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Vol. 14, No. 38 Week of September 20, 2009
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

Arctic Directory: Builders Choice Inc., an Alaska manufacturer getting tough jobs done on time

High quality, lower cost solutions; BCI comes through for oil, gas, mining, and general contractors

Q. What do you most want people to know about your company?

A. We are an all Alaska Company dedicated to promoting Alaska jobs and vendors as we construct modular buildings and engineered building components. We can build structures in a controlled environment which enables us to provide our customers with high-quality buildings and control costs more effectively in rural Alaska as well as local area.

Q. Where is your company located?

A. We are located in South Anchorage, and have been for the past 10 years; we are currently only in this location but own property in Wasilla that we anticipate expansion to in the future.

 

Q. What year was the company founded? Who founded it, and what was the original name?

A. In 1996, Dave Hultquist founded Builders Choice Inc.; it was created to provide lower cost solutions to builders.

 

Q. Who heads up your company and who is on its senior management team?

A. Mark Larson is president and manages business development; Tom Golian, plant operations manager, and Jeff Sizemore heads up our design and engineering department.

 

Q. Are there any partnership arrangements, and when did they become effective?

A. The business is owned in partnership by Dave and Lesa Hultquist, and Mark & Sandi Larson; the partnership was effective in 2001.

 

Q. What is the company’s primary business sector?

A. Our primary business sector is oil and gas, mining, building developers and general contractors. We offer building materials and engineered components, wall panels and trusses, to builders as well as complete buildings constructed in modular format and delivered up to 95 percent complete.

 

Q. Are there important projects the company is currently a part of or has done recently?

A. In a teamed relationship with Delta Leasing LLC, we provided BP a 160-bed fully self- contained living facility for the Liberty Island expansion project near Endicott, completed July 15, 2009. It also provided all the modules for Ice Services state-of-the-art Aurora Hotel in Deadhorse, Alaska completed January 2009. Another project was the 50-bed housing expansion for Pogo Mine in January 2008, and numerous camps and office facilities for BP, Haliburton, Delta Leasing, Marsh Creek LLC., Cruz Construction, Northland Services, ANTHC, Veritas DGC, State of Alaska, Williams Scotsman, Inc., and Alyeska Prince Hotel.

 

Q. How many employees does your company have?

A. BCI employs upward of 190 employees depending upon construction volume.

 

Q. Describe the equipment your company might use and whether any new purchases are planned?

A. The truss plant utilizes computerized saws and laser positioning systems for building engineered roof trusses. Our facility for manufacturing modules is set up with overhead cranes and high tech adhesive and fastening equipment which creates a better quality product more consistently.

 

Q. Is your company expanding any of its operations or locations?

A. BCI owns land off the Parks highway just north of Wasilla in which we hope to expand our capacity and utilization of the skilled workforce that is in that area. This would also more strategically locate us in an area better suited for shipping modules northward.

 

 Q. What is your company’s main strength, or its edge over the competition?

A. We are the largest Alaska manufacturer of modular buildings; we employ talented people with a desire to build the best buildings in Alaska. We are located conveniently to suppliers and engineering firms so oversight and quick response to changing customer’s needs can be met effectively.

 

Q. What new markets, clients or projects did your company attract in the last year?

A. Remote camp housing and hotels; BP also utilized us to build its Liberty camp. 

 

Q. What is the most challenging job the company has undertaken?

A. BP’s Tarmac Camp in 2006, in a 4-month time frame to design and build a camp to house 200 people.

Q. What are the biggest obstacles to completing work the company undertakes?

A. Most of our projects end up being fast builds so we have to design, purchase materials, and build projects on a tight time constraint. Logistics and planning are usually consolidated and overlap; we build in an assembly line fashion so if we have something that holds up completion of a particular unit, it can affect the entire line. Timing of materials and equipment is critical to completing projects on time and on budget.

Q. What do you see as your company’s biggest challenge in the next five years?

A. The economy, we need to have oil and gas producers motivated to get out and explore more of our natural resources, as well as having a gas line project move forward. We are in the housing business, whether that is residential builders building homes or our plant building homes, camps or hotels. We need to get development moving again.

Q. Does your company have an anniversary or other landmark event coming up?

A. 2009 marks our 13-year anniversary and we also celebrated our 1,000 module completed in our modular plant December 5th 2008, since it’s opening in December 2005.

Q. What is the average length of time employee’s work for the company?

A. We have a great team of employees, almost 40 percent have been with us for 5 years or more, and some that have been with us since the very beginning, 13 years ago. We have a somewhat seasonal plant where we build up workforce for projects and then go back to our core group; of that core group the average employee has been with us for more than 2 years.

Q. What is your company’s safety record?

A. We have an outstanding safety record and we are constantly working at creating a dynamic work environment that values our employees’ safety and happiness.

Q. Has your company received any awards or recognition?

A. Anchorage Construction Academy 2008, for our investment in Alaska’s youth by hiring, training and assisting them in making the transition from school to career through gainful employment and mentorship.

Q. Has your company been involved in any community projects or charities events?

A. We have helped several charity events over the years by providing building products and services at no cost.

Q. Does your company have a Web site?

A. www.bcialaska.com



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