BLDUP Featured Spotlight: Justin Simmons of Schneider Electric
BLDUP Spotlight is a weekly feature where readers get insights from local industry experts and learn about what is happening in the City of Boston. This week we sat down with Justin Simmons, a Sales Account Manager with Schneider Electric, the global leader in energy management and automation. He specializes in automation and controls to find the best practices for mechanical and electrical systems in a variety of commercial and residential buildings. Justin and his team utilize Schneider's vast talent pool of experience across multiple business units to develop connected technologies and solutions to manage energy and process in ways that are safe, reliable, efficient and sustainable.
What is the last book you read that you would recommend as a "must read" to the CRE community? Why did you find this book so important?
Justin Simmons: The Ideal Team Player by Patrick M. Lencioni. This book takes a unique approach of depicting how a company should go about hiring and encouraging their employees. Utilizing a family owned construction firm as the basis for the business model, not only is the storyline relatable but it very much proves why the three main attributes of a good employee would be essential in such an environment. These attributes are to create a culture of “Hungry, Humble and Smart”.
Do you have a daily or weekly routine that you follow? If so, how do you feel it has contributed to your success?
Justin Simmons: I like to consider myself spontaneously robotic. Every day starts the same; early wake-up, protein shake, emails and out the door. From there no day looks the same, customer meetings, project meetings, internal meetings, strategic planning, in no particular order but always a high probability of a 4 egg omelet and a salad with grilled chicken sprinkled in throughout. Round the day out with a solid gym session somewhere before 10 pm and repeat… Not much of a sleeper but I do enjoy the clarity achieved in those hours when we’re typically left alone to digest the day’s content and plan for the next. This is what I live for, the process of chasing success.
What do you see as the biggest challenge right now in energy management and how is Schneider Electric working to solve this problem?
Justin Simmons: The biggest challenge in energy management, is the “Management”. We’re living in a time where never before has there been such a spotlight on utility consumption. Urbanization population density is on the rise, consumer consumption awareness is growing and global warming is a household term. Facilities are being held accountable to prove they’re doing the right things with green initiatives and that’s not always easy. Schneider has built a business model to support this responsibility, “energy expert” is not just a buzzword, there is real science to what we’re doing and it doesn’t just start/stop at the utility level. SE encompasses multiple business units from Energy Storage & distribution, to Building Control, Data, and Analytics with an ability to tie systems together and service a customer in a manner of supporting this Management as a whole.
What trends within "Smart Buildings" do you have your eye on and are most excited about?
Justin Simmons: The growing public attention around Smart Buildings is exciting in its own right. SE has always been focused on innovative technology and has been fortunate to be a part of some of the smartest building designs both nationally and abroad. One of our most trendsetting projects is “The Edge” building located in the Netherlands. This structure is 102% efficient and creating a connected experience that really sets the bar. That ability to have all systems connected and communicating on one IT network is where we are highly focused on developing and educating the end user of such importance. There is a real difference between a building with smart feature vs. a truly “Smart Building” and a converged IT network is that difference.
Schneider has a long history both in the US and internationally, what are the company's goals for the next 5 or 10 years?
Justin Simmons: SE invests heavily in R&D and Innovation. As a large company constantly developing and improving products to adapt to market trends and demands, we stay focused on where we see needs headed, 10, 15, 20 years out. IP based web systems, more connected end-user experience and analytics to report and advise on all of these growing demands are where we are most currently focused. Our Latest product platform EcoStruxture 2.0 is the most robust Building System Software Platform SE has ever released. With it, we anticipate connecting facilities in ways many have only talked about in the past. We’re excited to continue to be an industry leader in the energy and building technology market for years to come.
Have you had a mentor or someone who has helped you during your career? What are the most valuable lessons you learned from that person?
Justin Simmons: I have been fortunate to have had a number of mentors both personally and professionally throughout my career. I think in any instance of life, if motivated, hardworking and with a bit of common sense, you tend to find yourself studying those who have been successful before you. Initially you seek out local advice (Family, Friends, Teachers, Coaches, Managers), but then it’s important to get outside that comfort zone and explore beyond. Get a fresh perspective from someone you don’t know but more importantly who doesn’t know you. This ability to witness new styles and thought processes will suddenly prove as a reference point for how you define and differentiate yourself. I still like to say I’m excited to see who I am when I grow up, but hope I never do. This notion of not growing up is not of immaturity but rather self-recognition that we must always keep growing and evolving. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy Engineering and Technology, they too never stop evolving.
What is a favorite quote that inspires you or you strive to live by?
Justin Simmons: “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” – Muhammad Ali
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.
With a global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation, and software.
In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency.
We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity, and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.Schneider Electric >>