A Long Island Firm Builds a Strong Reputation

Hinck Electrical Contractor, Inc.
Written by Nate Hendley

Hinck Electrical Contractor, Inc., of Long Island, New York has a reputation for tackling tough jobs, while maintaining family ties and ensuring employee loyalty. The company also prides itself on its wide array of services.
Currently based in Bohemia, New York, the electrical contracting firm was founded in 1970 by John Buck and Roy Hinck. Buck’s son, also named John, is currently the company president while Roy Hinck’s son, Craig, is currently vice-president.

In the not-so-distant future, more family members might be added. “My son wants to come into this business. He’s eighteen. He’s going to Roger Williams University, taking construction management. When he graduates in 2020, his goal is to get in here and continue [the business],” says President Buck.

The company’s main focus at present is Long Island, though “for the right projects, we do occasionally work in the five boroughs [of New York City] as well as occasionally even into upstate New York,” says Buck.

Hinck has not ventured into other states yet, though “for the right opportunity, we would absolutely consider it,” states the company president.

In 2015, Hinck’s revenues came to $17 million. This year, revenues are forecast to nearly double. “Fiscal 2016 will be our highest sales volume year in Hinck Electric’s history, with us projecting sales volume close to 30 million,” says Buck. At present, Hinck employs about sixty workers, but that figure might leap to eighty by the end of summer.

Over the decades, Hinck has earned a reputation for doing difficult jobs that other companies either can’t or won’t take on. “We do like the more technically challenging and involved projects such as design-build, submarine cables and intelligent transportation system projects as well as bascular span drawbridges and medium voltage substations. Although [such jobs] may have a greater risk associated with them, they can also have a higher potential for reward. Because we have so much experience in each of these types of work, I believe that the risk factor to us is far less than it would be for other electrical contractors,” says Buck.

Buck denies, however, that taking on complex jobs is the main ‘secret’ to Hinck’s success. “I believe that is just one portion of it. I believe the greater secret to our success is the fact that we are extremely diversified. We excel at the above jobs I listed but also at much more, such as sewage treatment plants, pumping stations, traffic signal work construction and maintenance, airport runway lighting, ball field lighting, solar power installations and more. If one sector of the industry is slow, then we focus on another sector that is not. In our forty-six years in business, this diversification strategy has worked successfully year after year,” he explains.

A high rate of employee retention is one of the reasons Hinck can take on so many tough projects and offer such a diversified portfolio.

“People come to this company to work, and they never leave. It is a very positive, team-oriented environment where success and loyalty are expected and rewarded. People here recognize that and say this is the place they want to work at for the rest of their lives. Our extremely low employee turnover rate reflects that fact. We look for people who are eager to learn, willing to work hard and enjoy working in a team environment,” says Buck.

Hinck works to maintain a similar sense of loyalty with its suppliers. The company views suppliers and vendors “as teammates we need to help us win bids. We know if we pay timely, live up to our word, treat them with integrity in our dealings with them than most of the time they will do everything they can to help us win the next project. This over time can lead to advantages in the market. Contractors should not forget we need good suppliers as much as they need us,” says Buck.

“We look for suppliers who live up to what they say in terms of delivery dates, terms et cetera, as well as competitive pricing and a willingness to work with us to help us meet our needs,” he adds.

Hinck belongs to several organizations and is a union contractor. The company is a member of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the Long Island Contractors Association (LICA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

Buck cites a few recent jobs Hinck has been involved with that are particularly noteworthy:

“A couple of projects stand out in my mind that I think really show how diversified our capabilities are. One is, the Brookhaven National Lab NSLS-II project, which was a $1 billion dollar initiative undertaken by the federal government under the Federal Stimulus package. This involved building one of the most advanced synchrotrons facilities in the world. We had the site electrical sub-contract. Our responsibilities included eight unit substations, six inch and four-inch duct banks throughout forty acres of land, five miles of 1000MCM, 5KV cable, fifteen miles of 500MCM, 600V cable, three site pump stations and emergency generators. Despite some difficult challenges, the job was a great success,” he states.

“Another job we are very proud of that is still ongoing is our NYSDOT (New York State Department of Transportation) region 10 INFORM traffic management system maintenance contracts … these were won in August 2013 and will continue until at least 2019. The two contracts total over $20 million. We are very proud to have [these contracts] because it took many, many years of traffic signal installation and maintenance and other ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) type projects to develop the qualifications necessary to be even be allowed to bid this type of work. The work involves maintaining the NYSDOT’s region 10 INFORM computerized traffic management system which incorporates freeway surveillance on all major east-west and north-south highways and parkways on Long Island using vehicle detectors, message board signs, ramp metering control, CCTV and other kinds of traffic control and communication equipment.”

“Another job that I think again shows how diversified we are that we are currently in the middle of is the [Wreck Lead Bridge submarine cable] replacement project. For this approximately $10 million design-build project, we bid prime as a joint venture with Posillico Inc., whom we consider one of the top general contractors in the New York metro area. The job involves replacing sixteen submarine cables damaged by Hurricane Sandy,” and other work, all the while “trying to minimize any downtime to rail traffic across a very busy elevated rail bridge. We have just completed the design portion and expect to start construction within the next few weeks with the project to be substantially complete by March 2017.”

The company also did quite a bit of work following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the eastern seaboard in 2012.

“Following Sandy, Hinck was inundated with work from different municipalities and agencies all over Long Island. From assisting the five major towns that we have traffic signal maintenance contracts with getting all the damaged traffic signals back and up and functioning to getting NYSDOT drawbridges that had been damaged by flooding functional again to assisting Nassau County get its flooded sewage pumping stations back on line we were busy for many, many months with millions of dollars work of work in repairs. Sandy-related work still continues, as strengthening and adding reinforcement against potential future flooding is still a priority throughout Long Island,” says Buck.

Hinck’s marketing is largely based on referrals and testimonials from satisfied customers. “We really do not go out of our way to promote the company but instead rely on word-of-mouth to spread our reputation. We do, however, have a website available, really for information purposes so owners, municipalities or general contractors can get a better understanding about what we do and what we are about. I believe, however, that over forty-six years, most people in the construction industry on Long Island know about Hinck Electric and our excellent reputation,” he says.

As for the future, Buck says, “our goal is to continue to grow and capture more and more of the market share of the electrical industry here on Long Island but also to give consideration to further expanding our presence in the New York City market.”

“The only thing I would like to let people know is that Hinck takes great pride in every project we do. Our people truly care about doing a great job and keeping the customer satisfied. Our end goal is to make that customer feel that he will never want to do another electrical project without Hinck Electric involved as his electrical subcontractor,” states Buck.



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