Houston Controls

Instrument • Electrical • Analytical Specialists

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can Houston Controls do for me?

    Houston Controls provides Instrument, Electrical and Analyzer installation Maintenance, Planning, Design and Turnaround services to Industry.

    Typical duties might consist of installation of equipment, electrical and instrumentation raceway and wiring, calibration and commissioning of field devices, terminating, programming and configuration of control systems and electrical systems, removal and replacement of repaired items, and troubleshooting and repair of malfunctioning systems.

    Custom instrument and electrical control panel and junction box assembly can be cost-effectively performed offsite at our shop.

    Short or Long-term personnel can be provided for routine or non-routine maintenance work, Turnaround work, Capital Project work, Planning or Design work.

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  • What unique expertise does Houston Controls bring to the table?

    Houston Controls’ business model is unique in that Account Managers and Project Managers interact with the client and take responsibility at all stages of the project, including initial development, determination of manning, commercial arrangements and ultimately execution of the actual project. Company Officers, Account and Project Managers have strong technical backgrounds, and are acutely aware of the client’s need for accurate estimation and high performance in project execution. Houston Controls specializes in placing top-quality, trained and mature Instrument, Electrical and Analyzers specialists into positions where they can be employed cost-effectively (meaning profitably) by the client. Personnel are continually screened to eliminate weak performers, using a post- job evaluation system. In addition, Houston Controls supports their employees by assuring that a qualified staff of Safety Professionals, and senior, well qualified Supervisors are assigned to projects, commensurate with the size of the project. Houston Controls can participate in the planning and scheduling of projects, including determination of best employee mix and skills required for ultimate success of a project. Houston Controls can help you determine your needs using realistic, experience based estimates, combined with computer modeling based on projected work list and project duration.

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  • What is the billing rate, all inclusive, that I can expect to pay?

    Billing rates are under continual review, since rates can vary from area to area, and season to season, based on Market conditions. Houston Controls strives to provide the most cost-effective terms possible to our clients, since we know that this is the key to satisfied customers and repeat business. Billing rates are negotiated on a contract-by-contract basis to meet the client’s needs. Houston Controls recommends a straight pass-through with mark up, relieving the client of the burdensome distraction of managing commercial arrangements and providing instead a flexible, reliable resource. Your Account Manger will be glad to assist you in making these decisions and providing you with commercial guidance specific to your need.

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  • How do I contact Houston Controls when I need them?

    Directly contact the Houston Controls offices at PH. 713-672-1200 or contact an Account Manager:

    Richard L. Alexander
    PH. 281-851-0419
    rlalexander@houstoncontrols.com


    Michael H. Craven
    PH. 281-744-4463
    mhcraven@houstoncontrols.com


    Dennis D. Johnston
    PH 281-222-1729
    dennis@houstoncontrols.com


    Visit our contact page for more information.

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  • Where are the Houston Controls Facilities located?

    Houston Controls offices are located at:

    101 S. Highway 146, Baytown, Texas 77520

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  • Who are the Houston Controls Officers?

    Dennis D. Johnston, President
    David Martin, Vice President

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  • What size project can Houston Controls handle?

    Houston Controls projects range from small on-demand services, to providing IEA technicians, journeymen and planners for a recent $100MM Coker Turnaround. Houston Controls fielded over 40 Technicians and Journeymen for this project. The value of the project was over $1.7 MM for Houston Controls.

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  • How long have you been in business?

    Houston Controls was incorporated in October, 2005, as an expansion of Houston Industrial Controls, which was established 1998.

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  • How are you capitalized?

    Houston Controls is incorporated in Texas, using the personal investment capital of the Company Officers and a line of credit as needed through Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank

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  • Where are Houston Controls personnel now employed?

    Houston Controls has resident personnel in Plants owned by BP, Conoco-Phillips, LyondellBasell, KMTEX, KMCO, and Calpine, and Southcoast and Vopak terminals, to name a few.

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  • How many IEA personnel can Houston Controls supply?

    We keep resumes and work histories on hand for over 1200 IEA personnel, with skill sets ranging from Field installation to SAP support to design and planning work, and from entry level to over thirty years experience. The client’s needs, however, are always assessed to assure that personnel possess the skills required before being placed on the job.

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  • How much notice is necessary?

    Houston Controls can accommodate the need for personnel on short notice, however we believe that planning and coordination are the keys to cost-effective project and turnaround work. Our leadership personnel will coordinate IEA employee ramp-up and ramp-down with leadership at the employing site for optimum results, since over-manning a job results in high cost, and under-manning may result in completion delays, neither of which is desirable from the clients perspective.

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  • If I have a catastrophe, can Houston Controls support me on short notice?

    Support can be provided within 24 hours for a small (up to 10 employees) force. Of course, for larger forces, several days may be required to reach full force levels since travel and re-location may be required.

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  • What is the average level of experience of your employees?

    Houston controls employees have an average of 15+ yrs of experience. We are in the business of placing experienced, top quality people, not trainees, and will provide journeymen unless the client requires an employee mix. The Client might desire an employee mix if, for instance, the project has a number of simple tasks and the client wants to control costs, or if his safety procedures called for a "buddy" system. Account Managers will be glad to assist the client in determining the optimum workforce composition if this style of manning is desired.

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  • Do any of your employees have academic degrees or experience as OEM employees or major company direct hires?

    Yes, several are retired factory servicemen or are retired Major Company employees, or have academic degrees

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  • What is the average age of your employees?

    35-40 yrs

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  • Do you do engineering?

    We subcontract engineering. We prefer to execute the Client’s designs cost effectively rather than to develop them ourselves.

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  • What are your design capabilities?

    Qualified people are provided to plant sites to perform design work. From an IEA standpoint, we can perform whatever in-house design is desired by the client.

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  • Are your staff members members of the ISA or other technical societies?

    Dennis Johnston is an active ISA member.

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  • How do you invoice?

    Invoicing is adjusted to meet the Client’s needs, and is negotiable on contract by contract basis. We normally Invoice weekly net 30 or as by arrangement.

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  • What commercial terms are necessary for your business?

    No special terms are required.

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  • Are all your employees pre-certified at HASC or other reciprocal site?

    Because our personnel may be dispatched to multiple sites, all have Basic Plus as a minimum. If the site requires it, training will be upgraded to Site-Specific. Employees also receive basic training in company policies and procedures, and detailed training in safety procedures and requirements.

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  • Are personnel pre-screened for drug use?

    Employee drug and alcohol screening is a pre-employment requirement. Screening is performed in compliance with the North American Substance Abuse Program (NASAP) utilizing approved third-party administrators (TPA's).

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  • Can I see employees’ resumes?

    Yes, however the client should understand that the resume is not as meaningful as the performance record the employee accumulates in service. While we carefully assess employees before hiring, we do not place personnel based on a resume alone, preferring to allow our senior Supervisors to assess the employee’s actual capabilities before he goes on site. During the employee’s tenure at the facility, the employee is periodically evaluated and developed. We strive for the proper match of employee capability with job demands.

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  • Can I meet your Corporate Officers?

    Yes. Our Officers are pleased to meet clients, and would be glad to interact with them any time it is of benefit to either party. Please understand, however, that the Officers may be engaged in performing other duties or may be out of the country on business, and special arrangements may be necessary.

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  • What is Houston Controls’ safety record?

    Houston Controls’ TRIR is 0 as of March, 2012

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  • Do you have a safety culture?

    Yes. Demanded and managed from top Officers to field through all personnel. (See The Houston Controls Safety Policy ) Our TRIR of 0 is evidence of our strong commitment to safety in all aspects of our business. Our policy is more than just words. It is an attitude and behavior that is required of every employee, as a condition of employment. If an employee will not comply with safe work practices, he will not work for Houston Controls, and will not be placed at your plant site.

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  • Do you conduct safety training that is specific to your business model?

    Safety training is conducted daily while jobs are in progress, and include all field personnel. Job Safety Analyses are required tools before personnel begin work. Routine attendance at safety meetings is required by Officers and Supervisors, and all leadership personnel. Training addresses the hazards confronting the IEA field personnel (Pinchpoints, crushing, electrocution, explosion, energy release, un-commanded operation, etc.) that are not necessarily covered by generic Cient sponsored safety training.

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  • What do I do if there is a discipline or non-performance problem with one of your people?

    These issues will be handled by communication with the Account Manager, who will take the appropriate action. However, given the screening and performance evaluation system that Houston Controls uses, performance issues are seldom experienced.

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  • Do you have a new employee indoctrination?

    Yes, both for safety procedures and general Houston Controls practices.

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  • Does Houston Controls perform shop surveillance work?

    YES. We have several senior employees and retirees that specialize in this work.

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  • How do I place an order for services?

    Contact your Account Manager, or Dennis Johnston directly.

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  • Are you willing to submit more information for evaluation?

    Yes, let us know what you desire. A standard pre-qualification document has been developed which should address most of your questions. Contact your Account Manager if you desire more information.

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  • Are you licensed to operate as an electrical contractor in the State of Texas?

    Yes, our Texas Electrical Contractor License number is 25440.

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