Consumers and businesses across the nation are pressuring community leaders, internet service providers, and wireless carriers to build more robust and resilient telecommunications networks. The tsunami of demand has led to an unprecedented level of investment from both the private and public sectors in fiber and wireless networks. But the timing of investment comes at a point of record inflation, supply and labor shortages, and pain at the pump.
“All these factors are driving Mears to come up with new and innovative ways to make fiber and wireless construction projects make economic sense,” said Bob Brenner, vice president of strategic partnerships. “America needs its fiber and wireless infrastructure built now, and it’s up to us to find the best pathway forward for customers.”
Brenner and his Mears colleagues sat down to tackle the problem plaguing the industry: containing cost during inflationary times. What they came up with was a four-pronged approach to help keep projects moving ahead while slowing rising construction prices for fiber-broadband and wireless construction projects.
1. Leverage Our Buying Power to Secure Supply.
As one of the nation’s largest broadband and wireless construction companies, Mears orders large quantities of materials from an extensive network of suppliers. While it can be difficult in today’s environment to secure resources, we have the relationships and knowhow to get it done. We have materials in-stock at our warehouses and yards across the country with more on the way.
2. Continue to Invest in Talent Development.
We never want talent shortages to inconvenience our customers. So, we’ve taken an innovative and proactive approach to talent development at Mears. For starters, we’re upskilling existing talent, creating career pathways within our organization. Our customers have enjoyed great working relationships with our team members. From the C-suite to field teams, our commitment to our customers is unwavering. Second, as part of the Quanta family of companies, we’re actively recruiting new talent and training new team members by leveraging Northwest Lineman College and the Quanta Advanced Training Center at Lazy Q Ranch. We’re graduating a high-quality workforce and filling positions within the company. Finally, we’ve reaffirmed commitments to our subcontracting partners and have cultivated relationships with a network of contractors across the U.S. This means we always have options when staffing projects, preventing substantial delays during the construction process.
3. Expand Our Network of Partners.
To create efficiencies in the engineering/design, procurement, and construction (EPC) process, Mears has assembled a who’s who team of industry partners that specialize in various components of the EPC cycle. From machine-led network design, to materials sourcing, and even to drops to homes and businesses, our specialized team of industry-leading partners represent the ultimate in quality and efficiency. It’s how we offer customers best-in-class service and outstanding value.
4. Combine Smaller Projects into Larger Ones.
Rising supply costs, coupled with skyrocketing fuel prices and labor shortages make many of today’s smaller projects economically unfeasible. By combining several smaller fiber and wireless projects in the same region during these inflationary times, the larger project (greater than 25,000+ homes passed) creates significant efficiencies in sourcing materials, transportation, mobilizing crews, and more. Through collaboration, cost can be amortized over a multi-year period making just about every project ultimately pencil.
“By using creative thinking and leveraging our extensive industry relationships, Mears can facilitate the right partners and the right opportunities to drive fiber and wireless projects forward, even in complicated situations,” said Ross Kruchten, vice president of wireless operations. “We’re working hard to ensure that projects can be delivered for our customers without causing heartburn.”
By anticipating challenges ahead and applying innovative thinking, Mears can help drive success when it comes to ECP. Contact us to learn more about our broadband solutions.
May 30, 2023 How Mears and Bluepeak joined forces to empower underserved communities with enhanced rural broadband access. In this post: A Commitment to Broadband Access Bringing Connectivity...Learn More