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Company focus Mar 07, 2023

In conversation with Adsinar Cajar Bocek

In conversation with...

Adsinar Cajar Bocek

General manager at COPANAC (Panama)

A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2016

Regional sales manager: Karina Silva



Why did you choose to align with Reliable Controls?

We have been in the air-conditioning business for a little over 50 years. Four years ago, we decided that controls are the heart of HVAC systems. That was something we had been outsourcing, not entirely successfully. We wanted to find a controls provider that would enable us to do more and be more empowered. That’s when we came across Reliable Controls. When we looked closely at what Reliable Controls stands for—what their pillars are, what their values are—it felt like a perfect match. We had worked with Karina Silva before, so to continue that professional relationship was an important aspect for us. There’s a lot of trust there.


What sets Reliable Controls apart from other brands?

Reliable Controls demonstrates that they respect their dealers. That’s really important to us. They consider everything we say; they really listen to us and try to do everything within their means to help us. They are very humble. That gives us the feeling of being at home or part of a close-knit group.

The technology allows us to do more things; it’s very hands on. Reliable Controls empowers us so that we, in turn, can empower our people, our clients. If there’s anything we can’t do, we trust—without hesitation—that we can ask for help, even for basic solutions. The freedom to ask anything, without feeling like we’ll be judged, is part of the respect we experience with Reliable Controls, and it’s between the lines of everything they promote. That’s something we try to extend to all our clients and employees as well.


How do you show your clients you are people they can rely on?

We see the culture that Reliable Controls nurtures—one of trust, candid communication, and a dedication to helping us grow—and we’ve fostered that culture in our own team so our clients also benefit the way we do.

That missing spark, which Reliable Controls now gives us, is something our clients were missing too. So when we look at controls systems that have been abandoned, or not used efficiently to get the most out of them, we do what we can for our clients. We try to really empathize with our clients; we want to understand them and know where they’re coming from—and not just financially but also their sustainability issues. We make sure our team understands the importance of not just focusing on the money side of things. I think a lot of our people have really changed for the better. Our clients respond to that every day, and we’ve become unique in the market because of it. In addition to being very candid with our clients and trying to help them through all the issues they may have with their systems, we let them know if they want to do more—go further—that’s something we can support them with. We’re not going to block their progress by withholding information so they become dependent on us. On the contrary; we have opened up with our clients in the way that Reliable Controls has been open with us.


When you first meet with a client, what’s your desired outcome?

We want to close the deal. That’s what we work for: to get a job and keep our company going. When we first meet with a client, we want to do whatever we can to help them; we want to do what we would do if it were our own business. When we look at their existing system, or design a new system, we try to do our best and deliver a system that works best for them, balancing their budget and sustainability needs.

Environmentally, we’re always thinking about energy efficiency. We’re also thinking about practicality and how simple the system is. You can put in a very complex system that might be very efficient, but when you show up a year later, it’s not being used anymore because nobody can use the technology! But we continue to educate them and never give up on them.

The main thing is to step into their shoes—to see what they have, to understand their economics and how they operate their business. The best outcome is when they are satisfied. The combination of the different technology and different values is what makes such a good match and allows us to give our customers more than they expected.


Tell us about a time you exceeded clients’ expectations.

For the Panama Metro project, our client had a challenging issue in communicating the SCADA system with the Reliable Controls direct digital controls we were installing; non-standard Modbus registries truncated their integration. To resolve the issue, we worked together with the SCADA provider and the general contractor in an open-book environment—COPANAC programmers worked closely with Reliable Controls engineers (virtually connected from Canada) during many meetings and testing sessions. In the end an application engineer at Reliable Controls suggested a hardware gateway, and we were able to integrate with the SCADA system and satisfy this nonstandard requirement. It sounds simple, but it required much hard work, team work, and trust. Everybody involved went the extra mile.


Do you think Reliable Controls represents people and technology you can rely on?

Yes, definitely. The people at Reliable Controls don’t just transmit that; they live it. As for the technology, the Reliable Controls philosophy translates into the technology—it’s open, backward compatible, and of great quality.

When we promote Reliable Controls, we have confidence in the technology. We believe in the power these products have to transform the world and people’s lives. Especially with today’s challenges—air quality and viruses, and who knows what else in the future—you have to trust the people who handle and store your information. I know Levi and Tom truly believe in doing the right thing, and I think that’s true!


Has Reliable Controls come through for you?

Reliable Controls has helped us in many ways, within our organization and the market. They are always there for us anytime we ask them for something, even at short notice. I’m a member of the Panama Green Building Council. In 2019 we organized a sustainable cities forum, and I asked Karina for support. Without hesitation she agreed. We were very impressed that Levi showed up in person, especially since he is always traveling and has such a tight agenda. The following 2 years, Tom gave an amazing presentation virtually. For them to make the effort means a lot to us. This forum for sustainable construction is something we value and want to give to the community. Their availability is something you can’t put a price on; it comes from the heart. The market here in Panama responds well to that. We have more and more clients asking about Reliable Controls because they hear of the positive results, and we have more consultants wanting training. Our network is growing!


What do you enjoy most about working with Reliable Controls?

In addition to the personal attention and relationship building, we really like their innovation. Anytime we come up with an idea, Reliable Controls really listens to us and tries to do something with our idea. That’s very unique! Combine that with their truthfulness and frankness, and it’s really a great thing. And I feel like we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface—we’re just getting started. But now it’s like we’ve put on glasses that have “reliable lenses” and we’re seeing new ways to transform how we do business.