This year, at the International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition it was announced that Delta Controls won the ControlsTrends “Building Automation System of the Year” award. This does not surprise me, as I have worked with the Delta product for almost ten years and Southland Industries’ partnership with Delta has been in existence about a decade, too.
When Southland’s CEO, Ted Lynch, hired me in June 2005, one of my first tasks was to figure out what controls manufacturer the company should represent. Like most specialty-engineered products, you cannot just buy high end control systems off the shelf in a warehouse and bolt them to the wall. A company must first become a contractual representative of the brand in order to buy the product and get the training and technical support for it.
As your typical controls geek, BACnet compliance, hardware and software performance, as well as extreme ease of use in putting the systems together were very important to me as I evaluated different controls companies and their product lines. While evaluating the systems, I developed a list of all the information I needed to make an informed decision. After talking with installers, programmers, and customers, in addition to looking at the product technically, I became quite impressed with the Delta product line. In September 2005, Southland signed its first partner agreement contract.
Looking back over the results of that partnership throughout the past ten years, I can happily say that it was a good choice. One of the first things we noticed at Southland was the flexibility of the product to adapt to any HVAC application we needed. When hiring technicians and engineers, they always commented on how easy the system was to learn and set up. Southland’s Mid-Atlantic Division dove right into large design-build projects, confident that we had the right controls product partner on our side.
Fast forward about five years and Southland’s Southern California Division began asking about our use of Delta and how happy we were with the product. As a representative of another controls product line, they were having some issues with the strings that came attached with the saturated market for that brand and its corporate ownership business model. As they looked into Delta, they were impressed, as well. About a year after that, Southland’s Northern California Service Operations Manager Don Sanchez came out to our Dulles office to ask about a Delta possibly for his division. Then, in 2013, Southland purchased ABS Controls, which was already a Delta partner. That’s the quick story on how Southland ended up representing Delta Controls throughout all of its divisions.
Today, Delta Controls is even more of an exciting product because their main interface, “enteliWEB,” is now a mature product—and in my opinion, one of the best web interfaces on the market for building controls. Delta continues to come out with new, innovative hardware solutions and I am personally excited about selling and designing around their products now and in the future.