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Interview with Jesse Taylor, CEO at ProLift Rigging Company

Below is our recent interview with Jesse Taylor, CEO at ProLift Rigging Company.

Please tell us your name and a little more about yourself:

I am Jesse Taylor, the President and CEO of the ProLift Rigging Company. 

I joined ProLift in 2020 as part of the company’s acquisition of a number of our competitor ENTREC’s United States assets. At ProLift, I served as Regional Director and, most recently, Vice President of Operations, where I played a pivotal role in growing revenue and expanding our branch network.

I have more than 20 years of experience in the crane and rigging industry and have worked in nearly every role; beginning my career as a crane operator for Taylor Crane Service and working my way up through management at ENTREC and onto executive leadership at ProLift.

What is ProLift Rigging Company, and what unique services do you provide?

ProLift Rigging is a leading supplier of industrial construction services, offering safe, innovative solutions and insightful consultation for modern, mission-critical construction projects in need of predictable results. With a rapidly growing network of locations throughout North America, ProLift offers a full portfolio of services, including traditional crane & rigging, machinery moving services, warehousing & storage, heavy-haul transport, logistics management, integration, and project buffering. ProLift also features project management and in-house engineering capabilities. 

We provide the following services:

  • Traditional Crane Services
  • Heavy Rigging Services
  • Machinery Moving
  • Industrial Warehousing
  • Project Buffering
  • Heavy-Haul Transport
  • Project Management
  • Engineering

ProLift Rigging is regarded as a leader in your industry. Can you give us a better understanding of what ProLift does and what inspired this business?  

Our Mission is to be the best full-service lifting, rigging, and relocation solutions company, enabling total project success for teams that construct, move or maintain mission-critical plants, machines, and equipment.

ProLift is unique in the industry for several reasons

  1. Our first priority is always safety, including the:
    1. Safety of our employees and partners
    2. Safety of our job sites, operating facilities, and transport routes 
    3. Safety of our customers’ gear
    4. Safety of the environment
  1. In order to deliver on the first point, we invest heavily in pre-employment screening, training, operator qualification, and risk assessment.  
  2. ProLift has earned ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management Systems) and 45001:2018 (OHSM Safety Systems) certifications, developed and overseen by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in Geneva, Switzerland, ISO 45001:2018 ensures organizations have a management system in place to reduce health and safety risks within the workplace – protecting workers from potential harm resulting in increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and profitability.
  3. The ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems certification is the latest iteration of ISO 9001 (which was previously updated in 2008). It is made up of seven Quality Management Principles (QMPs): Customer Focus, Leadership, Engagement of People, Process Approach, Improvement, Evidence-based Decision-making, and Relationship Management.
  4. ProLift underwent an extensive companywide audit to ensure its practices met ISO requirements. The process increases an organization’s credibility while identifying risks and opportunities for improvement. Achieving this certification highlights a company’s ability to consistently meet clients’ needs and adhere to regulatory and statutory requirements within a measurable framework spanning across multiple types of companies and industries.
  5. ProLift focuses on the customer.  It’s cliche to say this, but we only want to work for customers that are a good fit for the solutions we provide. 

For example, if a project is ruled by a strict budget and the mandate is to “get three quotes,” then ProLift is probably not the right solution. While budget is always a consideration, our goal is to predictably deliver a safe and successful outcome for every project we perform. Our solutions include engineering, safety evaluations, pre-project job walks, and dedicated Project management to ensure critical schedules and deadlines are met.  

We genuinely want every project to end in a success story for our client, and we do everything possible to make that happen. This approach isn’t always the right fit, and we understand that, but ours is a culture of excellence, and we will never compromise on safety, quality, or transparency.

  1. The final and most important differentiator is our culture. Our mission is to not only deliver our industrial construction solutions but to engage the communities we serve through meaningful philanthropic activity and improve the lives of our employees and their families.

Could you give us a breakdown of the specific industry solutions you provide at ProLift Rigging?

Crane & Rigging – From towering construction sites to intricate industrial installations, our fleet stands ready. ProLift features a comprehensive selection of specialized cranes, each designed to tackle specific tasks with unparalleled precision and safety. Our well-maintained fleet consists of Truck, Hydraulic, Mobile, All Terrain, Rough Terrain, and Crawler Cranes. We also have a collection of gantry systems, engineered cantilever systems, and other custom heavy rigging equipment to help get the job done

Machinery Moving – ProLift provides expert services for the installation, removal, relocation, and maintenance of your mission-critical machinery. Backed by experienced project management and precise in-house engineering, ProLift ensures safe and efficient outcomes for projects of any size or complexity.

Heavy Haul Transport – With a well-maintained fleet of fully licensed and permitted heavy-haul tractors and a collection of specialized trailers, ProLift transports oversized, overweight, and over-dimensional equipment across North America. Our team of professional operators has been fully vetted; undergoing criminal background checks, random drug and alcohol screening, and comprehensive driver safety training.

Secure Warehousing – Featuring climate-controlled, divisible indoor storage and plentiful, secure outdoor storage, ProLift facilities are equipped with advanced handling machinery, including forklifts, gantry systems, and rigging gear to ensure the careful loading, unloading, and organization of your equipment.

Project Buffering – Project Buffering is the precise management of the complex last-mile logistics required to direct equipment and components from the manufacturer’s production floor to a construction project site against an ordinated schedule of sequenced Events. Project buffering reduces unnecessary labor costs, enhances quality control checks prior to delivery to the site, streamlines site-level logistics, and ensures that our customers meet all schedules, dates, and milestones.

Engineering – To our team of rigging engineers, success is collaborating with project stakeholders to explore, design, and provide efficient solutions (small or large) to allow our partners to build their sites safer and faster (allowing them to achieve their goals).

Project Management – Our Project Managers pride themselves in clearly communicating the high and low visibility points of your project. Upfront planning and collaboration, executing, and post-project reviews for lessons learned are the rhythm that assures our partners’ needs are being met at every stage of the project.

What are the challenges of managing a successful brand in your field?

The real challenge with managing the ProLift brand comes from the traditional understanding of what a crane and heavy rigging company actually does in the modern industrial construction industry.   

There is this notion that you only do crane and rigging work.  There is a significant amount of redundancy where contractors and site owners are using multiple companies to perform discreet scopes of work.  They may use several trucking companies to move gear across warehouses managed by a third party logistics firm, then use several different crane companies to load and unload and set gear onsite.  Most project managers are not aware that many companies, such as ProLift, offer all of these services in one place, and contracting with a single vendor to accomplish all of these tasks leads to fewer touch points, a tremendous increase in efficiency and accountability, as well as reduced speed to market and (many times) cost savings.

Secondly, despite many opinions, this is not a commoditized industry. Something like the concept of a “rate card” is outdated.  Each project in this industry presents a unique challenge.  Safety, difficulty of movement, and fragility/complexity of the objects being moved all play a role in the pricing and value of the work being performed.

The vestigial idea that there is a crane, an operator, and an hourly rate just isn’t a reality in the modern era, yet many general contractors and site managers continue to operate under that assumption.

What are you currently working on at ProLift Rigging? What is next on your roadmap? 

We are currently looking to expand our North American footprint.  We are pursuing plans to expand into several new markets in the United States within the next several quarters.  We are also looking at several “enhancement acquisitions,” strategic purchases of companies that can help us grow a certain portion of our business –more to come on that.  We are also looking to increase our warehouse space in several of the markets we serve.

We are also growing our operations teams; adding more talent every day to our already considerable poo

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