Bill & Ed’s Excellent Adventure…
It all began in 1975 in a small garage in Chillicothe, Illinois, when five men (Ed Tangel, Bill Rogers, Bill Steele, Bill Phelps and Diz Small), with the support of their families, saw the writing on the wall at their current company and decided to band together and do what they love – provide help and security in the world of power.
They enjoyed what they did, and when you enjoy what you do, you have the ability to do it well – which is always the goal – to act with passion and commitment, while fulfilling one’s ambition.
These men staked their family’s future on the vision of a company where everyone enjoyed working together in an atmosphere of fun and wonder for all that they might achieve. Now, 44+ years later, Enercon continues to be a place where people have fun, are passionate, and in action to capture their futures.
Enercon started off as a ‘family business’ – the Tangels and the Rogers – with many friends, relatives, and life-long acquaintances. Today, Enercon is a ‘business of families’, meaning that the focus is on producing a successful business, which is accomplished by producing highly-valued offers, with superior margin utility, so that all the families in the business can earn a living and live a good life. “We think of ourselves as a business of families”, says Larry Tangel, CEO, “Because we want to stay connected to our WHY! Which is to care for our families by actualizing our skill in a community of people, providing help and security to our customers in their need for secure power.”
From the very beginning, Ed & Bill had a worldwide vision for Enercon and were focused on the international marketplace. Within three years Enercon was exporting over 50% of their products into markets that were growing and in need of simple paralleling controls and low voltage power. Enercon’s export focus helped them progress, separating themselves from the competition, as most of the US paralleling switchgear suppliers were
not focused on the international market.
Another early success factor was being selected by Caterpillar to be their outsourced switchgear partner. From 1977 – 1995 paralleling switchgear branded Caterpillar was built by Enercon in their East Peoria facility. This connection to Caterpillar factory was key to their early success; as the factory would promote Enercon’s offerings to the dealers when they needed complex paralleling switchgear and controls.
The factory would tell the dealers, “…we use Enercon!” That was priceless!
Enercon’s success from their inception had much to do with their culture, one of commitment to each other, the customer and having fun! This along with their high-volume export business, allowed Enercon to build a strong balance sheet that helped them thrive in the deep recession of 1982-83.
So much so, that they were able to expand in that recession by acquiring a small packaging company, Custom Engineering.
The logic behind this acquisition was multi-pronged. For one, the company’s customer base – engine dealers and distributors – was the same as Enercon’s. Second, often the same projects would need both paralleling switchgear and a genset package. Third, the owner of Custom Engineering, and their staff, were friends and/or relatives of some of Enercon’s employees. So the integration of the two companies was seamless.
In the summer of 1994 Enercon explored the possibility of a manufacturing plant in Indonesia continuing their export orientation. After exploring the possibilities, and considering the risks, Enercon chose to start their Asian business with a Sales and Service office in Singapore. With that Enercon began their “Asian Excellent Adventure”.
One of the first hires in Singapore was Azhar Othman, which was a serendipitous event that has helped Enercon succeed. Twenty-five years later, Azhar is the Managing Director of Enercon’s Asian operations. In 2004, Enercon purchased one of their contract manufacturers and has been manufacturing in Singapore for 16 years.
Today, Enercon with their Asian headquarters in Singapore, has expanded to four other regional locations offering Sales and Service help. They have teams in Bangladesh, Philippines, Pakistan and Myanmar; with plans for future expansion.
Enercon Military Division…
Throughout its history Enercon had produced valuable customized solutions to the military, on a project by project basis. In 1999 Enercon was selected as the controls manufacturer of the MEP-810 program. Over the next three years Enercon produced 125 units – and their commitment to the military world was solidified.
One of the most highly-valued accomplishments of Enercon’s military team is the success they have had in the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program. Enercon is the designer and integrator of the prime power unit for the THAAD missile system. The THAAD project utilizes the breadth of their technical capability from custom system integration to highly complex control systems. The prime power unit for this project is one of the most sophisticated, complex tactical diesel generator packages… Enercon ever built.
Today Enercon is engaged in multiple opportunities to continue to support the warfighter and our allies. To increase our capabilities and serve our customers more effectively Enercon has opened a regional office in Huntsville, AL. This expansion will allow us to become even more integrated as a valued member of the defense community. Enercon takes great pride in providing their expertise to the United States military and our Allies to help make the world a safer place.
It might seem, outside the world of power that there is nothing special about power. However, those in the world of power, know that how power gets generated is a choice. Most people only care that their lights turn on, but anyone who needs power 24/7 has unique needs. Therefore, the way electricity and power are provided for those clients, is specialized to meet those needs. Hence, customized solutions for when the utility fails will need to be available.
Now, after 40 years of customization, and new digital technologies, there is the possibility of more standardized solutions. Economics do matter, and wherever standard solutions are effective, they will replace the custom solution, because of cost. However, specialized needs will exist, and they will require someone with the capability to provide a specialized solution. Enercon intends to be that company, providing customized solutions when, where and how they are needed.
One of the new directions Enercon is taking is to grow beyond custom paralleling solutions, with a strategy to build standard UL 508 control panels. for industrial applications. They have recently helped a manufacturer of conveyor belts and a car wash equipment manufacturer providing them upgraded control panels for their applications.
The Adventure Continues…
Today, under the leadership of Ed and Larry Tangel, Enercon has restructured into three different business units. Each business unit serves separate markets, with different customers, different concerns and different strategies. The three business units are: Integrated Energy Solutions (IES), Integrated Defense Solutions (IDS) and Engineered Systems (ES).
Additionally, Enercon has adopted the Entrepreneurial Operating System EOS, a system created by Gino Wickman, detailed in his book called “Traction”. It is a system that has been implemented in over 7,500 companies worldwide, and it provides a common language and strategies to allow everyone on the team to work in greater coordination. It helps clarify your ambitions, your core values, and your vision, to insure the right people are on the bus.
The future looks bright for Enercon with the success of the THAAD system in the military division, the renewed growth in their electrical paralleling switchgear division, and the new opportunities they have produced with industrial control panels in their Engineered Systems division.
Whether the need is custom or standard, Enercon’s purpose and passion is to have Customers for Life. It is this drive that has kept Enercon going these past 44 years, keeping focused on how they are able to help so that customers want them around… for life!
Enercon will be celebrating their 45th year in business this year
Enercon has been in business since 1975, and a member of EGSA since 1983. Enercon regularly attends conferences and has been an Exhibitor many times over those years. EGSA has played an integral part in Enercon’s networking and partnerships, and shares one of the same fundamental values – to have FUN – which we do, every time we attend EGSA’s conferences! See you all March 15th in Vegas!
Enercon encourages EGSA members to view our brand new website www.Enercon-Eng.com.