Fast 50: A Pivot 10 Years Ago Brought Mabbett & Associates Back to its Founder’s Roots

Stoneham, MA – For the first three decades operating Mabbett & Associates, Arthur Mabbett focused on private-sector clients, mostly manufacturing firms, in helping them to undertake environmentally safe and healthy projects. But Mabbett knew his engineering and environmental consulting firm needed to diversify in order to survive and achieve growth. So 10 years ago the company pivoted to focusing more on the public sector, including federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency, among others. It was a natural fit for Mabbett, considering he’s a former U.S. Army officer who specialized in environmental science and whose firm is an officially certified veteran-owned business.

“We morphed with the times,” Mabbett said of his firm’s transformation from 90 percent private-sector business to 70 percent public-sector business. “We always try to stay ahead of the curve.”

Staying ahead of the curve has certainly paid off, with Mabbett & Associates seeing 107% revenue growth over the past three years, to $15,085,000, making the firm one of the BBJ’s Fast 50 companies for 2020.

Mabbett & Associates bills itself as a “multidisciplinary environmental, health and safety consulting, engineering and architectural engineering” firm. It offers a wide range of services, from auditing facilities to make sure they’re complying with regulatory requirements to actually operating and maintaining sites. The latter includes Mabbett & Associates operating and maintaining the government’s groundwater treatment program at the former Watertown Arsenal, decades after the arsenal stopped making munitions at the site.

The firm’s suite of services also includes architectural/engineering design; occupational safety and health; marine technology and maritime services; and environmental, health and safety training.

“We look for niches,” Mabbett says of his firm’s seemingly never-ending search for services it can provide clients.

Besides the firm’s pivot to more public-sector clients in recent years, Mabbett also credits sound strategic planning and a commitment to quality work for the firm’s recent revenue growth. “We have 80% repeat customers,” Mabbett said. “We make sure we hang on to our customers. We’re very focused on what we do.”

Along with most other companies across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed the pace of business this year for Mabbett & Associates, primarily due to travel and social-distancing restrictions. But the financial impact ultimately has been “nominal” and the company has avoided layoffs.

Mabbett said he’s expecting flat growth through 2020 as a result of the pandemic. “I’ll take it,” he said, noting how other firms have suffered far worse.

But Mabbett, who owns a subsidiary firm in the United Kingdom, is already thinking of growth moving ahead, pandemic or no pandemic.

Indeed, the firm has started hiring in recent months, including administrative workers, scientists and engineers. Today, the firm employs about 70 people. “We’re constantly looking for talent,” Mabbett said.