Zaharoni Industries Inc.
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Ian Nichols
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
Isaac Zaharoni established Zaharoni Industries Inc. (ZII) in 1975, having arrived in the United States from Israel only 13 years earlier with no grasp of the English language and just $400 in his pocket. Isaac’s drive to succeed surpassed all the odds against him, proven through ZII’s steady growth over the past four decades.
ZII evolved from a small storefront contracting operation into a multinational consulting firm in just 35 years. The firm now boasts separate divisions involved in the semiconductor industry, golf and sports apparel, energy-efficient lighting, construction and real estate development. Across all divisions, however, ZII takes equal pride in providing clients with the level and breadth of services that engender long-lasting relationships.
Built on hope, trust, integrity and the will to succeed, ZII now operates from a 72,000-square foot headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. The company employs roughly 230 professionals across a network of 13 locations in the U.S., Mexico, Canada and China, each of whom shares the Zaharoni passion.
No matter how much success the company has gained, ZII remains true to its roots. Isaac’s two sons, Gil and Dan Zaharoni, lead the family-owned and -operated enterprise. And, even at age 72, Isaac is at his desk every morning at 8 a.m.
“The business has never been just a place for me to make money,” asserts Isaac, chairman of the board of ZII. “It was a part of our family from Day One, and I wanted my wife, Suzanne, and kids to feel like they had a role to play in every aspect of what I was trying to build.”
In order to provide clients with such extensive services, ZII expects the same level of quality from each division. And the collective team respects that. Symmetry Electronics Corporation (Symmetry) represents the semiconductor distribution arm with offices in the United States, China and Mexico. Symmetry offers clients a consolidated source for sales and technical support services covering the latest in video, wireless and embedded semiconductor products.
In the golf sector, ZII provides infrastructure support services to golf products retailer Tour Golf. Tour Golf not only carries top-of-the-line brands such as TaylorMade and Titleist, but ZII has helped the retailer make waves in the industry by leveraging state-of-the-art technology to provide custom club-fitting services and swing improvement services geared for both amateurs and experts alike.
Rounding out ZII’s diverse product and service offerings, Cal Building & Maintenance Industries Inc. (CBMI) operates as ZII’s general construction subsidiary. CBMI provides a broad array of general contracting, subcontracting and building maintenance services.
“Sometimes it’s hard to keep it all straight,” states Dan, general counsel for ZII and manager of CBMI. “When you have interests in construction, real estate, semiconductors and golf, you’re putting on and taking off hats all day and often you forget which one is on your head.”
CBMI alone employs around 90 of ZII’s total employees by Dan’s estimates. The division boasts general contracting, HVAC services, electrical contracting, plumbing, and lighting retrofit services. In fact, CBMI remains one of the few contractors in the state of California holding a total of eight contracting licenses. The various licenses allow CBMI to act as electrical and plumbing subcontractor on residential development projects and as general contractor for both ZII’s real estate developments and those of other trusted clients.
CBMI also leverages its extensive resources to provide clients with 24/7 building maintenance services for both commercial and residential properties. CBMI serves clients from southern Orange County, Calif., to the northern parts of California’s San Fernando Valley.
Isaac created CBMI as an offshoot of ZII’s general contracting business in 1994 with the help of Ed Hutcherson, a licensed plumber with previous experience working at a family-owned company. The move was part of Isaac’s overall strategy of surrounding himself with the best of the best, especially is it allowed him to establish ancillary businesses to round out the Zaharoni portfolio.
Always Looking Ahead
“Isaac set the tone for the company very early on,” reflects Ed Hutcherson, longtime friend and business associate of the Zaharonis. “Isaac’s success has always been rooted in having multiple projects on his plate and we tried to do the same with CBMI. Even after the gruesome four years the construction industry has [just] experienced, we’re still here so it must be working.”
And the evolution of ZII continues. More recently, CBMI’s strong financial standing combined with Symmetry’s technological support allowed the company to implement the GPS Insight tracking system across its entire fleet of service vehicles. The move helped CBMI work more efficiently, as service technicians could simply be rerouted to clients according to which technician was closest to the job. The move also helped CBMI reinforce its reputation for providing unparalleled customer service, since service technicians spend less time tracking and maintaining timecards and more time seeing to the customer’s needs.
The new system also ensures employees work expediently and efficiently since every hour of their time is tracked automatically. CBMI can then use the system to provide additional clarity on a customer’s invoice with documentation of the hours worked by any given technician. The company even went as far as to make the tracking system available to the public through the CBMI website, which allows CBMI to provide clients with an accurate and up-to-date service time.
While CBMI’s service technicians settled into a new rhythm, the general contracting team shifted gears to break ground on a project that will set the tone for the future of CBMI’s commercial contracting operations. ZII broke ground in May 2012 on the Horizons, a 60-unit, seniors-only luxury apartment building, with CBMI providing the bulk of the construction trade services.
Horizons is geared toward the over-55 crowd, and is set on 2.7 acres in Calabasas, Calif., just outside of Los Angeles. The apartment building offers a mix of two- and three-bedroom units, complete with a fitness center, a swimming pool area with cabanas and a Jacuzzi, a courtyard and subterranean parking, with completion expected in fall 2013.
“We really believe that senior living and assisted-living facilities will be our development division’s primary focus for the next 10 years,” opines Dan. The Spanish revival-style, 98,000-square foot Horizons development doesn’t quite fit the bill of either an assisted-living facility or a traditional apartment building, as it offers both independent living arrangements along with luxuries like a full-time concierge service. The development will also offer residents house cleaning services and deliveries of meals and groceries upon request, only enhancing ZII’s variety of triumphs.
In the near future the ZII team hopes to begin work on a development of 25 half-acre lots along the Colorado River, which the company co-owns. With every new venture, Symmetry Electronics Corporation and Cal Building & Maintenance Inc. continue to make the most of the company’s extensive capabilities, including its eight contracting licenses. Such diversity only builds upon Zaharoni Industries Inc.’s reputation for providing outstanding customer service.
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