Celebrating 125 Years Moving Industry Forward – An Interview with William S. Boulter

William-Boulter-1128What makes a company successful for 125 years? If you are Boulter Industrial Contractors, it’s the employees and their commitment to gold-star service. Boulter’s President & CEO, William S. Boulter, says his employees motivate and inspire him every day because he knows they love what they do and are working hard to ensure the job is completed safely, thoroughly and on time and on budget. This sense of teamwork has instilled a true culture of company pride. “In this industry, we have to be an especially tight and committed team. If the jobs were easy, they wouldn’t call us. Boulter’s success has come from working hard together.”

In the video below, William S. Boulter talks more about the success.

“>William S. Boulter Video Interview

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Employee Spotlight: Fred O’Neil

Your nerves tingle. Blood rushes throughout your body, pulsing loudly in your temples. Forcing your head back against the headrest of your 1997 Camaro, you clear your mind and embrace the rush. You look over and type numbers into the delay box next to you. You wrap your hands around the steering wheel and slowly push the gas pedal to the floor. The car goes forward and reverse at the same time, rocking as the engine revs with the brakes locked. Your eyes move quickly back and forth.  The color of the bulb. The timer. The color of the bulb. The timer. Adrenaline courses through your veins. You take one more deep breathe as you close your eyes. The light changes. The engine revs. There’s a jolt backwards. Then, for a few thrilling seconds, you are controlling several tons of machinery and hundreds of horsepower down a dragstrip, looking for that finish line.

Passion for Precision

Attach23203_20170816_100210Racing is true art form highlighting the power and precision of machinery, and it’s a natural hobby for Fred. When you race cars, you have to not only love the adrenaline-filled race, but also have a true passion for the precision mechanics in muscle cars and other machinery.

Fred’s love for racing and working on his car naturally extended to his work with Boulter, where he started in 1981 as a Millwright Foreman. As a millwright, he worked on machines, taking them apart and putting them together again to solve mechanical issues, just as he would with his Camaro. We think it’s safe to say Fred is not one to separate work from his hobbies.

A Wealth of Knowledge

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After close to forty years with the company, Fred is an invaluable asset to Boulter. His technical skill, love of mechanics and deep knowledge of Boulter’s services and history serve him and the company every day in the office, in the field and in conversations with potential new clients. Over four decades, Fred has held several hats, including millwright, warehouse manager and now business and sales. Fred is using his years of experience and deep industry knowledge to increase Boulter’s business. With years of hands on field knowledge, Fred knows just how to relate to the customer and explain how Boulter can best serve them.

Working for Three Generations of Boulters

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Starting with William T. Boulter, Fred has served under three family generations. Over 36 years, Boulter’s business, services and generations of Boulter have changed, but Fred remained a constant; learning everything about the company, its history and services, and the family that started a legacy 125 years ago.

Fred has learned something different from each of the three Boulters he’s worked with and their management style. When he first came to the company, William T. Boulter taught him about dedication to customer service. Early in his career, Fred’s work ethic was to “get up early and get it done,” but William T. Boulter taught him the importance of serving the customer, making sure they are happy with the job you are doing. Something Fred still believes true today. “The company isn’t number one; it’s the customer… if the customer is happy the boss is happy,” William T. Boulter once said.

Fred recalls William G. Boulter as an overall great guy and boss. “He really expanded the business and took Boulter’s service offerings to another level.” He remembers William S. Boulter, current CEO and President, growing up around the Boulter offices. Fred was there for William S. Boulter’s first job painting a fence at the Boulter offices and loves working alongside him as he continues to evolve and grow the business. IMG_4016

Even with almost four decades of experience and three generations of Boulter management on his resume, Fred has nothing but positive things to say about the company and his experiences. In Fred’s opinion, “Boulter is successful because of the people that work here and the quality of our equipment. We will always have the right equipment.” Fred went on to say the company is easy to work for because of the reputation, “We have a great customer base as we’ve been in the business for 125 years.”

Fred’s love and pride for the company is noticeable to anyone who talks with him. He helped build Boulter into the company it is today and he’s truly invested in making sure they continue to be successful.

Fred currently resides in Ontario, N.Y., with his wife of 35 years, Susan. He is a proud father and grandfather and the loving owner and hobby drag racer of a 1997 Camaro and 1967 Camaro RS/SS.

 

A quick look back and focus forward

Last month, the Boulter team gathered for the second annual “State of Boulter” discussion. The term discussion here is important, because unlike the “State of the Union,” this isn’t an address from me to the company. This important event is a forum to facilitate discussion about how we as a company are doing, ensuring the whole team feels engaged and active in our future. Before the event, we conducted a survey to ask what everyone wanted to address and then we talked about what worked this past year, what we are doing differently in 2017, areas for improvement, and our company goals for 2017 and beyond. Here are some highlights of what we discussed:

What worked in 2016

IMG_0488This was our fifth consecutive year of increased profitability. The team logged a total of 101,114 hours in 2016 and sent 2,065 invoices. We also spent about $1 million on new equipment to ensure we continue to provide the best service and save you money on your projects. We were certainly a busy group, and we’re thankful to our customers for being such great partners. Our projects ranged from steel fabrication to custom rigging, to production line installations and more. We’re looking forward to taking our learnings from 2016 and fine-tuning our operations to make 2017 our best year yet.

Goals for 2017 and beyond

While the last few years have been tremendous for profitability and growth, there are a 20150918_110008few different areas that we’d like to improve upon. We’d like to prioritize better communication between our employees, and invest more in ourselves to become the best industrial contracting partners for current and future customers. Communication is a challenge in our business, because many of our employees are out in the field and not reporting directly to our office every day. We’re developing a great system that will improve lines of communication for all employees, and help our leadership team manage more effectively.

In addition to improving communication, we’re also investing in our team by implementing a company-wide bonus program and focusing more on professional development. We recognize that our employees are out there doing a great deal of the heavy lifting for our customers, and we want to reward all of their hard work. Coupled with the bonus program will also be a more robust professional development initiative with more training opportunities and an organizational chart that better reflects our management structure.

It was important to us to get the team together to discuss progress, challenges and goals so that we could better serve you, our customers. We’ve been in this business for 125 years, and it’s our customers that inspire us to adapt, grow and evolve; and our employees who help make it happen. Interested in learning more about our recent work? Check out our project gallery. We’re looking forward to continuing to serve you in 2017.

—William Boulter, CEO & President

How Boulter Sets the Safety Standard

“Safety first, never last. Have a future, not a past.” That’s the motto our friends at York Safety Solutions shared with us at our annual safety day training this year. The entire Boulter team got together to talk about this top priority.scene 3 - rigging1

In the weeks leading up to the meeting, York employees visited several of our jobsites and then gathered their findings into inspection reports to share.

That went great. It was a mutual feeling all around: they aren’t your typical “gotcha” guys. More like partners. They collaborated with our leadership, project managers, and guys on the ground to make the presentation about content that actually mattered to us.

Everyone agrees. It’s always nice to have someone come in and refresh us. Each time you hear it, it sticks in your head even more. 

TieoffWhy do we have ongoing safety training?

 We believe that safety is everyone’s responsibility. And we take that belief very seriously, proven by our employees working 90,000+ hours with no major accidents.

It helps that all field employees have a minimum of 10-hours of OSHA training, and foremen, like Matt Levick, have at least 30 hours. But, Boulter is about so much more than the minimum safety standards. According to Matt:

 “As Union guys, we’re always properly trained. Everyone goes through a four-year apprenticeship where we’re taught safety for our trades before we even begin to work.”scene5 -steelfab2

Matt recalls his apprenticeship and how he learned the ins and outs of the work. Not just
how to do it, but how to do it safely. And it pays off. Matt says it best:

“If you look at our vehicles, hear about our referrals, and see our careful workmanship, you’ll recognize how Boulter has set the standards in terms of safety. We are the ones everyone follows.”

Want to learn more about safety at Boulter? Click here.

Blogs, birthdays, and big moves

A lot has been happening here at Boulter, so we realize it’s about time for an update. That’s why we’re drilling down and getting back to blogging. From here on out, you can expect to hear from us every two weeks.

What’s new?

Thanks to clients like you, we’re turning 125 years old. We’ve got some fun plans in the works to show how much we appreciate your business. Including a very happy birthday bash no one will forget.

We’ve also added to our collection of heavy duty equipment. Putting the final touches on some new additions that’ll hit the road in the next few weeks. Two brand spanking new pickup trucks and a bright, shiny 10-wheeler could appear at your next job site.

Anything else?

You bet. Our leadership team is growing stronger every day. We recently hired Karen Marsh as our VP of Human Resources and promoted Donald Luther to Operations Manager.

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“I’m excited to join the team and contribute to Boulter’s continued success and growth by supporting and championing team training, safety, and efficiency that will benefit our clients and staff.”

—Karen

 And Don is just as thrilled.  donald-luther

“While this is a new position, it’s one for which I’ve been preparing for years by partnering with Willis [our CEO and President] directly and I’m excited to officially take the reins and get deeply involved in all of our client projects.”

—Don

 What’s old news?

_dsc0157We’re still a local family business now in its fifth generation of ownership. Skillfully and safely moving our clients’ most valuable assets and heaviest equipment on time and on budget is still our top priority.

We continue to maintain a consistent safety record. And our teams use the newest, most advanced machinery to get your jobs done more efficiently. All cargo arrives in the same condition it left your facility, so you can get your operations back online. Fast.

Here’s a reminder of our services:

Remember, if you need to move something big, ask Boulter. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear what our clients are saying or get all the nitty gritty details on some projects we’re really proud of. Then check back in a few weeks for the next blog on our annual Safety Day.