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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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

The lowdown: You have to spend money to save customers’ money

“You spent how much?!” exclaimed Michele Rhoda, our CFO & VP. “One million,” I calmly repeated to her. That’s right! Boulter invested one million dollars in the latest, greatest equipment in 2016. All in the name of decreasing your costs and increasing the safety of our team and your cargo. Let me talk to you about some of my favorites.

What I tell a client when they have precious cargo …

Don’t worry. Your equipment is safe with us. We Boulter 10-Wheeler Zoomed Out 12517.jpgbought a new Peterbilt Rollback truck with air ride suspensions. This advanced technology ensures fragile equipment and machinery gently moves with the bounces, turns, and twists of its transport so nothing gets hurt. We purchased this automatic flatbed to replace our 17-year-old one that had 200,000 miles on it. She served us well, but it was time for an upgrade.

 What people are talking about …

A custom-fit utility truck that stays with our fabrication team all the time. It holds our specialty tools and equipment, allowing the team to go directly from site-to-site without stopping at the office, saving you time and money. Even better, with the additional trailer, the truck can tow up to 10,000 lbs. This gives us some flexibility to reduce our equipment needs and your costs even further.

 Why I’m giving a high-five to our new lowboy trailer…

This 55-ton, low-profile trailer can haul extra-heavy and tall equipment with weights up to 110,000 lbs. and heights of up to 12 feet. The trailer can even be detached hydraulically for quick and easy loading and unloading. Plus, the air ride suspension makes for a smooth, safe transport for your machinery and equipment.

 How I plan to not lift a finger for awhile …20170324_115642.jpg

 We bought three Hoist Liftruck forklifts, and the largest doubles our lifting capacity from
30,000 lbs. to 60,000 lbs. In the past, we’d often need a crane for these really heavy jobs. But with these forklifts, we can lift more weight with less equipment and team members, meaning we cost you less. All three forklifts have advanced safety features, too.

The FR Series 15/25 and 40/60 give us the flexibility of two fork trucks with one piece of equipment. With just the push of a button, these machines open up to extend their counterweights and center of gravity, giving them increased lift capacity. For the ultimate versatility, the 40/60 even comes with a hydraulically powered, multi-stage telescopic boom that can lift objects up to 26 feet in the air. Both trucks are easily maneuverable, even in tight spaces, and incredibly light, allowing for easy transportation.20170301_113225_001

Our new 18-ton pneumatic P360 runs on a high-performance Cummins diesel engine and is durable enough to withstand rugged outdoor environments and road conditions. The wide, open mast and unique low-profile counterweight allows the operator to see unobstructed views in all directions.

All of this technology isn’t just for our fun, but to better serve you—our customers. You’ve got my promise that we’ll always show up to your project’s site with the most advanced equipment to get the job done right. Interested in learning more? Check out some other pieces of our equipment.

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.

karen-marsh

“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.

#TBT: Rigging the Safari Bus at the Seneca Park Zoo Africa Exhibit

Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo is a popular recreational destination. It also seems like the last place where Boulter Industrial Contractors, Inc would be contracted for a rigging job, right?

Unveiled in May 2012, the Step Into Africa attraction boasted a state-of-the art exhibit featuring three African lions. One of the features of the exhibit includes a stationary safari bus where visitors can view the lions.

To install the safari bus, the Zoo needed someone who specializes in rigging and custom installation projects. That’s where Boulter comes into play.Photos 007

IMG_0353The zoo purchased the two-story double decker bus and had it delivered to the site. At that point, Boulter’s field workers assessed the task and they fabricated steel on site to cradle the bus for safe hoisting with a crane. With the use of rigging slings and chain falls for adjustment, the bus was raised and swung into place. Once the bus was aligned and landed, ironworkers welded it to steel embedment plates in the concrete piers at the buses final location.

“This job was a lot of fun,” says Jeffrey Smith, Project Manager. “I remember it drawing a crowd of people curious to see what we were doing.”IMG_0352

Four years later, the exhibit is still a patron favorite. “As a local business, I am proud to see what a positive impact a job like this makes on our community,” says William S. Boulter, President and CEO of Boulter.

While many of Boulter’s projects are behind the scenes or out of public view, Jeffrey mentions “It’s neat when my kids say, ‘my dad put that bus there’ whenever we go to the zoo.”

To learn more about Boulter and its services, visit our website.

 

*Project photos courtesy of Seneca Park Zoo