it in the future. We’re just in the talking stages right now, however, but the idea is to design a trailer and make the electrical distribution equipment mobile.”
The mobile facility is just one example of many where BEI goes above and beyond for the client. It’s this dedication and commitment to the customer that have contributed to the company’s longevity. The firm is pleased where things stand, and are excited for the future. “The plan is to continue on the path that got us here by focusing on continued growth and work at a steady pace for the next few years,” says Straughn.
The company may be over 60 years old, but it’s full steam ahead for Bill’s Electric Inc.
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