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FSG’s unique vision has produced 40 years of lighting, electrical, signage, and technology solutions for happy customers
Forty years ago, Bill Graham and Steve Byrne were selling light bulbs out of the trunk of a car. After a while, they figured people would need help installing those bulbs. They built the business steadily from there. Now, Graham and Byrne are CEO and COO, respectively, of a $700 million-a-year company that has 35 offices and 2,500 employees worldwide. FSG has worked on the Exxon Mobil world headquarters, military facilities in South Korea, and the World Trade Center Oculus at Ground Zero, just to name a few. Along the way, the jobs have gotten bigger, but the principles have remained the same.
“FSG’s vision is to build an institution dedicated to timeless contribution and service,” Graham says in the company constitution. “… We willingly contribute to the quality of life of all of our employees, customers, vendors, and the general community, specifically by our good, unselfish works of service that originate in pure hearts, seeking to honor God and his desire.”
From those roots, FSG has become one of the largest lighting distributors in the U.S. It’s also one of the largest electrical contractors in the country as well. That’s just the beginning of the company’s verticals, and they include lighting retrofits and electrical construction, service, and maintenance. FSG also has a disinfection division, a signage division, utility rebating, a smart buildings and cities group, and a tech/telco group.
“Efficiency is at the core of everything we do,” Robert Ragozine, Vice President of FSG’s ESCO Group told BOSS.
With all that going for it, FSG is a one-stop shop for clients virtually anywhere in the world, particularly North America. They don’t have to worry about finding a different contractor when they start operations in a new state or a new country because FSG can already do it all for them.
“Many of the verticals are complementary,” said Bernie Erickson, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Innovation, “so it makes us a great partner who takes out added costs for customers that do turnkey work, but we also work individually in each of those verticals, and they stand by themselves.”
Disinfection is a relatively new vertical for the company, but FSG became thought leaders in the space very rapidly when COVID hit and made that a service very much in-demand. FSG is also putting in indoor air quality monitoring for a large school district in every classroom to keeps students and teachers safe.
Much of the IoT infrastructure FSG can install during base efficiency measures.
“Lighting fixtures are the perfect vessel for the communication of these IoT initiatives,” Erickson said. “We can install that base communication in the fixtures and then add on as new things come out.”
Much has changed technologically since those days of selling light bulbs out of a trunk, but FSG has remained on the cutting edge.
FSG has grown over the decades by delivering on its principles and executing for clients. After all, happy customers come back for more work.
“We’ve also encouraged individuals to take opportunities and run with them,” Ragozine said. “That’s how we’ve added offices. We develop additional businesses if there’s a strong business case for it.”
FSG has also grown by acquiring like-minded companies that have solid fundamentals and could benefit from the financial strength and infrastructure FSG offers.
Erickson’s business, OK Electric Supply Company, was one such acquisition. Established in 1919 in Perth Amboy, N.J., it joined the FSG fold in 2006.
“We chose FSG because of who they were, the people, and their vision. I’ve always believed we can make a difference in the lives of the people who work for us,” he said. His father preceded him in the business, and Erickson played in the building where his office is located as a kid. “This clearly was part of the vision statement for FSG. It really was the first time I ever envisioned working for someone else, after working for myself for over 25 years.”
His business saw tenfold growth over the first 10 years, especially remarkable considering he joined FSG right before the Great Financial Crisis.
Today, FSG’s timeless contribution and service is charting new territory in smart buildings and EV charging. Whether it’s retrofitting an existing building or helping design a new one, the company’s solutions increase energy efficiency for clients looking to reduce their carbon footprints and save on energy bills.
“These are investments,” Ragozine said. “Typically, they’re really good investments. When we look at a facility for a lighting retrofit, it’s very rare that we see paybacks that go above four or five years. It’s usually two or three years. These are 20, 30, 40% return on investment.”
With FSG’s network of electricians and offices around the country, EV charging is a natural fit. The firm has installed chargers for Tesla and Blink for years and is rapidly expanding its offerings.
“We’re a perfect implementer for that because we have a national footprint,” Erickson said. “We can provide deliverables anywhere in the U.S., which a lot of people can’t do. We have developed a wide and deep offering in EV charging for our customers. In addition to installing for others, we’re offering turnkey solutions which include no-cash options and charging as a service. We try to help our customers keep more of the revenue these will generate.”
FSG has been connecting their clients with electrical and lighting solutions for 40 years, since Graham and Byrne sold light bulbs out of a trunk. With each innovation, they just get bigger and better.
Facility Solutions Group, (FSG) is one of the nation’s largest single-source providers of lighting and electrical products, electrical services, electrical construction, and energy management solutions. With almost 40 years of history serving customers, we develop, design, market, sell and support all types of lighting, electrical, control, and energy-saving products and services. The company’s products and services enable customers to build, maintain, expand or upgrade their facility infrastructures, in scenarios ranging from new construction to remodels to ongoing operations. FSG customers include large property owners and managers, commercial businesses, retail chains, general contractors, property developers, healthcare, financial, hospitality, educational, government entities, ESCOs, industrial, and more. FSG’s 2,500 dedicated employees support the company’s business in all 50 states, Canada, Korea, and Puerto Rico. FSG’s annual revenues were in excess of $650 million, ranking it among the top two percent nationally in both wholesale distribution and electrical contracting fields.
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