5 Questions for New Alert Labs CEO Bob Wasserman
Alert Labs, a subsidiary of Watsco Inc, the largest HVAC/R distributor in North America, is proud to welcome Bob Wasserman as CEO.
Bob’s background includes senior level roles in sales, marketing, and operations spanning multiple industries including insurance, hospitality, professional services, construction, industrial distribution and telecom/technology. With over 40 years of experience across large public companies, venture-backed startups, private equity portfolio companies and other privately held firms, Bob is well positioned to build on the past successes of Alert Labs and lead the company into its next phase of growth.
Bob sat down with the team to answer 5 questions about his vision for Alert Labs and the future of water intelligence and HVAC monitoring.
1. Your diverse background in industries such as construction, insurance, industrial supply products, and telecommunications gives you a broad perspective on the customers and partners that Alert Labs works with. What is your vision for Alert Labs?
Alert Labs is in a great position to create value for the people who use our solutions. We’ve got an exciting road map of new product functionality that is going to make our customers say, “I want that.” We’re going to be looking at the best way to bring our water intelligence and HVAC monitoring solutions to the customers who will benefit the most. For HVAC contractors in particular, there’s a need for proactive solutions such as our Sentree AC monitoring system. Overall, we've got a wealth of talent and technological assets that will continue to help our customers save money, reduce utility waste and help minimize potential water damage.
2. You have over 40 years of experience developing and implementing business strategy. How will this know-how inform your first 6 months as CEO?
What my experience has taught me is that the best strategy starts with understanding your market or target customer - what problem are you trying to solve or what value are you looking to deliver. From there - identify the unique strengths of your organization to address that need – marketing, engineering, sales, manufacturing and so on – and combine these strengths to help us fulfill our business goals. Broadly speaking, our strategy involves three steps:
(1) asking fundamental questions about our market
(2) answering these questions
(3) and measuring the success of our answers
It’s this iterative process that is at the core of successful strategy.
"I think our whole company is well aligned to help our customers become better stewards of the environment and gain the financial rewards that come from smarter resource management."
- Bob Wasserman, CEO of Alert Labs
3. You hold a patent for electronic display systems and you have experience helping industries thrive when it comes to digital transformation. Are a lot of building owners and operators currently benefiting from digital transformation? How does Alert Labs help?
Digital transformation is affecting every industry in some way, shape or form. Recent events have accelerated the acceptance and use of digital tools and more people are working remotely as a result. Our customers will experience the digital transformation gradually - and then suddenly. We’re already seeing this in some buildings that have occupants use their phone to unlock doors or property management companies that take work orders digitally. In Alert Labs’ case, thousands of organizations are already monitoring water use and HVAC performance using our solutions. They’re receiving alerts and actionable insights through our digital solutions.
That said, there will still be the need to send technicians onsite to respond to alerts but even this is changing. For example, controlling water systems remotely is now possible with Alert Labs automatic water shut-off solutions that stop water flow at a building when they detect a flood.
4. How does Alert Labs’ position as a provider of sustainability-driven solutions for buildings align with the growing importance of Environmental and Social Governance (ESG)?
Our products are good for people and good for the world. We are helping people better manage water - a scarce and life-impacting resource. There is a strong cause that we align ourselves with. It’s one of the reasons we exist as a business. It’s also one of the reasons people choose to come work for Alert Labs; they believe in what we can do.
On the HVAC side of things, Sentree helps minimize sudden AC breakdowns which has a direct impact on the health and safety of millions of people, for example in hot climates or assisted living communities. Sentree also helps reduce wasted electricity due to inefficient AC systems and helps extend the life of the AC system which are two more ways Sentree has a positive environmental impact.
I think our whole company is well aligned to help our customers become better stewards of the environment and gain the financial rewards that come from smarter resource management.
5. What excites you most about the team at Alert Labs?
We have a talented group of smart, creative, and engaged people. There’s a lot of passion and curiosity for finding more ways to challenge ourselves to do what we haven’t done before with water intelligence and HVAC monitoring. I feel very welcomed by the team. People know each other outside of their job function and demonstrate a level of connectivity that shows they care for each other. It’s clear we’re going to continue to do great things.