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BOOK OF EXPERTS: Upholding a Legacy & Helping Companies Thrive in a Post-pandemic World

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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. While it’s an inconvenient hassle to lose power at home, a company losing power can mean widespread ramifications that affect revenue, 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.

Stuart, William and Matt Jackson (Photo/Amy Randall)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.

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 power of those values to the entire Instel team. We work together in a spirit of cooperation, trust and accountability, and we all understand the value of being there for our customers.

Overcoming Supply Chain Issues

Supply Chain Issues. While that phrase seems to be overused and sometimes even exploited these days, supply chain issues are very real. Their impact has been far-reaching and rampant for well over two years, and virtually every industry has been affected. While Instel has not been completely immune to supply chain issues, the nature of our business has allowed us to combat the ever-present problem.

With our robust inventory and ability to bring broken and damaged equipment back to life, supply chain issues are often a non-issue for our customers. Rather than waiting up to two years on a new piece of equipment by way of a manufacturer, we have been able to supply panels, switchboards and switchgear in less than four weeks. This advantage has enabled our customers to keep their projects on schedule, keeping their businesses running at maximum efficiency.

A recent example of Instel being able to step in and mitigate supply chain issues is a large, state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center – Gastroenterology Associates – in Greenville. The electrical contractor ordered a switchboard in October 2021, hoping to have it in-hand for installation by spring 2022. By April, the switchboard had still not arrived because of supply chain issues. At that time, we were contacted by the electrical contractor and tasked with finding a solution to help maintain the project’s progress. With strict regulations and requirements, there are unique nuances when building, installing equipment and meeting code in a medical facility. With those special considerations in mind, Instel got to work.

Within two weeks, we had a switchboard in place for temporary use. Within three weeks, we sold and installed a permanent switchboard that met all engineering specifications. We will now buy back the switchboard Gastroenterology Associates initially purchased a year ago, and that switchboard will likely allow us to help keep another project on track for another valued customer.

If a customer is unable to get the equipment they need to keep their business up and running, that inability could – quite easily – put them out of business. While supply chain issues will undoubtedly continue to persist, we are proud of our robust inventory and highly skilled team that can ensure that our customers meet their operational timeframe. We appreciate our valued customers who rely on us every day to keep the lights on.

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