The Institute of Directors writes that the main purpose of a COO is to:

Direct and control all organizational operations in accordance with the strategy and business plans agreed by the Chief Exec and Board to ensure that organizational goals and objectives are met.

Well-known COOs include Tim Cook of Apple (CEO now, of course) and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook (now Meta).

Armed with all this knowledge about the role – and importance – of the COO, the team at NexRev was delighted to welcome Christopher Haidet on-board earlier this year as our new President and COO.

Our official appointment press release provides the nitty gritty about Chris, but we wanted to find out more about the man himself: what he’s up to – and his experiences at NexRev so far, so we fired a few questions at him…

Why NexRev?

NexRev is an amazing and inspiring organization. What we are doing – and, more importantly, what we could be doing – will be front page news in the near future. We are up there with companies that are household names and being lauded for tackling energy waste, such as Honeywell.

Look around and you can spot energy and operational waste in commercial buildings everywhere. From the excess use of outside air, equipment running continuously when not needed, machines running inefficiently without reliable data to call them out, to the basics of lights left on when not necessary and setpoints that are too cold or too hot. Not to mention the staff required to manage and maintain all the environmental equipment.

Organizations across the world are actively looking at how they can reduce their carbon footprint – and NexRev is already reducing the energy waste in more than 10,000 unique locations across North America, accounting for energy savings of over 2 billion kilowatt hours annually or a reduction of 466 million kg of CO2e into the environment.

The company’s potential is unlimited. We have a lot to do and I’m excited to be steering NexRev through its next phase of development.

What are the first things you’re working on at NexRev?

After spending time with everyone at NexRev discussing our current and future portfolio, I’ve decided to focus on a couple of areas with the greatest potential at the moment:

DrivePak
I’m working with my team to leverage our expertise in the individual packaged DX rooftop unit (RTU) efficiency business as discussed in last week’s blog which summarized the role and potential of DrivePak. Expanding on our 65,000+ installation base into new business opportunities is my top priority.

DrivePak is installed into individual packaged DX rooftop units and can change the fan speed depending on conditions within a building. These modules are programmed locally using precise measurements and proprietary NexRev configuration toolsets and software.

Efficiencies and cost savings are primarily achieved by the reduction of fan speed. For example, a 50% reduction in the fan speed of an HVAC unit typically reduces power consumption by 87%. Additional energy savings are achieved through humidity reduction by DrivePak. Lower humidity levels feel cooler allowing thermostats to be set several degrees higher and still achieve optimal comfort. This is where cost saving – and efficiency – is achieved, as each one-degree increase in the target temperature translates to a three percent reduction in energy use.

Many organizations are contemplating upgrading their RTUs to modern energy-efficient models. However, DrivePak is an easy retrofit into existing units to solve the efficiency issue while prolonging the life of the unit. A win-win in other words.

We are examining how we can integrate DrivePak with a modernized platform as a service architecture which, I believe, will enable us to capture new market potential – and become the industry leaders in the reduction of energy waste.

Smart Buildings
I’m also focusing on the future needs of Smart Buildings and the industry’s move to Energy As A Service, defined by Deloitte as switching “from asset-focused, centralized power generation and the sale of it to passive consumers. Instead, it offers end-to-end management of a customer’s energy assets and services”.

During my years working in telecom, the industry migrated from owner-operated to a managed services-based model and from a centralized to a virtual edge-based operation.

I see the same transition happening in the energy management industry. With my background in both energy and telecom, I believe we can expand NexRev to capture this market segment and continue to be the leading innovators in the industry.

It’s fantastic that NexRev’s R&D team is already working on a number of next-generation building management IoT based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions which will give organizations even more control over their energy consumption and operational waste management.

In addition, a greater focus on PaaS solutions will reduce the amount of onsite facility integration and move control to the edge, increasing individual device control and reducing the overall installation and operating cost for the end customer.

What are your plans to contact existing and potential customers?

What an amazing customer base NexRev has. I was surprised and thrilled when I first saw the full list. Truly impressive. But two things I have noticed:

  1. We have many, many decision-makers within an organization including the Energy Manager, the Facilities Manager, the Real Estate Management – and the CFO. They all have different levels of technical knowledge, but they all have an eye firmly focused on reducing OPEX. We need to adapt the way we talk about our products and services so that we are speaking their language.
  2. Some of our customers perceive our product as “too complex”. They know that we can save them far more money and that they probably do need all the capabilities we can provide, but they assume our solutions are complex given all the features. This is not the case and we need to help customers understand that our features and operation are robust, but also simplistic to manage and maintain for the customer.

We need to work with our customers and prospects and demonstrate that tackling energy waste across their buildings is something that will reap immediate awards in terms of saving money – and help an organization to meet its carbon reduction and climate commitments.

We will also need to explain to our customers that complexity does not mean costly and resource/time-consuming. Our solutions provide robust feature-sets and are simple to manage. Pushing decisions into the future shouldn’t be an option.

What are your first impressions of NexRev?

NexRev is clearly a business that cares about people – its employees and their families, its partners, and its great customers think that the family environment that is part of the company’s culture – and the way that people are empowered and given time, resources to develop their ideas, and to solve customer problems – are to be celebrated.

Proof of NexRev’s great culture can be found in how long people have been dedicated to the company. They believe in what NexRev is doing, and the potential we have.

What does the future hold for NexRev?

NexRev is profitable with big name investors who also believe in our vision. As well as expanding our product portfolio, we will continue to evaluate acquiring companies that complement our existing offering.