By Adam Burroughs
CCG Automation Inc. is bursting at the seams with business.
“Business is outstanding,” says CCG President Brian C. Wagner (pictured above). “We are growing quickly and doing a lot of business making buildings more comfortable, more energy efficient, and easier to operate.”
CCG installs building automation equipment—computers, essentially—to help companies improve their building’s comfort and energy usage.
“It makes us somewhat recession-proof,” says Wagner. “Construction is booming, but when the economy isn't doing well, people want to save money operating their buildings. So we're busy either way.”
But it’s not just a strong economy or a desire to save money during a recession that’s fueling growth.
“The longer we're in business, the more repeat customers we get,” Wagner says.
He says the company is thriving due to its team’s commitment to excellence. Whether it is engineering, performance assurance, installation, or its administrative team, it is focused on raising customers’ increasing expectations and delivering unparalleled results.
“With our business” he says, “we focus on customers who are not shopping first on cost but shopping total cost of ownership, which in addition to first cost includes utility costs, maintenance costs, life of equipment, and reliability.”
CCG stands out by monitoring buildings for a full year after the automation equipment has been installed.
“No two buildings are alike; they all have to be fine-tuned,” Wagner says. “Our Performance Assurance Group continues to monitor the building so we can watch what happens as the weather changes, as occupancy changes, and as spaces change while occupants settle in. Even wind direction can make a big difference in how the building operates.”
During that year, CCG learns about the building and adjusts the automation system to ensure it’s running optimally. As a result, it can control temperatures in its buildings consistently within one-tenth of one degree Fahrenheit from set point, resulting in improved comfort for the occupants. And because the systems are constantly collecting data, CCG can be proactive, informing the owner when coils are getting dirty, when a building is starting to lose some of its insulative value, or whether a boiler system is operating at capacity.
“The cost of a human resource, per square foot of building floor space, can be 100 times the cost of the utilities for that same space,” Wagner says. “We want to make sure that comfort is our top priority, as there is a direct correlation between comfort and productivity. Whether it’s a doctor in an operating room, a student in a classroom, or a factory floor worker, having a healthy indoor environment results in higher productivity.”
He says an educated customer understands the value CCG brings.
“People are seeing what we’re doing with their buildings, resulting in 90 percent of our business being repeat customers,” Wagner says. “A big part of our job is educating consumers, making sure they understand that we don’t just control temperature in a room. We control productivity, we control utility consumption, we control building and equipment life.”
Difficulty yields opportunity
Wagner says that operating with high ethical conduct and integrity is core to CCG’s values and those of its 33 employees.
“We make sure our team understands that if we can improve something on a project, whether included in our scope or not, it’s our duty to make sure it gets fixed. We are an advocate for the owner,” Wagner says. He says that those ethics are critical to CCG’s success.
“If it’s all about the money, you’re going to have problems seeing the results,” he says. “If you take care of your employees and provide a continual path for growth, they will continually raise the bar. That's what brings the repeat business, because customers understand we have the same goals.”
For Wagner, ensuring CCG and its employees uphold those values means meeting with his teams each week and reviewing their progress. He also models the relationship CCG employees should have with building owners.
“Being involved lets employees understand that one of the most important things is their growth and their education, and if we keep teaching them, that knowledge is going to get shared on projects.”
Wagner says CCG has made significant progress from being a small company with 12 employees in 2014, and his approach to leadership has progressed, as well.
“Every day was a fight just to be heard,” Wagner says of the company’s earlier days. “I was just trying to put out fires and it was so much more reactive, which causes a lot of frustration. Now it's definitely more proactive.”
Today, he knows the work is going to be there.
“Now, it's about the employees and our company growing,” he says. “It's a very different feel. I don't want to say less stress, but better stress.”
CCG Automation has worked with other banks prior to Huntington.
“We've been with Huntington for about 10 years, and the relationship is very different than with other financial institutions,” says Wagner. “They look out for us. They call me asking if we need anything more than I call them. They check in to see if everything is okay.”
Wagner says Huntington proactively looks for ways to help CCG grow, and it has found creative ways to help CCG customers fund their building automation projects.
“We have an arrangement where a customer can purchase automation through us with financing from Huntington over five years, and instead of paying high utility costs, we finance the project and they can pay off the loan with the savings,” he says.
Wagner says Huntington is always just a phone call away.
“They do whatever they can to help us,” Wagner says. “We count on the relationship we have with Huntington.”
Form more information, visit ccgautomation.com.