David Schwarzbach, Regional President of EES Consulting’s Central and South Austin offices.
David Schwarzbach’s career spans 25 years in technical marketing and product management. Most recently David led the Product and Marketing groups for election technology provider Hart InterCivic. David has also served in executive roles for global-high tech giants, Advanced Micro Devices and Dell, Inc. He has led successful initiatives across the continuum from product management through outbound marketing including product strategy, road-mapping, forecasting & P&L management, strategic partnerships, integrated marketing strategy, sales enablement, outbound campaigns, PR & communications, marketing automation and CRM.
His work history also includes experience in the fields of management consulting, software development, and advertising. David has a BBA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
David has been an Austin resident since 1992. He is married and has three sons – one at Texas A&M, one at Anderson High School, and the youngest in elementary school. He is a basketball enthusiast and enjoys Austin’s running trails.
David was recently featured as one of Austin Business Journal’s People on the Move. He recently sat down with the Marketing Department to discuss his career and his future with EES Consulting.
How did you end up with EES Consulting?
EES Consulting is the right opportunity at the right time. A convergence of factors – rising energy costs, the need for responsible conservation, attractive utility rebate programs, and a vibrant and growing Austin community that takes its environmental stewardship to heart – contribute to all parties winning in this situation. Customers save significant money on their energy bills, overall consumption is reduced, and EES brings a sustainable business model offering a highly valuable service to Austin.
What are two memories from your career that stick with you?
Well, my thoughts are more key lessons than specific memories. After 25 years in tech, there are many high points in a rapidly changing industry but they tend to support some consistent truths. First, customers recognize a compelling value proposition. They know when a product or service contributes to their business success, especially when it does so in a way that others can’t. If a company can demonstrate this value effectively, its demand will be organic and very strong. Second, I’ve never met a customer who didn’t have a ton on their plate, so I’ve always believed that any business partner that can help manage complexity on behalf of their customers offers a valuable service, and customers will cheerfully pay for that service. That’s one reason why EES’ service is a full front-to-back offering – from energy assessment to project implementation to financing to processing rebates and incentives – it’s truly turnkey across the operation. It’s why we say “It’s EESy” to become energy efficient with EES.
What is the biggest challenge you face in the energy efficiency industry?
Initially at least, I think it is overcoming customer skepticism about real energy cost savings. It’s a difficult decision for a business owner to invest in capital improvements when margins are already tight and traditional focus is on driving more sales. EES understands this. The energy savings are real, and every dollar saved in energy expense flows directly to the bottom line. We take great measures in our business cases to demonstrate the real savings. And by proving the savings from a single project, we overcome the skepticism and begin developing a trusted partnership with our customer. Conservation technology is moving incredibly fast. Applications for LED lighting are growing exponentially. Smart fan controllers are turning motors only when needed and at the exact speed required. New ceramic-based materials help secure a building’s interior from the harsh exterior. We evaluate an entire range of technologies and offer them to customers only when they make financial sense. In this way EES works to become a trusted advisor about the constantly emerging conservation opportunities.
What do you like the most about your line of work?
I like that I’m doing something I can be proud of. I’ve been blessed in my career that I’ve worked in areas that help improve people’s lives. From computer technology that brings more information to more people in more meaningful ways, to voting technology that helps make it easier to cast a ballot with greater trust, and now to energy efficiency technology which helps protect our resources and helps businesses succeed by lowering their costs.
What makes EES Consulting unusual?
Our approach is unique and very customer-oriented. Unlike most efficiency providers, we don’t represent a singular product line or manufacturer. We offer an open portfolio of solutions that is constantly evolving with enhancements. In tech we called it open standards, and it meant customers had access to the best technology available in the market, regardless of where it came from. Our solutions encompass the total building – lighting, refrigeration, HVAC, roofing, windows, power factor, water and waste management, and more – which enables us to offer solutions that work in concert with one another. The result is not only energy savings, but also reduced maintenance costs and increased comfort. And we frequently have suppliers competing with each other for our business, typically resulting in advantaged costing which helps improve our customers’ ROI. EES prepares custom recommendations from our thorough energy assessment, accounting not only for each site’s fixtures but also how they’re used, and we focus on solutions that will pay for themselves in 4 years or less, or else we won’t recommend it.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to open a business?
My advice is to search for an opportunity you believe in and then apply yourself wholly to it. Draw on all your experiences to help manage the business, not just your work experience. The lessons you’ve learned from family, inspiring teachers & mentors, your hobbies, sports, relationships, or working toward a personal goal will surprise you in how they can be applied to your business. I learned as much about organizational dynamics from being in a band as I did from working in a global corporation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and to seek help. Alter your course as you learn. Finally, always listen to your customers. They will always tell you – perhaps not so much in words – what it is they want to buy.