Davis, Pickering & Company Inc.
Charles A. Pickering founded a small electrical company in 1937 as Pickering Electric Company. After more than 75 years, the company has grown substantially and is now in its third generation. Chuck Davis and Charles A. Pickering’s grandson, Chip Pickering, formed Davis, Pickering & Company Inc. (DPC) in 1989, acquiring Pickering Electric’s assets. Chuck served as president of DPC from 1989 to 2009.
“I started here as an estimator in 1994,” explains Jeff Williamson, current president of DPC. “Before that, I got my start through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers [IBEW] Apprenticeship Program. With that experience I became interested in the estimating side of the business.” From the home office in Marietta, Ohio, Williamson leads the large team through unique and challenging projects in the industrial sector.
With 100 employees, the team operates throughout its home state of Ohio, as well as Indiana and West Virginia. With an experienced team, including a top notch safety department, DPC has satisfied the needs of many major clients. The company performs electrical contracting for companies such as DuPont, AEP and other major industrial companies.
DPC is currently working on a large decommissioning project at a uranium enrichment plant in Ohio, which involves work to allow the safe shutdown of the facility. “It has been a great challenge for us,” Williamson says. “We are working under federal guidelines, which may present more opportunities for federal work in the future.”
The company is also undertaking a major hydroelectric generation project in West Virginia. “It’s a $10 million project and we should be finishing up next fall,” Williamson elaborates. “Manpower will peak at 40 electricians in 2014, and we have been there about 18 months so far. We have another hydroelectric project in the works, as well.”
DPC works diligently to create and maintain relationships with everyone involved on a project, including clients, subcontractors and suppliers. “We self-perform about 80 percent of our work,” Williamson elaborates. “We sub out excavating work and mechanical when it is part of our contract. We have established a partnership with State Electric Supply Company. We have regular meetings with them to discuss past performance, and upcoming projects on what to do differently, and what we did well. They have done a great job in coming up with innovations to help our projects move more smoothly and efficiently.”
According to Williamson, some of the most important relationships at DPC are with its employees. “Even throughout the recent recession, when many contractors had difficulty maintaining work for employees, our leadership has been in recovery mode,” he continues. “Our biggest concern was being able to keep profitable work in order to maintain key people. Both 2009 and 2010 were slow and we had to reduce staff, but we worked very hard during that recessionary period. We spent a lot of time pursuing education to become leaner and more efficient in our industry. We were able to retain or get a lot of our staff back, which made coming out of the recession easier. We also used our slow time during the recession to further develop our safety program.”
Williamson foresees gradual recovery in the market. “Things are looking up,” he elaborates. “We have a marketing program focused on getting our name out there. The program uses projections of what we want to do each year and then develops strategies to meet those goals. We keep an eye on market trends to decide which areas to grow into.”
However, Williamson is quick to note that safety continues to be a major component of DPC’s business. “We employ two full-time safety coordinators,” he says. “We also have other full-time safety professionals assigned to specific job sites. We have experienced continued improvement over the last few years in the level of safety awareness and the quality of our project management. I am really proud of the quality of our employees. We have some fantastic people here who really care about each other and about DPC. All of our employees are very professional and get along well with each other. We are a very strong team.”
As the company continues to grow, Williamson is looking ahead to the future. “I see a continued focus in the higher level industrial market,” he says. “We are increasing our capabilities with utilities. There is also an abundance of oil and gas work going on in our area and we expect to have significant work in this market. In the long term, we plan to stay with industrial customers.” With a strong dedication to both safety and quality, Davis, Pickering & Company Inc. has a promising future in the electrical contracting industry, providing complex electrical solutions to a number of clients with varying needs.
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