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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc.:

Still Leading the Way

Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. is a utility infrastructure installation provider for land developers, homebuilders, general contractors, and government agencies throughout Southern California and Nevada. Written by Kevin Doyle Produced by Stephen Marino

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ased in Corona, CA, Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. will celebrate its 24th anniversary this coming February. The company is a general engineering and utility infrastructure installation contractor for land developers, homebuilders, general contractors, and government agencies throughout Southern California and most recently in Las Vegas, NV. Services include wet and dry utility installation, joint trench, high voltage electrical systems, electric and gas applicant installation services, streetlight, and traffic signal installation. The company, co-founded by President Dan Mole and William Pfeiffer, has operated as an ESOP since 2017, employing between 150 and 170 individuals and generating approximately $40 million in annual revenue while working for high-end contractors such as Lennar, D.R. Horton and Primoris. Mole says the company has between “80 and 100 open projects” at any given time. Re-investment into its workforce has always been a prime imperative and Mole says that 2017 decision to become an ESOP elevated the company to the next level. “That was an important step in encouraging our employees to be a part of the process and overall success of our business model. We issued

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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. | 4 stock based on their tenure in the organization and we pay on the higher wage side, so our staff feels like they have a voice, “ he says. “We were excited to hit the ESOP milestone, especially since over the last 24 years we have had a few ups and downs in the marketplace,” says Mole of the recent anniversary. “I have grown close to everyone I work with and I see that our business model is changing their life and putting an opportunity in front of them that could be big. I still feel like I’m contributing as a leader and I enjoy being part of the process.”

Industry Innovation: Applicant Install Armed with an idea and the courage of his convictions, Mole took a leap of


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“It takes a long time to build a reputation. You have to be committed to doing the right thing even when you think nobody’s looking or watching because people are always looking and watching.” - President Dan Mole

faith in 1997, to create and eventually lay down the blueprint for a new industry with “Applicant Installation.” “I was working in business development for another contractor, but I left in my early 20s with an idea to start this company alongside cofounder William Pfeifer,” Mole explains. “At the time there was no one here doing Applicant Installation by a thirdparty. We pitched the idea, it got traction, and the solution became an

overnight success.” Twenty-four years later Molel and Pfeiffer can look back with great pride that Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. generated a new industry that previously did not exist. “[In California] homebuilders are given the option and sometimes the requirement to build the infrastructure on behalf of the utility company. As developers usually foot the

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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. | 6 bill and often carry the financial burden to install or upgrade brand new infrastructure on behalf of the local utility, even though the actual infrastructure owner ends up being the local utility company. At the end of the build cycle, the utility is the inspector of the installed utility system and takes ownership of the infrastructure once released by the builder” Mole said. The Applicant Installation process allows builders to have greater control over their schedule, giving them the ability to manage their installation timeline of electrical and gas infrastructure for their site. This option also provides some great opportunity for rebates from the utility once the

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system is installed and released back to the utility company.

Safety Initiatives The company’s full-time Safety Director oversees an auditing program that includes regular site visits and associated curriculum. Each week begins with a Monday morning conference call with Pacific Utility leadership that includes discussion of safety protocols relevant to that week’s work schedule and current climate conditions. “So for example during the rainy season we’re talking about soil conditions and site conditions that


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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. | 8 may be at risk due to water damage, giving them direction as to what they might talk about at their local safety meeting,” Mole notes.

is also a part of the ISN safety network which increases our overall safety procedures and operations to support the diligence required to be compliant.

Foremen are required to meet with their crews to relay pertinent precautions and considerations at each tailboard. Additionally, the company works with an independent auditing firm that conducts unannounced site visits to double-check PUI’s safety practices.

“From the first day on the job, we remind employees that any one person in the company has the power to shut down job site for an unsafe working condition. Each employee has the power to question what’s about to happen, put a halt to it, and request a roundtable about the issue to make sure a resolution is provided and before the resume” Mole stresses. “People get complacent. They get into a routine and they forget sometimes that something happened. It is important that everyone has their eyes open. Our consistent safety protocol keeps our

The company maintains full compliance with OSHA; takes advantage of OSHA training relevant to specific jobs within the company; and pays for updated training to keep employees’ certifications current. PUI

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teams aligned and accountable.”

Day To Day PUI has maintained a committed and knowledgeable staff, and is incredibly proud of the team that supports and leads its day-to-day operations. “It’s easy to recruit and it’s easy to retain employees. When the commitment level is high you get better quality of workmanship out of them. Recruitment, training and investment has fostered a strong and healthy work place environment,” Mole says. “We really spend time to listen to

what our teams have to say about new and innovative ways to look at our industry. It is an old industry, and can be stagnant with limitations in innovations and technology, we try to utilize those things to draw in valuable resources and keep them,” he adds. Mole is mindful that he sets the tone for the company and understands the need for constant communication. “I try to model my behavior from my direct reports so they can utilize those same ideas for their direct reports. It’s really about making yourself available to communicate and modeling the behaviors of the culture of the organization,” he states.

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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. | 10 “Compensation is important, and rewarding your employees is important and talking with them about the things they’re successful at and challenging them to raise the bar is important. You have to touch base on a constant basis and make yourself available as a leader.” Mole spends the majority of his time engaged in business development, working with clients and vendors as well as financial and legal management. The company works with a handful of subcontractors for specialty trades such as concrete cutting and paving. The same holds true for its pool of materials vendors.

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“Many of our vendor relationships extend over 20-years and the barrier to entry is so high in Southern California that there’s not a lot of knocking on my door – it’s a very well-established marketplace,” Mole points out. “We generally have two or three per material or trade and we tell them ‘If we ask you to bid something, I won’t guarantee you’ll get all my work but I’ll never share your number and I’ll never waste your time.’ They know that to be true over the course of 23 years and in the hard times we never ask a vendor to take a write-off from us. We have credibility in that respect,” he adds. PUI prides itself in being a committed


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“We really spend time to listen to what [our employees] have to say about new and innovative ways to look at our industry.” - President Dan Mole

partner with its customers and in the community. “We support their charities or their causes. We have people that donate their time to sit on local committees or boards. We work sign-in tables and help wherever possible for industry events and we really work at giving back to the community. It builds credibility when you’re working alongside your customers,” Mole says. Pacific utility also actively participates

and sponsors builder advocates such as the Building Industry Association and the Associated General Contractors as well as several state and regional associations, where builders are supported through local jurisdictions for lobby efforts and municipal support.

Forward Thinking As the progenitor of an industry,

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Pacific Utility Installation, Inc. | 13 Mole and Pfeifer remain cognizant of the need to maintain the company’s reputation for excellence. With its capabilities of building sub stations and maintaining large distribution circuits within municipalities, maintaining its work load of 80-100 open jobs at any given time does not seem problematic even as technology continues to grow at an accelerated pace. “It takes a long time to build a reputation. You have to be committed to doing the right thing even when you think nobody’s looking or watching because people are always looking and watching. It is a small industry and the commitment to quality and safety are two of the most important things in developing your reputation,” he concludes.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Company Name: Pacific Utility Installation Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1997 Premier Services: General engineering and high voltage electrical contractor President/Co-Founder: Daniel Mole Website: www.pacificutility.com

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510 Malloy Ct. Corona Ca 92878 P: (714) 970-6430 E: info@pacificutility.com

Profile for Construction Feature Article

Pacific Utility Installtion, Inc.  

Pacific Utility Installtion, Inc.