Friday, January 28, 2022

Steve Olszewski, Facing Our Biggest Challenge

Diane Choi, Marketing Analyst  

Steve Olszewski, VP of Deployment

Steve brings almost 30 years of professional experience to Formic with extensive executive experience spanning both operational and general management roles in Fortune 500 organizations and early stage growth companies. Most notably, Steve served as the COO, and then CEO, of Spruce Finance, a residential solar finance company that deployed, monitored, and maintained over 30,000 leased systems across 13 states. Steve also has a background in both general management and technology consulting having worked at both McKinsey & Company and Accenture.

How would you describe your role at Formic?

I am responsible for the deployment of systems that our sales team provides to our customers. I also work alongside the application engineering team in managing how they maintain and monitor the systems to maximize the system's uptime. 

What does Formic’s mission mean to you?

From my past, working at Spruce in the solar industry, I really enjoyed the opportunity to help integrators grow their businesses while serving our shared customers. So for me, Formic is another great opportunity in that we're helping bring automation to people who may not otherwise get access to it either at all or as quickly. At the same time, we're also helping integrators build their businesses.

What goals do you hope to achieve as the new Vice President of Deployment?

So we're at the growth stage in our company, which means that we really need to figure out how to be quicker in our deployment and more consistent in our approach in ways that allow us to manage a growing fleet of installed robots. For me, the big challenges are building approaches to deployment and to monitoring and maintenance that really withstand significant growth.

So I heard you mention some of the bigger challenges. How do you hope to overcome them?

I think there are a couple of key relationships that we have in our business that are essential in overcoming some of these challenges. One is with our customers in terms of understanding what they need and what success really looks like for them. We are perfecting the way that we interact with our customers so that we can understand what their needs are, set expectations appropriately, and consistently deliver against those expectations. 

At the same time, one of our most fundamental partnerships is with integrators. We are working towards sharing a common perspective with them in terms of how to design, deploy, as well as maintain and monitor systems. Attaining a standardized approach is necessary to address the challenges that lie ahead of us.

Where do you see Formic in 2 years and in 10 years?

My time in the solar industry gave me a great glimpse into how this part of the robotics industry is likely to progress as we go forward. I see Formic very much following that path. In two years from now, I think we will have gotten to the point where people understand who Formic is and what our value proposition is. I expect to be feverishly busy getting robots onto factory floors and really helping small and medium-sized manufacturing companies accelerate their business.

If you fast forward 10 years down the road, I believe we will be the name in the industry synonymous with “Robots by the Hour.” Our early inroads have given us a leg up in terms of understanding what challenges we need to address and what skills we need to have in-house. It's going to take some work to get there, but I very much see that we'll be the name in the industry that is synonymous with purchasing automation in this way.

Steve Olszewski

LinkedIn

Robotics Automation