Revere Control Systems is System Integrator of the Year, 2022
Revere Control Systems is the 2022 System Integrator of the Year for the Large System Integrator Category. Bob Adams, president and founder of Revere Control Systems, discussed his company’s approach in an interview with CFE Media.
From cybersecurity and information technology (IT)/operational technology (OT) convergence to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to building the trust that sustains client partnerships, Revere Control Systems has stayed the course and won well-deserved customer satisfaction. Bob Adams, president and founder of Revere Control Systems, discussed his company’s approach in an interview with CFE Media.
CFE Media: Congratulations on receiving the 2022 System Integrator of the Year award. Talk about what this kind of recognition means to you and your team.
Bob Adams: It’s a real honor. We have a great group of people here, and this is only possible thanks to the contributions of everyone across our organization. Caring for customers well is a team sport, and it only works when everyone is pulling in the same direction. We like to say that we’re “engineered to serve,” so, being recognized as Integrator of the Year only reinforces our belief that when you prioritize your customers’ needs first, every time, people notice.
CFE Media: What types of projects are your clients asking for? What are their goals and expectations?
Adams: As automation becomes more complex, customers are increasingly looking for someone who’s focused on their business outcomes, not just technical solutions. Whether they need to reduce time to market, increase production capacity, optimize their asset performance, stay compliant or enhance their own customers’ experience, automation is a means to those ends, and our business must reflect that. For us, that has meant expanding our capabilities to take on more scope, more responsibility and self-perform that work. As labor shortages and technical knowledge gaps have increased, we must be the trusted partner who knows them intimately. We are our customers’ one phone call that helps them meet their business goals.
CFE Media: What do customers want to accomplish with the IIoT? How do you assess their IIoT maturity, and how can you help them toward a successful implementation?
Adams: Customers are focused on improving business outcomes. IIoT must be set up in a way that helps them get the right information with the right context to the right people at the right time to make better business decisions. This is an evolving area, and people are still learning. Our customers are asking us to come alongside them to help define what they can and should do to receive the full benefits of IIoT.
Many times that starts with modernizing some of their existing equipment to be IIoT-ready. For example, the best IIoT devices are only as good as the industrial networks they leverage to collect data. Every customer’s IIoT maturity is different. By developing a close relationship with them, we can help them figure out where they are on the roadmap and identify the most accessible and business-impacting ways to modernize.
CFE Media: How are you working with your customers to facilitate their IT/OT convergence efforts, while incorporating cybersecurity? How engaged are they on this journey?
Adams: We have a dedicated digital plant services (DPS) group that’s focused specifically on the intersection of IT/OT. DPS is made up of true IT professionals who’ve spent time in our OT context, so they deeply understand the complexities and demands of both networks. As an engineering firm with a panel manufacturing shop onsite ourselves, we have substantial internal experience navigating IT/OT, so many of the lessons we pass on to our customers were learned within our own walls, including the importance of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity isn’t a network requirement that you tack on at the end of a project; it starts from the ground up. Nobody doubts the general importance of cybersecurity, particularly as cyberattacks continue to be in the news, but not everyone realizes the real risk every business operating today faces. Network architecture, device selection and hardening and strategic security planning are critical elements along the modernization path, and we’re well-positioned to help our customers stay safe and keep moving along that journey.
CFE Media: Describe how Revere goes about forming engineering partnerships with its customers. What are the benefits of these engineering partnerships to the customer? How does Revere benefit from these partnerships?
Adams: Creating deep, compelling partnerships with our customers is the very core of what we do. It’s the hallmark of our approach to the market. When we commit to being a customer’s automation vendor, we’re committing to investing in getting to know them by listening, learning what their needs and business goals are and doing what it takes to deliver meaningful business results. We have a long track record of building unique relationships with customers to help them create a competitive advantage in their market. This success list includes custom pump control products, a recently awarded design-build project of the year honor, multiple decades-long relationships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and a wide range of long-term industrial automation modernization and maintenance relationships across multiple facilities and states.
Customers have told us that we’ve earned their confidence due to our integrity, commitment to communicate no matter what, manufacturer independence and our ability to deliver the right solution on time and on budget. For our part, Revere’s vision is to accelerate a cleaner, smarter and more sustainable world, so we thrive on seeing the impact that our water, energy and manufacturing partners have in making the world a better place.
CFE Media: Talk briefly about a recent customer success. What were some of the things you learned in success with the customer?
Adams: We learn lessons in success, but many of our most critical lessons have come from failures. One example of this is an ongoing multisite modernization program with a major lumber manufacturer. The partnership is strong and successful now, but the first project we did with them wasn’t up to our standards. The schedule wasn’t what they were expecting, and project tensions were high. However, part of being a true partner, not just a vendor, means admitting when you messed up and righting those wrongs, no matter the cost. We worked with them to resolve the issues at our expense and conducted an extensive lessons-learned process, both internally and with the customer.
This analysis helped us understand what had gone wrong and how we would handle the project better in the future. The customer appreciated our efforts to make things right and trusted us with a second chance, and we’re now in the fourth year of our partnership. We learned a lot through this process, but one of the things that was reinforced was that the strongest partnerships aren’t only built on great projects; they’re built on trust. We work every day to build that trust with all our customers, and when we have it, that’s when everyone wins.