In this week's Industrial Talk Podcast we're talking to Scott Heide, Founder and CEO at Engineering Intent Corporation about "Solutions that Streamline and Automate your Engineer-To-Order Business". Get the answers to your "Efficiency" questions along with Scott's unique insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!
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Scott Heide Interview
Tue, 2/2 9:25AM • 28:09
engineering, customer, scott, company, solution, product, automate, cost, sales, automation, people, impatient, engineers, intent, heidi, industry, capture, challenges, procrastinate, conversation
Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go. All right, let's go. Welcome to the industrial talk podcast absolute, as you know, an honor that you've joined this platform that celebrates industry heroes each and every day, and you're saying to yourselves, God, why do we celebrate? Because? Because industry, manufacturing, the people that are in those professions are bold, brave, dare greatly innovate like no buddy's business, and you're changing lives, and at the same time, changing the world. So that's why we celebrate you. All right. But Hot Seat today. His name is Scott. He's a good looking guy, by the way, because his name is Scott. Heidi, last name. co. Engineering intent.
Cool. It's cool. It is cool. Let's get cracking.
Outside of the fact that I can remember his name.
He's, he's damn good looking. But anyway, what's interesting about this conversation, and I think it's an interesting Avenue and
engineering intent is a, let's say, a software, a technology company, right. And they provide a platform that allows people in the field to be able to create sort of pretty accurate engineering quotes on solutions for firms that are in the engineering space, right. So for example,
I go out, I visit a customer, the customer has something in mind, it looks like XYZ, it's got this and that right then and there because of their platform because of their software. Because of their technology. I'm able to come up with a pretty doggone decent swag at what the cost of that particular solution will be. And and for me, right, Scott MacKenzie, being impatient, as I've always impatient, unfortunately,
I like it. I like it. It's like real time insights into like, Hey, I got this idea. And then I want to be able to come up with some sort of an estimate of what it might look like, engineering intent. The team of Scott, Heidi. I mean, come on. Come on. It's pretty doggone cool. You got to sit there and say, it's pretty damn cool. Now I'm not gonna do it justice, because Scott and his team at engineering intent, live eat breathe this solution. But Oh, I know. Boy, it satisfies my my curiosity, of being able to get something on paper that looks like what I'm thinking about and have a dialogue right then and there. I don't, you don't even have to go back to that. You know, whatever your your office is. You can do it right then and there. Come on. That's what the future holds. That's what this is all about. That's a that's an industry hero, his team, their industry heroes, what can you say? All right. Remember, I want you to do a couple of things. And just note this before we get into the interview is one you got to constantly educate, right? Just keep keep educating. Now's the time. This, this is speeding by us. So educate, collaborate, reach out to me, Doc gotta reach out to me and we'll let's collaborate. Let's figure out the way to get your story out there. And as well as all the other people who you want to collaborate and of course, innovate. You got to keep innovating, just like engineering and tech men. They don't shop. It's not as if like, hey, all right, we got our platform, blah, blah, blah, and a stop. Nope. They keep hammering on that technology so that it brings the value that you so deserve, because you're an industry hero.
All right, let's get cracking on the interview. Now his card is pretty doggone chock full of great stuff. Right? Scott, Heidi, that's h Ei D. Engineering intent is the company. And as I scroll down, I look at his stat card. Oh my gosh, he is smarter than me. absolutely spot on. All right. Instead of me yammering on and on and on and on. Let's get going with the interview. Enjoy Scott and his insights into what they're doing at
Engineering intent. All right, Scott, welcome to the industrial talk podcast. We've had habit listeners, you're gonna like this conversation, just because we've been having a great conversation offline. In fact, we should have been recording it, Scott, because you were just dropping value bombs all day long. And I'm just sitting there going, man, I should have recorded that man. All right, before we get out again, but yeah, it's not gonna happen. So before we get really cracking and, and relive all our conversations, because that's what we can do. Give us a little 411 on who Scott is. So the listeners understand why you're such an incredible professional.
My name is Scott, Heidi, I'm CEO of engineering intent, I've been in the business of what we call engineering automation, or design automation, sales configuration for the past 30 years, and I've had a lot of experience with several different companies and with several different large scale partners over the years. Today, our company is a software company that makes a product called knowledge bridge, and we'll talk about that soon. This is interesting if you've been in the business, and I mean, your your, your cutting edge at engineering automation, I'm going to just sort of share with you every time that I had to go approach my engineering department, you know, what was was the biggest problem.
I would procrastinate and then I would probably go over and grab a cup of coffee. And then I would see, hey, there's some donuts. I would procrastinate to the end until I couldn't procrastinate anymore. And I'd have to have that conversation with engineering. And so the simple fact that you were already thinking about engineering automation, you're a trailblazer? Yeah, it's been it was pioneered in the late 80s. Actually, there was a company called icad, that kind of came up with the original concept of this kind of object oriented approach to design automation. And we've been developing it and growing with it over the years. The the key for us over the last few years is the proliferation of the the Internet of geometry that can be fast and interactive of some of the new technologies coupled together with that underlying ability to automate what people think automate, the engineering process has really brought it put us in a good position to help a lot of companies. Yeah. And you're you're a cloud based business. Right? Yeah, that's right. And that has its tremendous value. But
so what was the problem that sort of lay out that problem of what's your try this this knowledge bridge or K bridge solution? what problem are you addressing? So a lot of companies that do customized products, have to configure their products, but they have to configure them in the using engineering rules as part of what drives that configuration, they have to use geometry and geometric relationships. And they have to, if they're going to make a possible for their sales people and for their customers to be able to do the configuration, you need to be able to interact with it. And so the technology for doing the automation has been around for a long time, but it hasn't succeeded and rolled out the way it could to help these companies, because of this lack of these extra features that enable it to make it more effective. And what we're doing these companies that we work with struggle because they're trying to make a custom product for their customer. But because it's custom, it takes time, it takes expertise. They make mistakes, there's handoffs,
there's throughput, time, and so on. And so we're trying to help them streamline that process to automate it to capture the knowledge that's needed to do those steps in an automated way. And that's what we do. And so if we can make it so instead of taking two weeks to do a quote, you can take two hours to do a better yet do it in front of a customer with the customer better yet even have the customer do it themselves, then the communications just becomes much more efficient. And you're able to make a sale that you wouldn't be able to make it to do it with less resources. You're able to make fewer mistakes while you're doing it. You're able to understand your margins while you're doing it because we're rolling up the cost and we're doing calculations. All of those things become more effective for our customers. I think it's brilliant. And and you know, yeah, you're absolutely right. It's been around for a little while people have been talking about it.
This is like the, the, you know,
the the golden goose if you could do it for me being a, some people say that I'm impatient, some people, not everybody, but some people say that I'm impatient. This is like right in line with what I like. So if somebody came to me, and and I had a dream, I had a thing in my head and I said, I'm thinking about this, and I'm gonna, I want to talk to you about it, if you could take care of it right then and there. And we could communicate, and then ferret out all the challenges. Holy cow, you have a customer for life I'd like and then when they leave, I could just say, yeah, yeah, we got it going on. I just think it's such a tremendous value proposition. I mean, I might be, but I'm really impatient. But I think a lot of people are, yes, absolutely. Being able to interact with the customer and show them what they're going to buy, not just configure it and show them the price, but show them a picture of it, or a 3d model, or a rendering or a drawing and so on and have them be comfortable with it. And an immediate response is just the the value from a sales point of view is huge. And keep in mind, this all started. Because what the problem we were originally trying to solve was just, you know, I've got a bunch of engineers that are spending so much time on every individual design, it takes hours, it's, you know, the throughput, time, and so on. And it's expensive. We're trying to automate those engineers, but what we realized is if we enable the UI, in such a way that you can use it in a pre sales mode, just like you said, you get a customer for life, when you can show them what they want, and confirm for them that we're going to be able to make what you need. And do it quickly. It's just high super high value. high value is an understatement. Because you're sitting there having real conversations with your customer about a problem they're trying to solve. And you're going back and forth. For a level of clarity that doesn't exist, like hey, we make this thing but I'll be back in two weeks, and then I'll come with a drawing and then and then of course, it all breaks down hell in a handbasket. No, I didn't want that handle, I wanted this handle and whatever. And
I just think it's just damn cool. Yes. And and on top of that, you know, engineers don't like to be involved in that pre sales process, the company's not getting paid for that engineering time, you know, they'd rather be thinking about what the next new product is going to be, rather than just turning the crank on yet another quote for the same product over and over again, it really frees them up to focus on new product development, and it frees the sales guy up to make that, that sale with the customer. And give them what they want to be and be assured that it's been engineered properly. And it's a valid solution did doggone sexy, I love what you're saying. Now, the question I have. So if I'm, if I have, hey, I want to build a descriptor for cater no such thing. So listeners out there don't go Google dysgraphia cater because it doesn't exist. It's my word. I want it on a bumper sticker anyway, well, let's say I wanted to build a descriptor for cater. And it has, you know, materials of cost of materials and just just materials, right? Does does your product go out? And say, yeah,
aluminum is? Do we procure it at this point, whatever, you get the price right then and there. Yeah, so we often our applications connect directly to
the cost center for their the company, that's usually the RP system, where they have the materials, they have the purchase components, so they we can have access to availability, and costs. And then we can actually make choices for the customer based on trade offs. You know, some of the customers we we sell to, for example, in power distribution, use a lot of copper, the cost of copper can change tremendously from one week to the next. And you may choose a different design based on the evolution of that, that change and
evolution of that change in
the price of copper. And so that sort of dynamic decision making can be really effective. Yeah, especially, you know, I've been down that road and then it's like that material. Today was $5. Tomorrow $7. The next day is $10. And then of course, somebody comes back and it's like, how do you how do you narrow it down? To me is just a big, big deal. But I would imagine, I mean, are you let's let's just let's just
lead and put it out on the table.
If 100% let's say it's $100, right, here it is, it's $100. How closer am I, with your product with your solution? Am I to the $100? I mean, like, do I nail it? Well, you nail it a lot better than you would without the product. In other words, we, we roll up? Well, first of all, we ask the customer, how they do pricing. And sometimes pricing is done based on cost. Other times, it's not frankly, it's based on other parameters. And we can incorporate either pricing model into how we put together the cost and the price for them. Typically, for the kind of customers we work with, it's a, we're rolling up a cost. And that cost can be materials, but it can also be manufacturing steps, it can be an engineering factor, there can be delivery factors, and we can roll those into an overall cost. And then the margins, often there are rules about the margins as well, you know, if it's if this distributor gets extra margin, or this customer buys a whole bunch from us, so they get a discount, there's rules in there about the margins to those are all rules. And so our system allows you to capture that and, and
hone it and hone it and hone it. And I would imagine you get a little bit better as you continue to go forward. It's like, yeah, I'm tightening it up. I see where I've, yeah, yeah, yeah, they're really good companies keep track of what they quoted and what it ended up being and do the connection between to make a jump make those adjustments? fine tune to, you know, fine tune that to get it exactly right. See, not every company does that. But there certainly are companies out there that do and they can be very successful with. Come on. Now. You had me at at me make sure you had me at the term
engineering automation. You had me at that. One of the push backs, why do people I mean, it's it's not all, you know, bubblegum and pink elephants out there? What would be the pushback to this makes complete sense? Well, that's that's a good question. And there's a couple of different categories. But, you know, the first one is often Well, you know, we don't think you can do that, you know, how are you going to capture our rules are you rules are so special that we can't possibly imagine capturing them? And, and in some cases, there's some truth to that. But what we do and what's special about our product is you capture the rules that you have, you provide a user interface that allows them to interact with it and put put their human factor into it where that's needed. And combination is what's really the best solution. So that's one of the push backs. The other pushback is, Oh, we've got some programmers over in the back room, we'll just have them programming solution. And the problem with that is it ends up being, you know, the programmers, first of all, don't understand the product. Secondly, it ends up being this huge dotnet programming, nobody understands it can maintain or extend over time, and, and so on. So are, you know, one of our biggest competitors is the roll your own way, and we'll try to do it ourselves.
Like I said before, some of those companies, a lot of those companies end up being our best customers, they come back three years later and go, Ah, you know, I see why we didn't want to get in this mess of software. We're not a software company. We're a manufacturing company. We've got this whole group over here trying to write software, and maintain software. Help us out here, and it ends up being our best. Yeah, and and why wouldn't I want to leverage your organization who have you know, I mean, if you've done it over a number of years, you've, you've refined your thinking, you have insights that, you know, the IT department doesn't have at Acme Corporation, you just bring a greater level of experience that for me, we've been through it many times before, and we've seen what the challenges are, and both technical challenges and organizational challenges and business challenges. And we can help companies help coach companies through to success and that's kind of on top of our product, which is a great platform for doing the sort of thing but the product itself isn't the only thing that
it takes more than that to be successful and we can help with the rest of it as well. Yeah, I mean, of course, it's it's, it's a die. What would always upset me because apparently I'm impatient.
Sometimes, is when somebody says it can't be done. Yeah, yeah, I just
I bristle with that because you take a challenge at that. And, and and prove them wrong most of the time prove them wrong. Yeah, you know, I've been, I've been watching, right, Elon Musk, and SpaceX. And looking at that, I just, they never say it can't be done. It's like, they'll have this, you know, wild idea, and then they'll try to figure out how to get it in it. They do it. And it's like, God, that is just refreshing. Yes, yeah. No, we, we think that way. And we like to be challenged by our customers. And, you know, most of the time we're able to meet those challenges, and and it ends up being a win for them and a win for us. And that's what gets us up in the morning, Franklin. Yeah, don't get away from that legacy thinking and, and meaning we know how to do it and all that good stuff. Yeah. Where do you see it going? I mean, what, what are the trends? What's, I mean, this is great stuff. This is a great conversation. It's a great solution. It's great service, it's not blah, blah, blah. But what do you see it going? So I think that we will be extending this capability to many, many, many more companies. I mean, we're just at the tip of the iceberg right now, in terms of the products, the industries, the companies that do a customized product that need this kind of technology. So I see that growing for years and years. Another exciting angle on it for me is that we're part of what we're doing, when we when we do these applications is we're capturing reusable sets of engineering rules. And we've set up our technology from day one, to manage modular, reusable sets of engineering rules. If you think about it, engineering is a collaborative process. You never design anything. If I look at this console in front of me, there were probably 100 engineers that touch different parts of it, that were experts in each area, yeah, you can capture those modules and mix and match them together. It's the impact long term impact on the engineering world is going to be significant. And we've, we've built the infrastructure for that we've built a store for exchanging these kinds of things. And, and to me,
in the very long in the longer term, that's even more exciting than the ability to help an engineered order company sell their product faster, both both are exciting, obviously. But changing the way engineering is done is is really the the end end game here.
I think that that's very cool. You brought up a good point. And, you know, I can sit there with my business cap on and say, Hey, this is great. I understand what you mean. But there's a there's a positive bottom line impact to streamlining this effort. Can you explain a little bit about that? Yeah. So there's what we call value buckets, there's many of them for an application like this. First of all, you're able to sell more easily. So you're making that sales
experience, exposing it directly to your sales guys, to your customers. And as we discussed not having to spend weeks to put together a quote, you can do it in minutes in front of your customer. But along with that, you're also reducing the amount of time it takes from a throughput time, you're reducing the amount of hours it takes, so the cost is going down. And then you're also reducing the every anytime you automate something like this, you're reducing the opportunity for mistakes. We've had customer who follow the whole Kaizen thing, and I've kept track of their cost of quality. We've had customers justify, you know, very large investments, million dollar investments entirely on the cost of quality for one of these, nevermind all the other things we've talked about for the last 15 minutes entirely on the cost of quality and so that's another you know, area where value comes into play. And so there's just the the key is doing automation. Once you have it. There's just there's value all over the place. It's it can be very strategic for any company that embraces it.
This is this just cool stuff.
Really, we think it is okay, not everybody would talk to you. Thanks. Oh, well apparently you're not selling right.
You're not communicating, right? Because apparently they should be listening to you. They should, they should. Again, how can people get a hold of you?
We're at engineering and ten.com. The website is the best place, there's links to our email addresses and phone numbers and such there that just spelled out no dots or anything engineering and ten.com.
We'd be happy to hear from anybody. There's actually live demos on the website, you can run one of our applications, you can learn about a lot of the different industries we support. There's a lot of information on our website. That's really the best place to start. Very cool. Very cool. All right. You got a couple of things here to free demo on websites. Right. You've mentioned that that's good. And you made this a pretty clear if you're a qualified prospect free discovery session, I first off be qualified to take advantage of that. That is absolutely and everything will be out at industrial talk.com. You know that all the contact information for Scott, engineering intent, and anything else that we can possibly jam on his landing page. We will. Scott, you're absolutely wonderful. I love this conversation. Hey, thanks, Scott. I really appreciate it. Thanks for doing that. I enjoyed it. It was fun. Man. I love what you guys are doing. Now all of a sudden, if I had an engineering company, I would be looking forward to connecting with you. We'd be knocking on your door. Yeah, but I'm not. And so
I could I could just sing your praises. And every time I come in contact with somebody that's engineering, so you need to get ahold of this guy. How's that? All right. All right, listeners hang tight. We're gonna be right back. As you know, we're gonna sum it up on the other side. So stay tuned.
You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.
Scott, Heidi. Yep. Put that in your notebook. You never know attaches the company. They're delivering value. They're delivering solutions. I'm telling you, they're satisfied my
inclination of being impatient, big time, coming up with solutions that truly help you move that ball forward using a sports analogy. So go out to his LinkedIn stack card, Scott, Heidi AGI de engineering intent reach out to him. I guarantee you will not be disappointed one iota know how to spell it. All right. I'm going to continue to hammer on this stuff.
I want you to hang out with people who are bold, brave and daring greatly.
You be bold, brave and daring greatly, and you're gonna change the world. Hang out with Scott. Heidi, you're gonna hang out with me to go to industrial talk, calm, everything is going to be out there. All the contact information. Have a wonderful week. We're gonna come back with another great interview shortly.