Case Studies

P1 Group Inc.

Combining Expertise to Serve Multiple Markets

P1 Group Inc. (P1) is a designation that stands for: the expertise of many, and the power of one. The Kansas-based company has been operating under this vision for almost a century, serving the nation as an industry-leading expert in electrical, mechanical and plumbing (MEP) operations.

P1 represents the conglomeration of five separate entities, each bringing specialized expertise allowing for the diversification the company is known for today. Operating under company’s current designation since 2007, P1 brings together years of experience from: AD Jacobson Company (founded in 1919), Huxtable & Associates (1927), U.S. Electrical (1955), Huxtable LT (1985) and ADJ-HUX (1993).

Consolidating the five smaller companies strengthened the overall business by combining both resources and knowledge. The merger improved not only facilities, but also safety training, project management systems and human resources, all of which added to the financial strength of P1. “We brought it all together under one brand,” explains Kollin Knox, president of P1. “It has allowed us to cover a lot of ground.”

Today P1 employs about 900 people, with 700 of those individuals in the field. Although P1 is based in Lenexa, Kan., the company also has statewide locations in Lawrence, Wichita and Topeka, Kan. The team’s reach is additionally extended with branch offices in Joplin and St. Joseph, Mo.; Des Moines, Iowa; and Las Vegas. Furthermore, P1 is licensed in 23 states, ensuring the team has the capability to service any region of the U.S., though most of its business remains in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. “We’re a national contractor doing work all over the country,” shares Knox. “However, we are fairly selective in where we travel; it is customer-driven.”According to Knox, customer relationships have occasionally taken P1 overseas because of the company’s expertise. P1 electricians are currently in China to consult on a confidential project, while one of P1’s mechanical technicians previously visited South Korea to troubleshoot boiler issues on an air base.

Diversified Service for All

Not only does P1 cover a massive geographic footprint, the company also offers a wide range of services for multiple markets. “The most interesting thing about our company is our diverse offerings,” details Knox. “Obviously, we’re a construction company, but we also have a very successful team that provides MEP service, on-site facility maintenance, as well as commissioning and energy solutions, among other things. We offer these services in so many markets, from health care to commercial and industrial to data centers. We don’t have a certain niche; we have a lot of expertise in a lot of areas.”

P1 has performed thousands of turnkey projects in a vast range of market sectors. In turn, the company has developed strong, notable working relationships with big-name clients, including Fort Riley, the University of Kansas, Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Saint Luke’s Health System.

“We’ve done some very large projects,” says Knox, “We’re very well-known for our expertise in facilities that require highly technical knowledge like hospitals. We go in and help owners with performance solutions, energy audits and basically help them find solutions to save money. It takes very skilled individuals to be able to do that type of work.”

According to Knox, there are particular projects that help to illustrate P1’s expertise in the industry, including the team’s successful completion of a $42 million contract at Franciscan St. Francis Health Indianapolis Campus. P1 performed the mechanical scope of work on the expansion, which included approximately 220 new patient beds, a new emergency room, as well as new wound care with hyperbaric chambers, a new operating suite with 10 ORs, a new cafeteria, a new bariatric unit and a 17-bed bone marrow transplant unit.

Over the past decade, P1 has made its way into the nuclear market, as well, and is quickly extending its reach. Wolf Creek Nuclear Operation Corporation (WCNOC) in Burlington, Kan., was P1’s first nuclear customer. P1 has now worked on multiple refuels and is a consistent presence at the facility, providing electrical and mechanical retrofits and maintenance.

WCNOC was so impressed with P1’s administrative and training capabilities that the nuclear facility hired P1 again. This time, P1 was contracted to develop an approved in-house training program for WCNOC that streamlined in-processing and reduced the gap between training and start of work, ultimately saving WCNOC money. The training program consisted of a blend of classroom instruction, hands-on labs, as well as web-based NANTeL (National Academy for Nuclear Training e-Learning) courses that met nuclear regulatory agency standards.

As a testament to the company’s broad base, P1 won awards in 2012 for both industrial design-build construction and commercial energy solutions. P1 was on the project team that earned a Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Honor award in the Industrial/Process/Research Facilities category for its construction services on Siemens’ US Nacelle Facility in Hutchinson, Kan. P1’s on-site facility maintenance team earned Kansas City Business Journal’s ImpacT Award in the efficiency category for its reduced energy consumption in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Training to Ensure Turnkey Success

“We don’t just come in and put the pipe in the air, or wire the building and call it good,” explains Knox. “We can take any project from conceptual design and estimating through construction and long-term maintenance.”

Of course, such skill does not come without practice. P1 takes the some commitment displayed with the WCNOC training program and applies it to in-house instruction. P1 is constantly training and furthering the company’s technicians through education. The company has a fully operational HVAC mechanical room in its Lenexa location where employees can troubleshoot and simulate problems. “We actually designed and built the entire facility,” reveals Knox.

Training to ensure quality is always a priority, but P1 has also cultivated a culture of safety with extensive safety education. The company’s continued dedication has been a catalyst in P1’s recent streak of 3 million hours worked without a lost-time incident, which marks the second time in the past five years the company has reached that milestone. Additionally, P1 was a one of three national finalists for the AGC of America Construction Safety and Excellence Awards in the Specialty Division with more than 1 million hours worked.

P1’s highly skilled craftspeople have performed pipe fabrication work on one of the largest ethanol plants in the country. The company has also worked with the famous Bass Pro Shops, managing a dozen MEP design-build projects nationwide. For P1, a job is more than just the physical work, but the trusted relationship it builds with clients by being there through the entire process.

The year 2013 marks 95 years in business for P1, of which some time has been smooth, while other years have been more difficult. “We’ve certainly felt the impact of the struggling economy, but there aren’t many companies in our industry that are in a better position than we are,” shares Knox. “We made a conscious decision to invest money in our people and technology. We’re going to work our way through the economic downturn and see a nice increase in revenues for 2013.” Due to P1’s highly skilled and diversified team, P1 Group Inc. will continue to remain an industry leader after nearly a century of success.

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