Global Power Partner Employee Spotlight
Meet Brad Meissner: Product Extraordinaire and Avid Outdoorsman
Kohler Power, the data center industry's Global Power Partner, is dedicated to providing the right solutions for IT infrastructure needs alongside gracious, high-touch and personalized service. Our globally integrated and multifunctional team of power experts are at the core of this commitment — and we’d like to help you get to know them a bit better.
In this first installment of our Employee Spotlight Series, we’re excited to introduce you to our Product Manager Brad Meissner, the individual at the strategic helm of our Global Large Diesel Generator developments. With a robust background in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Management, Brad has spent more than 7 years in the power generation industry. Among his specialties are codes and standards, diesel emissions, generator set packaging and mechanical systems — and humanitarian project successes to boot.
We recently sat down with Brad to get his insights into the data center industry, global power needs, trends and more.
So, Brad, tell us a bit about yourself — your history in the industry, how you came to Kohler, your position and duties, etc.
I started with Kohler Power Systems after college, so I have grown up in the power generation industry. I was drawn to Kohler due to my interest in engineering equipment — and its proximity to where I wanted to live. I progressed through multiple roles in engineering, but I began to be interested in the broader aspects of business. I moved into product management 4 years ago and subsequently into my current role 2 and half years ago.
My role encompasses everything related to 700kw and larger diesel generator sets. I am responsible for market analysis and setting the product line strategy to drive continuous value for the customers. Furthermore, I work with the various functions of the business to execute the strategy.
What does it mean to you to be the data center’s global power partner, and how do you support this commitment in your day-to-day operations?
At Kohler, we strive to delight the customer through each and every contact they have with the business.
My focus is to ensure that my product, and the associated support and services customers receive when purchasing and using my product, are always of the highest quality. Personally, it requires me to continuously communicate expectations throughout the business and seek ways to improve the product offering.
What do you see being the biggest trends, considerations or requirements at play in the data center sphere today?
It’s true that the world of data centers can be a complex place, but when it comes to what’s needed next, the answer can be pretty simple: Bigger and faster.
Data center sites continue to increase in size and exhibit expanding power demand onsite. Counteracting this is the expense of land. These factors are forcing data center operators to get more creative with how to pack generator sets onto a site, including racking and stacking to optimize space.
The ability to deploy equipment quickly as data center space is rented is also becoming a more pressing requirement. Industry lead times are typically 14-18 weeks. To reduce these lead times, a high level of trust needs to be built between ourselves and the customer. This is because a forecast needs to be maintained to ensure the product is always available and aligned with project timing.
Are there any customer success stories you’ve been a part of in your tenure that you’d like to highlight?
We have a customer that chose to leverage Kohler exclusively in North America due to our ability to maintain short lead times for their product. Through a jointly maintained forecast, and constant conversation about project timelines, we were able to deliver the product to them in under 4 weeks.
Strong relationships, like the one we enjoy with this customer, help both the Kohler team and our clients to feel like part of a trusted partnership — rather than just a transactional vendor/supplier interaction. The results reflect that advantage.
What do you find compelling about working in the data center sphere?
The knowledge of the end customers is what compels me. Data center customers are experts at every step of the specifying, installation, and operation of a generator set. As a manufacturer, it challenges us to always be improving our equipment expertise.
Outside of your work for Kohler, what do you like to do?
Outside of work, you’ll find me spending time with my wife, my two little girls, and our extended family. I’m always keeping busy with projects around the house, fishing, reading, hunting, and other outdoor activities.
Thanks so much for your time, Brad! Great to chat with you as always.
To learn more about Brad’s commitment to innovation and how it helps the world, check out this story about how he supported global refugee camps by developing an automatic solar-to-generator power transfer switch for off-grid water filtration.