Helix Electric Nevada Inc., a Las Vegas-based turnkey electrical contractor, has quietly become an industry giant with a 400-employee work force and $83 million in revenue last year. The company anticipates 10% growth in 2014 due to a recovering economy and demand for solar power and multifamily housing. Helix attributes its success to a combination of business diversity, strong customer service and employee training, and little turnover.
“Roughly 70% of our revenue comes from repeat business by approaching client issues as partners and problem solvers,” says Victor Fuchs, company president. “We supported many of our clients during the recession, and that loyalty has paid dividends as the economy recovers.”
Loyalty didn’t occur overnight. San Diego-based Helix Electric began working in Southern Nevada during the early 1990s, opening a full-time Las Vegas branch in 1995. Six years later, Helix Electric Nevada Inc. was formed as a standalone company. Today, the firm does 90 public and private projects annually, ranging in size from $300,000 to $35 million. Its success is partly due to a flexible company structure with divisions that handle everything from high-rise buildings, airports and hospitals to shopping centers, offices and warehouses. The company also has a service department with 40 trucks for smaller jobs, including tenant improvements, repairs and LED retrofits.
“We provide services that other companies don’t, with scheduling, BIM and design-build,” Fuchs says. “We also have a 25,000-sq-ft prefabrication facility with 147 full-time employees.”
Embracing Project Diversity
Helix pre-assembles components under factory controlled conditions, thereby increasing product quality while reducing field labor time for fast-track project delivery. Lump-sum services have produced a diverse company portfolio that includes the $470-million, 200,000-sq-ft Smith Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in downtown Las Vegas in 2012. Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. was the general contractor. The project entailed extensive computer modeling and trades coordination for electrical lighting and sound work across three theaters in two buildings.
“Helix displayed unwavering dedication and work perfection from custom chandelier lighting to back-of-house electrical equipment,” says Tom Urbanski, Whiting-Turner assistant project manager.
The company displayed similar know-how with the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Educational Campus, helping the 14-acre, 480-student private school capitalize upon its nonprofit status for a $1-million electrical-power rebate. The company installed a 4,000-amp main service backed by a 150-KW standby generator, while placing conduit and wiring to 38 new electrical panels for equipment and 4,000 light fixtures.
Specialty wiring was also required for the gym’s new indoor swimming pool and the theater’s light-dimming system.