Andrew McCoy

Freelance Writer


Responsible for millions of dollars in construction research, Dr. McCoy maintains a teaching schedule for undergraduate and graduate courses at Virginia Tech. Recognized for his study of service-based contracting by ELECTRI International and award-winning journal articles, he co-authors the service/maintenance column in Electrical Contractor Magazine with Fred Sargent. He came to Virginia Tech with 15 years of experience in design and construction.

Articles by Andrew McCoy

  • From left: Greg Cummins, Ed Schuler and Kevin Rickett
August 2017
Smarter materials management is especially beneficial in electrical service work. Service electricians are constantly confronted with the challenge of obtaining materials while striving to minimize the amount of lost time, back-and-forth travel and rush charges that inevitably follow.
  • David Hounshell is trained in electrical engineering and history and focuses on innovation at the intersection of science, technology and industry. He is currently writing two more books.
June 2017
Electrical contractors convey electrical products on the last mile of the journey from manufacturer through distributor to installation. This applies to products for every type of electrical work. In a paradigm shift, if ECs believed their chief priority should be material management, not labor management, the difference in the results they experienced would be astounding. 
April 2017
Electrical contractors who have built a successful business in commercial or industrial construction are quick to offer very standard explanations as to why they never pursue residential service work.
February 2017
Rachel Hienz would have never expected the situation that was about to unfold as she entered a bank branch one morning. She was there for a pre-job walk-through with other representatives of companies that would soon begin renovations on the building.
December 2016
Organizations, particularly contracting businesses, tend to fade from history rather quickly. So, whenever we encounter a great old company such as Harrington Electric Co. in Cleveland, which is about to celebrate its 110th year of continuous operation, we have to ask how it has managed to hang around so long. What is the secret to such extraordinary longevity? READ MORE
June 2016
It was just another beautiful Thursday afternoon in San Francisco when someone on an upper floor of a gleaming downtown office tower, taking time out for a quick game of bean bag toss, put a little too much arm in his delivery, hit a sprinkler head on the ceiling, and set off the building’s emergency sprinkler system. READ MORE
April 2016
Started in St. Louis in 1953, PayneCrest Electric Co. Inc. is broadly diversified in electrical and communications installation work, which the company now takes on throughout the United States. Its signature “PCE way” embodies a customer-centered philosophy with a constant drive toward creative solutions that has resulted in an impressive project resume and an enviable client roster.
February 2016
In 1999, Kevin Ashton, a British entrepreneur making a presentation about radio frequency identification (RFID) to a major U.S.-based consumer products manufacturer titled his slide “Internet of Things.” That expression, often abbreviated “IoT,” is now a permanent part of business vocabulary and denotes where the physical world and cyberspace have collided to give us not only new words but, better READ MORE
December 2015
Malcolm Gladwell, author of several New York Times bestsellers, offered a great lesson for electrical contractors in his most recent book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.” While he wrote it for a general audience—and certainly never mentions electrical contracting—within its pages there are plenty of takeaway lessons for the majority of electrical contractor READ MORE