Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Stake Center Locating (SCL) is a leader in fiber optic locating services throughout the United States. We sat down with SCL Director of Operations, Tony Belford, for a quick glimpse into what makes Stake Center tick, and why they continue to lead in the industry.
Date Launched: 1997
Date Acquired by S&N: March 2014
Number of employees: Approximately 275
What’s the biggest win Stake Center Locating has had to date? Originally, it was signing two back-to-back nationwide fiber contracts in 2008-2009 that took us from doing business from four to 37 states. Since our acquisition by S&N, our biggest win without question is the Xcel Energy contract we landed in March 2015—our single largest production contract to date.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your time at the company? If you work hard and take care of your customers, they’ll reward you. Most contracts change hands every 3 to 5 years—some of our customers have been with us for 12 to 17 years. We’re proud of that.
Name one short-term and one long-term goal you have for Stake Center Locating. Short-term is to continue to give back to our employees to show appreciation for their hard work. The field workers make the money for the company and they need to know upper management appreciates them.
Long term is to double the business. My vision is to continue to grow, but in a smart way that allows us to continue to provide quality services.
What’s something about SCL that would surprise people?
Our youth! The average age of our management team is early 30s. However, we’ve all been in this business in some aspect since we were teenagers. In some ways, it’s all we know, which is why we like to call ourselves lifers in the business.
Name an actor or character you think personifies SCL. Liam Neeson. He has that no b.s. attitude, he’s humble and he’s a badass who always gets the mission done!
What one personality/character trait stands out for SCL? We’re family.
What’s the biggest challenge for SCL? Obtaining work in states where we currently aren’t present. Bidding a startup single versus layering is tough in this business.
What do you wish more people knew about Stake Center Locating? Although most people think of us as the “big” little guy, there isn’t a contract out there we can’t handle. Whether it’s hundreds of people or doing a two-state startup in 48 hours, we’ve proven we can do it successfully! Additionally, I’d like people to know we’re just as badass as Liam Neeson.
How do you think SCL will change in the next five years? We’ll continue to grow and programs will get better. Our safety, quality and locate-training programs are always being reviewed for improvement.
How has the purchase by S&N affected you, your team members and your customers? The acquisition of SCL by S&N Communications has brought much happiness to the Stake Center Locating family and customers. Being a part of a bigger company has enabled better benefits to the employees, added programs and departments in the office, and given everyone a better sense of job security. Customers feel like there are no limits to what we can deliver. The mantra of “we are all one,” meaning family, has been intensified with the S&N culture and way of life. It’s an amazing company to work for and we look forward to many more years!