P.J O’Connor Electrical started operations to domestic installation works, provide breakdown and maintenance for commercial customers in January 1988, this was after nearly 10 years in the electrical industry.
In the mid 90s several offers of work were made involving small to medium projects which would involve structured expansion and management of works up to $500k, the decision to expand was made using the Wattle Street property to support the expansion administration and to allow for manufacture, assembly and storage of the products required to take on larger projects.
During the late 90’s P.J. O’Connor Electrical was involved in numerous design and construct projects ranging from ANZ Bank renovations, Scott’s Refrigerated Freightways Project, Pace Farm Eggs & security system installs to NSW Public schools. With the complete installation of PAN Labs facities at Moorebank involving tripple 1600 amp supplies and associated distribution, subcircuits and connections
During this time a buyout opportunity of a similar sized contractor occurred involving works returning to the Civil and Infrastructure sector, at this stage the commercial opportunities were researched and the potential to expand was significant, with long standing solid construction clients involved in the buisness operations of the seller, at this stage trading changed from a sole trader operation to Pty Ltd.
As a result of the takeover the existing clients were maintained and secured through performance and results, this allowed for the first of the Rail station projects to be completed, being lighting upgrades at several stations as part of the Sydney Olympic works, more over identifying to several key client Project Managers our ability and willingness to work odd hours with short notice and restricted time frames to complete projects
Supporting the expansion required fulltime office and support staff, with the business fast out growing the Wattle Street location the decision was made to relocate to a suitable factory unit with office, storage and workshop facilities. Permanent administrative, estimating and operational support staff were appointed, dedicated industry IT support and structure installed, allowing me to focus on project operations and business development.
The relocation was made January 2004 additional labour for projects and dedicated custome built service vehicles and staff were incorporated into the business to enable business expansion into an opportunity within retail service. Retail fittout and more over service had become a significant part of the service sector of the buisness with a 300% expansion over two years, at one stage we had over 750 retail stores being visited every six weeks
Retail works and service avoided a buisness slump stopping the backward trend of the construction industry due to the recession the building industry had fallen into. Again allowing funding to develop future clients and areas of business development into specialised commercial and light industrial, freezers and cool rooms at Blaney, Flemmington & the ACT along with meat processing plants at Waverleigh, Silverwater and Matrville
Over the following years our staff levels have been in the 15 to 35 range peaking to 45 in 2010 for several months, at about this stage a major client went into liquidation, allowing the opportunity to consolidate and restructure the business operations and client list. This included a significant move from service and construction to design and construct within the Civil, Infrastructure and rail sector,
The NSW government in the late 90’s provided an undertaking to the people of NSW to provide lifts to all stations in the rail network as part of an Easy Access Program allowing un restricted access to stations for elderly, disabled and persons with restrictive movement. As part of these works, all structual areas of the station or simply the entry to the station may require structual upgrading. Whereas the power supply and all distribution requires upgrade to both AS 3000 regulations and Sydney Trains regulations.
Fortunately staffing levels within Sydney Trains/Rail corp were at such a low level that the upgrades to incoming supplies were not being completed in a timely manner and soon become part of our scope of works on the majority of the stations we have been involved in, in addition the following items are also regularly part of our scope,
Consultancy on designs provided by external providers
Network connection to external energy provider, Installation of Isolation transformers
Connections to Sydney Trains power supplies, LV & HV
Installation of fire rated service mains and sub mains
Low voltage works, including energy control systems
CCTV, Platform indicators, Public Address and Communications
Ticketing, access control and Security, fibre, data cable installation and termination
As of this date we have successfully completed over 27 easy access station projects, plus refurbishments to the same number in lighting upgrades and or canopy installations,
Of the 27 stations 10 have been as a design and construct type project where we have design consultancy rights on the final design, this is a growing market within my business as all projects since the middle of 2013 have been D & C projects. We are routinely referred to as Industry leaders in this sector, having completed the most of these stations projects on active stations
Josh Randall joined the business in 2012 coming from a commercial contractor, WH Electric, Josh started his apprenticship several years after me leaving, but clearly learnt from Keith and his partner Jeff Birdsil. Josh started with us firstly as a foreman, then onto supervisor and is now the Senior Project Manager within the management team
Recently I have had the opportunity to tender for and successfully be involved in the design for the upgrade to Museum Station, Our scope was braodly stated as “relocation of submains from the transformer to the IMSB” in the tender documents, the works actually involved installation of 100 M of ladder to concealed ceiling spaces our of hours, re creating access to a closed off sub floor access area, installing penitrations thru major train tunnel walls, plus installation of 16 off 300 mm fire rated mains to a point allowing for a possession related shut down
The shutdown involved 4 rotating shifts from 4 am Saturday to 6 PM Sunday with 12 to 25 staff per shift, in addition a 600 amp generator was required to be wired and ready to poperate as a stand by incase of a failure, we reenergised the new cables, dispite a six hour delay at 12 noon on the Sunday six hours ahead of program
Mid 2014 the decision was made to begin activly persuing the commercial and civil sector with several minor projects being won in commercial or parks and gardens. These projects although not economically profertable, create a great training opportunity to apprentices whom are completing their apprenticship or recently completed obtaining their licience, to gain the expertise to look after procurement and administration on a smaller level to what will be required of them in the future
My policy has been for at least 15 years that we put on two apprentices in January, two in July every year, we have had over the years in operation more than 100 apprentices employed at some stage during their time, with several gaining distinctions, industry awards or future leader scholarships
An estimator with lenghty commercial and civil expierience Andrew Wane, was appointed late 2015 specifically to develop the civil, commercial and civic area of the buisness, re engaging with our previously serviced customers, expanding the base of the clients previosly tendered for. The results of which are street scape projects for Sydney City Council, and several Bridges and park upgrades commecing April 2014
In December 2017, we gained access into another factory unit next door to our Milperra location, this allowed further expansion for the Estimating and Operations areas of the administration side of the business, plus splitting the storage of technical/project resources from commercial and civil support equipment, excaavtors, tippers etc
As part of the recent expansion we have been successful in being appointed onto the Sydney Trains communications panel, continuing our works on easy access now directly to Sydney Trains. Our success within rail has led to P J O’Connor Electrical being regularly requested to provide tenders for electrical works as part of the approved contractors list used by Sydney Trains, often as D & C with only a broad concept provided,