Pacific West Communications Inc.
Sheryl Patton founded Pacific West Communications Inc. (PWC) with her parents in October 1981. After more than 30 years of experience, PWC has developed a large and growing presence in the communications market. The PWC team specializes in telecommunication aerial, underground, civil and wireless site modernization services, serving clients in California, Arizona and Nevada.
Although flexible, PWC typically operates within a 125-mile radius of its corporate office in San Dimas, Calif. In addition to housing the management team, PWC’s San Dimas facility has an equipment yard, multiple equipment warehouses, material storage areas, as well as a full service mechanical repair shop. The team also establishes field offices, as needed, to handle work in outlying areas.
The company is now in its third generation, as Rich Patton, Sheryl’s son and president of PWC, has taken the lead. “I’ve worked here for the past 12 years,” says Rich. “I grew up in the family business, and worked during the summers while attending school. I did my own thing for a bit, but came back to help create opportunities within the business.”
Rich’s life-long familiarity with the business has given him unique insight from a management perspective. Following suit to his grandparent’s and mother’s expertise allows Rich to lead the company well in an evolving market. As the industry has changed, one thing has not: PWC is very proud of the team that has been established over many years. According to Rich, most of PWC’s employees have been with the company for over a decade, and many well over two.
The team at PWC performs infrastructure services for several leading clients in the telecommunication sector. The primary focus of the current workload is in specialty services, which are performed in-house by capable professionals. As a full-service contractor, PWC goes beyond initial construction, with value-added services and maintenance for clients. The team handles civil construction, power installation, telecommunications utility infrastructure, wireless site construction and modernizations to existing sites.
“One thing that makes us different from other contractors in this industry is that we own almost all of our equipment, excluding lifts,” says Rich. “One of the biggest things that have been going on in this industry is the distribution of fiber-optic cable for Distributed Antenna Systems [DAS]. We utilize horizontal drills for placing the infrastructure that will then house fiber. Our ability to perform everything in-house allows us to offer competitive pricing. Many of the major carriers and providers are upgrading their systems, which has opened up a lot of room in the market for us.”
Third Generation, Second Nature
The business has recently certified in-house technicians in the field of alternative and renewable energy solutions. The business can now offer energy- and cost-effective alternatives for customers, specializing in solar and hydrogen cell technology. As PWC’s clients adopt more environmentally friendly energy sources, the crew is prepared to fulfill the market’s demand. This technological investment provides the business an advantage over other contractors as the market moves more in the direction of renewable energy.
Aside from projects that help to preserve nature, PWC is also working to build wireless relay solutions that fit in with the environment. Many contractors have already adopted cell towers modeled to blend in with the background, with common installations including cell-tower pine trees and palm trees. PWC recently adopted a unique form that blends in well in the southwest. In Cathedral City, Calif., the crew has installed the first saguaro cactus antenna as part of a shared distributed antenna system project.
Continued Growth and Development
Communications can be a tough market and throughout the recession, the U.S. saw many development, technology and infrastructure projects put on hold. “We are back up on our feet, but we saw a major dip in revenue,” Rich explains. “That kind of swing is always a challenge, but we have always done our job well. As the markets continue to change, it is important that we stay ahead so we can stick it out. Five of our competitors have gone out of business and had to start over again. We didn’t have to do that. We have stayed true to our market and niche.”
Despite the recent challenges, the communications market continues to grow. “It’s not going anywhere,” Rich notes. “As technology changes, we are adapting with it. We travel to shows across the country, meeting equipment manufacturers and developers. We have to stay ahead and know which direction the market is going in. One of the big trends we are seeing is with 911 emergency triangulation for first responders, as we move away from landlines. With those, you need a backup power source in order to keep communication lines up and going. There is still a lot to do to make that happen, but it could change the outcome of another natural disaster such as hurricanes Sandy or Katrina.”
For more than 30 years, PWC has maintained a competitive edge in the communications business and has no intention of slowing down. With leading resources and capabilities, the business is well-equipped to serve major communications companies for decades to come. As technology and consumer needs change, Pacific West Communications Inc. continues to push the boundaries with a unique set of construction and technological services.