Bill Anskis Company celebrates 50 years in contracting business
ELYSBURG - William Anskis founded Bill Anskis Company Inc. (BAC) in 1964 as a small contractor business in Shamokin, performing residential and smaller concrete jobs around the area. Later, William was joined by his two sons, Bruce and Mark. The brothers accompanied their father during summer breaks throughout high school and after graduation before joining the family business full time.
Recognizing that BAC needed to grow in order to sustain all three partners and their families, William, Mark and Bruce began reinvesting in the business in order to diversify services. The Anskis team purchased new equipment, opening up capabilities for larger projects.
The team then worked its way up the chain, diversifying into renovations and more involved structural work. Soon, the Anskis team began picking up major clients such as Bell Telephone, Foster Wheeler and Viking Energy. The team also fostered relationships with institutional clients, including the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, Merck & Co., Geisinger Medical Center and several regional schools.
"We became incorporated in June 1986," said Melissa Haggerty, marketing representative for BAC. "We started out doing mostly residential projects and then moved into performing major renovations for a local hospital where our team installed a new surgical wing. We also performed quite a bit of masonry work to construct the front of the building. We soon moved to a larger facility in Elysburg and started doing concrete restoration and repair, as well as bridge rehabilitation projects."
The team continued to diversify over the years. "In 2009, the company landed its first bridge rehabilitation project with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT)," Haggerty continued. "Since then, we have completed work for not only PennDOT, but also DCNR and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. For the most part, that is where we focus on. We occasionally still perform masonry work. Many of our projects run at over $3 million." With long-term public customers, including PennDOT, BAC has achieved stability and geographic reach, working on complex projects all over the state.
The difference is diversity
Bill is now retired, but his sons continue to operate the business with younger brother, Dean, who joined the team in the 80s. Haggerty notes that BAC draws strength from experience and dedication as Bruce, Mark and Dean grew up in the business and have witnessed and participated in the full range of the company's capabilities. A six-day work week was typical for the company in the 80s and 90s and, Haggerty notes, "They were always working on Saturday to get ready for Monday. It was just the norm."
BAC offers a broad range of capabilities relative to the company's size. With a staff fluctuating between 20 and 50, depending on the season and ongoing projects, the team is small.
"To be honest with you, we stand out because we are a smaller company that is able to compete with larger contractors for bigger projects. We usually get the job done faster and with less cost," Haggerty explains. "Typically, for our bridge work, we do all of the concrete and any kind of bridge decal repair. The only component we sub out every single time would be landscaping or traffic control. We work with select subcontractors, which are often the same companies, but we watch prices."
The team builds from the ground up, and many long-term team members have been working in underground utilities. Concrete, civil and structural construction.
Putting experience to work
"We also do projects that contain work with epoxy injection, chemical grout and flood restoration," said Haggerty. "We install traffic coating on state highway bridges. At this point, we are doing projects throughout the state of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey. We have also been featured in several publications, including a case study published by Cera Tech in which we were commended for our work with one of their products, Pavemend SL, on a project that we were doing for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission; that was a somewhat complex undertaking. We were only closing parts of the highway for small amounts of time, to allow traffic flow to continue. We finished in early December 2012. It was about a $3 million project."
The BAC team is currently undertaking another project for the state's department of transportation. The complex endeavor has been growing steadily since the state awarded BAC the contract.
"Penn DOT is adding more bridges to the work we have already begun. Originally, we were performing work on six bridges, but now we are up to 12. It will be a three-year project and we are one year in," said Haggerty.
Like many contractors, BAC has had to face challenges throughout the last few years. While still stable despite the recent recession, Haggerty mentions a string of heavy floods that interrupted projects throughout the region. Bad weather is an unavoidable disturbance to business, but BAC manages to maintain efficiency, planning ahead in order to stay on target whenever possible. Bruce and his team minimize the risk of other disruptions through building relationships with reliable subcontractors and suppliers.
BAC has been in business for half a century and continues to embrace a culture of quality and safety rarely seen in the business. Staying small allows the business to have quality control over every aspect of its operations. Therefore, from safety to attention to detail, repeat clients such as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Cherokee Pharmaceuticals have come to rely on the team for solid, durable bridges and other major structures and repairs.
"Our management feels that the ultimate success of the company can be attributed to estimators, project managers, office staff and all our dedicated employees working in the field," Haggerty notes.
Bill Anskis Company Inc. remains a local fixture, representing commitment to a job well-done throughout the Mid-Atlantic states.
For more information about Bill Anskis Company Inc., go to www.anskis.com.