This engineering and construction management firm takes quality assurance to the next level.
Twenty-five years ago, HAKS began as a small, two-person operation. Today, it has evolved into a full-service consulting engineering firm specializing in transportation infrastructure including highways, tunnels, bridges, transit and commuter rail, aviation, and port and marine facilities, buildings and facilities. The company also had dedicated services in housing, schools, healthcare facilities, parks and recreation, water and wastewater facilities, energy and utilities, security, and asset management.
Headquartered in New York City’s Financial District, HAKS maintains 15 branch offices—14 on the Eastern seaboard and one in Houston, Texas. The company has also added two international offices during its quarter of a century in business: one in India and one in Bahrain.
The company’s focus on quality and client relationships are defining pillars that set HAKS apart in a competitive industry.
“We’re keenly aware of the challenges our clients are facing,” said Alberto Villaman, Executive Vice President, who has been with the company for 15 years. “A 24-hour turnaround time is no longer acceptable by players in this marketplace. It comes down to response time, addressing challenges, and being able to deliver on complex products.”
See how HAKS has become an award-winning company through quality assurance, extensive training, and a unique approach to interacting with vendors in the industry.
Villaman is particularly proud of the company’s quality assurance program, which provides strict guidelines for every project. HAKS has a department dedicated solely to quality assurance, and project managers ensure that each job-specific quality management plan is adhered to.
HAKS Chairman and CEO Husam Ahmad provides leadership in the company’s commitment to quality work and to its employees. He, along with senior management, take on projects that provide additional opportunities both for the company and its employees.
HAKS is ISO 9001 certified, conferring a badge of credibility that clients trust. HAKS has obtained certification for every department that is considered billable; non-billable departments are part of the certification as support services.
Long before the auditors from the SRI quality system registrar assess whether a HAKS ISO procedure is actually practiced or just theory, HAKS conducts an internal assessment of its quality management systems and processes.
“Our quality department is constantly reviewing and updating our quality management plans,” shared Villaman. “We work with the team to develop these action plans, which are adhered to whether quality assurance was part of our contract with the client or not. It keeps us accountable on the project, and it helps keep our employees safe.”
HAKS’ safety training programs are approached with the same care and dedication as quality management. For example, the company’s “lunch and learn” strategy brings HAKS employees together with its vendors to establish new knowledge points for both companies.
Once a month, HAKS connects with a vendor in person for a one- to two-hour session that includes a full presentation.
“It’s all about bringing technical expertise to employees,” shared Villaman. “We send the presentation to all technical staff, as well as any field staff, and conference them in to make sure everyone gains the knowledge. This approach not only keeps us connected to our vendors, but to the latest products on the market.”
Twenty-five years of success in construction is an impressive milestone, but what does the future hold?
“We’ll continue to do what has gotten us to this point, but do it better in the future,” Villaman said. “Quality systems have improved dramatically in the last 25 years, and will continue to evolve in the next 25. It’ll allow us to better manage our projects, our people, and our clients.
“Our focus on providing a quality product, as opposed to focusing on revenue, has gained our clients’ trust. The future for HAKS is to continue to focus on growth through quality. We will always keep the focus on the project at hand.”
Project Highlight: The Gowanus Expressway
Part of I-278, the Gowanus Expressway takes drivers from Brooklyn to Staten Island, passing urban residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, and over the Gowanus Canal. The expressway was once an elevated train structure that was converted in the 1930s into part of the highway system.
It’s been the focus of the New York State Department of Transportation for many years, in part because it hadn’t received a major rehabilitation since the 1960s and had fallen into a state of disrepair.
Since 2005, HAKS has been a part of the revitalization project. At the time, Alberto Villaman was the resident engineer on the first part of the project, which ran through 2009. HAKS was awarded over $150 million worth of work on the repair, which included half a million square feet of deck.
“Our work on the first part of the repair led us to win work for the second phase, this time at $200 million. The client trusted our ability to do good work, and has selected us for steel repair for the third phase of construction.”
The second stage of construction is coming to an end this year, and HAKS will begin work on the third phase.
Headquartered in the heart of New York City’s Financial District, HAKS maintains 15 branch offices—14 along the Eastern seaboard and one in Houston, TX—as well as international offices in India and Bahrain. Our multicultural and extremely talented workforce provides our clients with construction management/inspection, environmental, engineering design, architecture/facilities design, land surveying, material testing and special inspection services.