SIGMA Services Inc.
Vivian Solodkin founded SIGMA Services Inc. (SIGMA) in 1999 as a small electrical contractor in southern California. A certified electrical engineer with years of experience in her field and acting as construction superintendent before forming the business, Solodkin was well-prepared.
“When I first started SIGMA, my goal was to be an electrical contractor and do things better,” she explains. “I quickly got into more general construction projects. I focus primarily on federal government projects. Working with the federal government, they want a one-stop shop. Back then, we could easily answer their electrical concerns, but they wanted us to get more into general construction. It was not very difficult to go in that direction. One thing that is nice about the federal government is, if you get in with them, you have a good customer. If you do a good job, they’ll come back to you.”
However, Solodkin is quick to note that is not all SIGMA is capable of. “We are not all construction, though,” she says. “We have an established division specializing in property preservation and maintenance, working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.”
The construction division operates across the state, although Solodkin is looking to expand the company’s services into surrounding states. The property preservation division already works in several states, including Michigan, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Texas. We used to be SIGMA Construction, but when our other division was working out of state, our trucks still said that. We aren’t licensed in those states as a contractor, so we changed the name to better fit our services.”
Recent Projects and Initiatives
SIGMA’s continued relationship with federal agencies offers the company unique opportunities to participate in government projects. “I’ve done quite a bit of work with military bases, Veterans Affairs hospitals, the Army Corps of Engineers and agencies like that,” says Solodkin. “A lot of our work has been either as prime contractor doing electrical upgrades for general construction, as well as tenant improvements at hospitals and military bases. We have also done five or six solar projects.”
As a general contractor, SIGMA relies on a network of reliable contractors to complete projects successfully. “We are always looking for small business contractors,” Solodkin notes. “We want to help them out, having been there ourselves.”
The team recently completed a project in El Centro, Calif., for the Department Homeland Security, at the agency’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility. “We put in a 1500 kW diesel generator that completely backs up facility,” Solodkin elaborates. “They were having issues with power going out in the summer months. They wanted to replace two existing generators, but we talked them into using one big generator to back up the whole facility. It has been up and running since January.”
Solodkin favors solar projects, challenging initiatives that allow her to flex her expertise while working toward a more sustainable future. “We had a small one at Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura County,” she recounts. “We installed solar lights on existing poles there, much like the streetlights you see just about everywhere. We also put in a small, 25 kW solar panel for the facility on the roof, which was a design-build project.”
Maintaining and Building Partnerships
The business’ diversity has helped Solodkin and her crews remain steady throughout the recession. “We were hit pretty hard in 2009 through 2011 with construction,” she explains. “Fortunately, at that time we had our property preservation division to keep us afloat. The construction division took a big hit. Now we are in the process of getting things back up and running. We are not quite at the levels we were before, but hopefully we are on our way. Here in California, economy is still tough. We are not seeing the projects we used to.”
With previous success in branching out, Solodkin is again diversifying the business. “We are starting a new division,” she elaborates. “We are looking to get more into facilities maintenance and management for commercial buildings. With that, we are trying to stress energy efficiency, sections audits and upgrades. We can go in there, do an audit, tell our customers what they need to upgrade and then we can actually make these upgrades for them.” The maintenance program will bring in another round of long-term customers, while allowing the SIGMA team to break into new markets.
Over the next few years, SIGMA will settle into further vertical integration. Despite the growth the team is experiencing, Solodkin is sticking to five founding principles, and an acronym that has become the company’s namesake. “Safety, Integrity, Guaranteed quality, Maximum results and Alliances: that is the SIGMA Services Inc. way.” With Solodkin at the helm, SIGMA Services Inc. will reign on.
For more information about SIGMA Services Inc., please visit: www.sigmaservices.net.
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