eSolutions Electrical Contracting rescues clients from trouble
Coming to the rescue; that’s how eSolutions Electrical Contracting (eSolutions) earned its reputation. Routinely, the team finds solutions to complex problems that not only correct the issue but often save clients money as well.
For example, when a wastewater plant in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, wanted to install a simple alarm circuit, the eSolutions team reviewed the drawings submitted and determined the design wouldn’t work with their current system.
“Our employee was able to determine a solution,” says Bill Batton, eSolutions Vice President. “We are problem-solvers here, not just installers. We have a team of skilled employees whom we can call upon to help customers—we don’t have to rely on just one employee.”
Batton expresses he’s most proud of the company’s talent. “Our employees understand all aspects of the electrical industry with confidence. They can sit down and look at a problem and figure out a solution in no time,” he adds.
Planning Prevents Problems
The Fairmont, West Virginia-based company was started in 2012 by Founder and President, Chris Egress. The firm has a crew of 15 employees—all licensed electricians—that provides high-quality electrical services within residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
eSolutions offers preventative maintenance to avoid unplanned downtime with regularly scheduled checks and repairs with various manufacturing companies.
The company also does thermographic imaging, which allows it to diagnose and correct any electrical issues before they happen. From there, eSolutions can determine if something is abnormal and then make the correct repairs so follow-up imaging can be done, making sure the issue does not occur.
The company handles conduit and wire projects of all types and sizes for both new and existing structures and properties. Lighting projects for parking lots, restaurants, retail and commercial offices are a few of their offered services.
“We do new installs and remodels, maintenance and repairs. LED upgrades can increase safety and productivity while saving money,” Batton explains. “We specialize in area lighting upgrades and lighting solutions so we can provide customers with a few options they can choose from that best fits the scope of work that’s right for their business and their budget.”
Batton continues, “I think we are a step above the typical electrical contractor because we truly understand the processes. We work with a variety of customers, and we strive to look at their entire project to see the areas where they can save money. Recently, we were working with a customer on their pumping system. When we arrived, we were expecting to hook up motors for a high-volume water hydration pump but we saw their flows were off. We discussed pump curves, and that’s when we figured out they didn’t have their system set up correctly,” Batton says. “After we worked on it, their pumping capacity increased from 900 gallons per minute to 3,200 gallons per minute. Being able to figure that out saved them $600 a day because they were running two pumps to keep up with demand, but they really only needed one.”
Honest, Upfront Service
eSolutions responds 24-hours a day for emergency calls. “We usually keep a few employees as our firemen for when something pops up. Since we have multiple-skilled employees, we can handle emergency calls promptly, which our customers have come to know and rely on. We triage the calls and are able to put a crew together quickly when needed and not just rely on one specific person.”
Even though the company has only been around for a short time, Batton reveals the business relationships they’ve built have led to repeat business with well-established companies. “We are a trusted residential, commercial and industrial contractor that’s worked with various Fortune 500 companies on complex jobs,” he says. “Not many businesses can say that they have accomplished this within their first year of business. These clients know we’re not there just to make a sale; we won’t necessarily tell them what they want to hear,” he explains. “We advise our clients on what is best for them, and we get a lot of return customers because they know we are honest and upfront.”
One of the company’s most interesting projects involved bringing an outdated, nonfunctioning bridge crane back to life. Bad Lizard Granite & Quartz in Clarksburg, West Virginia, had an old crane it wanted to put in the company showroom. Its leadership wanted to retrofit it and make it like new while keeping the equipment’s original appearance. After meeting with the customer and listening to their ideas, eSolutions was able to custom design and build a functioning control system, keeping the old motor, controls and wiring but also adding VFD (variable frequency drive) and wireless controls. The crane is the centerpiece of the showroom, with all the safety and functionality of a new crane to move large slabs of granite and quartz, but with a nostalgic look.
The company is also active in residential renovations. “We recently participated in a renovation of a historic West Virginia farmhouse which is featured in the June 2019 issue of Country Living magazine. eSolutions did a custom rewire and lighting system to modernize the lighting while keeping the visual integrity of the original home,” he says. “In this case, we were able to listen to the customers and interior designer to meet their very specific needs and build custom light fixtures that were beautiful, functional and also brought their ideas to life,” he says.
eSolutions works with the area’s premier custom homebuilders on various post and beam homes where they often have to come up with solutions to hide wires. “In many cases, we integrate the lighting into a traditional timber-frame build without having exposed wires.” Batton continues, “Some renovations can be challenging because the homeowners want them to be up to date and modern with all the bells and whistles but also keep a historic look.”
Batton says that one of the company’s biggest selling points is its diversity in working on commercial, residential and industrial projects.
With two locations, a newly renovated office space in Morgantown and the original Fairmont shop, flexibility has improved, he says. Employee turnover is low, which also impacts performance consistency. “Keeping good employees is our key to success. We have a pretty rigid interview process; they have to perform a few tasks to demonstrate that they know their trade. We have a strict drug and alcohol policy and conduct background checks. We are always trying to keep morale up and really listen to what our employees have to say. We ask for input and try to find ways for them to feel valued in the company because we cannot do it without them,” Batton states.
Employees are consistently challenged to learn more, too. “One of the paths to success is to continually educate yourself,” Batton says. “We are always learning because there is always room for growth in the electrical trade. We like to bring that to all of our customers.” Regular training and leadership classes are part of the team’s regimen. To engage employees, Batton says the company hosts an end-of-the-year party with various contests—for example, who is the fastest at wiring an outlet or putting in a light switch. The employees love to compete against each other with a chance to have bragging rights for the year.
Supporting the local communities is another priority for the company. “It is important for us because our customers are local and we want to give back to the community that helped make us successful—it’s a key part of our business to demonstrate that support,” he adds.
Their community involvement includes donating to area schools and sports organizations, a local hot air balloon event–Balloons over Morgantown–as well as contributing to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which funds childhood cancer research, raises awareness and supports families. Through Partners in Education, eSolutions teams up with local vocational and trade schools to help students learn what to expect post high school.
Batton reveals that one of the company’s goals this year is to gain quality relationships with commercial contractors while expanding in the region of renewable energy projects. “Working in all areas of electrical, we find things we can bring from other service lines; we may see something in an industrial job and bring it to commercial or residential projects or vise versa. Providing different ways of looking at challenges can be beneficial,” Batton explains.
Growing the business itself is also important to both Batton and Egress. “We are all good electricians, but running a successful business was foreign to us in the beginning,” says Batton. “After a few years of operating, we both learned of the power of networking and being around like-minded business professionals, which is our key to successfully operating a business,” he explains.
eSolutions has been a part of the Mountaineer Chapter of BNI (Business Network International) for over a year and has recently joined The Blue Book Network® as well. “There is power in these events, and we are just getting started,” Batton states.
“Our vision is really simple: we strive to provide quality electrical services. Unfortunately, that is not the case across the board in our industry,” Egress explains. “We may not always be the lowest price, but we want people to know the projects we do are safe and up to code; we provide a quality electrical service.”