The ‘ol Golden Rule. Treat people the way that you want to be treated. You may remember it from the days of sibling disputes when a parent lectured on the basics of social interaction. Cliff Parks has followed that adage since he started his business back in 1975 and its still paying off. Today his company, Outdoor Lighting & Energy, has highly qualified technicians to deliver quality service across the Carolinas.
The business provides lighting, energy and signage solutions with operations in Charlotte and Durham, NC and Columbia, SC. No matter how complex, Outdoor Lighting & Energy is well equipped to handle any lighting needs.
“We make commitments and we meet commitments,” Parks stated. “We try to eliminate surprises. We are honest and our customers know we can get the job done.”
As part of the Professional Lighting and Sign Management Companies of America (PLASMA), Outdoor Lighting and Energy’s reach extends beyond the Carolinas. PLASMA is a national alliance comprised of 27 independently owned service companies all over the country from Hawaii to Connecticut. This group vets its member to ensure honest, quality service.
As a registered electrical engineer, Parks understands the importance of highly trained and qualified technicians. All of Outdoor Lighting and Energy servicemen hold an electrical license and a valid Commercial Driver’s License. Every technician receives regular safety training, adheres to all OSHA requirements and promotes recycling.
“We do invisible work, we work at night or 50 feet in the air where people can’t come behind and check it,” Parks quipped. “I have some of the best employees around. I believe it is wise to invest in your people. We provide health insurance, retirement and a lot of our competitors do not.”
As guests of his office, Parks took Jason and me through the typical workflow of Outdoor Lighting and Energy. A good amount of jobs are scheduled in advance due to working with several property management companies, but a lot of their work also changes quickly. Parks knows technology moves fast and increases efficiency.
“We need photos all of the time and we used to put cameras in all of our trucks,” Parks added. “The cameras would run out of battery or disappear. Today, all of our servicemen have smart phones and it’s worth of every penny.”
We went on to discuss the need for eliminating paper, logging time and a real-time map of work orders all in a simple to use system. Emerging technology allows Outdoor Lighting and Energy to know where their trucks are right away. For a business built on commitment with operations in three locations, communication is a priority.
Cliff Parks and Outdoor Lighting & Energy get it. Treating others how they want to be treated is a great way to run a business. Just ask his employees, customers and partners.