Chuck Drobny, was a recent guest on Business Innovators Radio. Drobny was selected due to his special expertise with engineering custom connectivity solutions.
Globalogix specializes in monitoring and controlling physical processes, displaying information, and gathering and storing the data regardless of equipment, location or configuration for various industries. The team members pride themselves on finding solutions to problems even if the problem is outside their usual scope of work.
Drobny has been doing maintenance of equipment and operation of equipment in a variety of industries for a number of years. He was one of the first people in the inland marine industry to take some of the new instrumentation and computer equipment and actually put together programs that could help out riverboats and off-shore supply boats operate.
He learned how to measure things like fuel and speed and position and location. Then from there he started taking off- the -shelf computer equipment or whatever was available and putting it together in combinations that would work in the industrial environment. He built his first company around doing that.
One day Drobny received a call from a colleague who was launching a venture in the oil and gas service business. He believed Drobny’s expertise would have an oil and gas industry application and he knew it would help his venture succeed. Drobny explains how he made the transition from boats to oil wells, “I found that the differences were not as severe as I thought. I recognized that even though there were hundreds of oil wells out there, no two would be alike. Just like I had found in the riverboat business, that even two riverboats built by the same shipyard on the same line didn’t come out the same way. We started hiring people because they had relationships with customers who needed to have this equipment installed in their oil wells or on their oil pads.”
Drobny continues, “Now you may look and say, ‘what is it that you’re doing?’ We’re essentially taking hold of the instrumentation and control issues. These are the temperatures, the pressures, the tank levels, the valve indicators, the flow measures. All the kinds of physical parameter measurements that an individual may use for his process. Whether that be an oil well that connects into pads and goes into pipelines or the stations along those pipes. We’ve used the same skills and techniques to upgrade agricultural feed processing plants.”
On the growth of his company, Drobny revealed, “Globalogix was founded in 2004. In 2006, we were a little under half a million in revenue and the following year we hired a lot of people, brought a lot of processes online and brought it up to about two and a half million. Early on we were the fastest growing company, technology company in Houston. We were in the top 40 in the nation on the Inc. 50. We had quite a spectacular growth, and pretty much did it by taking off the shelf products, putting them together, engineering the solutions and not sitting down and saying look, I have the one size fits all solution for you. What we do instead is we say let’s sit down with you and identify what it is you think you want. I’ll start to describe to you, our engineers will describe to you how we get there.”
Chuck Drobny is a US Army Veteran and West Point Graduate. When asked how that set him up for success he responded, “I think it set me up for understanding who I was and in the context of my peers, as to how to start to influence other people. I realized through that that I was not a very good bureaucracy participant. I really can’t separate West Point from my time in the Army. I think Ranger School and becoming qualified as a Ranger was just as significant in terms of its impact upon me as West Point was. They were both part of the Army experience.
West Point and the Army taught me how to think in a swirling maelstrom of conflicting ideas. It taught me that you had to be able to sift through a mountain of distraction with a singularity of purpose. Identify what the other person wanted and what you had to do to get them to change their behavior in the direction you wanted.
To that extent I probably still do that with our customers. I can’t sell something to a customer who doesn’t have a need or desire. Conversely, just because he has a need or desire doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to buy from me. I’ve got to be able to show him something that they didn’t know about before, some wow factor, some interesting way to solve the problem that then responds to what it is that they’re trying to deal with right now rather than some strange ROI calculation that I have in the back of my head.”
Company Name: T. Allen Hanes & Associates
Contact Person: T. Allen Hanes
Country: United States