Matthew Cohen Interviews Jon Hillberg, President & CEO of KMC Controls
Matthew Cohen, Energy Management Practice Leader with DRI, interviews Jon Hilberg, President & CEO of KMC Controls who talks about new technology and talent acquisition in the Building Automation space.
KMC Controls helps facilities achieve higher levels of indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency by automating and controlling building systems.
1) In what areas do you see the greatest growth in the Building Automation Industry?
The Building Automation Industry is going through tremendous change right now and it is only accelerating. As the world becomes more “connected” via The Internet of Things (IoT), massive data collection (Big Data) the opportunity in the BAS Industry will be exponential over the next 10-15 years. While Green Buildings have grown in popularity, the “openness” of systems running in buildings today is paramount. C-level executives today want data they can have in “real time” which allows critical decisions be made without waiting for “old data”. This data also ties very closely to the Demand Response world and Utility Companies need to control electricity usage at critical times. Cloud based systems are also becoming more accepted and utilized allowing large building data storage to be housed remotely and securely away from the facility itself. There are many growth factors as you can see. The challenge is to “pick a lane” and stay focused on it.
2) What do you see as the biggest challenge facing BAS manufactures and system integrators today?
With the popularity of “Apps” today many of the mundane, time-consuming tasks are being cut back or eliminated that SI’s face today. That being said finding qualified technicians that are both HVAC and IT savvy is a tremendous challenge. “Speed to Market” with new, robust, easy to install products challenge the manufacturers as well as continued market pricing pressures.
3) In choosing senior level talent for KMC, what are the key factors you look for when expanding you team?
We look for dedicated, passionate employees who are willing to go the extra mile. Being a smaller player in the BAS space, we have people performing more than just one task if they are capable.
4) What are the major challenges you face when acquiring top talent in the BAS industry?
The biggest challenge we face as a manufacturer is drawing talent to the smaller rural area where we reside. Lifestyle is valuable to many and if they want a larger city environment, it makes our recruiting tougher. We are addressing by opening a design center in a major city which will help somewhat. Allowing people in certain positions to work form home at least 2-3 days a week if not full time also has helped.