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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. Alright, once again, welcome to industrial talk the, let's say ever expanding industrial ecosystem that is dedicated to you, the industrial professional solvent province. Yes, collaborating, absolutely innovating you back here, industrial talk. We're featuring incredible professionals that embody those qualities each and every day in the hot seat. Speaking of which, his name is Dave Evans. He is founder, co founder excuse me, of a company called Fictiv Fictiv FICT i v. And you know, we're talking about some of the challenges that are happening in the supply chain and what can we do for new product development? I'm telling you right now, that Fictiv platform, stellar let's get going.
in my past, I guess it's the past Yeah, it is, it's the past, the way I used to do product development as you you know, you design it, and then you'd have to go find some sort of company to be able to develop it and, and as as time goes on, as time went on, that you just keep on working at it and designing it and then try to come back and see what happens and then refining it. There's a lot of work that goes into this, this whole product development. And I think today, once you'll hear from Dave, that the future in new product development and supply chain,
it's bright, and I know that we're we're struggling right now with supply chain stuff, but I'm telling you right now, team, Fictiv Dave, his team absolutely got their fingers on the pulse of of a real solution. That if it's transformative, it's transformative. And I not It's not hyperbole, I really enjoyed the conversation. And it's all doable. Because of all the technology and the innovation that exists out there a couple of things.
One, again, we're going to be at IoT solutions World Congress, this is a Barcelona broadcasting live. So make sure that you catch all of those great conversations from industry leaders, companies that are truly solving problems, desire to collaborate, absolutely their IoT solutions, World Congress, we're also going to be up in Dallas. And that is for distribute tech, and we're going to be talking utilities, energy, and all the solutions that are around there, we're going to be broadcasting live there. And then we're going to also be in Chicago digital manufacturing Summit. And the same thing we're going to be doing, we just got word that we're going to be at IMTS, that is going to be in September, that's a huge manufacturing platform. So my call out to you.
If you are there, and you want to be able to talk about what you're doing, and you want to do it in person, and you're going to be at that conference there. You got to start, knock on the door, come see me. And if I have you down there, I'm gonna be pushing this all day long. But I would love to be able to have the conversation and have a conversation with you talking about what you are doing. So that's it. Another thing that I want to make sure that you guys are aware of we're starting the campaign called we are industry and and if you're looking out on video, I have this hash tag on my shirt there. And it really is just sort of a celebration of the human component of industry, industry as humans, right. It is made up of people who have a passion to try to solve problems. It puts food on the table it creates meaningful work for a number of people around the world. And so this campaign celebrates that and it's we are industry hashtag. We're going to put it out there on on LinkedIn and just hopefully be able to highlight those human stories of people solving problems helping people succeed, because that's what we're all about. Right here. Education, collaboration, and innovation. All right on to the interview. So Fictiv reached out and you go out to stack art. It's fantastic. And
it is just a wonderful conversation of how this platform accesses a number of of capable manufacturers to come up with great product development solutions, deals with the logistics, all of the components associated with that so that you new company, existing company, what you do is you just say hey, Fictiv. I've got this product, and then they work hand in
glove with you to come up with the right product and then be able to sort of begin mass producing it. It's a fabulous, fabulous solution. So you're going to tons of information that you're going to get gleaned from this particular conversation. So, enjoy the conversation. Again, Dave, thank you very much for joining industrial talk. How're you doing today? Doing great. How are you doing? Scott, I thank you for your flexibility. We had a bit of a burp up last week listeners and he was very kind and gracious and said, Okay, no problem. So here we are, we were able to good all good, all good. Yeah, I see. I like that. I like that flexibility. Real good. All right. Before we get into the topic, let's talk a little bit about your background. Give us a little background on who you are. Yeah, let's do it. So I'm sitting here in sunny California, in San Francisco. And I'm a mechanical engineer by training. So
05:51hicle bucks. This was kind of:
But then how do you also make it easier to bring products to market? So you know, what we'll talk about the company, I think we'll get into the problems we've seen supply chain. But really, this comes from, you know, a decade ago, looking at how products are designed and developed in an automotive setting, and saying that to be a better way, Scott, and, and I wish we'd made more improvement in 10 years, but I think that the future is even brighter ahead of us. So we'll dive into all that I'm sure. Yeah, it's I love, I love the emphasis on speed. Because I know for me, personally, I expect things faster. Now, you know, I expect delivery of whatever quicker, right? And it's just a modification in my expectation DNA. And I think, across the board, I think what's crazy is, as a consumer, as you start using an Amazon or I use DoorDash, to get food delivered to me, right, I click a button and Uber comes, it's not like a taxi, and you call and you wait for it to come or you know that you had to go to the local store, go through five different shelves to find that, you know, pencil that you like, it's just everything's immediate in a consumer world. So then you come into your business world, wherever you're working. And you're back to like Excel spreadsheets and faxing forms to vendors and manufacturing, and like having to get on a plane and go to Vietnam to fix an issue. And you're like, wait, but in my consumer world, I can just order you know, that device. And and, or I can get a taxi, just, you know, an Uber directly to me, do I want to an SUV or a black car, or I just want to Toyota, you know, Prius to show up. But then you come to the industrial world. And it's like, nothing's happened for decades. And so that was my experience, being a hardware engineer at Ford building infotainment systems. I was like, Man, this is a mismatch and you know, speed was the emphasis. But then what you've learned is actually it's quality. Because speed without quality is nothing. But quality without speed is actually like, well, you know, if I wait two months for something, and it's the highest quality, I didn't get any learning. So we started with speed, but then quality had to become table stakes. And you know, that that's the that's really the emphasis that what we'll get into as we peel back the onion here, but definitely started with speed. Yeah, and and I think you're, I think that's an important component. I mean, I'm just I expect things faster. I just, I don't I don't have the patience like I used to, and maybe it's because I'm an old and crotchety son of a gun. But it's, it's the reality of business, especially today and that window of opportunity, right? If I'm able to work with Fictiv and say, I got this idea. Here's the design, let's get it rolling. And press that because the old way or no, even today, it still works the same way where it takes a long time. Give us a little sort of rundown on on the process. Yeah, for sure. Let's let's lay that process out. Yeah, I think so. Let's go back to that example. So I'm at Ford. I want to build a new vehicle Buck dashboard. How do you do it? Okay, I got an idea. I want to do some amount of you know, put an iPad in that you bring with you. Okay, you go to your CAD station we use CATIA, you're going to 3d model and design this
From there, you have a physical, or you have a digital design of what you want to get done. Maybe you have some requirements for what that part or, or mechanism looks like. And you have that. And now you got to get a physical form of that meet, you got to build a prototype, we call this whole thing, new product development and PD. So in my Ford way, which not much has really changed, I would say in a decade was you would have kind of three options, you would go to your internal machine shop prototyping shop, wherever it's a Ford has a whole facility that's dedicated to this. That's option one. Option two is maybe I call it my tier one supplier, I call Magnus I called Dana call, I call someone I say, hey, tier one supplier go make this prototype for me.
And, and you use that tier one or tier two. And then there's a third option of hey, I'm gonna go a little bit rogue that I know Scott's local prototyping shop down the street from me. And Scott and I have a relationship we met at a trade show. And I'm, I'm just going to call up my buddy Scott and and have him build this. And so what I found at Ford was my internal shop had a backlog, that was way too long. And I was never prioritized. It was always too busy. The tier one shop, they wanted to make a million of something. And I said, Hey, build this one mechanism for this iPad, and they're like, I'm not busy enough. This is only 50 grand or, or whatever, I don't want to do it. And then I found myself as a mechanical engineer, I'm great at thermodynamics and fluids and all these things, having to build relationships with Scott's basically all these local direct relationships. And so yeah, I could get speed maybe from Scott's you know, local shop.
11:46I was gonna send hundreds of:
12:07this was just an idea back in:
a manufacturer with idle capacity that has the qualities already been vetted. You know, yeah, that's great. And be able to
create that dialogue, that relationship that is so important and begin compressing that time, but in it and still maintain quality, is that right? Totally, what I would adjust for you is like, Well imagine the scarf, what I did was, I just gave you the we have 250 of these partners globally. But now you still have to build relationships with them. I'm not actually helping you as a design engineer, or a supply chain professional. In the same way, it's like imagine if you ordered Uber, and you personally had to vet every car, or you had to have a relationship with everybody there, that wouldn't be much help. So actually, what we do is, we are your manufacturer of record Fictiv. Meaning if you're that supply chain professional, or they're you're buying apart from Fictiv. I just don't own any machines, but I'm accountable for the price. I'm accountable for the quality of that product. I'm accountable for the pre vetting and management of that network. So basically, what I'm doing is, Hey, Scott, I'm going to guarantee for you the fastest speed at the highest quality, but I don't own machines, but I have a whole group of people, you know, an entire quality department that vets all these manufacturers is boots on the ground for you checking your parts before they come out. And you want to know what we've made 19 million parts to date through the system. So like, You think we're good at this. I've done it almost 20 million times. And, and but we are your manufacturer of records. So it's not like you have to vet all of these ones individuals even better. Yeah, to me, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. Now,
16:38se all have certifications of:
know me as a user of your solution and platform part of the ecosystem whatever it might be?
Do I get an opportunity to sort of look at maybe the
the manufacturers or do I just say hey, here it is. I've got this budget constraint I'm looking for this type of quality and I'm and I needed in this time and just allow Fictiv team Fictiv just to come up with a the right solution for me. Personally, I'm lazy, I don't want to get into the details. I just want the delivery of what I want. So I'd say we have we have to, to kind of like personalities that come in. We have the Scots you describe I'm a lazy give me what I want. Yeah. We we define quality, as conformance to requirements.
It's always a good one. What is quality? Everyone's like, I don't know what quality quality is conformance to requirements. So if you come in Scott, and you say I want this product at the highest quality, what that translates effective is I need to make sure that every requirement can is conforming in the part that comes back to me. So then the question is the old school or traditional ways like I want to control the conformance aspect meaning like, I want to pick the supplier, I want to be on site. I want to go see it. And what I'd ask you is like, Well, why do you want to do that? Do you think you're
20:00gineer, you've produced maybe:
23:48sit there, you place an order:
25:00year. So like in February of:
But but but, and like near zero impact to the entire customers. If we were running in a manual way, Scott Yeah, like what would happen to those 249 orders, you would have been like, Sorry, bud, like, we're just going to wait for the Chinese government to say you can go back to work. And you'd be sitting here like, I'm trying to ship my products, my customers are mad. And you're and you just sit there with your hands tied. And so I think of this as like, the air traffic controllers are really good one, which most people can relate to. The other one is like, this is what cloud computing has done for the industry. It used to be like, Hey, your your on prem server racks went down. So hey, your website's just down. Sorry, too much traffic, you know, we just, we can't handle the load. That doesn't happen anymore. You're just like, hey, I'm on AWS, I'm on as your Hey, the Northeast region just went down because of a blizzard, they just moved the stuff to the south east. And like, your servers are still up and running and, and crunch. And so I always ask folks like spacing in industrial, you're so used to supply chain disruptions, like a pandemic, a trade war with China, a global conflict going on in Europe with a devastating war right now. And so you're kind of like, man, but I would say like, does it have to be that way, because in cloud and it, they found a way to have resiliency, they have all these different regions, you know, in other industries, you know, taxis want to go on strike, hey, Lyft and Uber are pretty much immune to that, you know, and so, I just, I think that you got to be creative and supply chain to say, there's another way to do this, there's another way to build resiliency, and, and, and you've got the product development down pat. And then you do handle, let's say, scalability, and packaging, and all the other stuff. Uh, you know, I got to load up a container, and you just go through all of that the total, I would say, there's kind of three major solutions where we like work really well with customers, there's what's called an NPD. So new product development, we just talked, talked about all that, hey, I got an idea. I want to build a new microphone, we're going to help you get through that new product development. The second area where we really help it's what's called eto engineer to order. So think of this as like one off products that I am
building, you know, maybe some very custom stage equipment for a Beyonce, you know, tour or for Led Zeppelin going back out, or ZZ Top, or whoever, and like you're building, you know, a flame machine. But one time that eto, we do a lot of these one off products, you know, that are custom. And then the third,
32:59for your car, hey, you have a:
so normally what would you do? You just you toss out toss it right and another one? You want to know what I do? I go to Fictiv and make a little wheel. I upload the wheel. Oh it's 40 bucks. Cool. It's gonna be in carbon fiber. Awesome. Just hit Buy literally came back last week, put the new wheels on the luggage and I'm like, Hey, honey, like our luggage is fixed and she looks at me like Oh god, what am I gonna do on it's pretty dead sexy story, right? No.
I'm not throwing out this luggage. This is a nice piece of luggage. The whole thing's good. It's just
wheels busted. And unlike they probably didn't have, you know, you know, carbon fiber wheels on it. I just printed it, you know, on a on a high end 3d printer made, you know, two, two wheels that I needed. And it was simple, it was great. See, and again, I think that we take that for granted. I just it's just the other thing that unfortunately Amazon has done is, is created my expectations that are so high, I better have a better be looking for that Amazon truck. I just ordered it an hour ago. Where is it where
like, think about this example of the suitcase. It's a silly example where it's like it's not, but like, normally, you would just throw it out or if you didn't have Fictiv and if I had to design it, I had this call up Scott's you know, 3d printing service bureau and the email back and forth. I wouldn't go through that hassle. But for me, it was like it was a 10 minute exercise. It was like Amazon is like, here's the wheel for me. I can design really quickly circle extruded. Put a few things. Okay, great. Upload it. Oh, that's 50 bucks as too much. Just okay. $40 that material hit by it was like, you know, it was it. It was a little bit longer than Amazon. But it wasn't matter. It wasn't that much more so doggone cool. Now what? What's the pushback? I've been trying but what's the pushback? I'm impatient. I want things yesterday. I know. And I have grand visions for whatever. And I have ideas that are spewing out of my ears. What's the pushback? Why is why are people I think jumping on board. status quo is really hard Scott to change often. I'm sure all the listeners on here. You're like, come on. I I've known Scott's machine shop for 20 years. Yeah, Scott's never done me wrong. And he just he takes care of me. Why do I need this digital system data? And I'm like, trust me once when you try it. Like once when you try it, there is a there's a better way to do this. Right? And it's like, I remember my my in laws, they didn't have Amazon Prime. And then they'd always be like, Dave, why do I like why do you buy everything on Amazon. And I'm like, because I don't want to go to Walmart. And when I show up, it's not there. And they're like, God, it's always there at Walmart. And then all of a sudden, you it's like, you drip on them, you drip on them, you drip on them. And I'm like, Lisa, like, you should just try prime just like just try to. And so finally it was like around Christmas or something. She tries it out. And now every time we come over Christmas, my father in law, you know, he's sitting there and he's just like, man, it's another Amazon boxes come in and like, it's just it's too easy. You know? It's grumpy guy. He's like, whatever. Swipe right. Yeah. So he's just like, what, this is so much better than going to Walmart and standing in that goddang line. And, and so what I'd say is like, what's the what's the barrier here? It's like, man, Fictiv sounds too magical. How do they do this? It's, it's too modern for me. But what I'd say is, like, just try it. You know, it's like, if you try it out, you know, I think that like, I think that you'll really see that there is a better
there's a better way of of doing this.
And like, and that's what I would would really push for I don't think you can be build a build a business of resilience, if you're not in the business of trying to figure this out and be more efficient and and be, have greater responsiveness to market pressures demands, whatever it might be, and the needs of the market, funneling. And I think that, you know, for businesses that aren't deciding to build geographic resiliency, or agility into their supply chain, you're spot on, they're gonna be left behind, like, what the world has shown us is like, it's not if another trade war is going to happen. It's not if another pandemic or force majeure situation. It's not if there's going to be another, you know,
weather delay, you know, on there, it's when. And so then the question is, if you're not thinking about how to reimagine your supply chain, reimagine the way that you build things like somebody else is, and so I'd say it's not so much of like, of like, is this good for business? Should I do it? It's kind of like, if you don't do it, like your competitors are. And we're, we're seeing that shift today. We're totally seeing that. You have to, and you have to have a sense of urgency for one eye, and everybody through this pandemic, all of a sudden, everybody became a supply chain expert. Do you know why? Because they went to the Walmart, and then Walmart didn't have the product that they had on the shelf that they had before, but it was all stuck someplace.
That's the real pain. That's the customer component. And it ticked me off. Well, I know I'll go I'll go one step further. That ticked you off because he couldn't buy
Like during the pandemic toilet paper, we couldn't find him you couldn't find that with a wheel for your, your neighbor's garage door opener. But what I'd tell you is like, what if the world was perfect, like, like, you know, stay with me here for a second, we're in this utopia, supply chains run everywhere, and there's no delays. But like, Scott, you have to buy everything that's mass produced today. Like we talked about the microphone that you have here, how awesome, you know, the this, this thing is from plug ear trumpet labs, check it out, whatever. But labs ear trumpet labs go to the website. But like, what if you could buy things which were customized for what you wanted? Like, what if there was this world where you didn't have to buy that garage door, that like, you know, is just the generic one that you could get the special one that was for folks that, you know, were six foot five, and like, you know, really tall and it had, you know, all the bells and whistles for tall people or something like if that product could get to market because it was easier to design and develop it. Like, that's a pretty cool place. Like that's a now we live in an industrial world where you have more customization, it almost is like the software apps that you use is like you can find the the like, as a podcast, you know, creator yourself, you have all these little tools for your business. Imagine if you could do that in the physical world. Like, that's a cool place to live. And so when I dream and I think about like what could Fictiv actually help we help enable product innovators to create, meaning that whether that product innovator is a company or an individual, we are enabling them to create, and like, I think that all human beings are creative in some form or another. And we need more help enabling that creation to happen. And like, I get pretty excited by it. Yeah, and you bring up a good point, just think about all the ideas that get stifled just because they have no avenue to go. Like, Hey, I got this great idea. And I think it's work but I have no, I don't know how to do it. And then just let it die and it moves on. The benefits to society have been, you know, impacted. Let's figure out how we remove those, that friction. And so if you bring this bar if you if you lower the bar of entry to creation, what type of innovation would you unlock, and I'll give you like, an example that's out there. We went to the moon, what, like 60 years ago, and it took the entire US government to go push it. You know, fast forward six years later, technology's amazing. Look how far out we are. Who's getting the space today. It's a private company. It's like, when, when I was watching the first images of the war going on in Ukraine, it was from satellites of customers that we built those satellites Capella space, one example of it, and they're taking low Earth orbit images of this global conflict going on giving you like, like an API call. That's what Capella space does with an API call. You can take a photo of anywhere in the world. And I'm like, dang, that's cool. So like, like, they lowered the barriers to like, satellite images. Whoa, you know, and I'm like, but like, if you didn't make it easier for them to build all the hardware to do that would Capella ever be able to do it? Probably not. You know. And, and I think about this as an all of these ways of like, there's all this innovation that gets stifled because it's only the large, massive companies that have budgets and resources to do this. But if you can bring those barriers down, you'll see some really cool innovation that happens. There's some smart people out there, big dreams, we've just got to help enable that that dream become come to pass. Well, and that's that's excellent. How does somebody get a hold of you? Yeah, I think best way is, you know, you can websites, the easiest way is to go to Fictiv.com. You can check it out. I think the best thing that we have here is we produce a lot of really nerdy content. And I'd say like, we help teach people how to do this. And so go check out victor.com There's an entire what we call hardware guide. It's a guide to help you build physical products, whether you're a Stanford mechanical engineer that knows thermodynamics and you want to get super deep or you're like your Bob or Sarah, and you're like just trying to figure out you know how to make this thing like there's different levels of of information. So definitely check that out. I know we worked with the Scott thank you that we built a code so you can get a discount. industrial use the code industrial to get 10% off your first order.
So we'll make sure that's in the show notes. But you could test drive. Yeah. What do you got to lose?
Amen. So we just we want to show people, there's a better way to do this and just like, try it out, you know, like, don't don't take my word for it. We're not trying to blow smoke here. It's like, but we know change is hard. So, you know, use that code. Get out there. Sign up, literally, like, whether it's a suitcase wheel that we talked about. Yeah. Are you building a satellite Park? You know, for Capella? You know, go go check it out. Yeah. That's pretty doggone cool stuff. All right. Thank you. Big time, Dave. Big Dave. Wave. Big Wave. Dave, whatever you want to call it, man. Thank you for being on industrial talk. Man. You were awesome. It has been super fun Scott and looking forward to seeing what people create. It's cool. It's cool. See, that's cool. All right, listeners. We're gonna you know, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side, all the contact information for Dave and Fictiv will be there. So stay tuned, we will be right back. You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.
All right, Dave Evans is his name. Fictiv is the company
and after that conversation, you should just be an absolute Gomer for the company and what they are doing anything to remove friction. In your work, your day to day work, is a big plus for me. And I'm sure a big plus for you think of is really worked out the kinks. And they've they've done it successfully. Why would you want to do that? Trust them, reach out to them? Ask them some questions. Bottom line, they are an open book there to help you in a big way. Remember, we're gonna be going to IoT solutions World Congress. We will be at distributech. We will be at manufacturing,
symposium, and many others. You got to look for us. We're going to be on the floor. We're going to be talking to you. Yes. Because you have a story. All right. Hang out with people like Dave Evans. Be bold, be brave, daring greatly. You're gonna change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly. So stick around