At Hiller Electric, our team is very important to us. They answer the customer’s calls, get out and do the job, and ultimately, are responsible for maintaining our reputation. So we would like you to get to know our team better. Today, we are highlighting our Project Manager and Estimator, Nate Hiller. Check out his interview below:
Hi Nate. To begin, would you mind telling us a little bit about your background—how you got involved in the trade? And how you are connected to Hiller Electric?
Well, I was born and raised in Omaha. I attended Millard Public Schools from K-12. Right after high school I attended UNO, and for the first two summers I would help rough-in houses. During the school year, I was a part-time delivery driver for Hiller Electric. So when I wasn’t in class, I would deliver materials to the guys on jobsites. Making those deliveries, I was able to witness all of the guys having fun on the jobsites as they worked, and this peaked my interest. Plus, I had always been curious about building and how stuff works, since my dad would bring home blueprints from work when I was younger. So, after a few semesters of college, I decided to join the inside apprenticeship at the Local Union Hall.
After completing my apprenticeship and gaining a few years more of experience, I became Project Manager and Estimator at Hiller Electric, the position I currently hold today.
So, what does an average day look like for you? (If your days are all different, please describe what your day was like yesterday)
My days are similar, but never the same. I am a project manager on a few different jobs we have going on right now, so I try to get those job meetings set up in the mornings. After the job meetings are complete, I go back to the office and try to solve the problems that arose in the morning meetings. After all those phone calls are complete, I start working on estimating new projects that other contractors send to Hiller Electric.
I also go out and meet directly with customers who are requesting an estimate on service work. I try to get the pricing for those particular jobs turned around as fast as possible. Not just because they are usually smaller in price and scope of work, but I also believe that small business owners appreciate the attentiveness and swiftness to their requests.
One of the things that we find distinguishes us at Hiller is how committed we are to quality service. Could you talk a little bit about how you see this acted out on a daily basis?
Well, as I mentioned a moment ago, I believe in attentiveness to the customer, swiftness, and professionalism. Every customer that I deal with is the most important customer at that time & place.
Before starting a project, we always compile a proposal for the customer, in which we state the scope of work Hiller Electric intends on doing. This proposal gives the customer a chance to review and question. If a customer disagrees with how something is done, the proposal allows them to recognize and voice this disagreement before we start. After the proposal is accepted, I meet with the customer and our electrician on site, and introduce the two to each other. That way, everyone is on the same page and minimal flaws will occur. The open communication also assures the customer that if something does go wrong, they can interact with any person on the job, without hesitation.
Once Hiller Electric’s proposal is accepted, we like to get on site ASAP. Something we highly value at Hiller is our ability to perform our work as neatly and timely as possible, with little or no hassle for the customer. When we leave the workplace, the area where the work was performed should be cleaner than when we arrived.
Can you talk a little bit about how you personally try and act out the Hiller commitment to quality service in your own work?
I always try to do what the customer wants because, after all, the customer is always right. If I can’t complete a request, I explain to the customer my situation and they are usually understanding and willing to work together to find a solution. I try to be as attentive as I can, and always pay attention to details. I believe little details are like peoples “pet peeves” and should never get missed. I have learned that if people didn’t want something a certain way, they just wouldn’t mention it.
At the end of the day, honesty and fairness is the most important thing. If Hiller messes something up, we always apologize and make it right, one way or another. We would never walk away from a project with a mistake up in the air.
In your opinion, what makes Hiller Electric unique compared to other companies in the area?
Hiller Electric was founded on family. From a single man, fifty-one years ago, to now three siblings, family has always been at the center of Hiller Electric. And at the end of the day, all the work that we do, and every different job, comes down to relationships. Our customers are treated with the same respect as one treats their family; they are treated the way our managers want to be treated. Honesty, fairness, and quality: it echoes throughout the entire Hiller Electric Family.
Finally, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love to hang out with my 18 month-old Springer Spaniel, Rex. From throwing the tennis ball to him, to walking, running, and hunting, Rex and I enjoy a lot of different activities. All of my family lives in Omaha, so I see them all the time, and somehow I still cannot get enough of them. I also love to camp and be outdoors. And I actually love the snow; I am definitely a cold weather person, so these mild winters Omaha has had recently isn’t cutting it for me.