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September 07 Businessexcellence 75 project and it means we’re able to co-ordinate with other trades more effectively. We can look at everything from a newer, clearer and more effective perspective.” EJEI works primarily in New York City, Westchester County, and Connecticut but it also has activities further afi eld. It was a founder member of the National Electric Roundtable, a peer review group providing a natural infrastructure of rated and reliable partners in the major regions. It also has alliances with businesses in every state of the US and has worked with partners in the UK, Europe and Far East. “The power generation segment has become our biggest area of operations,” said Mann, “but we also have a strong presence in fi nancial services, retail, airports and transportation, such as the International Arrivals Building at JFK International, for which we installed all the lighting, power, communications and retail for this new facility.” EJEI was also the company entrusted with $22 million of work on the Path Station at the World Trade Center. In six months, it installed all the electrical services a high-usage mass transit station needs, from lighting and power, through fi re alarm and heat tracing, to passenger information, emergency telephone, traction control and UPS systems. “We’ve deliberately committed ourselves to growing our business in a controlled manner, across different markets,” said Mann. “We deliver a quality product, which is based on our people. We have foremen and engineers who’ve been with us for 25 years. We believe in looking after our primary assets, and they go home every night. Our people are the foundation of our success. Their knowledge and commitment are what takes us forward.” E-J Electric Installation

Urbitran Group has improved many city transport systems over the years. Michael Horodniceanu revealed its strategy of growth by acquisition to Ruari McCallion Businessexcellence September 07 76 Known to many as Dr. H, Michael Horodniceanu’s name should be familiar enough to New Yorkers: he was the city’s traffic commissioner from 1986-90. “As a professional, how could I pass on the opportunity to run the most challenging traffic and transit system in the world?” he said. The opportunity arose from his involvement with Urbitran Group, of which he is CEO. The company began in 1973, offering expertise in transportation planning and traffic engineering. “The founders were all university professors, and they aren’t noted for being well-paid,” he said. “We looked for consulting opportunities to help us make ends meet.” Urbitran’s advantage was that it was able to offer clients better services, faster. “Our university’s computer back then occupied 13,000 square feet. It probably had the power of one of today’s desktop PCs but it meant that we could offer clients high-speed simulations, which others couldn’t.” Urbitran began with just four people; Horodniceanu was able to leave the university and work full-time in 1980. It now has over 200 staff. It’s been a story of evolution, innovation and insight. Urbitran’s appeal is that it isn’t a case-study specialist, designer or project manager, nor even a one-stop shop of all three. “We don’t try to sell clients a bridge, or a road or whatever; we solve problems,” Horodniceanu said. “Anyone can design a bridge or a building but not everyone can get it approved. One of our strengths is on the creative and social interaction side—getting community and governmental approvals.” He holds an opinion that some may find surprising. “Transportation isn’t an engineering profession, it’s a social science that uses engineering tools,” he said. Part of the point is that traffic movement is about statistics, so the reaction of a population to changes in its environment (and traffic is part of its environment) is a sociological discipline. Urbitran has been particularly successful in garage parking since an acquisition it made in 1992. “In that year, we bought RAMP, one of the oldest parking design companies in the country.” An effective parking strategy is part of an effective traffic management strategy. Innovative approaches can make a huge difference to capacity and effectiveness, as Horodniceanu explained. “RAMP, when founded in 1920, had a particular patent on a parking garage design, which utilized the travelway for parking, rather than a series of flat areas approached by a helix. It’s a very effective use of space. As such RAMP became the only company who could design these kinds of garages. One of its highest-profile sites being the parking garage at the Rockefeller Centre in New York City.” Not only is that facility an efficient use of space, it was an elegant and innovative design that fits in with the ethos of the building it serves. Urbitran continued this tradition and made its mission “to achieve effective solutions in manners other than the norm”. The garage top at St John’s University in Queens is a 3,000-seat soccer stadium. In West Palm Beach, Florida, the parking Slicker cities