Experience Really Does Mattar
Mattar Services Inc. still gets a charge from its electrical contracting business
Growing up, Phil Mattar knew that if he wanted to spend quality time with his father, he needed to join his dad on jobs in his electrical company. Phil admired his industrious father who was dedicated both to his business and his family.
Phil shared his father’s passion for work, learned various aspects of the electrical contracting business and became skilled at every task. These experiences later inspired him to start his own business—Mattar Electric Inc.—in 1987.
The Mattar Electric business specialized in design-build electrical jobs that could help save money for its clients. The electrical work involved office remodels, electrical distribution and new lighting installations. The company prospered, and its staff grew to more than 40 people.
“After the recession of 2007-2009, our design-build work started to dry up,” Phil recalls. “Eventually, we realized that we needed to reinvent ourselves and broaden our service offerings.”
Restructuring Broadens Electrical Offerings
Phil and wife Melissa, who joined the company in 1989, restructured the company and changed its name to Mattar Services Inc. in order to reflect a broader range of electrical-related service offerings. Mattar Services was on the road to becoming a full-service electrical contracting company, with Melissa serving as CEO and Phil as the company’s President.
Fortunately, the new business focus worked, and nearly 14 years later, Mattar Services is firmly established as a full-service, design-build commercial electrical contracting company operating in Cincinnati, Ohio, and throughout that region.
Over the years, government incentives that reward companies for greater energy efficiency have helped drive business for Mattar Services. The measures have provided opportunities to rewire and retrofit buildings for more energy-efficient lighting that results in lower energy consumption.
In addition, the company also performs the installation of data cabling, fire alarms, security systems and generators; and retrofits existing lighting to LED lighting.
“I’m very particular about how customers and potential customers view our company,” he explains. “I want them to know that we maintain liability insurance, provide workers’ compensation to employees and ensure that our workers complete training programs. Customers need to know that they can rely on us to do the right things.
Owning Equipment Leads to More Efficient Service
“We may not be the least expensive provider, but because we own our own equipment, we can provide more efficient service,” he adds. “We factor the equipment costs into our pricing, and we can give the customer a single rate for the job. We have the experience to take on just about anything related to electrical distribution, service and equipment wiring.”
Phil and Melissa like to talk about one of their projects from 1997, which involved performing all electrical services for a Frontgate West Chester Outlet in West Chester, Ohio. The one-million-square-foot distribution facility for high-end furniture also included 200,000 square feet of offices and retail. A Mattar Services crew of up to 25 workers labored at the site for approximately three years.
“We did everything electrical for them from the ground up, such as installing underground utilities and their own substation,” Phil says. “We installed lighting, power wiring, generators and lighting for their retail space as well as lighting for their entire building and property.”
Contractor Relationship Puts Mattar Services on Map
That project was awarded to them by Schumacher Construction Co., a general construction company that builds commercial, industrial and institutional facilities primarily in southwest Ohio. After building a strong relationship on the Frontgate facility, Mattar Services teamed with that firm for many area projects, including banks, a car dealership, a custom flooring distributor and a moving and storage facility—to name only a few.
“Working with Schumacher Construction really helped put us on the map,” Phil stresses.
Another Mattar Services project involved installing all underground utilities and electrical distribution for Crestview Hills Town Center, a 100-acre outdoor shopping center located in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. More than 50 stores are located in the center and Mattar Services performed electrical work for many of them.
One significant design-build project involved Lightning Source, a printer and distributor of on-demand books. The firm reached out to Mattar Services to design and install the electrical systems for its 100,000-square-foot facility located just a few miles from Mattar Services’ home office in Fairfield, Ohio.
“We started that work in 2010 and the project lasted for about 10 years,” Phil recalls. “It is one of the most modern printing facilities in the world. We worked closely with German engineers in order to design and install all electrical distribution, wiring of controllers for robots, printers, data, lighting, dehumidifiers and more for the company. Our Lightning Source work evolved over time…this was a great project for us.”
Key Players Essential to Company Success
Phil and Melissa express praise for Ross Baecker, Senior Estimator and Project Manager, who has been with their company for 22 years.
“Ross started as a field electrician (journeyman) with us on the Frontgate project. He is a sharp guy who is hard working, punctual and conscientious,” Phil says. “He’s evolved into a really great supervisor; every job he’s headed for us has made money.”
Ross performs most of Mattar Services’ estimating and also does design-build work.
Nik Wind, Field Supervisor with Mattar Services for 18 years, is the company’s go-to guy in the field.
“Nik is on-site every day on all of our jobs, and he is great at helping guide our younger electricians in their work,” Phil says.
Word-of-Mouth Essential Part of Marketing
To market the company, Mattar Services advertises on local talk radio, posts information on billboards and hands out lots and lots of business cards.
“Fortunately, I’d say about 85% of our business is repeat business and word-of-mouth. And, of course, we rely on The Blue Book Network® for many of our business leads,” Phil says.
Mattar Services offers competitive pricing and ensures that customers have direct access to Melissa and Phil. The owners pride themselves on the firm’s adaptive range of electrical services.
“There’s nothing in electrical that we can’t do,” Melissa says. “We find ways to do things more economically for customers because we’ve been doing this for so long. I think customers appreciate our honesty, and they trust us to give them options, based on our extensive knowledge and experience.”
Melissa, who graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in business management and fashion merchandising, served as a regional manager for Berman’s Leather and opened a number of retail stores for the organization prior to joining her husband at Mattar Services.
“With Phil’s electrical knowledge and my business knowledge, we’ve become an indestructible team,” she says. “Over the years we’ve had projects that made money and some that didn’t. We’ve made both good and bad decisions, but it’s all added up to nearly 35 years of experience.
She adds, “That experience and our talented team make up the backbone of our company.”