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Keeping the power on for over half a century

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By William Jackson, Co-Owner, Instel Power Products

Our world runs on electricity — that becomes obvious whenever there’s an outage. It’s a hassle to lose power at home, but imagine what it’s like for a company, where every minute of downtime affects revenues, schedules, and employees. The annual dollar-cost to U.S. industry due to power loss runs in the tens of billions. Preventing this loss requires regular testing, maintenance, and upgrading of a facility’s electrical system.

Matt, William and Stuart Jackson.When Instel Power Products was founded in 1967, there were few independent companies that offered electrical testing services. If a business needed to test their equipment, they could only go to the large manufacturers like Westinghouse, Siemens, and GE. Instel was established to give customers an alternative service independent of the manufacturers.

With more than five decades in business, we’ve seen it all. Our electrical solutions are backed by a team of highly trained professionals with a deep knowledge of both modern equipment and legacy products. In many cases, we know more about vintage equipment than the manufacturers do. We pride ourselves on being problem-solvers first because our customers rely on us to keep them operational, and to be there at a moment’s notice in an emergency.

A team and a family

When my father, Stuart Jackson, took over as company president in 1983, Instel moved beyond just a testing company to become a major provider of electrical equipment, service, and repairs, and the company has grown by leaps and bounds since. He brought me and my brother, Matt, into the company, and taught us everything we know about running a successful business—from the technical aspects of what we do, to how we treat customers, partners, and coworkers. Our family is close, and we carry the strength of those values to the entire Instel team as well. We work together in a spirit of cooperation, trust, and accountability, and we all understand the value of being there for our customers.

A focus on solutions and services

Medium voltage switches and transformers for large jobs.The Instel team can help with any power project — from consultation and design, to installation and troubleshooting, to future upgrades. We perform a full menu of field testing and preventive maintenance services to identify and fix equipment problems before they cause a power failure. The experts in our shop deliver first class manufacturing, repair, and refurbish capabilities, as well. In fact, Instel was an industry pioneer in refurbishing outdated or obsolete electrical equipment to extend service life.

Our team specializes in electrical emergencies and we’re set up to be there at a moment’s notice when a problem occurs. When we roll up in one of our fully loaded field services trailers, we bring onsite capabilities to quickly analyze any situation and create an immediate solution to get the customer up and running immediately.

The key to our responsiveness lies not only in the experience of our team, but also in our comprehensive parts inventory that includes all major manufacturers and products—even vintage equipment from the 1940s to the present. When other distributors need hard-to-find parts, they come to Instel.

A commitment to high standards

In the electrical industry, we deal with some of the most powerful forces on Earth. Instel’s commitment to the best products, services, and support means we hold ourselves to industry standards for everything we do. The two main standards we rely on are published by the National Electrical Testing Association (NETA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A third set of standards — the Professional Electrical Apparatus Reconditioning League (PEARL) — has developed over the last 25 years to cover reconditioning new and used equipment.

A reconditioned substation.Instel has been involved with PEARL from the beginning and even hosted the 2018 PEARL Conference here in Greenville. We fully comply with all NETA and ANSI standards, and all of technicians are fully certified to PEARL standards. When it comes to installing, testing, or maintaining electrical systems, Instel does it the right way.

After over fifty years of service, the thing we’re most proud of at Instel is the relationship we develop with each customer. When a power failure threatens their business, it becomes the biggest problem in the world — and we treat it that way.

We love to serve and respond with a sense of urgency. We’re dedicated to solving problems no one else can, so whether a customer needs rapid-response services, a fast refurb for aging equipment, or reliable preventive maintenance, our team of electrical experts is ready to help.

This content first appeared in the GSA Business Report Book of Experts.

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