Posted by Jay W. Curry

Brian Cook, CEO of  Zadok Technologies, joins us to talk about their electrical contracting business that services the oil and gas sector.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.


Jay Curry: And we’re back. Hello Texas. Welcome to Texas Business Radio. We’ve got a great program going today. We’re talking about industrial construction industry in Texas. This is huge business all over the state and we have a very special guest in that started his own business, has done one heck of a job. We’re going to get some best practices from Brian. But before we get into this, let me remind everybody that you can call us on our 24 hour line, 844-814-8144 any time. We’ll get the answers. We’ll get it on the line for you. It’s an easy way and of course the best way is to go to Texasbusinessradio.com because everything’s there, every speaker, every guest, every sponsor. It’s all there. You just can sit back, relax and enjoy this program. It’s a dandy, okay. We also monitor #TBR, for those out there, that want to send a tweet our way, will be right on that. All right. So let’s get on with the program, Matt had to step out. I’m Jay Curry your host. Matt will be back for the next section. So, let’s go ahead and get started. Our guest for this section is Mr. Brian Cook. He is the owner, founder and president and sounds like everything else too. But he has built one heck of a fine business. Brian welcome to the show.

Brian Cook: Thank you.

Jay Curry: So tell us about Zadok. Did I pronounce that right? Zadok.

Brian Cook: Zadok. We are a global electrical contractor, service and maintenance company. We cater to the markets of the drilling market, the industrial world and the gas compression pipeline markets. We operate in the United States, Mexico, Middle East and West Africa. We’ve been in business since 2008. We started with three of us. Now we have close to 80, over 80 employees now.

Jay Curry: That’s amazing. In eight years you went from start to 80 plus employees, very solid, all over the world, really.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: Okay. All in industrial electrical…

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: Construction. So tell us about what you’re doing to, for these companies?

Brian Cook: Will do either the electrical construction side of the business or will provide the services, where it’s maintenance. Either to a gas pipeline or I’d say a refinery or an LNG plant or even the offshore market, the vessels, tankers and drill ships, drilling rigs, topside platforms, things like that. If it’s offshore we’ll, we’ll service it.

Jay Curry: So you say you’re doing the electrical.

Brian Cook: We can do the construction, the maintenance and the services. Yes sir. So anything to do with the power and automation systems on an industrial area or industrial facility, pipeline or an offshore facility or vessel.

Jay Curry: And you started in the offshore.

Brian Cook: Yes sir, we grew in the off shore.

Jay Curry: And you expanded, that was really your hey day. So, if, if I have a rig and I go out and I buy all this equipment, your the person that comes in and…

Brian Cook: Installs it.

Jay Curry: Gets it all install and gets everything connected. That’s got to be some pretty sophisticated stuff in there.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: And you’ve gone from 2008, this huge increase all starting just off shore. How the heck do you do that? You must have an army of salespeople, right?

Brian Cook: No sir. I’ve done it myself.

Jay Curry: This is an amazing story.

Brian Cook: Yes sir. I grew up in the oil industry. My father was, I mean I worked for my father growing up and some of my mentors. I learned how to do construction for drilling rigs offshore and on land. So I owe them a lot of the credit. So they showed me how to work hard. On sales, I had one sales job before I started this company. It was for six or eight months. And I also ran Zadok behind the scenes, while I was a sales guy. So I’d work during the day for somebody else doing sales and then do engineering services at night. And we did that for a few years. And my boss finally saw me, I looked tired and said “You probably just need to do business full time”. So, we took it full time.

Jay Curry: And it’s exploded ever since.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: So, tell us a little bit about the history. You were talking about your hurricane tiger team was at an early deal that now has evolved into something and it’s that was part of your starting?

Brian Cook: No sir. There was, during the hurricanes around 2007.

Jay Curry: Right.

Brian Cook: We had some opportunities to do, we were already doing engineering services for some of the drilling contractors. We were asked to come in and help get them to get the drawings up to date, make new drawings and help with equipment and construction. And that’s kind of how we got our start on the construction world. We already had some engineering services going along from there. So with that we brought the construction role to the, to the, you know, to our company.

Jay Curry: So, we had a hurricane come through, though and it did a lot of damage out in the Gulf.

Brian Cook: Yeah it would, it would destroy, it would destroy drilling rigs. The legs would break off on the jack-up rigs or rigs were damaged by the hurricane coming through. So we were providing technicians to, on electrical technicians to get the power systems up and running and clean up the things that had water damage or rigs that sank and then they found them. Helping them get, get the, get them surveyed and have some numbers put together, so they can get the insurance and then doing the process of the construction too.

Jay Curry: Brian you have a very unique philosophy, mantra, if you would, of how this all comes together. What the service you provided and it’s all based upon listening to the customer and finding a place to do value. Tell us a little bit about that.

Brian Cook: Are, are, my key word and my career is value. Whether it’s in business or whether it’s just in a personal life. With our clients and we sit down with them, we find out where we can be valuable, where we can benefit them. So basically listening to them and, and going from there. So if there’s a niche in that, in a market where that’s one of the big top producers, like a Shell or an Exxon or a Hess or something like that. I’m communicating with them and listening to what their needs are.

Jay Curry: Finding a place where you can add value then going in and then you turn that niche into a business. So you went from offshore to onshore. Now you’re doing industrial.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: It’s pretty impressive stuff and it’s all focused on this concept of listen to the customer, your potential customer and figure out where you can add value. And then focus on that.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: That’s an impressive story. So you talked a little bit at break about taking advantage of down time. And, you know, we’re, we’ve been in a down market here in Texas, particularly in anything that supports oil and gas. Which obviously you do. You had interesting thoughts on what you do in the downturns and how they really turn out to be beneficial if you act.

Brian Cook: When this downturn hit and everybody was, it was, it was bad. I mean, everybody was really, you saw a lot of depressed people, it was a depressed market. There’s a lot of negative conversations. I decided, I don’t want to, I don’t want to be like that. So we decided to be positive, speak positive about our industry and, and try to find somewhere where we can, where we can thrive. We had to sit back and say “OK. Well, we, we provide these electrical services and maintenance services for all these different types of companies. Where else, what other kind of markets can we can we striving in?”. And so I went to conferences, I went to networking meetings and things like that, where we can meet people of other industries. And just started asking questions on, you know, where, where do you guys find that you have a need? So, we found out there’s a big need in the market for fiber optic construction guys and telecom construction guys and security and camera systems. Because we’re upgrading a lot of these, these plants and in the LNG plants there’s a lot of security with these things. So we’re sort of chasing these, this fiber optic market. And this, we did some solar work, we did some solar farm work. And gas compression guys, there’s a lot of new technology that goes into that. So, chase that new technology with, with these different guys for the, for the land and industrial industries.

Jay Curry: Turns into a… again listening to the client. New technology coming on board and you figure it out. If it’s around electrical, you guys are the experts at it. You said something earlier that I thought was really great. We’re going to, we’re going to have to wrap this up in just a second. But I wanted to get this in because you said “You got to, you got to love what you do and then you’ll do it well”.

Brian Cook: Yes sir.

Jay Curry: That’s great. That’s great. We’ve been talking to Brian Cook who’s the CEO, founder, one of the founders of Zadok Technologies. So Brian, if somebody wants to get a hold of you…

Brian Cook: Zadoktech.com, Zadoktech.com and you can find our web site and, and go from there.

Jay Curry: Sounds good. All right folks, we’re going to have to take a short break so we can pay a few bills and get the next guest in and settled in to bring you another wonderful segment. This has been a dandy. Thank you Brian.

Brian Cook: Thank you.

Jay Curry: This is Jay Curry with Texas Business Radio. We will be right back. Don’t go anywhere. And be sure you go to Texasbusinessradio.com, it’s all there. We’ll be right back.

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About the Author
Jay W. Curry

Jay W. Curry

Along with hosting “Texas Business Radio”, Jay is a Professional Certified Coach and Master Chair facilitating four Houston-based Vistage peer groups. In addition to being a best selling non-fiction author, the 2015 release of his award winning novel, Nixon and Dovey: the Legend Returns, adds novelist to his title. Jay holds a BS in Mathematics from Oklahoma State and an MS in Computer Science from Kansas State. You can learn more about Jay HERE.

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