Jeff Elwer Owner and Professional Engineer, EES Companies

Jeff Elwer, a Professional Engineer, is the founder, owner, and president of EES Companies — an engineering, procurement and construction company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa. EES Companies is also the exclusive North American distributor of PETKUS equipment. With more than 39 years of experience, Elwer has completed projects across various industries in several states within the United States, as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Argentina, South America, India, Bulgaria and Romania. Throughout his career, he has helped clients develop solutions to improve efficiency, productivity and safety.

All businesses and products are unique in their own way. No two organizations or what they produce are alike. This uniqueness means that design projects must be tailored specifically for the company or organization they’ve been commissioned by. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in the world of engineering solutions.

There are a number of key factors to think about when considering a new engineering project, whether it’s in the area of engineering, procurement or construction.

  1. How does the uniqueness of your product/service determine what kind of equipment or upgrades you need? Even though you might manufacture the same product or provide the same service as another company, there is no doubt something special about what you provide. Depending on what that something is, this could affect a number of things that influence the decision making process, which affects the eventual design, operation, control, and optimization of processes.
  2. Think about your overall business and what needs to be done to design specifically for it. Are you looking for a turnkey solution? This can involve the need for complete building solutions in areas such as permits, site development, concrete, steel erection, equipment installation, control systems, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, finishing work and start-up. Every one of these must be tailored for each individual company – no two are alike.
  3. At what point do you need to think about changing the way you do things when project design seems to call for it? When you begin to immerse yourself in the process of designing engineering solutions, you may realize you need to question some of your assumptions about your business. Perhaps your operation is not as efficient as you believed it was. The engineering firm you are working with will work with you on the design, operation, control, and optimization of processes, and it’s their job to recommend solutions that focus on creating and maintaining the best possible processes to maximize efficiency and results. This can often be a challenging process, because it may require you to call into question some of your prior assumptions and think outside the box.

The engineering firm you choose to work with should use its experience and expertise to recommend the best equipment to improve productivity and increase profitability, while innovating to help you improve processes and efficiencies. But that requires you to give serious thought to what makes your organization truly special, and how that might determine your overall design needs and preferences.