In 1982, with only $1,500 from a tax return and lots of ambition, mechanic Harry Clark founded South Shore Generator Sales & Service out of the basement of his East Wareham home, with the help of his father, a generator technician, and his wife Lois.
South Shore Generator, celebrating 40 years in business this year, continues to provide generators and service them for homes, businesses, industry and government and other organizations. It has remained a family-owned and operated business throughout its history; today, South Shore Generator is proudly co-owned and run by Harry Clark’s son Eric and daughter Bernadette.
“What distinguishes us is our goal of providing superior generator sales and service in a friendly, responsive and courteous manner, with honest family values,” says Eric Clark, who serves as CFO. He started working part-time for his father during high school years and continued through college, learning and performing every aspect and position within the operation.
Bernadette recalls mowing the grass and planting flowers, and, when she was 11, making sandwiches for the staff and taking service calls during Hurricane Bob.
“As I got older I wanted to step outside the business and had some other random part-time jobs during the summers, but in the end I came back to plant my roots, “ says Bernadette, who serves as Treasurer with a focus on leading the sales team for the company.
Bernadette went on to study at UMass Amherst, and Eric at UMass Dartmouth, both graduating with degrees in Business Management and Economics.
South Shore Generator currently employs 36 from its Cranberry Highway, Wareham location, including 17 field technicians and four solar power solutions specialists. Their coverage area includes Eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands as well as Rhode Island.
The recent popularity of generators for both residential and commercial use has meant a huge increase in business for the company over the years and the company plans to keep its singular focus.
“As the need for power increases so does the need to always have it,” says Eric. “For 40 years we have only focused on generators, that trend is not going to change. It is better to be great at one thing, than average at many.”
Eric also notes that business itself has changed over the years.
“There are no more handshake deals, everything is document, document, document now. Everyone wants some kind of paperwork,” he says. “We had to create a ‘special contracts’ position just to deal with all the special needs and special websites and special processes larger customers request today.”
Currently lead times on generators are higher than they have ever seen “due to the ongoings of the world around us in addition to the demand and the increase in major storms around the world,” Eric adds.
Bernadette notes that technology has been the greatest change for the generator business. Remote monitoring of generators has become commonplace.
“Computers hold the key to efficient operations and whether it be operating software or monitoring software or tracking software or even generator software for controls; everything is always changing,” she says. “A lot of it is for the better as it allows us to do more, know more and be more efficient in all of it, but never did I ever think we would be moving to a world where job tickets would not exist and people barely needed to speak in order to do business; we use so much email its incredible.”
As for the future, the goal is to continue to grow at a modest pace, they say.
“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing because it’s working,” Bernadette says. “We are so grateful and blessed to have the best staff of skilled technicians and support people who really care about what they’re doing and the people we’re affecting on a daily basis. We’re looking to expand and hire more talent to keep taking care of generator customers in our area.”
“We are a very financially sound and conservatively run company and we have a great balance in all departments of young and experienced employees,” Eric says.”We invest in training yearly or as often as we can for all of our people to stay on top of the latest trends and products. We don’t see generators going away anytime soon. And as long as they exist, so will the need for service and maintenance.”
South Shore Generator Sales & Service is located at 2696A Cranberry Highway in Wareham. For more information call 888-339-4248 or visit ssgen.com