InBuilding - Volume 1, Issue 1 - 88
Building automated systems and bringing IoT to
facilities management continues to provide more opportunities, according to industry experts. "Everyone
started connecting building systems to the internet and
once that started, services were made available and
those services are changing the way buildings are operated," Cochrane explains.
"On the residential side, for example, it used to be you
had to walk up and turn the thermostat up or down," he
continues. "Today, through Wi-Fi and an internet-connected thermostat, people are controlling temperature
with their mobile devices. Now we also have these huge
systems connecting thousands of thermostats in buildings and our folks harness the power of this. The major
change in IoT lately has been functional integration."
Cochrane Supply & Engineering works with the
automotive industry in Detroit and those companies
have large, dedicated IoT departments to figure out how
it relates to vehicles. "What does IoT mean to buildings
and how does the car relate to buildings in the future?"
88 inbuilding-magazine.com Volume 1, Issue 1
Cochrane says companies are asking. "They are seeing the world start to accept the fact that the change is
coming. IoT is the basis of autonomous design. These
companies are looking at their buildings and their IoT
plan for their own purposes."
In addition to his role as company president, Cochrane
specializes in business development where he is challenged
to help end-users develop a business plan to support IoT.
"A good IoT plan will bring huge amount of value to
end-users, but not if they don't understand what they are
buying," he explains. "We help them understand what
they are buying so they make better decisions."
The biggest hurdle in terms of building systems
integration and IoT used to be getting the company
CFO onboard for funding, but Cochrane says that has
changed in recent years. "I have seen an enormous
amount of pressure from the c-suite pushing down on
facilities and asking for IoT solutions. With our large
end-user customers, upper management changes are
happening and the c-suite is now asking about the IoT
plan for buildings when they were the challenge before."
As more companies look for products and support for
their building systems and IoT needs, Cochrane Supply
& Engineering understands its customers want different
products, which is why it offers lines from more than 50
manufacturers. "We do some research and development
on products, especially software we sell," Cochrane notes.
"Does it bring us something of value we didn't have
before? Does it enable customers to do something they
couldn't do before? How is that product supported?"
Maintaining long-term relationships with manufacturers and customers is key for Cochrane Supply &
Engineering. "We aren't selling toys at Toys 'R' Us,"
Cochrane says. "When we sell products they are going
into buildings and if they aren't supported properly we
have a building that can't operate. We work with vendors
who support their products properly and we count on
our customers as a sounding board to see if a product
has value or not."
Moving forward, Cochrane Supply & Engineering
plans to continue increase its software sales and develop
additional services to help contractors. "I want to continue to enable them with the technology and accelerate the
pace in which we help them," Cochrane adds. "We will
add IT support and continue to bring innovation into
the industry over the next couple years."