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Product is Very Important But it is Only One Part of a Successful Project

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Brian C. Wagner

We just celebrated our 16th year as an Automated Logic dealer.  When we were looking to pick up a new product line in 2001 we had several opportunities to pick up product lines with a small initial stock order of their material.  I had earlier experience with Automated Logic while I lived in Austin, Texas and couldn’t find anything comparable to the ALC hardware and software.  In order to get the ALC line in Northeast Ohio we had to purchase one of the existing dealers – which we did. 

Since 2001 CCG and Automated Logic have had many successful projects.  Our team has come a long way in increasing the value for the customer.   

Recently our competition has been spreading rumors that the ALC product is not an ‘Open” system.  As a founding member of the BACnet Testing Lab, the ALC product line is one of the most open BACnet systems on the market.  At CCG we have integrated with dozens of manufacturers’ equipment.  While the communication portion of the integration is successful, there are significant limitations to all integrations. That’s a future Blog.

Since our competition is afraid to compare the results of their comfort and energy consumption to ours, they have to attempt to scare prospective customers with the lie that ALC is not an open system.  Instead of raising their quality of work and making customers happy with their performance they convince the customer it is better to find a product that is ‘open’ so they have options once they become dissatisfied and need to look for another vendor.  We believe it’s better to find a vendor, and a product, that you will be happy with and don’t choose a system around future dissatisfaction.

While we are talking about product, let’s discuss its role in a project.  Product is very important.  The cost of building automation controllers and software in a typical project is about 10% of the total cost.  You need great product along with great Sequences of Operation, great design, great installation, great monitoring of the systems, and committed employees for a project to be successful.

Even the results of the installation of the same product can be very different among different dealers of that product.  As an example, a school district in a western suburb of Cleveland had the Automated Logic WebCTRL product installed in its new High school and Middle School a few years ago by a different ALC dealer. The HS has an Energy Star rating of 59 while the MS has an Energy Star rating of 13.

Another district built a new high school with the same architects and engineers and identical mechanical systems, but CCG installed the ALC product.  The results were fantastic – an extremely comfortable building and an Energy Star rating of 97.  Had the western suburb district used CCG they would have realized approximately $387,835 savings in the first year. Over the life of their buildings this equates to an additional $81 million in utility costs that will be spent - not including shortened life of equipment, increased maintenance costs, etc.

The right product is very important.  In CCG’s case, it was worth paying more to get the ALC product.  But to get an award-winning, high-performance building you also need an award-winning, high-performance building automation company.

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