January 2017

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What the Internet of Things Means For Controls Contracting Businesses

A comprehensive, built-for-purpose platform that makes the flow of information seamless in any direction.
Hector Hernandez

Hector Hernandez,

CEO, Founder

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In 2008, there were already more "things" connected to the Internet than people, and by 2020, the number of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion. It’s a hot topic for discussion within the HVACR industry, and there will be plenty more of it to come. And why wouldn’t there be? This idea of globally interconnected products, software, and services promises to revolutionize our industry.

Today, approximately 4.9 billion “machine to machine” devices are connected, with a projected growth to 12.2 billion by 2020. Building management systems will account for a substantial percentage of this market.

I personally think that it’s very exciting; however, if you’re a small controls business owner, then you’re probably asking yourself the same question I hear when I visit my customers:

Why do I care if my toaster communicates with my refrigerator? What does IoT actually mean for my business?

My answer to the first question is, “You probably don’t, and you probably don’t need to.” But when it comes to the second question, this amazing new technology is creating the opportunity to innovate and provide solutions to very common problems that will make your company more efficient and effective.

IoT for Business Efficiency

If you take a look at many modern controls businesses, you’ll see that their workflow, functions, and departments work as vertical silos that don’t interoperate with each other, causing a tremendously inefficient bottleneck.

Let’s use estimating as an example. Most controls companies estimate their jobs using spreadsheets or software that has no connection with their project management or procurement system.

We see these as broken bridges that prevent IoT from developing and having an impact on businesses. In ninety percent of cases, the business owners acknowledge and understand the problem; moreover, they can often quantify the monetary cost from this ineffective way of doing business.

At the same time, we see a burning desire from the same owners to use available technology to resolve these issues. What makes the process difficult and sometimes nearly impossible is the lack of a single, purpose-built platform that enables the information exchange to happen.

What does this have to do with IoT?

Simply put, IoT is about connectivity and the rapid exchange of information between devices, people, or any combination of the two, in order to increase the efficiency of an infinite array of processes.

It is essential, moving forward, to have the correct platform in place in order to empower your business to take advantage of this quickly emerging technology.

For example, you already have a phone, an Internet connection, and the information from a system that you’re servicing. The next step is to connect this information with your procurement department so that the parts you need are ordered and delivered faster than ever before.

The same principle applies to your estimates. You can turn the information from your estimates not only into purchase orders but also into real project schedules with just the click of a button, making your projects simpler to manage and more cost effective.

You see, IoT is not just about connecting toasters with refrigerators; it’s about connecting your company’s processes, your employees, and your internal systems to allow them to communicate as quickly as possible so you can be more efficient.

Using Cube as a platform

Cube has been developed specifically to allow controls contractors to manage all their business processes from a single point of control. Cube offers a comprehensive, built-for-purpose platform that makes the flow of information seamless in any direction.

For example, you can take information from your estimates and use it in conjunction with your procurement department to create an advanced purchasing strategy or to create more accurate forecasting. At the same time, Cube continually updates price change information to let you know which product you should select in order to deliver the most competitive price.

This kind of connectivity offers a unique opportunity for you to look at your business and to challenge yourself to think outside the box to solve common problems within your organization from a single platform.

There’s an unparalleled opportunity to innovate. What you do with this new and amazing trend is up to you. The question is: Will you embrace it and flourish?

To learn more about CUBE software and how we can help your business, visit our website or call us at (855)-928-2387.

If you’re going to be attending this year’s ASHRAE, be sure to stop by Booth N11520 to learn more about our product.


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