How We Problem Solve (With an Engineer’s Intuition)

by | May 23, 2022 | Firm Spotlight

“Being engineer-led allows us to objectively consider potential energy-savings solutions from a decidedly technical and rational basis.” This was our Managing Principal Russ Litsinger’s answer when we asked him if all solutions were created equal.

Many energy-service companies focus on what we call the ‘low hanging fruit’- Energy Conservation Measures that are easy to implement and yield significant energy savings.  At Ascendant Facility Partners we consider the bigger picture of using a whole suite of energy and operational improvements to move the client forward on a path towards their long-range facility goals. Thus, it’s not just about being cheap but more about being so intensely focused on short-term rewards at the expense of long-term operational and financial sustainability.

To make profound changes to your efficiency (and reap the long-term rewards), you need a firm that will truly understand your facility and its unique manner of operating. That’s where Russ comes in.

Problem Solvers Need to Have Pluck

“I paid my own way through engineering school while working full-time as a project manager for an inland marine company”, says Russ. He’s not afraid to tell you how hard he’s willing to work for a career he truly believes in.

“That was an experience that I would not trade for any other as it gave me a profound respect for the value of education and an acute understanding of the importance of proactive management of time and resources.”

He goes on to explain how important the process is, even beyond the results of that process. “I learned that a successful project is not only defined by objective measures such as being within its budget or being completed on schedule, but it is also defined by the client’s perception of how well you have listened to their concerns and goals and ultimately have delivered on your commitments to their objectives.”

For Russ, the solution isn’t about the end result, or even the means to the end. It’s about every action you take along the way.

Integrity & Balance; These Are the Basics of Every Guaranteed Solution

Russ brings not just his decades of experience as an engineer to Ascendant Facility Partners, but his philosophy, work ethic, and integrity, which he believes forms the foundation for his work.

“When approached with integrity and balance, Guaranteed Energy Savings projects can serve as a strategic investment for clients by linking high-performance facility improvements with their associated energy cost savings.

When executed in a measured fashion and with a clear understanding of a client’s long-range facility needs and strategic goals, a guaranteed energy savings project can help preserve a client’s capital fund pool for use on other important priorities such as new construction and major renovations.”

Energy savings is about balance; creating a system that does as much as possible by using as little as possible. It stands to reason by extending that tenet to the design stage will pay off as well.

Our Greatest Challenge is to Not “Kick the Can”

We are all guilty of taking half measures. It can be all too enticing to come up with a solution that works, even if it’s for the short term. Yet, when it comes to guaranteed energy savings, “kicking the can down the road” with your operational improvements will catch up with you sooner than you’d think. Russ considers this temptation one of the greatest pitfalls of many Guaranteed Energy Savings Companies.

“The most challenging aspect of GESC projects in general is the development of potential solutions that are both economically viable and simultaneously augment the client’s strategic goals.

So often, energy-savings programs are developed without an intimate understanding of the long-range operational needs of the client such that while solutions might provide a reasonable return on investment, they do comparatively little in terms of moving the client forward relative to their master planning.”

Russ goes on to say how much he values the relationships he makes with his clients. He feels this collaborative energy is what ultimately pays off most.

“We are a relationship-driven and an engineer-led energy services company that seeks to build enduring connections with our clients. This ultimately allows us to have an intimate understanding of their long-range goals and the opportunity to work collaboratively with them to both identify, and subsequently leverage energy savings opportunities as a means to support reinvestment into their facilities.”

To put it simply; the people we work with are friends and colleagues. We have skin in the game, we understand the stakes are high, and our work reflects that level of quality and precision.

Our goal as seasoned engineers who are passionate about energy-savings is to be at 100%. It’s harder than it looks; you need the science and you need the passion. Not everyone has it. Some don’t even know you need it.

You Need to be Passionate About the Future

Speaking of passion; we asked Russ what thrills him most about being a founding member of AFP.

“I am most thrilled by the opportunity to build a legacy of making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.

As advocates for our clients, we see our work not simply as a means to positively address infrastructure needs but also as the opportunity to come alongside our clients in their efforts to make a positive investment in our collective future.”

If You Want Your Facility to Endure for Decades, Start with Us Now

Russ understands with true energy-savings it can profoundly lower your operational budget while future-proofing your facility in the process, you need to treat your operational logistics as a marathon and not a sprint.

“Our approach is one that is customer-centric and long-term relationship oriented. As a result of our enduring relationships, we are afforded the privilege of looking at two important things; where they’re coming from and where they’re going.”

Along that line, we asked Russ where AFP’s coming from, and where it’s going.

“Currently we are working with current clients who are in a position to immediately benefit from a GESC project.

Following on this, we expect to expand into other markets by developing other client prospects who share our collaborative vision and are looking for a partner who will listen to their goals and will develop solutions that seek to augment their mission.”

Are you a curious current client? Are you simply interested in what we can do for your short and long-term operational budget? Reach out today.