Each ELECTRI Council Room provides a platform for Council members to learn from each other and share
ideas and resources to keep electrical construction strong, productive, and profitable. Each session covers
a different topic of value to the EC industry.
November 2023 – The Impact of our Future Infrastructure Growth
This session was a deep-dive into ELECTRI’s recent research: The Impact of our Future Infrastructure Growth—Opportunities for Electrical Contractors. This focused on ways contractors and industry partners can benefit from the information and data provided by this project, and how EC contractors can take advantage of the influx of infrastructure work across the country from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
September 2023 – How Are you Driving Productivity?
Panelists Gael Pirlot (Inglett & Stubbs), Ted Robertson (Fisk Electric), and Jeff Weir (Kelso-Burnett) discussed what their companies are doing to drive productivity and motivate their workforce.
In this session we delved into electrical contracting KPIs. This discussion on Key Performance Indicators was be led by an exceptional panel of industry experts. Sharing their insights and knowledge was Mica Ashmore (Alterman Inc.), Justin Kohlman (Schaeffer Electric), Tim Speno (E2E), and Tony Waters (Parsons Electric). Each brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the discussion as we explored the vital role of KPIs in the electrical contracting landscape and uncovered the metrics that matter most for your business’s success. Learn how KPIs can illuminate opportunities for growth, streamline operations, and enhance decision-making.
June 2023 – Updated Change Order Guidelines
ELECTRI’s June Council Room focused on ELECTRI’s Updated Change Order Guidelines. The task force of industry leaders who worked on this research will provide an overview of the updated guidelines and their importance. The attendees shared their process for pricing change orders and doing it more effectively.
May 2023 – HR Best Practices
This session focused on HR functions including recruiting and retaining employees, working from home, managing field and office employees, and onboarding.
- Claiming the Federal R&D Tax Credit Guide
- The mental health impact of work from home: A literature review
April 2023 – Buy America Requirements
ELECTRI’s Council Room focused on Buy America provisions and ways NECA contractors are complying with these requirements on Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) federal projects. The expanded list of American-made products required on the jobsite becomes more challenging with the supply chain shortages and delays. Recent investments in American manufacturing have not yet resulted in materials being available in the U.S. Participants of this Council Room session will have the opportunity to share their insights, best practices, and pain points on the process of bidding this work, acquiring and meeting requirements, or accessing waivers.
- ELECTRI Best Practices for Navigating Buy America and Domestic Preference Requirements
- Eaton’s Understanding Common Domestic Preference Requirements
- 3M’s Product List that meets Build America, Buy America Requirements
- Build America, Buy America FAQ
The third-party prequalification process is becoming more prevalent and is impacting more contractors and our industry partners. ESG pre-qual requirements that have been tied to national grid projects for a few years are now making their way into projects for owners including General Motors, Ford, Intel, and others.
Third-party pre-qual services providers like ISNet, Avetta, BROWZ, etc. have incorporated new language into their pre-qual request, such as language tied to modern slavery, child labor, indigenous people. Electrical contractors are being asked for more information connected to their company’s sustainability planning and also to report carbon footprint, electricity, fuel and water consumption, waste to landfills, waste recovered and more.
February 2023 – Internship Best Practices Guide
ELECTRI’s February Council Room focused on ELECTRI’s newest resource, the Internship Best Practices Guide.
Key issues include:
- Intern Responsibilities & Growth Opportunities
- Mentorship & Leadership
- Connecting With Students & Building Your Intern Network
December 2022 – Project Lifecycles
Jonathan Marsh (Steel Toe Consulting) discussed the value of process mapping, detailing the rules that make mapping valuable, and warned of the pitfalls that can cause process mapping to fail.
November 2022 – Material Management Outside the Gate
The November Council Room was on ELECTRI’s Materials Management Best Practices Outside of the Gate, research conducted by ELECTRI with Graybar. Project researcher Hala Nassereddine provided an update on the research and detailed the additions made since the NECA Convention. This is your opportunity to hear the latest on this important topic and share your insights with the researcher. This Council Room is ideal for company leaders, superintendents, and project managers.
September 2022 – Contracting Benchmarks and Analysis
Contracting Benchmarks and Analysis, the ELECTRI research report prepared by Document Crunch is now available on the ELECTRI website. Click here to download. Josh Bell and Trent Miskelly from Document Crunch discussed how our contractors can leverage the findings of ELECTRI’s recent research when negotiating contracts. This session is ideal for the c-suite, project managers, superintendents, and others in your company who deal with contracts. During the session, VA legislation on prompt payment was discussed. Here is the link to that information.
August 2022 – EV Best Practices
The August 25th Council Room focused on EV Charging Station projects. Attendees shared best practices and lessons learned on this type of work. They discussed what’s working and what’s not, including pinch points impeding the ability to sell EV, profit margins, etc. Our panelist included Paul Hollenbacher with Sonepar, Brian Morales with Pro-Cal Lighting, Joseph A. Privitera with Mark One Electric Co., Inc., and a representative from Siemens.
Other Helpful Links Shared by Council Members:
June 2022: The Time for IT is Now
Identifying your company’s IT needs was the featured topic, led by Rosendin’s Chief Information Officer Matt Lamb. He offered insights on how your company can do an IT self-assessment to determine your company’s IT needs. This includes when you should hire an IT consultant or a full-time in-house IT employee.
May 2022: How to Leverage Social Media
Panelists, Carrie Spaeth with Chicago and Cook County Chapter NECA, Tim West with Gaston Electrical, Brian Morales with Pro-Cal Lighting, and Helga Christoforatos with Miller Electric, shared their valuable insight and tips on how to leverage social media for education and business development. Some key takeaways include:
- Social media is a free/inexpensive tool that can be very effective at growing your market, connecting with customers, and recruiting workers.
- Visual images go a long way, including videos and photos, but always get consent to post (especially jobsite photos)!
- Social media can be done by in-house staff, outsourced to a firm, or as a secondary job for an existing employee (if you’re just starting out).
- Start small! Build out your followers with customers and employees and start by sharing other relevant posts until you feel confident creating your own.
- Social media is also a good tool to keep an eye no your competitors!
- LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter should all have different types of content that complement each other and match your company culture.
If anyone is interested in the Powering Chicago EV E-Book that Carrie mentioned, it can be found here.
April 2022: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The lead researcher for ELECTRI’s KPI Research does a deep dive into the best use of this important tool. For electrical contractors to get the most out of their data, ELECTRI has identified the best Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and made them available for use. Data-driven KPIs are the foundation of modern decision-making for our contractor companies. Contractors large and small can utilize the wealth of digital information available to make more informed decisions that will lead to better growth, development, and profitability for their companies.
March 2022: Lean and Continuous Improvement
When ELECTRI held the recent Council Room on Lean and Continuous Improvement, we had several break-out roundtables where Council members had the opportunity to explore the issues they are facing, come up with some recommendations and then share them with everyone participating in the meeting. We’re sharing those roundtable discussions with you and hope you will find some very valuable information to bring back to your own company.
February 2022: Best Practices in Multi-Trade Project Coordination
Fresh from the success of the 2022 MEP Innovation Conference, the industry’s first joint innovation & construction technology conference co-sponsored by NECA, MCAA, and SMACNA, our Council Room contractor-led roundtable focused on best practices for navigating the varying perspectives of multiple trades during project coordination. The panel included Adam Davis, Lighthouse Electric; Jared Christman, Big State Electric; and Todd Grossweiler, Allison-Smith Company. Getting a better understanding of the concerns and workflows of each design and construction team is essential to improving your productivity and coordination to drive project success.
December 2021: MCAA Prefab Review
ELECTRI Executive Josh Bone, ELECTRI Council Chair Michael Parkes, Cache Valley’s James Martin, and Thompson Electric’s Barney Pottebaum discussed their first-hand experiences at the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Prefab Conference. They shared their key takeaways with photos and descriptions that highlighted the conference.
November 2021: Contract Fairness and Transparency
Document Crunch, an ELECTRI partner, discussed ways to make contracts more fair and more transparent for the electrical contracting industry. Working with the ELECTRI team, Document Crunch is analyzing contracts provided by ELECTRI Council members to determine trends around key contract provisions. The insights gained will help educate our EC community about the current state of the market.
This evolving partnership will ultimately help ELECTRI Council members understand more about how their contracts compare with those from industry peers. The goal is for contractors to understand what is truly “fair” so they can make more informed decisions about the contracts they are signing. The Document Crunch team reviewed the contract process and Council members added their thoughts on what would be helpful to include in this partnership going forward.
November 2021 Special Session: Digital Electricity: What ECs Need to Know
Toby Mitchell of Classic Electric & Consulting Corp, a NECA contractor and ELECTRI Council member, shared his thoughts on the potential impacts of digital electricity. Toby discussed the VoltServer technology so every electrical contractor can understand how it works and its potential use. ELECTRI recommends sharing this video session with engineers, PMs and estimators in your offices.
October 2021 – Managing Through the Vaccine Mandate
Three NECA executives – Kevin Tighe, Jef Fagan, and Marco Giamberardino – discussed adjustments contractors should consider when facing new vaccine guidelines to be issued by the White House and OSHA
• How will these new guidelines impact your company?
• What factors should electrical contractors consider when bidding new projects, issuing change orders, managing labor, time etc.?
• What should you do today to prepare your workforce?
• Should you consider additional business aspects that the new guidelines could impact?
Additional Resource:Vaccine Mandate Q&A
September 2021 – Working Together: Engineers and Contractors
This ELECTRI Council Room session focused on the ways engineers and trade contractors can better work together to bridge the growing gap between Design and Means/Methods. More and more frequently, electrical contractors find themselves dealing with incomplete designs, thereby increasing their risk and extending project deadlines. Engineers from KLH Engineers explored what contractors can do to address this growing challenge, steps to can take to educate owners and GCs, and ways engineers and sub-contractors can work together when a contract limits their ability to communicate freely.
August 2021 – Tax Strategies to Increase Cash Flow
Council member company Moss Adams explored the opportunities for businesses to save money and increase cash flow using tax credits and incentives. Contractors learned about tax strategies business leaders can use to their advantage including the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) which came about as a result of the pandemic and older tax credit programs like Research and Development Tax Credits (R&D). Electrical contractors from around the country explained how they are leveraging tax credits and incentives to help bolster their businesses.
July 2021 – Joint Ventures
A panel including Hunt Electric’s John Axelson, United Electric’s Jerry Hayes, MJM Electric’s Mark Mazur, and Lighthouse Electric’s Todd Mikec shared their personal experiences with joint ventures and discussed how to work together to have a successful joint venture that benefits both parties. This was a live session at the ELECTRI Council Summer meeting in Salt Lake City, UT.
June 2021 – Best Practices for Developing Project Managers
Angie Hart (Rosendin), Carson Rogers (Chewning + Wilmer), and Mike Abbott (Abbott Electric) explored the best ways to develop project managers (PM). The conversation focused on the importance of the PM position, personality traits of good PMs, and how/why the PM is directly tied to the success or failure of a project. Council members attending this Council Room session also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of having a dedicated estimating department compared to project managers owning the estimator’s role and the strengths and weaknesses of recruiting from the field compared to hiring students coming directly out of construction management programs.
May 2021 – Material Price Escalation
In 2021, the EC industry has faced materials supply timeline challenges and price inflation. Dave Moeller, from Graybar, explored current data, industry projections, and industry tactics to manage project material and budget needs.
April 2021 – Digital Electricity
Stephen Eaves, Founder and CEO of VoltServer Inc., explored Digital Electricity and the ways it impacts
the electrical construction industry. He explained how VoltServer invented and patented a new way to
distribute power called Digital Electricity™ and is the first company to commercialize the distribution of
electricity in a natively digital format. The result is touch–safe electrical transmission at high power levels
and an inherent ability to control digitally a host of modern electronic devices connected to th
March 2021 – Attracting and Retaining Talent
Jon Finch, from Milwaukee Tool, shared lessons learned from his long career in recruiting. Through our
discussion, we identified the practices every leader can embrace to build a culture that attracts the top
talent and encourages them to stay and grow both personally and professionally.
February 2021 – Sub-Contracting Killer Clauses
Allen Estes, Esq., from Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, discussed “Contract Language — The Good, The
Bad and The Ugly.” He addressed key questions including: What contract terms are fair for electrical
contractors? What contract language requires caution before you move forward? What makes a
contract a definite “no go”? The conversation included change orders and pay if paid clauses, along with
contractors’ success stories and lessons learned.
Additional Resource: In this Council Room, contractors discussed “pay if paid” and the different state
laws that impact contracting reform issues. This educational guide, developed following the Council
Room, explores ways to lean in at the state level. Tips to Jumpstart Your State Advocacy Efforts