My Toughest Challenge: Kyle J. Remont of RED Group in New Orleans

Kyle Remont (Photography by Cheryl Gerber)

Position: President
Company: RED Group, New Orleans
What They Do: Specialize in control systems design and integration, industrial IT consulting and industrial control systems security. RED Group works to improve production and operational efficiency for companies and municipalities across the U.S. that manufacture, invent, produce or control industrial products or resources. They also have a UL-certified control panel fabrication facility in New Orleans.
Career: Remont earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 2002 from the University of Mississippi. He worked as a control systems engineer for both an equipment manufacturer and then a local engineering firm before founding the company now known as RED Group in 2006.

The Challenge

As is often the case in the control systems industry, RED Group experienced significant delays in either starting or completing projects due to circumstances outside of its control. “While we are always diligent about project and backlog management, we either found our team members underutilized during these delays or other project schedules would suffer and we would have to turn away work,” Remont explains. “We decided that staffing based on project workload was not a viable option for us, as it hindered our ability to maintain our quality standards.”

At the same time, the RED Group team noticed gaps in the marketplace for existing control system hardware and software offerings. “We had many ideas for innovative products and services that could fill these gaps,” Remont says. “However, we knew pivoting to technology development would be an unfamiliar step for the company.”

The Resolution

With ambitious growth plans, RED Group understood the need for improved systems and processes to ensure that the quality of its work didn’t suffer as business grew. “We realized that our team already had the knowledge and skills to address these challenges together,” Remont says. “All we had to do was put the right plan into place.”

During a work delay, they formed a dedicated team and began brainstorming. The team mapped out ideas and explored the value-add for the client, the production costs and the required expertise. Based on that data, they developed a customizable, cloud-based remote monitoring control system called REDAlert.

“Using an agile project management system, we utilized all of our available engineers and programmers during delays, while continually updating the rest of the group of their progress to keep project transitions seamless,” Remont says.

The team finished developing the first version of REDAlert in 2016 and limited its release to select customers. After a few years of successful operation, they are now beta-testing version 2.0 with added features and expect to release the product to the general market this year.

The Takeaway

Even though the industrial process control market traditionally has been slow to adopt new processes, RED Group recognized that industry technology is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Overcoming these challenges instilled a culture of innovation that will help the company stay on the frontlines of the industry from here on out.

“Our team has been invigorated by the opportunity to work on interesting, unconventional projects,” Remont sayas. “Even if they reach a delay on an external project, the team can use their expertise to further benefit internal product development.”

The RED Group team’s commitment and dedication to putting advanced processes and systems in place to solve problems has not gone unnoticed. Remont says their 2019 inclusion on the Inc. 5000’s list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in the U.S. “has only made us eager to strive for more in the future.”

This article was originally published in the Q4 2019 issue of 1012 Industry Report.