Adam Goodwin is new to the role of Low Voltage General Manager, but not to managing projects within Miller Electric’s Low Voltage department. While Adam moved into the role after Tom Parks retired last year, he has been working as a Project Manager in the Low Voltage department since 2007.
“It’s hard to believe I will have been here for 15 years this June,” says Adam.
As General Manager, Adam will continue to manage his customer accounts, but will also focus on helping the department grow and managing issues that arise, such as with supply ordering, and will forecast sales for the upcoming year. That variety of work is one of the things Adam most enjoys about his job.
“Every day is different.”
“I can come to work with no meetings on my schedule, and then within an hour or two, my entire day is full with different project-related issues,” Adam says. “That’s one of the things I have always liked about Miller Electric.”
Like other PMs in the Low Voltage department, much of Adam’s work revolves around customer needs, which is a big driver of the diversity of his daily work.
“A lot of what we do involves visiting with customers and helping with their low voltage needs. They may have a small or large project, and we kick things off by visiting them to find out what they need,” he says. “Sometimes we do a walkthrough or visit onsite whenever possible. We’ll put together a quote and then follow through with the work that quote entails. When a project is accepted, we order all of the materials, coordinate staffing and handle billing.”
Tackling Customer Concerns, Supply Delays
As General Manager, it’s also Adam’s job to help resolve customer issues or concerns.
“I have always done that for my own customers as a PM, but now when other PMs have customer concerns or challenges, I work with them to resolve them. There’s no room for complaining here,” Adam says. “We just have to put our heads together, find a solution and get it done.”
Adam says most of the problems the department has encountered during the Covid pandemic have stemmed from supply shortages and cost increases.
“Materials you never had a problem getting before the pandemic now carry three month or more lead times.”
As an example, Miller Electric provides security cameras manufactured by Axis, an industry leader in IP systems for cameras. Many Axis camera models currently carry a multiple month lead time from time of order.
That can be problematic, since security work is a large part of the Low Voltage Department’s business.
“The largest portion of our business is communications cabling, or what the industry calls ‘structured cabling.’ It involves installation of fiber optic cabling and copper cabling, such as Category 6 and Category 6A. Another sizable portion of our business includes security work designing and installing closed circuit TV and access control systems.”
Keeping First Responders Safe With Public Safety Wireless Systems
When the Low Voltage team isn’t busy installing cabling that connects computers and phones to local area and wide area networks, it’s working on public address systems, distributed antenna systems (DAS), public safety (DAS) systems and sound masking, which have become more prevalent over the past five years.
Adam says public safety DAS systems are also becoming more prevalent for new and renovation installation projects right now.
“For many new builds, they’re a code requirement,” he says. “DASs, and more specifically, public safety DASs, help first responders communicate with each other inside a building when responding to an emergency.
“If first responders’ can’t communication efficiently during a crisis in a building, a public safety DAS system would have to be installed to allow first responders’ wireless communication systems to function properly. We partner with a local integrator to install these systems where needed.”
Installing Cutting Edge Collaboration Technology for LinkedIn
One of the projects Adam’s team had an opportunity to install a public safety DAS system on was with the new LinkedIn office building at 132nd and Pacific streets.
After the building was constructed and nearly complete, Miller Electric teamed up with a DAS Integrator to test the entire building to determine if a Public Safety DAS system would be required.
After testing was complete, it was determined that one level required this system and Miller worked with a local integrator who designed the system for Miller Electric to install.
A number of voice and data cabling systems were also installed throughout the new 200,000 square foot office complex, which includes a number of unique features.
Other interesting projects Miller’s Low Voltage team is working on include the Gene Leahy Mall complex, where the team is installing security systems, access control and fiber optic cabling and an addition to the northeast corner of the Holland Center.
“That space will house a new live music venue with fluid seating that will hopefully bring some smaller, up and coming bands to the Omaha area,” Adam says. “There’s nothing else like it in Omaha, so it’s an interesting project to be part of. We are partnering with an AV integrator to install a complete sound and lighting system, which is something I have never worked on.”
Variety of work is another aspect of life at Miller Electric that has kept Adam engaged and thriving over the past 15 years. The other part that Adam especially appreciates is the people.
“The culture here is exceptional.”
“Before I came to work here, Tom Parks was a customer of mine. Even after a job change on my part, he kept in touch. One day, he asked me to come on board as a PM, and I’m so glad I did. The culture here is exceptional.”
Adam most appreciates the freedom, autonomy and trust he experiences at Miller Electric.
“You’re allowed to do your job and really take care of the customer,” he says. “It creates a great work environment, and it shows in the people who work here. It’s truly a great place to work and I am happy to be a part of it.”