Entouch CEO Greg Fasullo: This cool customer runs a hot company
Nicholas Sakelaris, Staff Writer for the Dallas Business Journal explores why EnTouch’s energy management services are being so well received. Check out what our fearless leader, Greg Fasullo has to say:
While its high-tech thermostats have been installed in 8,000 buildings throughout North America, Entouch Controls has just landed its biggest client yet: Pizza Hut. Entouch now has a contract with the Plano-based restaurant chain to exclusively service all 500 of its corporate-owned restaurants, along with the rights to install systems in 5,800 franchises. So it seems only natural that the Richardson company would add 20 employees since December and more than $2 million in new payroll. It now has 38 employees.
Credit CEO Greg Fasullo, a passionate, life-long techie whose work revolves around helping restaurants, retail stores and schools save money on energy costs. The 48-year-old Dallas resident founded his own start-up company before being recruited by Entouch in 2011. Pizza Hut isn’t the only household name to use Entouch’s climate control systems. Others include Chuck E. Cheese’s, TGI Fridays, J.C. Penney and Smashburger. So what makes Entouch so hot? Here’s what Fasullo has to say.
How does your system work?
We developed our own software, our own hardware solution for the facility. Our own wireless networking technology so we can use cellular networks and not go through their infrastructure. We have a command center. We’re 24/7. We’ve developed an entire set of technology analytics that allow us to process alerts, turn them into tickets and help them to save. Why are more businesses adopting smart energy management? Energy’s a huge cost. Restaurants in particular, they’re so squeezed this year because the cost of labor’s going up. Minimum wage is going up. The cost of food is going up. Energy’s a top-three cost after those. So, we’re really able to make a big difference on the bottom line.
What kind of savings can businesses expect with this technology?
Energy Star estimates today that a typical 500-unit chain, if it implements energy management, could save $2.5 million a year on energy costs and increase revenue by 1 percent. It avoids crisis in the facility, like refrigeration going down, or maintenance issues it doesn’t catch in time. Energy’s this big hidden pot of money that most companies can’t tap into and we enable that.
How do you plan to get 5,800 Pizza Hut franchisees to use your systems?
Those franchisees haven’t agreed to install us yet, so we’re still working through that process. We went through a pretty extensive RFP with corporate and got selected. We’re already working with three of the franchise groups. One in California, one in the Northeast and another based in Kansas.
Where else have Entouch systems been installed?
We just won a large dorm opportunity with Oral Roberts University. They’re putting us in student dorms. The benefit is around the facility team being able to remotely control temperatures when students aren’t there during breaks, making sure they’re not wasting energy.
Have you installed your system in other schools?
We did a large deployment in Lewisville school district for portable buildings. We’re in 109,000 square feet of portable classrooms. There’s about a two-and-a-half month payback on those portable buildings. It’s actually heating that was more expensive than cooling. By having all thermostats cloud-connected, they could set the schedules. They actually limited settings and they could make sure when school wasn’t in session that they weren’t wasting energy.
Do your thermostat hardware customers also pay Entouch to monitor their energy usage, too?
When we first started, less than 10 percent of our national chains had us doing the services. Today, more than 95 percent when we sign them up, actually sign up for the service piece as well.
How does demand response work and why is that important to the state?
We can go in and moderately adjust the settings in a restaurant, not impact customer comfort at all and reduce peak usage by 20 percent. It’s enormously important to the state. We’re very stretched on the electric grid. During these very hot days or cold days in the winter time, we’ll get very, very close to capacity.
Can you discuss the company’s rapid growth?
I just hired three salespeople. The entire sales team was essentially the management team before. We’ve got a sales VP as well. We’ve added over $2 million in payroll in the last 12 months.
Have you always worked in technology?
I was with AT&T for 15 years. Worked for one of their manufacturing facilities in Mesquite doing power infrastructure. They sold that business to Tyco International in 2001. I convinced my boss and another peer to start our first company, which was Valere Power. We grew Valere Power into over $126 million in sales.
Do you use energy management at home?
I’m a big believer in energy management for the house. It allows us to track the energy bills and reduce the energy. I actually track my energy usage in my kitchen appliances. Once you get used to being able to see things, you love playing with it.
- Job – CEO of Entouch Systems, offering businesses high-tech thermostats and energy management solutions and real-time monitoring of air conditioning, refrigeration, lighting and other big appliances.
- Home – Downtown Dallas
- Hobby – “Recently, I got into old cars. I bought a 1969 Camaro and it seems like it always needs work.”
- Family time – “I enjoy spending time with my wife. We’re pretty active in the arts. Ashley is on the board of the Dallas Theater Center.”
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