The Silicon Review
Founded in 1999, TAS is a Houston-based leading global company focused on highly efficient, factory-built, packaged modular solutions. The company was originally set up as a modular offsite manufacturer of turbine inlet chilling systems to augment gas turbine power plants output by cooling the incoming air. Over time, the company has applied its thermal systems experience and applied its modular packaging concepts to a variety of high-tech industries including data centers.
Today, TAS has developed a full portfolio of data center products that range from the traditional modularized cooling units, data halls, and UPS/electrical modules for hyperscale and cloud clients, as well as high-density cooling solutions, including two-phase immersion cooling systems for high-performance computing as well as edge applications.
The company is bringing innovative products to the market that provide the performance that customers demand and it does it in a sustainable fashion that also benefits society.
In-Conversation with the Leader of TAS, JT Grumski
Q. As per your experience, what kind of organizations survive and flourish into the distant future?
Innovation and adaptability are key attributes for companies to survive and thrive in today’s dynamic market. Successful enterprises are continuously evaluating key trends in their markets and pushing the envelope on technology integration.
At TAS, we have a continuous dialog with customers, suppliers and with our staff on trends and technologies and invest in first of kind systems that we can prove and manufacturer at scale for our customers.
Q. What challenges did you face in the initial years of TAS? What can your peers learn from it?
TAS has always been an innovative company, but in the initial years the company took on a number of first-of-a-kind product development efforts around the world including modular geothermal power plants, chilling modules for liquid natural gas facilities, as well as several custom modular systems for industrial applications. These multiple, simultaneous product development efforts, as well as geographical diversification, stretched our resources and ability to focus.
However, given the long-term, exceptional growth opportunities in the data center market to provide innovative modular products, we elected to narrow our market and product development focus. While still executing turbine inlet chilling projects at a high level, most of our product development focus and capital investments are related to modular data center products. And as a result of this focus, the company is realizing profitable growth and our employees are being afforded greater career opportunities.
Q. What kind of mixed responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?
TAS has a tremendous record of repeat business, which is a direct result of listening and being responsive to customer feedback. One of the interesting comments we received from a long-term customer is that we needed to push back more and point out where customer direction/feedback may not be productive. We learned from that experience to always be open and direct with customers and to make sure we communicate any concerns we have in the spirit of achieving the best overall outcome.
We are a technology innovator, with over 280 projects across 32 countries and three continents and we have had our fair share of “learning opportunities”. At TAS, we have made it a point to stand by our customers and to work issues through to an acceptable resolution. That level of dedication to the long-term view is what has made TAS an industry leader in the markets that we serve.
Q. Trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain. How do you maintain this with your employees?
First, you must always be honest with employees and earn a reputation that you care and have their best interests at heart. I try and lead by example and engage directly with employees at all levels of the organization. Laying out a direction for our future and frequently communicating our progress is essential.
When problems arise, we try hard to understand why they occurred and implement corrective actions as opposed to assigning blame. Earlier this year when we were under pressure on a new product roll-out, I spent three weeks working on the shop floor to try and better understand and help implement solutions. I gained tremendous insight from the staff and supervisors performing the work. I believe engaging with employees is the key and helps to build trust & credibility. Also, it helps the overall business significantly.
Q. Is your company a ‘leader’ or a ‘follower’? Do you formulate your own core values?
We are definitely a leader and innovator in our primary markets. We developed and perfected modular design and manufacturing, and have pushed the envelope on power and cooling technologies and possess considerable intellectual property in both. With our latest investment in high density cooling solutions, we will enable industry leading energy and water efficient edge and high performance computing infrastructure.
Talking about values, we promote our six core values - Safety, People, Integrity, Customers, Value, and Innovation - by encouraging our employees to nominate fellow employees or teams for awards who best exemplify one or more of these core values.
The Future Roadmap
Over the years, TAS has witnessed incredible popularity in the industry and believes that the company’s future is exceptionally bright. TAS will continue to innovate and be a leader in developing high performance, efficient data center infrastructure.
“We will most certainly grow with our focus, but we will strive to never lose sight of our core values and continuously adapting our business to ensure we are developing and delivering innovative modular solutions to our customers,” says JT
The Engaged Leader
JT Grumski, CEO: JT is a proven CEO with a solid track record for strategic growth, improved execution, & employee engagement. He has over 30 years of career advancement in leading technology and systems solutions organizations spanning information technology, industrial, utility, oil & gas and government customers.