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On this industrial talk, we once again are on site at the 29th annual SMRP conference. In in this conversation, we're talking mobility, we're talking about asset management. We're talking about reliability, we're talking about maintenance, and all things in between. So let's get cracking.
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 hardhat, grab your work boots, and let's
get that's right another great interview at industrial talk. We are broadcasting live from the 29th annual SMRP conference here in St. Louis, great venue great people, you need to put this on your bucket list. If you are interested in becoming a reliability professional and maintenance professional, this is the place to be. So I guarantee you next year will be 30 I can do the math, but it is a great place for learning, education, connecting, collaborating, you name it, it's here. We also like to thank our sponsors, Accruent and Fluke Reliability. So I go out to Fluke Reliability is a website chock full of information chock full of stuff that that makes you a better professional. And always like reading this provide maintenance and reliability professionals the data to do the job asset by asset wherever they are, you can't argue with that one bit. And then if I go to Accruent website, outside of the fact that it is also a good looking website, they've got solutions, real estate facilities and asset management, gaining insights to transform how your organization manages its physical resources. Another statement that you cannot argue with both companies great people, great companies, and wonderful solutions. They make you a better professionals Most definitely. Alright, Potsie Here we go. His name is Nick Haas, right, MaintainX is the company. And we're going to talk about and really, this is sort of the semi first time we're going to talk about it. We're gonna be talking a little bit about industry for Dotto, and then some How're you doing, Nick?
I'm doing well. Thanks for having me on. Scott,
give us a little background a little bit. the who's who of Nick, what's that? What's that all
about? Yeah, absolutely. You know, I'm a, started my career in technology here and currently working on a company called MaintainX. We started this three years ago with three co founders and and we've been on a fun run, growing the team and trying to make it into this this industry and help transform the way that people do work.
Yeah, this MaintainX. It's got a great user interface. Yeah, I saw that when I was at your booth, which is pretty cool. It's it's pleasant. And it's agnostic to say agnostic to whatever enterprise system you have to train. And and and why was this important to develop a platform like MaintainX?
Absolutely. I mean, I think a lot of the data that we're not seeing in this industrial digital transformation is not is part of what's missing, is that end user data, that frontline team data. And when you think about what is that bottleneck that prevents those folks from actually, you know, coming online, and in participating in this ecosystem, it's, it's that interface is so challenging with a lot of these legacy solutions. And interfaces is difficult to use. It's clunky, it's cumbersome, doesn't work? Well, most importantly, on mobile, which is where these folks work. They're not at a desk all day.
So when you say frontline data, what do you mean by that? I mean,
the folks that are actually out turning the wrenches to folks that are actually, you know, that claim manager and below that whole organ, that org chart is currently working on their state of the art system of record right now was a clipboard, pen and paper.
Yeah. So so the way I see it, and, and it, it's been clipboard and paper forever. Just FYI. And it's interesting to recognize the fact that it does still exist out there. So give me the reason why companies are still using sort of that, that clipboard approach.
We I think there's a lot of resistance to technology solutions in this industry for, for a number of reasons. A lot of the legacy solutions that came forth, you know, during this initial air, first sprint of the digital transformation, and are really heavily focused on desktop, and our VCs. And so, you know, we have these great ERP systems that are really powerful and robust, and they don't have mobile, you know, functionality that really works well for those guys in the field. So what happens is these plant managers and these other folks who are printing these work orders and printing out the you know, the information they need those frontline workers to work on. And that's what goes on that clicker paper and then somebody comes back brings it in and, and they they type it into their system if they're real go getters but sometimes it just gets lost. Now
there's a term out there called pencil whip. Yeah, they they are very apt at pencil whipping. It's true. Yeah, then then the data looks like garbage. And then there's no real, nothing, nothing to nothing to mine. No, right. It's just, it's a mess. Yeah.
And I talked to several folks here, this, this conference alone, they're telling me, they're guys don't even print the work orders out, to tell them what to do. And they come back, and they just remember, you know, whatever meter readings, they, they think that, you know, they verbally articulate that back to the management. You know, managers are just like, we just, we have to trust that they didn't write it down, they can picture. You know, that's, it's wild,
by the way, and it's not, is it. So you have this reluctance to embrace some sort of technology, I guarantee you, they're having a conversation, we've got an ERP system, we got a real print this piece of paper on it, they just, and I'm not saying anything bad about it is just the process that they have change is always difficult. If I came to you and I said, Hey, we're really going down this whole digital transformation in this journey, IoT resetting out some devices, we want to be able to gain that insights. But I want to be able to bring it to the bring it to the floor of the frontline. Is that a difficult transition for companies to sort of go through?
I mean, change management is always, you know, there's always some challenges there, no matter what you're whatever you're trying to shift in your organization. And I think a lot of It's mind over matter, there's this resistance to thinking, Well, you know, I'm not sure like my folks can use a mobile app and their mobile device, you know, for work there, you know, there's an ageing workforce, people are afraid that those folks don't necessarily, alright, these guys aren't gonna understand how to use their iPhone, how to use a tablet. And, you know, the funny thing is, I'll talk to the same those managers, they'll say, Well, you know, who are you afraid it's not gonna be able to use this device? Or oh, you know, Jim, 60 years old over there? I don't, I'm not sure he's gonna get a handle on I was like, Well, Jim, use Facebook on his phone. He can't get him off Facebook. And yeah, it kind of helped turn the gears there and say, Jim knows how to use a mobile app just fine. And I think the challenge here is if you put something in front of him before he couldn't figure out how to use it was just wasn't well designed software.
So don't assume us old guys don't know how to do that. So I've seen
it happen. I've seen old guys that that thought they weren't gonna be able to do it flying is it's just mind.
Yeah. Because there's that that preconceived notion that technology is hard. And it's not. It's not, if I can do this whole podcast, they can hook up all this stuff. companies recognize there's a bigger market, if I can make my product simple. Absolutely. If I make it complex, nobody's gonna use it. Absolutely. And I go out of business. So, you know, do away with that. Thank you do away with that. And
the other misconception is that simplicity is, you know, leads to lack of depth or lack of functionality do and and the real secret is you just make it so that the folks who who need that functionality and that depth, they have the ability to access it. And the folks that don't you make their their workflow and their stream, you know, their experience, very simplified. Yes.
You, that's a beautiful thing. I mean, it's and, and then there's this set, then then you get the data that is truly valuable, right, and and you build on it, and you're not just getting dirty data just for the sake of pencil whipping, right? That's good. So with that set, so you got this mobile product, what type of what type of tablet do you use out there in the field?
Well, you know, we work on any Android or iOS device. So we're pretty agnostic. As far as you know, what we, we recommend a lot of our customers use, you know, I, you know, iPad tablets, other folks use Android tablets, it works really well.
In some cases, are they durable enough?
Oh, absolutely. You know, there's, there's also special cases you can use in your customers to have those. So
when MaintainX, somebody goes putting call to call and MaintainX, right? Yeah. I'm interested in your solutions. Do you guys go out on site and help them?
We offer that, you know, offer that will? The reality is, you know, a lot of them, they'll say, can you come on site and your training, there's no chance our guys are going to figure this out without it. And we often tell them, I say, take two, take two weeks press go on this thing, launch to your team. And if after two weeks, they can't figure it out, we'll be there. We're happy to show up and help do the onsite training. And the reality is, once they actually start getting into it, and they see what it's all about. They don't need training, or sewing or a product is so intuitive. And it's by design, it's intentionally we wanted to make it so simple for anybody to pick up and start using because if we didn't need training, that that's going to, you know, that's gonna slow slow adoption across our across the board.
With that said, it has to the solution has to just like any other IoT device, or whatever, that that collection of data, and it's really sort of a more sophisticated collection of data solution. You have to have an API, you have to have the ability to it, they're not going to if they have an enterprise system, that's their enterprise system. They're going to you know, die on that hill, and rightly so. Yeah. With that same strategy, do you help them later
Absolutely, yeah. So we tell folks, you know, it's hard to get someone to rip out SAP, you know, we are not going to, it's not a, it's not a conversation that we even tried to start and entertain we, you know, we can work as a standalone there and a lot of that CMMS functionality. But the reality is we tell people is this is the human interface layer that you can put on top of that will plug and play, all the API's will connect exactly as you need them to, so that data can go. And we can have a bi directional sync. And this is the interface that you actually use to get that data down from your SAP system into our workforces, hand. frontlines hands. And our system is what gets that data from the frontlines into that into that ERP system for the first time.
Okay, so we do that we've got an enterprise system, we've got a mobile solution out in the field we're starting, and and you leave it up to the companies to determine the use of that mobile solution, is that correct? Or do you provide some sort of, hey, here's some best practice solutions,
right? You know, I think a lot of times, it's, with an endeavor like this, it's oftentimes to get him to walk or just to crawl, right, walk and then run first. And so some organizations are just setting up preventive maintenance routines, for the first time, this is you blow your Legos
like 29th, annual SMRP, contract 29, next year is going to be 30.
And so, you know, that sometimes is the first quick when we can help them take off, you know, take off their plate, for other organizations that have been doing that, you know, the, the answer may be, we're gonna, we're gonna help you start putting in predictive insights on on that with some of our visibility that we have with our insight, or, excuse me, our business intelligence and reporting dashboards, that are gonna make that easier for you to access that, that information in real time, a lot of time, there's lag time on the data that you get with, with some of those, some of those reports, you know, some of the other components of our software that we like to pick up and help people out with is standard operating procedures and continuous improvement. And those are two areas that are really hard to do, you know, you can't really have continuous improvement if you're not measuring things, and you're not measuring the productivity and efficiency of your workforce. So that's, that's a big area of interest for folks that are a little bit more advanced, as well as we can put those continuous improvement mechanisms in place that allow you to not only measure what's going on, but then look at the big picture, figure out how you can make things better, and then push changes across your organization with a click of one, you know, basically a click of one button to, to make sure that to put these improvements into place.
Okay, so, so it's all good. You're getting everything that I need to get, yeah, what's what is sort of the, let's say, the financial benefits of a solution, such as MaintainX,
oh, I mean, unplanned downtime, about that going down, we have customers who have been, who have very sophisticated ERP systems, they thought they were doing a great job, you know, at face value there. And they've already had a decrease in 30%, after a year using MaintainX and unplanned downtime.
Why is that? It's just because of visibility, some visibility there, there's some proactive notifications on Hey, we got a problem with
that, it's that speed to, you know, that that speed to, to action.
So I identify a problem, speed to action and affect change, whatever that is.
Yeah. And so, you know, fanastic goes down. How's that? How's that workflow work? At your operations? You know, is it I make I get on my walkie talkie radio, call somebody he got, he's got to come over from wherever and then, you know, evaluate the situation, maybe go back to the back office, grab a part, maybe he's got to go find the manual. Maybe he's got it, you know, there's so many steps involved that are in this analog process, that eat time away. And when you're thinking about ROI, you know, every minute that that guy's hunting for information that could be at his fingertips, is his money saved? If you're using a system like,
so? So that that's, that's where it is? Because yeah, you're absolutely right. Let's say the as his process today is like, identify a problem, a problem has been identified, I've got to go find out what the problem is. And then I got to go here, and I got to get this, the PN IDs, whatever it might be, and to be able to do that. Absolutely. And time is ticking with that acid being down.
Absolutely. No. Kicking along on the flip side with having work instructions on hand, as you're doing your your operations, regardless of how long you've been working in this, you know, operating in the role that you're in, having those work instructions on hand can make sure that people are doing the job right the first time, and that you don't encounter a breakdown because somebody you know, or safety issue, because somebody you know, missed a step.
Can you can you take existing work instructions and upload that?
Absolutely. Oh, yeah, we've got a phenomenal implementation team that makes that, you know, we get people or any organization we can get up and running in less than three weeks. So people thought this meant, you know, if you think about going in and adopting a large ERP system, you know, that can be a multi year endeavor. And then it never it never stopped. You may never leave live to the end of that deployment. And you know, We're in and out real quick as far as that implementation time. And so the time value with using something like this is really important to us. We want to make sure that you can get your team up and running and see results right away like that. And that's the way it should be, you know,
it has to be easy. It has to be easy. Information on hand. That's the way we we roll today with with our phones. Right, right. If I have a question, I just zip there it is done. Got it. Right. We don't have to go to the library.
We love instant gratification. You
know, it's it is being burned into our DNA. Yeah. I was having a conversation with Amazon. And I, they have set an expectation so high that I'm going to get my package in a couple of hours. Right. Yeah. And when it's not there, it's three hours. How dare you? What is going on? Right. And it's just it's establishing that expectation, but it is what it is. It is.
I mean, that's, that's what we're conditioned to. And we like that, you know, we want that enterprise software experience to mirror what your expectations are on the consumer side. And we don't think that's an unrealistic ask.
No, it isn't. And so do you have a, like a sort of document management system to?
Absolutely, yes, I think it is a knowledge base as well. So as you as you're bringing people in, you know, as folks are aging out of the workforce or retiring or switching jobs, today, that information goes out the door with them. You know, it does and, and that's a whole nother problem. It's growing. Yeah. And we need young people like you, we absolutely we need young people. And young people are coming into these roles. And and what's happening is young people are like, Why are we using these old tools? Why can't we have good software?
I don't know. I'm just so I like all the drive that I'm telling you, man, I love that change. I really do. I'll always gravitate towards people who are just trying to push the envelope through innovation and how it helps people succeed. Alright, how do people get ahold of you, man?
They can find us. You can find me at WWE get MaintainX.com That's a get get ge T Yeah, MaintainX calm.
That'd be the easiest way. That's why you were wonderful. Thank you very much for being on industrial. Tom, thanks so much for having me. All right, listeners. Once again, we're broadcasting from the 29th annual SMRP conference. It's a great venue in St. Louis, put that on your bucket list important you get to meet people like Matt, which is a great conversation, you will not be disappointed. Also, thank you to the sponsors of Accruent as well as Fluke Reliability. Thank you very much go out to their website, as well find out more. They've got great solutions, great information. And once again, they're great people, just like everybody in maintenance and reliability. I've never come across anybody that sort of never have. Great, I'm thinking but it's it's great group. Alright, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.
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