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VOL. 42 | NO. 28 | Friday, July 13, 2018

Lloyd’s Electric pivots to facility management

By Joe Morris

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Doug Lloyd, founder and owner of Lloyd Electric, has built his company over the years to service a broad swath of Knoxville and surrounding areas. The company provides many services including cell tower and solar panel installation

-- Adam Taylor Gash | The Ledger

Growing a company’s products and services while also ensuring that customers are well cared for is a delicate balance.

Maintaining it successfully is the mission of everyone at Lloyd’s Electric Service of Knoxville, says Doug Lloyd, president, when he explains how the company has evolved since its founding in 1982.

“We’re a full-service company for electrical and mechanical work, so we try to provide what our commercial and industrial customers need to help them in their business,” Lloyd explains.

Most recently, that includes a focus on facility services, the firm has pivoted toward a more full-service, facility management roster along with individual services.

“Most people who run a business are very dedicated to getting their own goods and services out, and they don’t have the time or expertise to keep their buildings up,” Lloyd adds.

“So now in addition to providing specific electrical and mechanical services we are offering HVAC, plumbing and even grounds maintenance. For owners who may not be in town, or even in state, that means that they have one source locally who can fully take care of their property.”

The expanded roster of services has gotten a lot of attention from new and existing clients, proving once again how a little forward thinking can be a boon to business. This kind of approach is also why Lloyd’s Electric Service recently took home the Mid-Sized Business Excellence award at the Knoxville Chamber’s recent Pinnacle Awards.

In summing up the honor, the chamber pointed out that when Lloyd and his father Jim, a master electrician and firefighter respectively, founded the company they were focused on residential and small commercial electrical jobs.

They ramped up their capabilities quickly when they landed such clients as Pilot Oil Co., Lowe’s and the Copper Cellar Corp., branching out into a broader array of commercial and industrial electric work, as well as HVAC/refrigeration, alternative energy solutions, back-up power offerings and data and telecommunications products and services.

The company has an on-site training facility where employees can become certified electricians.

-- Adam Taylor Gash | The Ledger

That kind of home-grown success is why the Pinnacle Awards exist, and why their mission to honor local and regional businesses has been steadily expanding in size and scope over their 14-year history, says Mark Field, senior vice president of chamber development. For instance, there has been some subdivision in order to recognize companies of different sizes, such as the mid-sized category Lloyds Electric Service won, he says.

“We began the awards because we felt that people really didn’t understand the impact and contributions these companies are making to our economy,” Field points out.

“And in those first formative years, we’d only get 50 or 60 nominations for a handful of awards. Now we have eight categories and are seeing more than 200 nominations. What that shows us is that we are growing our business base in many different categories, and that people are becoming more aware of the value all these different types of business bring to our area.”

As Knoxvillians, the Lloyds never thought much about moving, even as the company has grown. Still, they have been able to capture business around the country, including some work in Phoenix for Pilot. They are licensed to operate in six states, so can be ready to get to work quickly when needed, Lloyd says.

“We have existing relationships that often take us out of state,” he adds. “We have customers with multiple facilities, so we often get taken along to the party.”

From its roots in electrical, the company has grown its services in ways that made sense for both its client base by utilizing evolving technology that created opportunities to branch out to services that aren’t spelled out in the company name.

“We haven’t been just electrical for more than 15 years,” Lloyd acknowledges. “We’ve moved into communications, for instance, and now we’re one of the largest fiber installers in the area; last year we had a single project that was about 85 miles of utility-grade fiber.

“We also have a division that does nothing but sell and install generators. And we’ve begun another division that handles overhead lighting, the parking-lot, pole lights. We’ve become a lot more than the simple electrical company we were when we started.”

Additional lines of service have created multiple revenue streams, which have acted as a hedge if one particular area falls short or slows down due to the overall economy.

That’s another reason why Lloyd’s will continue to explore new avenues of work that tie into its current offerings.

“We’re always looking at the latest services, thinking about what’s going to be great for us in the next four or five years,” Lloyd says. “That may mean a new division, or something broader for the whole company. We’ve got to look into the future, because if we can anticipate where the next demand is, that will serve us well.”

Even so, it all still comes down to knowing that customers have choices, and so establishing the relationship in the present also remains a crucial component of good business.

“You keep your customers by taking care of them when they need you, and by providing the very best service available for a fair and practical price,” he continues. “We get more customers by referral than we do by another other method.

“We’ve also been around a while, and that can help. In many cases, we’re working for the second or third generation of business owners, and we’re a third-generation company as well.”

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