Tag Archive for 'ICUEE'

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship to Kick Off the New Year

Utility Contractor Offers 7 Lessons in Entrepreneurship
to Kick Off the New Year

 Going from selling directional drill rigs and underground equipment to running your own utility construction business requires a big leap of faith and a lot more. Scott Kandziora shares what he’s learned since he co-founded Milwaukee-based Underground Specialists in 2000.

1. Grab onto new utility technology 
Kandziora sold for Ditch Witch for five years out of college. Self-contained directional drilling equipment had just begun to transform the boring industry. “I grabbed on to the new technology because it gave me credibility with veteran customers,” says Kandziora. He trained crews on the rigs that he sold and saw a lot of people were not doing it right. He saw an opportunity to make money by doing things the right way.

2. Find a partner
Kandziora convinced Jerry Peterson, a former Ditch Witch principal, to go into business with him. Peterson had the industry contacts in Wisconsin and the funds needed for the start-up. “He really mentored me,” says Kandziora. The two worked together until Peterson retired in 2004 and Kandziora bought his share of the business.

3. Diversify your services
When Underground Specialists first launched, installing fiber optic cable for telephone companies was the primary source of income. By 2002, that market had dried up. “It forced us to go into the sewer and water market, where there was a lot more to learn about drilling,” says Kandziora.

When the government began subsidizing geothermal systems in the late 2000s, Underground Specialists pursued that market. They gradually added electrical and vacuum truck work to the mix.

In the last five years, the company expanded work in electrical, adding additional equipment and crew members to complete parking lot bases. “Diversification helps boost your sales,” he says. “When one market is down, another tends to perform well.”

4. Get utility crews invested in the business
Before Kandziora owned his own company he witnessed a lot of utility construction workers who just didn’t care about their work. “I never wanted to hear that from my employees,” he says. His solution was to create a profit-sharing system that allows employees to reap the benefits that come from working above and beyond on the job to help the company be profitable. “It promotes the attitude I want,” he says. When the company was too small to be able to provide health insurance for employees, he provided additional pay as compensation.

In today’s tight labor market, Kandziora is more inclined to hire less experienced workers and train them. “They don’t come with problems or bad habits learned from other contractors,” says Kandziora. Among his crew are a former landscaper, truck driver, roofer and a machine hand that are now all underground operators. Three supervisors are responsible for training the new hires on the drill rigs.

5. Be self-motivated
“I see a lot of small business owners sitting at home and waiting for the work to come,” says Kandziora. “I don’t think you can do that in this market. You have to be prepared to work long hours.” Kandziora believes it’s important to complete every bidding opportunity. “It’s easy to drop the ball and say, I’ll bid the next one.”

6. Recognize when you need to let go of the reins
Expanding from one crew to two crews in 2017 was a huge step for Kandziora’s business. “As a new business owner, it took me a long time to let go of the reins, to not be on every job site, controlling every aspect of it. It’s very difficult to let go and trust guys to keep the good name that you have been building. I finally realized that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to sell the company when I wanted to retire,” says Kandziora. Finding and keeping good employees becomes even more important when you grow.

7. Stay up-to-date on the latest products and technology
Kandziora recognizes the importance of staying up-to-date on technology but admits with a growing company, it’s difficult to find time for reading. “Attending ICUEE is my opportunity to catch up on what’s new and what’s out there and it gives the guys a team-building experience,” he says. The entire team is included because each person has their own ideas of what might help on their projects. At the next ICUEE show, he will be paying special attention to vacuum trucks, drill rig electronics, drill rig innovations, and trucks.

“At ICUEE 90 percent of the equipment will directly help us on our sites. The fact that we can get on the machine is a huge benefit. It’s different from any other show we go to.”

Save the date for ICUEE, The Demo Expo for the Construction and Utility Industries, Oct. 1-3, 2019, Louisville, KY. To get the latest information about the show, sign up for show alerts.

ICUEE 2017 Exhibit Space Sales Open
The Demo Expo showcases utility construction’s newest products and technologies

PrintExhibit space sales are open for ICUEE 2017, the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition. Visit the show website www.icuee.com for details on the space assignment process and deadlines for priority exhibit space selection.

ICUEE 2017 will take place October 3-5, 2017 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The biennial exhibition, also known as The Demo Expo, is the largest event for utilities and utility contractors, owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

“ICUEE is where the utility construction industry meets to see and experience ‘hands-on’ the newest product innovations; exhibitors and attendees cite ICUEE as a high-quality show where they can easily connect with qualified companies,” said Tricia Mallett, show manager.

ICUEE 2017 will feature specialized exhibits pavilions for fleet management and green utilities, Ride & Drive test track for on-road equipment and technologies, and indoor Demo Stage complementing extensive in-booth product demos outdoors and indoors.

As a value-added service, ICUEE provides exhibitors with free electronic and print marketing materials to help reach customers and prospects and increase booth traffic. A variety of sponsorship and other marketing opportunities, including customized options, are also available.

What the Industry Is Saying

AEM exhibitions are industry-run with a focus on superior customer service and event technology that results in measureable ROI and a positive show experience.

A sampling from attendee and exhibitor surveys from the last ICUEE:

Exhibitors:

  • “ICUEE has always been a good show for us. Very good customer and potential customer base. The show is very well run.”
  • “Our company is new to this industry, but we were able to make some strong leads and contacts to help us in the future.”

Attendees:

  • “As a first-time attendee, I found the show was very well organized. All the (exhibitors) were very helpful in presenting their different products.”
  • “Just being at the show was a success. Being able to interact with new people and get the latest greatest information on equipment and technology.”

Attendees talk buying decisions:

  • “Made final decision on purchase (of equipment from exhibitor).”
  • “Saw several products that are very useful in our line of work … and we are likely to purchase some or all of them.”
  • “It was very beneficial in helping us with purchasing decisions for the upcoming year.”

Visit www.icuee.com for the latest show information on exhibiting and attending.

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About ICUEE – www.icuee.com  
The International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), also known as The Demo Expo, is held every two years and focuses on the job needs of utilities and utility contractors in the electric, telecommunications/cable, natural gas, water and wastewater sectors. Attendees can test-drive the latest equipment, watch live demonstrations of new products and technologies, and take advantage of best-practices industry education.

About AEM – www.aem.org
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

ICUEE 2015 a Cornucopia of New Products

Remus  and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma earlier this year.

Remus and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma earlier this year.

By Greg Sitek

ICUEE – International Construction Utility Equipment Exposition is an incredible show because it gives visitors an opportunity to see and “test-drive” equipment. The show started in the “corn fields” of Elburn Illinois. Grew. Moved to the DuPage County Illinois Fair Grounds. Moved to Olathe Kansas. Moved to the abandoned Kansas City Airport. Moved to Louisville Kentucky where it still operates.

It was started because utilities – the phone and electric companies – needed an opportunity to see and test the equipment that they would consider buying in the coming years.

The show grew because it served a purpose and fulfilled the needs of the industries it served. Every show has been progressively better – not the weather, the content. I haven’t missed a one.

This year’s show was doused with rain but it was loaded with new product and in spite of the rain, had a record attendance of more than 18,000+ attendees and hundreds of exhibitors.

Unfortunately I can’t list all of the exhibitors who introduced new or updated products at the show. I personally visited with the people from Caterpillar, Bobcat,

Vermeer, Ditch Witch, JCB, Thunder Creek, TerraMac,Toro, Doosan, Subsite, JCB, Toro, EyeTrax, Altec, Terex, CASE, TEAMCO, IMT, Hyundai, Volvo, Yanmar, Vacuworx, Palfinger and others. It was a great show.

It was a great show because it introduced new products, brought major segments of the industry together, shared industry-relative information and projected a bright future.

In spite of the rain everyone was cheerful and upbeat looking forward to the challenges of the future. Conversations evolved around the “Highway Bill,” other pending legislation and of course the presidential campaigns. One common thread was that virtually everyone was anxious for the race to over because they were tired of all the politics. Another often repeated comment is that the race should be limited to only three or a maximum of six months prior to the election.

Over the next couple of months we will provide you with product information from ICUEE. For now, a recap of ICUEE 2015. It has set a show record as the largest ever with more than 18,000 registered attendees, and surpassing the last show by 13 percent. ICUEE 2015 ran September 29 – October 1, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

Registrants came from all 50 states, nine of the 10 Canadian provinces and more than 60 other countries worldwide.

The 2015 show set records for exhibit space and number of exhibitors. More than 950 exhibitors, including more than 250 companies new to the show, took more than 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space to showcase their latest equipment and product innovations, and conduct numerous live demonstrations and hands-on opportunities.

“This is our most comprehensive ICUEE ever, and there has been tremendous enthusiasm and interaction among attendees and exhibitors from Day One, when the official Kentucky Derby bugler opened the show,” said Show Director Sara Truesdale Mooney.

“Attendees are finding more companies, product innovations and product demos – plus quality networking with industry experts and peers that really increases the value of the show,” said Mooney.

ICUEE is also known as The Demo Expo and is the largest event for the utility industry, owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The show brings together industry professionals to gain comprehensive insights into the latest technologies, innovations and trends affecting their industry.

See you at the next ICUEE.

Register by August 21 for ICUEE 2015 to Save Time, Money

Preview the Utility Industry’s Future at ‘The Demo Expo’

Register by August 21 for the 2015 ICUEE-The Demo Expo to save 50 percent off the badge fee plus receive discounted education fees. You can now register via any mobile device.

ICUEE 2015 will feature extensive hands-on equipment demonstrations in job-like conditions, best-practices education from leading industry organizations and unparalleled industry networking opportunities.

“This is where our industry gathers to see what’s new and what’s coming that will affect their jobs and their businesses, and it’s a showcase for the technology that will benefit the industry through safer operations and increased efficiencies,” said Tim Ford, ICUEE 2015 chair and president of Terex Cranes for Terex Corporation.

“The show also serves as an industry platform to explore issues such as workforce development and the need for a more comprehensive infrastructure strategy,” said Ford.

ICUEE 2015 will be held September 29-October 1 in Louisville, Kentucky USA (Kentucky Exposition Center).

ICUEE, the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition, is also known as The Demo Expo and is the largest event for the utility industry, owned and produced by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). The show brings together industry professionals to gain comprehensive insights into the latest technologies, innovations and trends affecting their industry.

No other event offers the number and scope of hands-on and live demonstrations for the utility industry.

Past attendees overwhelmingly cite the demo feature as a factor in their decision to attend and an influence on their buying decisions. More than 97 percent of attendees at the last ICUEE said the show value was good to excellent.

ICUEE 2015 will feature specialized exhibit pavilions for fleet management, safety, and green utility, plus a Ride & Drive test track (for on-road equipment and technologies) and indoor Demo Stage, in addition to the extensive in-booth exhibitor product demos.

Attendees will find an enhanced show experience:

More transportation options with improved shuttles and new express vehicles to help navigate the show and find new products faster
More places to take a break, including the Fuel Stop outdoors in Area Q with refreshments, Wi-Fi and mobile device charging stations
More Details: Benefit Auction to Connect Military Veterans with Jobs (Heroes Day)

At ICUEE 2015, a special Heroes Day on October 1 will recognize the importance of utility professionals and salute our military heroes with a benefit auction and other events.
The Heroes Day auction will benefit military veteran job placement services with 100 percent of the proceeds going to The Call of DutyTM Endowment. Heroes Day will also feature Lunch on Us and a Toast to Our Heroes bourbon tasting.

Click here to learn more about the ICUEE Benefit Auction and The Call of Duty Endowment.

Visit www.icuee.com for the latest show information.

About ICUEE – www.icuee.com

The International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition (ICUEE), also known as The Demo Expo, is held every two years and focuses on the job needs of utilities and utility contractors in the electric, telecommunications/cable, natural gas, water and wastewater sectors. With 25 acres of exhibits to explore, attendees can test-drive the latest equipment, watch live demonstrations of new products and technologies, and take advantage of best-practices industry education.

About AEM -www.aem.org
The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 900 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

ICUEE 2013 New Products & Technologies program increases show ROI
Attendee online ‘show planner’ offers added convenience

169ICUEE 2013 is almost here and is tracking to be one of the best ever: attendees can use the show’s online New Products & Technologies program and show planner to make the most productive use of their time onsite. For added convenience, the planner is available as a free mobile app.

ICUEE 2013 – The Demo Expo will be held October 1-3, 2013 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Register online at www.icuee.com.

ICUEE is the gathering place every two years for utility and contractor professionals looking for the latest product innovations and industry knowledge to increase performance and productivity.

The ICUEE 2013 New Products & Technologies program helps attendees quickly find new and innovative products and services on display. Attendees can check out program participants through the online exhibitor directory and visit the specially marked booths on the show floor.
 
Attendees can organize their onsite visit using the ICUEE 2013 show planner (and exhibitor directory) to assemble a personalized itinerary that can be updated pre-show and onsite.

Show planner features include exhibitor lists and show maps, a demo schedule, new products & technologies listings and education sessions. The show planner/exhibitor directory is searchable by company name, type of product, geographic location, and location on the show floor. With the mobile app, attendees can also locate booths faster when they are on the show floor, and can connect with fellow attendees who have signed in.

An intra-show shuttle runs between the indoor exhibit hall and outdoor exhibit lots to also help attendees save time and focus on the exhibits, demos and education.

“We want attendees to be able to navigate the show as efficiently as possible to take advantage of all it has to offer, and get the most value to meet their specific business needs,” stated Sara Truesdale Mooney, show director.

ICUEE 2013 offers more targeted and diverse industry education than ever before, and more product demonstration opportunities: an indoor demo stage joins the show’s hallmark working-equipment demos. The show floor features exhibit pavilions for fleet management, utility safety, lift safety and sustainable energy products and services.

For more details on ICUEE, the International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition, visit www.icuee.com.