As is often the case in the control systems industry, New Orleans’ RED Group experienced significant delays in either starting or completing projects due to circumstances outside of its control.
The company, which specializes in control systems design and integration, industrial IT consulting and industrial control systems security, 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. RED Group also has a UL-certified control panel fabrication facility in New Orleans.
“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,” President Kyle 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.”
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.