Electrical Contracting including: a Traffic Signal Division, Directional Boring Division, Railroad Division, Purchasing & Procurement Division, Commercial Industrial Division, and a Private Development Division
Has outgrown operational space four times since its inception in 2005
Employs 40 full time employees
Gross sales = $10,000,000+
AICCW Member since 2006
Back in 2005, as a young father of year old triplets, Craig Clements made a bold move when he obtained his Wisconsin Master Electrician’s license, ISA Level II certification and then promptly went into business for himself. That first year, as the sole proprietor of Pro Electric, Craig did the majority of the work, calling in his father and a friend to help when the work required more hands. But by the following year, there was enough business for Craig plus four other employees, and he never looked back.
Today, Pro Electric is a robust, full-service electrical contractor actively working on commercial, industrial, street lighting, traffic signal, railroad and airport projects statewide.
Growth is significantly fueled by the Directional Boring Division which utilizes trained boring crews and specialized equipment to handle street lighting, traffic signals, railroad infrastructure and the installation of water, sewer and gas pipe. In 2008, Pro Electric was certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), and began bidding on various Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), purchasing projects related to electrical and traffic management products. Today, they inventory, maintain and install thousands of electrical and traffic management products statewide.
Having outgrown its offices three times, Craig moved the company to a 19 acre site in Franksville, WI. On this property, sits a 33,000 square foot building that is currently being remodeled to provide additional space and work flow needed to support future growth. And none too soon because Craig has done it again with another new Division!
Earlier this year, Pro Electric opened an Electrical Division, bringing on an experienced project manager and a number of experienced electricians to enter the “inside commercial electrical market”. A
substantial investment in specialized vehicles, tools and equipment was made to meet the market demand but already in six months, Pro Electric has performed services for the Milwaukee Public School District (MPS), the Kenosha School District and Milwaukee County.
What sets Pro Electric apart? Craig believes his philosophy of surrounding himself with really good people and a laser focus on business goals has afforded Pro Electric wide success. “We work in a highly specialized niche — it takes a lot of capital, specialized equipment and professional expertise to do what we do, and do it well.” Some would be competitors make their way into the marketplace, but have a tough time competing because the demands are high and the margins very tight.
Sufficient working capital is important to every business, but especially important given the niche services that Pro Electric provides. Twice in 2009 and again in 2015, First American Capital Corporation (FACC), the lending arm of AICCW, was there to provide loans for a dump truck, excavation equipment and the expansion of the the Directional Boring Division, which has proven to be the most profitable for Pro Electric.
Craig’s advice to those looking to get into the electrical contracting field including creating a business plan and keeping it up to date. “Business plans are extremely important. I learned so much about my industry just by doing the plan. And when I understood this industry that well, I recognized when we were headed in the right direction or not, and that really made a big difference,” Craig shared. He also shared that not every endeavor has worked. For instance, Pro Electric started an Illinois Division — worked on it for over a year but three days after it launched, he closed it.
His advice above all, is to be involved and always learning, stating, “be a student of your industry because many of the challenges I saw as a tiny company were the same challenges the larger companies had.” Craig went on to say that mistakes are learning opportunities and that all of the policies and procedures that have been written at Pro Electric came about because of mistakes that were made.
A true maverick in his field, this young father of 11 year old triplets has boundless energy and drive. Aside from his leading a progressive company, he finds time to volunteer as a board member of AICCW and is currently the Chair for the American Indian Construction & Trades Association (AICTA). In addition, he frequently serves behind the scenes, offering mentorship to DBEs who new to the marketplace. Craig also works in the public eye, serving on panels and presenting at various industry conferences and workshops on behalf of AICCW. Statewide, Craig volunteers on the Transportation Advisory Committee, to further the interests of disadvantaged businesses by setting goals for the entire state.