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Company focus Apr 20, 2023

10 ways we deliver quality through collaboration

At Reliable Controls we like to do things differently: Customer satisfaction is the measure of our success. Doing right by building owners and operators means we invest heavily in our Authorized Dealers—the people entrusted with the responsibility to engineer simple, flexible, sustainable building automation solutions tailored to customers’ needs. It comes down to collaboration. We support our dealers, and they support each other, so our customers benefit from the expertise and passion of hundreds of professionals. Everyone in the Reliable Controls community cares about making a difference, one building at a time.

1: Handpicked dealers

The Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer network is a worldwide group of talented, independent controls contractors. We’re proud to work with them. And we’re picky about who we invite into the fold. Why? Because our customers deserve the best.

Our collective success flows from aligned values and trust. To become a Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer, people need to demonstrate a commitment to business sustainability and the ability to provide a high level of customer service. For example, does the business include qualified application engineers, able to quickly solve technical challenges? How does it engage with industry peers to foster relationships, contribute as subject-matter experts, and stay current in the field? What’s its succession plan, and how will it ensure long-term customer care? Dealer status is hard to obtain and annually reviewed.

2: Training

When you pick Reliable Controls, you get people and technology you can rely on. Factory-certified training is the first step in ensuring Authorized Dealers provide customers with exactly that: reliability. People do better when they know better. In addition to intensive instructor-led training, we provide online learning opportunities for dealers and building operators. Our growing library of training videos provides easy, bite-size instructions on how to get the most out of RC-Studio®, RC-WebView®, and the MACH-ProWeb®.

"One of our core principles is “a highly-trained customer is a long-term customer.” The Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer training keeps our techs at peak performance, and the operator training greatly enhances our customers’ abilities to take full advantage of all the features and benefits of their building automation system. A significant portion of our repeat business comes from our highly trained customers."

Matt McMillen, senior controls engineering specialist at Ameresco (United States)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2012

3: Application engineering

Even when Authorized Dealers receive the best training, there’s still room for more coaching. Who better to offer 24-hour support than a team of application engineers with field experience? Dealers know they can count on these experts to offer an extra perspective and complement their know-how when faced with complicated scenarios. Customers are often impressed by how much information they receive because of the extra level of factory support.

"The freedom to ask anything, without feeling like we’ll be judged, is part of the respect we experience with Reliable Controls."

Adsinar Cajar Bocek, general manager at COPANAC (Panama)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2016.

4: Technical support

According to Reliable Controls Authorized Dealers who also work with other brands, our technical support response time is the best in the industry. Samuel Goulet, our tech support supervisor, describes his team as “relentless problem-solvers who take away pain.” It’s about more than providing our dealers with solutions; we cultivate relationships so they feel appreciated. There truly are no stupid questions, and no issue is too small or big for us to spend time on. Our support starts with active listening and builds by involving key knowledge holders. The entire R&D team is available to help resolve complex problems. It’s not uncommon for a dealer to speak directly with a senior engineer who has decades of experience with our products. Our technical communications team create user guides that are clear, concise, and accurate, written with our dealers' needs in mind. Why does this benefit customers? Problems are solved quickly because dealers trust every call for help—by phone or searching in documentation—will be answered.

"When I first started my company, we didn’t have any customer support or any help at all. The stress I was under put a lot of strain on my family, too. Twice I thought my wife would leave me. She said if things continued the same way for another 2 years, we wouldn’t be together. I agreed and said if nothing changes, I will probably die of a stroke. And then I partnered with Reliable Controls. There isn’t just one time they have come through for me; they make my life better every single day. Just knowing I have a team of technical experts—the people who actually built the products—available to help me with any question I have… That makes all the difference. I sleep at night because I feel supported. It’s more than just business; it’s about having inner peace. My wife is also very happy!"

Alvaro Solis, general manager at Solmatec (Costa Rica)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2018

5: Sales coaching

Reliable Controls is unique in how we promote sales. To start with, we don’t impose sales quotas on our dealers. Regional sales managers (RSMs) talk with each of their dealers every year to ask what their goals are. Not all dealers want to (or are able to) grow at the same rate. Rather than communicate expectations, RSMs ask, “How can I help?” Our sales team are more like personal coaches, encouraging dealers to become their best selves.

"We continue to align with Reliable Controls because of the support we get. With most other companies the support isn’t there, but Reliable Controls is always just a phone call away—whether it be in Canada, in Singapore, or directly with our RSM. We have a great relationship with Reliable Controls, from the sales team to the technical team. They’re always looking to get the best outcome for us."

David Connolly, director at Rycon Electrical Services (Australia)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2018

6: Sharing knowledge

“Apprenticing makes the industry better,” says Michael Richards, senior controls tech at Stratus Designs. When peers call him for advice—even those working for another company—he makes time to help them. Skilled controls technicians are hard to come by. Sharing knowledge is one way Authorized Dealers can feed collective abilities, which ultimately benefits customers.

Reliable Controls takes every opportunity to provide dealers with technical insights, industry news, and company updates by hosting webinars and regularly sharing content through the Resource Newsroom, our online forum. Check it out!

RSMs regularly organize meetings with their dealers to offer workshops tailored to their region’s needs. On a far larger scale, Interconnect, our bi-annual conference, unites Reliable Controls experts with Authorized Dealers from around the world for a week of professional development and bonding.

 "I’ve been to two dealer events (Queenstown and Hobart). It’s awesome to catch up in an environment like that, to hang out with the Reliable Controls leadership team, and to talk with other dealers around Aussie. It was great to share challenges and offer Roland [former Reliable Controls president] feedback directly and have him take notes and really listen. It makes it all worth it to know they’re really invested in the company, in their products, and in the people—in us!"

Todd McBride, general manager at IES Group (New Zealand)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2015

7: Networking events

Lunch-and-learns, trade shows, and conferences are all perfect opportunities for Reliable Controls experts to meet customers and consultants in person. Increased brand awareness builds trust, which in turn fosters strong relationships. Networking events leave the door wide open for people to approach us with questions and enjoy casual conversations that often yield interesting opportunities—both for customers and our Authorized Dealers. 

"Trade shows have given us the opportunity to get in front of customers we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to meet. We’ve generated some key relationships over the years that blossomed into a lot of work for all our branches. Robb Shipley, our RSM, joins us at school board and hospital trade shows because he knows those are two of our biggest customers and the markets we’re interested in developing. That’s been very beneficial."

Jo-Anne MacLean, Calgary branch manager at SERV-ALL Mechanical Services (Canada)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 1987

8: Marketing material

For some it’s an afterthought; for others it’s non-existent—marketing is rarely top of mind for controls companies who generate business through word of mouth and handshakes. Some of our Authorized Dealers run small operations of three or four people, all of who dedicate their time to doing the work instead of promoting it. Reliable Controls offers support by extending our marketing power to the dealer network. Project profiles showcase customers’ buildings and the solutions Authorized Dealers provided. This section of the Reliable Controls website sees the highest traffic, second only to the Dealer Locator page. Project profiles gain even more visibility and engagement when we promote them on our social media channels and link them to articles in the Resource Newsroom. We’re proud of the work our Authorized Dealers do, and want to tell the world about it. 

"Reliable Controls has given Stratus the invaluable opportunity to jointly develop marketing content for the greater good of all Authorized Dealers while also showing dealers and customers who we are and what we do. Without the fun dynamic of back-and-forth questions we wouldn’t have been able to create such worthy content. Reliable Controls has consistently put in extraordinary efforts to help us with professional photography and access to brilliant content editors. Working with the marketing department has helped the Stratus team grow."

Adam Clarke, CEO of Stratus Designs (Canada)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2020

9: Focus groups

Did you know customers and dealers play a role in the R&D of Reliable Controls products? We don’t create anything without considering what dealers need and how new features and products will benefit customers. Dealers are the main point of contact for customers. Your feedback reaches us when dealers speak with their RSM, interact with technical support and application engineering, or directly influence R&D by joining focus groups. Dealers advocate for the things that matter to you. Never be shy to share your thoughts.

"Reliable Controls demonstrates 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."

Adsinar Cajar Bocek, general manager at COPANAC (Panama)
A Reliable Controls Authorized Dealer since 2016.

10: Educational partnerships

As the demand for building automation grows, controls contractors are struggling to keep up. There is more work available than they have capacity to take on. Your next project might be waitlisted because of staff shortages. Nobody wants that to happen. Reliable Controls is helping grow the workforce by supplying technology to colleges and universities that collaborate with our dealers to include building automation in their curriculum. These educational partnerships frequently lead to co-op positions and future employment within the dealer network. It’s a highly focused way to recruit technicians before they join the marketplace.

Want to learn more about education partnerships? See the full article on why they matter.

Our value is in more than the technology we create; we’re different from other brands because we care about the people we work with and those who work with them. Collaboration breeds quality, loyalty, and a deep sense of commitment through accountability. When you pick Reliable Controls, you get a commitment to advance the automation industry.