For 40 years, ECT has been a leader in the world of facilities management. Below are some thoughts from Dave Stumler, Vice President of Operations, who has been with the company for more than 12 years. He heads up the Temperature Controls division and is so proud of how far this company has come, and where it’s headed.
Dave sees one of the biggest changes over the past 40 years, the sale of the company from its original owners to the new owners (he is currently a shareholder of the company), lead to a non-change… and he meant that in a good way. When the company changed hands, more than 60% of our team stayed in place. “It was a large number” he said, “and that speaks volumes about this team.”
“The biggest change has provided one of the strong points and proof of sustainability for the company,” he said.
When asked about changes over the past 12 years, Dave says every department has grown: Security, service, temperature controls.. .they continue to expand to meet the needs of customers. According to Dave’s calculations, the company as a whole has grown by more than 40% since the sale.
When thinking about ECT as a whole, one thing that stands out is its ability to innovate. “Our technologies and ability to serve our customer with changing demands, product lines and tech itself – we’ve stayed with the times and tried to be innovative,” Dave says. Sure, ECT still conquers the same tasks it always did, but its ability to be nimble and change with the times has allowed this small company to keep up and stay competitive.
“Our culture is about innovating, time after time.” The areas in which Dave sees the company succeeding could have been put on a strategic plan, but they probably didn’t exist when strategic plans were made. With the fast-pace of technology changing, ECT is able to pivot quickly to make the latest technologies available for their customers today.
Years ago people had apprehensions about some of the ideas like wireless controllers, but educating our customers is part of what we do and most want the best they can get to make their job more efficient.
When asked about changes Dave sees coming, he says companies will not just have an IT Network, they’ll also have an OT Network. This is its Operating Technology Network. Heating and air systems and controllers as well as security systems will be on these OT Network and many will be wireless. This can allow for easier access to building managers to be sure systems are running as needed. This is exciting because it allows for more efficient installation and for everything to be networked together. Most devices are becoming edge devices, meaning they’ll be able to wire each one as its own IP address. This provides for better technology to host graphics, provide programming, get controllers in tough to reach spaces. Not to mention, wireless controllers save on cost.
There are certainly challenges for the industry to overcome, but Dave feels ECT will be right there to implement these technologies and solve some complex challenges that some of the other competitors may not do. As a small business, we continue to be able to be flexible.