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Rochester Top 100: National work powers up Perinton company

Rochester Business Journal
November 20, 2015

MaeTec Power Inc. began as a part-time operation in 2003 under founder Mark Miller, now co-owner and president. Four employees sold used equipment to telecommunications customers.

A year later, James Allen, now vice president and co-owner, joined him and developed a business plan to take the business full time and establish it as a provider of direct-current power and battery services.

Fast forward to 2015: MaeTec is capping off a year of projects in 160 cities in 40 states and Canada, and it is moving on an extension of a five-year, $17.5 million contract with the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Government contracts are not necessarily a focus for us,” said Gary Boone, director of business development at MaeTec. “We don’t go after those accounts, but the FAA contract five years ago was the right opportunity. It was a large opportunity in our wheelhouse, doing large battery replacements in locations we were already working in: Denver, D.C., Fort Worth (Texas). There are 25 traffic-control sites across the country.”

The Perinton-based technology firm supports several national customers in industries such as cable, utilities and emergency lighting. There is no sales force on staff, yet MaeTec has experienced 28 percent growth since 2012, Boone said.

“Our growth over the past three years has been through word-of-mouth through our existing customer base. We get a project, learn to understand a customer, establish trust and grow from there,” he said.

The company is adding a few markets for existing customers. For example, Windstream Holdings Inc. has operations in Rochester and also Omaha, Neb.; Seattle; and other parts of the country.

“When we excel in the Northeast the customer talks to peers in the company and then we can move into a new region. We start in one area and then move into new territory that way and grow our business,” Boone said.

When recommendations are crucial for growth, customer satisfaction is critical, he said. Employee morale is important as well in an industry where it is not uncommon for workers to shift between competing companies.

“Sometimes you have an employee go to another company and bring you on,” Boone said. “With the industry we’re in, we work with a lot of the same people.”

MaeTec has added seven employees since 2012, and Boone anticipates hiring up to three more each year, depending on company growth, he said.

Maintaining a small-company sense of camaraderie as well as accountability is one of the main challenges MaeTec will have as it continues to grow.

“One of the attributes we have is being a small company,” Boone said. “Our client base knows our technicians and back-office personnel. They know that person knows their situation or issue. It keeps us all accountable for the success of our installations and our follow-up. This will always be our challenge, to preserve that accountability.”

With installations taking place at customer sites around the country, many employees are based outside of Rochester and need to be self-directed. Robert Ganus, a project engineer, works closely with Maetec’s co-owners but works from his home in Rock Hill, S.C.

“I lead crews, contact customers, and they contact me on a daily basis,” Ganus said. He was the lead technician on the FAA project.

“It was our job to replace the back-up power system that would cover until the generator kicked on in the event the power took a hit at the air traffic control center. It can be a lot of pressure,” he said.

Ganus travels to sites of national accounts such as Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp., for which he recently completed his latest project in Pennsylvania.

“We have tight windows to work within,” he said, noting companies cannot afford to be offline during business hours. “We do the prep work we can during the day, and then we work overnight to do the installation.”

MaeTec takes pride in using its own technicians for all installations.

“We don’t subcontract,” Boone said. “Our customers benefit from consistency across the country because of this.”

The Rochester Top 100 program is presented by the Rochester Business Alliance Inc. and KPMG LLP. Launched in 1987, it recognizes the fastest-growing private companies in Greater Rochester. The 2016 Rochester Top 100 event will be held Nov. 2. For more information, go to rochesterbusinessalliance.com.

MaeTec Power Inc.
DC power installation and maintenance services.
Year founded: 2003
2015 ranking: 40
Top executive: Mark Miller, president
Current employment: 32
Headquarters: Perinton
Website: maetecpower.com

11/13/15 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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