Excel Electrical Technologies
Excel Electrical Technologies, Inc. (Excel) was founded in 2002 by Alan Green and Steve Fowler. A few months later Excel purchased the assets of Encompass Electrical Technologies of Georgia, Inc. (EET f/k/a Regency Electric Company Atlanta Office, Inc.). EET’s management team, support staff and field employees immediately transitioned to Excel. Fowler had been the President of EET for 12 years prior to starting Excel. Also joining Excel as shareholders were Rick Wells, Randy Sossamon and Nancy Hanna. Wells and Sossamon had previously run business units for Encompass/Regency in Orlando, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C. Hanna was the former CFO of Encompass/Regency’s southeast region.
The firm prospered, with earned revenue exceeding $260 million in its first seven years stemming from many diverse market segments within the electrical construction industry, including water and wastewater, institutional, judicial, healthcare, hospitality and retail, among others. Fowler, the current president, indicates that even though annual revenue dropped to around $38 million last year, the firm remains profitable. “Our short-term plan is to survive the economic downturn in a profitable position so that when the economy turns around we will have retained the financial resources and talent to take advantage of it. We’re expecting there will be less competition at that point.”
Award-winning Wastewater Facility
Fowler points to several successful, high-profile projects as examples of how Excel, which has over $125 million in bonding capacity, has prospered in recent years. Work that Excel did on the Johns Creek Environmental Campus in Alpharetta, Ga. – located north of Atlanta, in Fulton County – garnered the firm the National Award of Excellence in Industrial Electrical Construction from the Independent Electrical Contractors Association (IEC).
This design-build project, a state-of-the-art 15 MGD membrane bioreactor reuse water reclamation facility, combines the latest in innovative technology with architectural beauty. This facility houses one of the largest membrane reactors in the United States and includes advanced odor, noise and lighting controls. All of this technology is contained within an inviting campus-like setting with several buildings varying in height, size and shape, organized around a central plaza. The facility uses the wastewater treatment process as an educational tool, utilizing tours, and interactive kiosk, a lecture hall and a teaching lab to educate visitors on the issues and benefits related to water quality, water conservation, reuse water, and the value of water. In addition to Excel’s award the project has also won the following awards: 2010 ACEC/G Engineering Excellence Award – Grand Award, 2009 ACI Georgia Award of Excellence, and 2010 ACEC National Recognition Award.
One of the greatest obstacles Excel faced on this project was determining how to install concealed conduits beneath or within structural concrete, which continued to be poured, while waiting on the electrical design to be completed. Approximately 95,000 man-hours were expended completing the electrical work for the project, which included: over 460,000 feet of conduit (94-percent installed within concrete slabs, walls and columns or duct banks); over 2,310,000 feet of wire and cable; 5KV Switchgear over 100 feet in length; and 480V MCCs over 270 feet in total length.
Fowler discloses that the acknowledgment for the Johns Creek facility was actually the second year in a row the firm won an award from the IEC. The previous year, in 2008, the firm was honored for its work on the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. Excel had less than six months to complete this $3 million project, with electrical work spread throughout numerous structures and extensive site work. The Verizon project is located on 45 acres of beautifully landscaped, wooded parkland in Alpharetta. The 12,000-seat amphitheatre at Encore Park seats 7,000 under a roof, and another 5,000 on a lawn area. The Amphitheatre has quickly become renowned for its distinctive fan-shaped roof, comprised of a translucent cloth-like material, suspended over a steel-framed structural system.
Looking towards the future, Fowler indicates that the firm doesn’t anticipate growth in the near-term. “Frankly, the economy is going to have to get better. We’ll grow our business again, but you run the risk of losing everything by growing too fast or growing in a market that is too competitive. We’ll increase our revenues as long as we can maintain reasonable profit levels. We don’t want to be the largest, but we do want to be the most profitable. It’s all about risk versus reward.”
Fowler, Wells and Sossamon are the three shareholders actively running Excel. Together these three have 100 years of experience and have worked together for 19 years, during which they have managed business units that have earned almost $700 million in combined revenue.
Other companies may rashly try and expand their market presence in order to increase revenues. However, Excel’s shareholders have wisely decided to keep Excel Electrical Technologies on a path that will ensure not just the firm’s survival, but also its continued position as the preferred provider of electrical pre-construction and construction services in its diverse geographic and service markets.
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