Texas-based Bird Electric‘s motto is simple: “Taking Care of Business.” The full-service electric company has been doing just that for the last 11 years, serving major energy conglomerates, utility providers and more high-profile customers as one of north-central Texas’ most trusted teams.
“We live it every day,” says Brian Bird, founder and CEO of Bird Electric. “We have grown rapidly over the last decade with the goal to provide the best service, build strong relationships – old and new – and maintain our leading safety record.” With a Total Recordable Injury Rate (TRIR) well below the industry average and an EMR of 0.62, Bird Electric’s safety record is one of the best in the business and something the company takes great pride in.
“We cover all markets, from transmission and distribution all the way down to low voltage, meeting the needs of the oil and gas industry, co-ops, utility providers and substations,” says Brian.
The company has grown considerably since Brian founded the firm out of his garage in 2004. “My father was an electrician and I worked for him when I graduated from high school in 1993,” he says. “I worked in the field for about five years learning the trade and in 1998 I started my first small electrical company.”
Although he sold the first company in 2002, Brian reached for a startup business again, launching Bird Electric. “Originally, I had a pager and some business cards and a Ford Ranger as my work vehicle,” he recounts.
Today, Brian holds his Master Electrician’s license as well as Pole Top and Bucket Rescue certification in addition to contracting licenses in Texas and New Mexico. He is responsible for all company business development, proposal development, construction and technologies.
A foothold in the Permian Basin
With five locations in Texas and New Mexico spanning Eastland, Midland, Lubbock, Pecos and Hobbs, Bird Electric is well-positioned to cater to the oil and gas industry. The company has found footing in the Permian Basin, stretching from western Texas to the southeastern part of New Mexico. The Permian Basin gives its name to a large oil and natural gas producing area that is a hotbed of drilling activity.
“Some of our customers include major players such as OXY, Chevron, Pioneer, Devon, ConocoPhillips, Apache and many more,” says Brian.
Bird Electric can deliver all of the power, cabling and controls needed to get an oil operation up and running, even in some of the most remote destinations. “Whether it’s building power lines or installing controls and pump panels or running the wires to down-hole pumps and jacks – we can do it,” says Brian. “We also specialize in automation wiring, connecting field sites to central locations.”
Bird Electric is the go-to electrician for timely repairs and critical maintenance, including troubleshooting, re-insulating, voltage conversions, fuse coordination, isolation, pole change outs, storm restoration and electrical engineering.
One of the largest oilfield projects Bird Electric has completed to date is a substation for OXY. “We finished this project in August 2014, it was several million dollars to complete and a significant amount of work,” says Brian. “We have also built some mega storage areas with motors and controls that drive everything for Pioneer Natural Resources.”
More recently, in an effort to diversify its market share, Brian says Bird Electric is tackling a handful of new projects, including fiber optic cabling, solar and wind power. “We’re now in Austin, installing fiber optic cable as a subcontractor to MasTec Construction,” he notes. “This is a major project for Google. We have been on-site for three months so far and after Austin, we’re headed to San Antonio. All together this is about five years’ worth of work.”
Rapid storm response
In the aftermath of devastating events such as Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and various storms throughout the Southwest, Bird Electric was one of the first to respond. “We’re currently working with multiple oil and utility companies to get everyone back up and running after ice storms in north-central Texas,” says Brian.
“After Hurricane Katrina, we went to southern Mississippi, around Hattiesburg to work for utilities such as Southern Pines EPA, Pearl River Valley and Coast Electric Co-op,” adds Brian. “We were in the region for about two months, restoring power to many homes. From there, we were on storm after Hurricane Rita, working with Sam Houston Electric Co-op and Jasper-Newton Electric Co-op. After Superstorm Sandy, we did a lot of utility restoration for Baltimore Gas and Electric.”
Forming alliances through safety
No matter how fast Bird Electric’s crews deploy, one standard remains at the center of any project: safety. “We take safety seriously every second of everyday,” says Brian. “The relationships we have formed with major customers are through our safety record and reputation. It’s the first indicator a customer judges the company on and the basis for any working relationship.”
Bird Electric’s employees take great pride in providing customers and fellow employees with a safe and secure job site. “Safety is always top priority,” adds Brian. “Every employee has the responsibility to prevent accident and injuries by observing established work rules, by following the directions of supervisors, by practicing the principles taught in safety training and by providing ideas on how safety efforts might be further strengthened.”
To meet and exceed safety requirements Bird Electric has a full-time safety coordinator, monthly safety inspections as well as daily project-specific safety meetings, ongoing OSHA compliant safety programs and trainings, first aid and CPR training, proper PPE and quality equipment.
A leading safety record has been one of the key driving factors in strengthening Bird Electric’s reputation and ultimately fueling future growth. “We have grown pretty rapidly in a short amount of time thanks to our dedication to safety and building relationships with our customers, acting as more of a partner,” says Brian. “Of course, this rapid growth presents challenges – mainly manpower and finding the right people – as well as financial hurdles.”
But Brian says Bird Electric has made a point to never say no to its customers. “Whatever they need, we’ll do,” he says. “Our attitude has always been to provide the best service and uphold a safe working environment. This alone has garnered new customers, even major names such as Google for example.”
Brian says the company’s ultimate goal is to surpass $150 million in annual revenue over the next five years. “With the price of oil lately that’s been the biggest push, to find new avenues to work in,” he says. “We have hired some skilled business development team members, with established relationships to help us to continue to diversify our markets.”
With a focus on “Taking Care of Business,” through service and leading safety, Bird Electric is welcoming continued growth as one of the most trusted full-service electrical firms in north-central Texas.
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