Power & Control Engineering Solutions (PCES) has grown from having only three employees and a single client to more than 40 employees and 40 clients in only 10 years, all without having a sales staff.
“Our success is really because of our reputation for quality work, repeat business and the relationships we’ve built with customers,” says Eldon Drake, president of the Tulsa, Okla.-headquartered company. “When you realize that we’ve done this without having a sales group, our success is really astounding.”
Professional connections made by individual PCES employees have also played a role in attracting new business. “Some of our customers have come to us through the people we’ve hired over the years,” Drake adds. “All of our employees have relationships that have stimulated our business.”
Geography also plays a large role in PCES’s ability to attract and retain customers. “Nearly every one of our customers has a presence in Tulsa or the surrounding area,” Drake says. Although the majority of PCES’s projects are performed in the region, its work with oil and gas industry clients such as Baker Hughes, Atlas, Mark West and Magellan has taken it outside of Oklahoma.
Drake, an electrical engineer, founded the company in 2003 after he received a layoff notice from his previous employer, Williams Pipe Line Co. “I hired a mechanical designer and electrical designer who were also being laid off and marketed engineering and design services to our former co-workers,” he says. “We walked out of the former company with a project and haven’t missed a beat since then.”
The company’s initial workload came from Williams Pipe Line Co., now Magellan Pipe Line Co., who continues to be a major client. “For our first few years, they were 90 percent of our business, which was great, as it allowed us to get started and put processes in place,” Drake says. “Once we reached our third year, we made an effort to diversify our customer base.”
PCES engineers, fabricates and installs control systems, power systems, skidded mechanical systems and other projects for clients in the oil and gas and other industries. “The technology we specialize in is very applicable to other industries, so we can design similar systems for water treatment, wastewater treatment, the pulp and paper industry or any type of industry that requires power or control systems,” Drake says. “We specialize in oil and gas-related projects because of where we are and the needs of our customer base.”
The company’s ability to engineer, fabricate and install projects sets it part from many of its peers, who concentrate on providing just one of those three services. “We can perform any combination of those three things depending on what the customer needs,” Drake notes. “Our ability to do all three is our biggest strength and is what makes us unlike any other company in the Tulsa market.”
PCES’s past projects include truck loading racks, rail loading racks, pump stations, tank farms, compressor stations, processing plants and plant electrical upgrades. Plant control systems, plant power systems, substations, monitoring and data acquisition systems, blending systems and additive systems are among its other industrial projects.
Power distribution projects in particular are a growth area for the company. PCES can fabricate three-phase power distribution systems ranging from 480 volts up to 15,000 volts based on either its own design or that of its customers on a fast-track basis. “This business has really increased for us within the past year, and is really why our revenue has jumped,” Drake says.
Commitment to Quality
Quality is at the center of all of PCES’s projects. “The primary focus or mission of PCES is to provide quality engineering solutions to our clients and our industry,” the company says. “This philosophy has been the foundation of our core operation since the beginning and continues to drive PCES towards our No. 1 goal – delivering a high quality product while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.”
The company is UL508A and ISO 9000 compliant, and recently became an Invensys Wonderware System platform certified system integrator and an Inductive Automation certified gold integrator. PCES is also a Rockwell Automation Partner.
PCES’ commitment to quality is also reflected in its efforts to give employees the skills and knowledge they need to best perform their jobs. The company regularly invests in continuing education programs for its staff and brings in vendors to conduct “lunch and learns” and other product training. Open communication is also encouraged peer-to-peer. “We want our engineers to also be instructors and want them to be willing to share their knowledge with others in the company,” Drake says.