Tackling Challenges with Resiliency
From a single facility and twelve employees, Silent-Aire has now developed into a multi-national organization that builds mission critical, end-to-end, and custom-engineered Modular Data Center (MDC) and HVAC solutions, mainly for hyperscale data center providers. The company also caters to CDNs and other private and public organizations in healthcare, recreation, education, energy, and other sectors. However, considering the service areas Silent-Aire specializes in, it’s evident that the ride has never been easy for the Leckelt brothers. In the current data center market, especially for hyperscale data center providers, the foremost obstacle lies in scaling of businesses in accordance with the ever-growing customer demands and aggressive delivery deadlines. For Silent-Aire, it became imperative to rapidly scale up it’s manufacturing facilities. Lindsey Leckelt, Co-CEO of Silent-Aire, explains that building every extra manufacturing facility requires new physical space, machinery, and human labour, which presents endless complexities to be dealt with. Lindsey points out that the inherent attitude of resiliency, developed from the experience of 1987, has guided them to tackle every such challenge that comes along the way.
Silent-Aire now has three world-class manufacturing hubs, boasting a combined area of six hundred thousand square feet, spread over Canada, U.S., and Ireland to address customer demands and deliver quality solutions on-time. Amidst all of these, the striking fact lies in how Silent-Aire continues to implement business continuity. All three facilities have the same infrastructure, manpower, and operational ability. In case of a disaster in any one facility, the other two can provide the exact same quality service and products to the clients, residing anywhere around the world.
Within a few years, the company had become a pioneer for delivering turnkey HVAC solutions using direct evaporation and air economizer CRAHU technology for cooling of hyper scale data centers.
Our core competency is in integrating design engineering with manufacturing to build a high quality, end-to-end solution to take a collaborative approach in anything we do with any client
In 2009, Silent-Aire decided to go a step further and installed its first cloud-based Modular Data Center (MDC). The company’s MDC was an outcome of its expertise in aligning custom engineering designs with manufacturing prowess. Further elaborating, Lindsey says, “We noticed a substantial gap between the data center infrastructure teams and the IT departments due to the inefficiencies of the brick and mortar data centers. The result was that CIOs were challenged to scale IT services anytime/anywhere, as is the norm today.” Silent-Aire’s MDC Vault’s Server Room Module (SRM) proved to be the next-generation solution for customers that is readily deployable, highly scalable, adaptable to changing environments, cost-effective, and deployable globally. With the company’s turnkey cooling system seamlessly integrated into it, the MDCs received rapid recognition in the market as the most promising, integrated alternative to the brick and mortar infrastructure, storage systems, and network rooms. However, the biggest advantage of these MDCs stems back to the company’s relentless efforts in imparting a resilient solution to clients, through rapid deployment and scalability thus providing an edge over bricks and mortar. “The cloud inherently provides IT services that are rapidly deployable and scalable therefore it is important that the supply chain that includes us has the same qualities,” stated Lindsey, “Silent-Aire has migrated our IT services to the cloud that we cool and was a benefit in our global expansion. The cloud has provided our business the benefits of agility, scalability and security that we needed during this growth.”
The Collaborative Customer Approach
In the words of Dan — “Our core competency lies in integrating design engineering with manufacturing to build a high quality, end-to-end solution that allows us to take a collaborative approach in anything we do, with any client.” He further recognizes the contribution of the customers in the company’s evolution since its inception. Silent-Aire continuously engages in constructive learning by analysing the experiences it delivers to clients in order to foster continuous innovation and improvement in their offerings. Taking pride in being a completely customer-centric company, Silent-Aire partners with the clients to carry out the entire service from “point A to point Z”.
"The inherent attitude of resiliency, developed from the experience of 1987, has guided Silent-Aire to tackle every challenge that comes along the way"
For instance, a renowned hyperscale data center provider had to build a 30 MW data center in four phases. Silent- Aire partnered with the organization as a supplier and met their requirements with purpose-built models and customized solutions, without any time lag. The company has managed various such projects over the years where they have delivered scalable outcomes to the customers, helping them gain increased productivity.
The pillars which empower a company to stand the test of time are greatly rooted in the values it infuses in its internal and external environments. As one follows the story of Silent-Aire closely, one gets acquainted with the principles that Dan and Lindsey have inculcated into the company. It’s the resiliency and the way the two Co-CEOs have pride in building a company that has earned them the recognition of being a “resilient problem solver” in every domain — design engineering, manufacturing, and customer service. Silent-Aire’s solutions reflect the company’s attention to the ‘safety’ of its customers and a stringent ‘focus’ on integrating design and manufacturing, while its client approach draws the attention toward end-to-end ‘collaboration’, ‘customer-centricity’, and ‘constructive learning’ from customer experiences. Lindsey reveals the reason that has enabled them to build such a strong team culture in the company. He says, “Since childhood, we brothers have been fortunate enough to take part in numerous sport activities. This helped us to create a strong team-oriented work environment where everyone feels a sense of accountability and ownership.”
Silent-Aire’s competent design engineering team has always been the enterprise’s biggest strength in driving breakthrough innovations in HVAC and MDC technologies. The company has recently launched its innovative Silent-Aire Ener-Loop Cooling technology to compete in the higher CFM Indirect Evaporative or Economizer Cooling market for data centers. Dan and Lindsey envision that Silent-Aire’s Ener- Loop cooling technology will eventually lead the global industry in efficiency, cost, and rapid deployment for existing and greenfield facilities.
There have been many lessons learned by the Leckelt brothers, but the most consistent message you hear them talk about is resiliency and problem solving. “When our parent’s business was wiped out we learned how much drive and hard work is needed to survive, recover, and succeed - you have to be resilient!” stated Dan. Lindsey concurs, “A big part of resiliency is problem solving. We are viewed as a partner when we solve problems for our customers. We do that through team work, leadership, and collaboration within our internal and external teams. There is a lot of pride at Silent-Aire when we see our customers succeed.”