10 Jul Client Spotlight: Building Electronic Controls, Inc.
Q: Rick & Shelley, please tell us a little about yourselves and your business:
A: BEC was established in 1995 by both Rick and Shelley Taylor. We met in 1990 in Mammoth Lakes enjoying one of our passions, snow skiing.
We have three (3) children and six (6) grandchildren. We have a small ranch in Murrieta in an area known as La Cresta. We have horses, goats, alpacas, and chickens. Plus, we have 350 grape vines and are currently having our own custom wines made for us.
The ranch keeps us busy, but we also love to travel.
BEC is a specialty union electrical contractor focusing on life safety systems for large commercial projects. Shelley is CEO and Rick is President. We are a WBE certified company and have 100 employees.
We design, furnish, install, commission and service life safety systems. Our website is Building Electronic Controls, Inc. (www.becinc.net).
Q: How did you originally get involved with the electrical industry and what do you enjoy or about it?
A: Rick had been in the electrical industry since 1976 working for a major fire alarm manufacturer, Edwards. It was a natural decision to own our own business installing the equipment that Rick used to sell. Ironically, we have become Edwards biggest customer in North America.
We provide fire alarms, smoke control, emergency responder radio and two-way communication systems for fire departments. We are the last signature on a job card before an Owner can occupy the building.
As you drive around the greater Los Angeles area, almost every new highrise tower built in the last 15 years was a BEC job. BEC’s projects include SoFi Stadium, Wilshire Grand, Broad Museum, The Grand, Ritz/Marriot at LA Live, Metropolis, Beaudry Tower, NBC Universal, Cedars and many, many more. BEC provides all the fire alarm systems throughout LAX airport. Currently we are working on Intuit Arena for the Clippers.
This makes us very proud.
Q: How has this business changed over the years?
A: The life safety industry is heavily regulated by Building Codes and regulatory agencies such as UL. Codes have evolved over the years to make life safety systems more complex. Especially how we interact with mechanical systems to control smoke movement.
Projects take longer to build and demand much more design coordination. The cost of a project today is five times what it was 20 years ago. We must always be very financially intelligent to maintain cash flow and be profitable.
Q: What type of electrical jobs does BEC specialize in, if any?
A: BEC specializes in large commercial projects. Highrise office and residential towers, LAX, stadiums, hotels, hospitals, the Arts (theaters, stages, museums), data centers, industrial and education.
Q: What have you seen over the last 3 years with this building space, and how do you see that shifting or changing in the next 3-5 years?
A: In 28 years BEC has seen all kinds of construction climates. Today, the construction industry is in decline. Office occupancy rates are low as people are slow to return to workplaces. Residential is in demand but the cost to build is very high and developers are holding back.
Many factors are affecting this as one can imagine. It may take a full 5 years to recover to normal this time.
BEC has a significant backlog of work, and the diversity of our projects will help us prosper through these times. Hard work and good business practices are always successful.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge over the last few years?
A: In the last 3 years, Covid has affected the supply chain. BEC increased its inventory by a factor of 10 to ensure our projects were supplied. If we could get it, we bought it. But manufacturers raised prices dramatically and they have not gone down since. We bid projects at a fixed lump sum that takes 3-4 years to complete. A good accounting system helps us translate today’s job cost into tomorrow’s expenses. You must stay vigilante.
Everyone has labor issues. Not enough good help. But our employees are well taken care of, and most have been with us 5-15 years. We have a very cooperative working relationship with the IBEW union. Together we train new electricians and find good job careers for them. Rick is very active with union committees and is a NECA Board Member.
Q: What is the most exciting aspect of working in this business?
A: The most exciting aspect of our job is being a part of all these major construction projects. Working everyday with the full construction team and seeing the buildings rise from nothing.
Q: If someone is interested and can benefit from your services, what is the best way to reach you?
A: Contact Rick Taylor. Cell 909-721-0381. Email email@example.com