Case Studies

Henderson Services LLC

Providing Three Generations of Electrical Services
  • Written by: Henderson Services LLC
  • Produced by: Henderson Services LLC
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Harry Henderson founded Henderson Services LLC (Henderson) – then known as Henderson Electric Company – in 1919, with a team committed to providing only the best customer service. The young entrepreneur grew his business selling electrical products and equipment even through the tough economy of the Great Depression. Harry probably never dreamed that nearly 100 years later his company would still be thriving with an estimated $40 million in annual revenue.

Henderson has become one of Kentucky’s leading providers of electrical services. The team offers electrical construction, engineering, data center work and technology installations in addition to day-to-day facility maintenance for a large commercial and industrial customer base. According to Bruce Henderson, current president of Henderson, the company has grown far beyond its modest beginnings and now features a staff of 250 employees and contracts across the state.

Bruce – who categorizes himself as a baby boomer – grew up in the business, along with his brother Rod Henderson, co-owner of Henderson. Bruce and Rob’s father, Rodger, was a decorated World War II veteran who had worked with Harry nearly all his life. It was only natural for Rod and Bruce to follow suit. “There are not many third-generation companies in our industry,” says Bruce proudly.

The fact that the company has survived the industry’s hard times is a point of pride. According to Bruce, the company has never let employees go during strapped financial times. Instead, Henderson cut back in other ways while pursuing different aspects of the market. In recent years the company has expanded services into the technology sector. Installing and maintaining various aspects of modern technology has helped keep Henderson afloat during lean times.

Where Safety is Standard

Henderson established a safety culture that begins from the top down, and the team is committed to providing a safe work environment for employees and clients alike. It is evident that working with electricity can be dangerous if specific safety guidelines aren’t followed or complacency is present. Therefore, the company requires its staff to complete a variety of training modules. Basic safety training is a three-hour commitment, while other training modules can consume over five hours of time. Each team member is encouraged to take extra care with every job and to follow safety protocol for every task, no matter how routine.

The company’s training requirements have proved successful in maintaining safe work environments. According to the company’s website, Henderson has surpassed 2.5 million hours without a lost time injury. This statistic has led to the receipt of the Gold Safety Award from Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Outstanding Safety Performance Award from Toyota Motor Manufacturing and the NECA Safety Excellence Award, just to name a few.

Henderson is proud to receive recognition for the company’s safety measures. With major companies like Toyota on the company’s client list, Bruce details that safety goes beyond working with live electricity. Safety is important not only for the team, but for the customer, as well. Working for large industrial factories requires extra attention to detail. Employees are asked not only to do the task at hand, but also to be aware of their surroundings. The level of risk is high for the company’s employees, as many of the factories Henderson works in produce chemicals and have large equipment with additional safety factors to consider. According to Bruce, it is important that his employees go home each night to their families.

Big Accounts

“The Henderson family name is well recognized in Kentucky, but so are the company’s clients,” says Bruce. “Churchill Downs is one of our oldest clients. They’ve been with us for over 65 years.”

Churchill Downs is famously known for hosting the annual Kentucky Derby. Henderson provides a whole team to the thoroughbred racetrack on the day of the event. The team ensures the lighting is right, the loud speakers are working and the set up for media crews is adequate. A smaller team stays with the racetrack year round to meet the day-to-day operational needs.

Teams, such as the one dedicated to Churchill Downs, are provided for many of Henderson’s clients. These teams are well trained to work for a specific client, which helps Henderson provide the best quality work and service to that client. Bruce reports that this sets his company apart from other contractors in the area. He has also learned that customer satisfaction starts first with employee satisfaction.

“This is a family business and everybody in this building is family,” says Bruce. “When clients walk through the doors at Henderson, they are greeted by our receptionist, who is always smiling ear to ear.” The fact that she loves working for Henderson is evident, which in turn makes a good first impression on clients. “Once people come to work here, they like to stay here,” he notes.

The tradition of handing down the business to the next generation of Hendersons is one that will stop with the current generation of owners. With five children between Bruce and Rod, all have made their livelihoods in fields not related to the family business. “What do family businesses do in situations like this, do they just shut down,” questions Bruce. “Succession is a big problem.” According to Bruce, Henderson has become a brand name in Kentucky.

Since there are no immediate successors in line to take over the company, both brothers are both highly involved and proud to lead the family name. With time to figure out the succession, Bruce and Rod plan to run Henderson Services LLC for many more years to come.

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Spring 2018



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