In this episode of the Industrial Talk Podcast, Mark Board, SVP and GM of the Oil/Gas, Utilities and Mining at Infor, discusses the positive impact InforEAM, Mobile applications and the Cloud are having on the energy markets in streamlining operational processes and providing valuable operational insights. Find out more about Mark by the links below and reach out to connect. Also, get your free InforEAM Toolkit and exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy. Both links designed for keeping you current in a rapidly changing Industrial Market. Enjoy!
Infor EAM: https://www.infor.com/about/contact
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[00:04] Welcome to the industrial talk podcast with Scott McKenzie. 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.
[00:22] All right, let\'s go. My name is Scott MacKenzie. Welcome to the industrial talk podcast. I am so glad that you are here. You industrial juggernaut. You know this is where the industrial professionals come to talk. This is the largest and I mean the largest podcast that is focused on you, the industrial professional end, the industrial market, bigger than the galaxy. I say the universe, it is the biggest in the universe. So thank you very much for joining. We\'re going to have a great conversation because we\'re going to be talking to a gentleman by the name of Mark Ford and he\'s within four and we\'re going to be talking about the future. So stay tuned. We\'re ready to get going. Hey Mark, how you doing? I\'m good. How about that? Is that, yeah, that\'s all right. You got so much energy. Try to go. I have another guy.
[01:04] And if you\'re out there on the video, if you\'re looking at it on the video, you can tell that I\'m bald because the glare from the lights are just shining off my forehead and my forehead goes all the way back to my back of the neck. But it is it. I\'m just not going to have that hairband. I\'m just not going to have it just between you and me. It\'s just not gonna happen. So how are you doing? Well, thank you. We\'re here. We\'re here in Alpharetta right now in their beautiful corporate room because this is what podcasts could do. We can go pretty much anywhere and be able to do this with a level of confidence. That is a pretty surprising. And once again, I got you off on that one there, mark. Yeah, Dude. Yes. You\'re welcome. You\'re welcome. So anywhere, yeah, we\'re broadcasting from a in foreign Alpharetta and we\'re going to be talking right now in specifically, we\'re going to be talking about, uh, in [4:00] AM and the utility side. And that\'s what Ya, that\'s what you\'re all about. So for the listeners in the, uh, the industrial market industrial talk market, give us a little background on who you are and why you\'re so spectacular there.
[02:10] Yeah. Well, uh, so I\'ve been doing, you mentioned e a m or f for a long, long time, which is one of the things we\'re doing. I\'ve been doing this for years and years. Uh, it\'s a, it\'s a great place to be just asset management across a variety of marketplaces. Right, right. So today, um, what\'s most exciting for us is the way that it\'s now making its way into a lot outside of just pure industrial places and more into utilities in oil and gas and some of the other, the other industries that have typically haven\'t done a lot in, just know how long you\'ve been with the [inaudible] I\'ve been within for almost eight years. Eight years. Yes. You\'re back. Oh, where\'d you come from? I came from a company called Mincom. C. O. O. That\'s right. That\'s exactly right. That\'s an interest passport company. That\'s exactly, yes. Exactly. Very good. It\'s got a funny cause. A men calm, really stiff for mining for long, but really heavy
[03:00] assets and all of that. Yeah. They branched into a lot of different things. Yeah. I think at that time when I was implementing the, uh, we tried to deploy it in a utility setting, but there was a, a, a, the way it was structured as a whole that the system as a whole, it was you, you really had to sort of boot shoehorn it on in some way, shape or form into a utility. They do, it does really well when you\'re talking about maybe generation and vertical assets. Yeah. Difficult. When you start talking about linear assets. Yes. And we were deploying it in a transmission environment, right? Yes. Yeah. Wow. Where were you when we were doing this? Because I\'ll tell you right now, that\'s when I had a lot of hair and after that deployment I just started to go home. Well, we weren\'t pricing had been deploying into that environment technically.
[03:47] Right. And that\'s okay. But now, I mean, uh, systems in general, technology in general recognizes that you just, there\'s, there\'s a level of flexibility that\'s been brought in to just systems in general because all of a sudden in the case of that particular system, it just was hard. But now systems are far more flexible to be able to say, Oh yeah, yeah, we can do that. We\'ve got a level of functionality that will suit and we can modify it. And we don\'t have to have really any, you know, absolutely. Well, the technology\'s come a long, long way. If you, if you think about a lends itself really these industries before you had to run truck, uh, big a bunch of the trucks and crews out into the field and it costs a lot of money. They take paper in and out. So now with the proliferation of the Internet and mobile devices, we\'re shoving all of that, that work right out into the field and bring that stuff to jail time.
[04:40] Huge. And, and we were talking offline here and a, what always fascinates me is the, is technology. And it just seems like something took place. Some, somebody was sitting in a big conference room like this special conference room and said, you know what, what if we did it this way? And it was just like that. Things just started to change rapidly. Technology started to really begin to evolve. And it\'s whether you like it or not, listen out there you industrial professional, whether you like it or not, technology is your best friend. It might not look like your best friend. It is your best friend. And it\'s only gonna get easier, better, more user friendly. The adoption\'s coming along, plus the technology as to everyone\'s got an iPhone now, right? And before they were, they were not, it was flip phones or let me go put a quarter somewhere, fine, find a phone.
[05:29] And so today people are much more comfortable with it. And it\'s really, and also the, the, the stability and reliability is another thing too. For years people tried to use some of these devices, you know, the old brick phone and some of the other stuff out in the field. And today it\'s reliable. You\'ve got a network of Internet that allows you to upload and download and just kind of makes it practical. It always fascinates me today if you travel, if you go into a bunch of airports, you\'ll always see those, those special areas where there used to be phones and now there\'s nothing in your, it\'s sort of, it\'s a rough section of the town. When you go into those airports, it\'s like what was over there, Ben? We were back in that,
[06:10] my kids back to my mother in laws and they had a phone sitting there all time. You looked at the wall. My kids are like, Whoa,
[06:17] what is that? And then, and then you realize, wow, I\'m old. That\'s right. I went back to visit my mom wouldn\'t it before she passed away. And uh, not to bring the conversation down. It\'s okay. But, uh, she still had the rotary phones. Exactly. That\'s what this one\'s like. What is this? What is this? Yeah, it hurts my fingers when I hit that little stop thing. So, so let\'s, let\'s dive in a little bit about what we\'re talking about here. And, uh, let\'s, we, we sorta talked a little bit about the past, but what, what was the problem in the past? And then we\'re going to talk a little bit about where it stands today, what we\'re doing today and what, what\'s really changing and where do you see this, this a technology juggernaut going? And then of course we\'re going to talk a little bit about challenges cause it\'s not all just, you know, you know, balloons and bubblegum.
[07:12] Yeah. It\'s funny that you asked that way, right? Because I don\'t think what was the problem. I don\'t think they are, anyone saw that there was any problem, everything was just roll around fine. And they were doing this the way that they had done them. Right. Especially in all gas utility because you put everything in the right base and as long as you can justify the calls, you put it in there. That\'s changed a lot. And so and so as the market. So people are now demanding more real time information in any of these kinds of markets.
[07:39] But what\'s driving that? What, what is the necessity? Because in the past for me to get, let\'s say financials, it wasn\'t uncommon for me to say, okay, 45 days later I\'m finally getting in it. Oh my gosh, we\'ve had a problem, but I have no time. What? Who there, there was a point when data was also all of a sudden we can get that data. We can get it now. We can make tactical decisions today.
[08:04] I think that\'s, that\'s it. I mean in, in the world at large, everything\'s faster. It\'s faster, faster, faster. How do we, how do we get things? How do we get real time data? You know, half, half of the time you get data, if you, in the manner that you just spoke of, it\'s dated. It\'s not any good, right? It\'s real time. You\'ve got to be actionable data, real time to be able to do these things and it\'s happening everywhere. It\'s then this is, these are markets that are laggards. If you really think about it and so
[08:30] and, and like utilities, oil and gas, energy that, you know, the
[08:35] big, big, big companies in those things. I think those guys put in, they spent billions of dollars on assets, so now they\'ve got a legacy of, of investment that it\'s very hard to change once you get in place. So it\'s taken away.
[08:47] Well that\'s true because it\'s all embedded. It\'s all there. It\'s all in rate case.
[08:53] Especially in our country, in North America. Some of the evolving countries that have money that are building it, they\'re building brand new things. And you can see a Greenfield as opposed to, yeah, absolutely. You wouldn\'t build it the way we built it. If you\'re building it today, could use that. You\'d use the technology available to you.
[09:08] So what was driving so to, so today there is a huge push and a desire and a drive to get information so that I can, I can make decisions right now. Yup. And that, that\'s key. And how do you, how do you implement, how do you do that? What, what, what, what, what technology exists out there so that I can get that.
[09:29] Well, we\'re finding everything, all the works being pushed to the field. So mobile is huge for us and all the technology that\'s available today, sending drones out to do inspections and kind of run up and down the pipelines and bring that data back real time. Taking pictures of inspections of, you know, big equipment that you couldn\'t do yet to send a guy up on a ladder to do different things. The technology is just, is now available and you, you didn\'t have it before I think.
[09:54] And, and, and even the price point, they\'ll absolutely, I mean, it\'s not, it\'s not some sort of big old cap acts as you\'re saying, okay, we want to buy a drone and we want that drone to be able to go this distance and
[10:04] isn\'t that amazing? So we do healthcare in a lot of different places for asset management and it used to be, I mean, in some places we\'ve put tags and RFID devices on doctors and patients and equipment to make sure they\'re all in the right place. Uh, when it was a, the first time we did the pilot, it was a number of years back. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars today. You can buy the chips to put on the follow any kind of an asset, you know, from, you know, from these big equipment to, to soup cans and food for pennies.
[10:36] I bought two, I think two drones. I went to a local electronic store. I bought two drones. They were about the size of this and which if you\'re looking out on the video, I three inches maybe, and I spent a grand total of $20 per. Yeah. And they were fantastic. I mean, there\'s just, just this little dinky thing. It was, it was fantastic. And I, I all I could tell my son gets tired of me telling them, I said, can you believe what if this was a real life? Like a serious drone? What?
[11:09] Yeah. Well, yeah. Well, and they take such great pictures of High Def, um, resolution that comes back directly to, you know, back to some central place for processing remedial, uh, immediately taken a look on the, on the computer. Yeah.
[11:21] And the cameras that can be on the drones. They\'re not just, it\'s not just, oh now help me understand, so I\'ve got a drone, I\'ve got this, this line, this pipeline. It needs to be patrolled in the past because I did patrol work in the utility companies. You\'re, you\'re in a truck and you\'re just driving and you\'re looking up and you\'re going to, I guess that looks okay. You know the arms still up there. But in the, in that particular case you could take the drones and they have that level of ability to be able to say, okay, I\'m looking at this asset and then I can, not just from a high depth point of view, but I\'ll also be able to change what I see to like a infrared or anything, lead signatures, any of that stuff. There\'s a lot of technology that\'s gone into it.
[12:04] I maybe number one, if you think about the way you used to do in the truck, am I on the right place and it\'s dirt roads here and all that. So the GPS systems, as everyone knows, you can\'t hardly, you can\'t find a map. And any more today, everyone\'s using gps. People don\'t remember how they got places because they weren\'t paying attention. So today you can, you can get out and there\'s a lot of, you bring up pipelines. Pipelines are just in the middle of nowhere. No, really didn\'t know where when you did your inspection, was it exactly right or should have been a couple of miles or you know, feet that is correct. Interesting. Yeah. That\'s a that, yeah, you\'re right. I lived to that. So that, so that technology had been able to take either from a truck or a drone or whatever and know it precisely where it is on the, on the pipeline just makes it even more valuable as you do these guns.
[12:51] Well, it also makes you real tactical in a sense. Like, okay, Hey, uh, out on this pipeline we\'ve got a, a, a seal, whatever. It\'s that it\'s, it looks like it\'s a problem. And so, uh, let\'s get a crew out there. Take this, this seal. You\'re more effective in your, your, in your repair approach because you just, I saw it. It\'s right there. Grab this. You don\'t have to just sit there and I think there\'s a problem out there. Well then false problems too. Right? So, so you\'d see something in the, in the system, which you can, you know, you\'ve been able to tell for years and years and years, you send a drone out to see exactly what it is and then you know, which kind of crews to send out. And is it an, is it a break and someone done, you know, have I gotten right?
[13:29] Right. It\'s just amazing the difference. Right. And I love the fact that it\'s, it\'s, I mean, it, it saves, it saves lives. It\'s a, it\'s, there\'s a safety component though. Absolutely. Because you\'re not caught off guard. You\'re not, there\'s not an environmental, it could be an environmental related, and this is a pipeline related, uh, you know, analogy. It could be an environmental related problem. And, and you prevent that from happening because you\'re saying up there, there it is. Well, we\'re using and geo-fencing and all of that to make sure I love the Geo fencing idea. Like we can get it, especially with this big equipment. Right? So we, we, we do offense to the point where if someone doesn\'t have the right credentials, they can. So cool. I can\'t get some of these bigger pieces of equipment running. See, that is so cool when you get right down to, that\'s pretty doggone cool stuff because, because being a, the guy that\'s been in many of, uh, uh, you know, environments, sometimes there are people in there that don\'t deserve to be in there. You know what I\'m talking about val? Exactly. So it, uh, I like that. And so with that said, I mean, this is today, this is stuff that can be deployed. It is today. It\'s done. And, and, and how do you, how do you keep up with the, the evolution of it? Because it, it, it, it\'s always happening fast. It\'s its customers,
[14:52] it\'s team, it\'s, it\'s, we have large teams that do this, but there\'s, our customers are kind of the ones that have always tried to drag us forward. Thankfully today we were able to move in a a lot with a lot more speed and quicker than we ever have before. You have to know, yes.
[15:06] Did it or your, it would always fascinates me as is if you do not, especially in today. Back then the thought, the old, it moved slow, you know, that phone, that rotary phone at chest, it\'s been there in that operating room forever and it\'s just nothing changed. But today it\'s just like, hey, we just bought this drone today man. Oh Wow. You should\'ve waited until tomorrow because they came out with, you know, version 27 and it\'s better, bigger for strong.
[15:34] Well, and it\'s a challenge. It\'s a challenge. But we, you know, it takes a lot of work to do it. I, I can tell you a story about, I went with our SVP. We went out to, um, uh, a large customer that, uh, uses a truck in trucks. They, they monitor all their trucks in it and it\'s all about maintenance, having these big fleets of trucks out. And, and so we went down, they said we\'re had some problems with your mobile devices. They brought us, um, the bad conversation. I said, well, we\'ll come down and take a look and ride with the truck guy. So we did got him with the truck guys. We saw exactly how they did all the work. We came back and, and we turned a lot of customization and products around really fast. But by the time we got back there was a whole new set of them and this was within a couple of weeks.
[16:15] It\'s just, see that\'s, that\'s key because I would imagine, and correct me if I\'m wrong, because I\'m, my wife is over here just by Roadie and she knows that I\'m wrong quite frequently, but the, how do you deal with the pushback that I\'m a company and you come to me and you say, Hey, we\'ve got this, you know, splashy, fancy solution that will make your life easier, but it\'s going to take you x amount of months to be able to deploy. That to me, frustrates me. But you guys, you guys can deploy quickly.
[16:53] We can, yeah. To me is, especially for asset management, it\'s interesting that you bring up that point. Cause we do in the past we haven\'t really, everyone stays around in the technology or they stay away from pilots and kind of those go, oh yeah. So we can have people up and running 20 minutes on systems that look like we\'re around these assets. Um, intensive industries because of the way that we do SAS and we\'re all on the cloud today. So we could, we could have you up in
[17:21] when I want mine on premise, we can do, we can do on premise too, but you got to push back on that when please tell me you\'re pushing back on. Don\'t do on premise. Well a lot of people,
[17:31] a lot of people still need to be able to do that sometimes. The still working through the capitol. Yeah.
[17:35] Yeah. FDA type stuff. Yeah. But it\'s coming Betty. It\'s already here when the,
[17:42] when the, when the federal government, the Department of Defense and folks like that, just SAS, then we\'re moving to SAS and local and counties and
[17:50] it makes complete sense. So, so my old hat says, okay, I\'ve got an on premise server and I\'ve got my, my solution on that server. And then I, oh, I\'ve got another upgrade here. Here comes the doggone disc and we\'re ready to just sorta upgrade it. And there it goes some time. But in a SAS environment, you don\'t even see that.
[18:10] Right? You just notice that point is gone. You just notice that hey, this is works better than it did yesterday. Where did that come from? Like that. That\'s fantastic. Take a picture today.
[18:23] You got it. Surprise all the time. I liked the surprise every morning. So where do you see this going? I mean, where do you, I mean this is God we, we\'ve done things and the technology, I love it. It\'s just fast. Where do you see it going? Will it ever stop doing that Wog arrhythmic curb where it just seems like it\'s going faster and into the stratosphere?
[18:43] Well, I see. It seems to me that it just continues to go. The more we learn, the more we find that we can use, use all of these pieces to do things. You know, your processes just better and better. Just make things easier and more efficient.
[18:56] See, it\'s just got it\'s cool stuff, you know, that\'s cool stuff. But what are the problems? What are the challenges that you are seeing today? Just f
[19:07] well, we\'re still, uh, to move people off. We\'re finding there\'s a lot of vendor, um, integrated systems that we\'ve got, you know, we\'ve got to think about as we roll them out. The biggest is problem is the problem that we\'ve always had. And that\'s customer at, you know, adoption. How do you, how do you get them to embrace some change? Uh, thankfully we\'re getting some help because everyone now, as I mentioned earlier, you know, they\'re using mobile phones and everyone likes to be able to interact in that way and so, and, and people believe the Internet\'s fast enough cause again who can\'t live without the internet and connected to some of these, these other, um,
[19:40] I am, I\'m telling you right now the, it\'s funny because there is, uh, a group of people typically bald in old looking like me who are very reluctant and resistant to the, the, the digital world. But it\'s not going away. No, it\'s not. A technology is just going to, you just either you embrace it or you can fight it and lose. But I, I highly recommend that you embrace it.
[20:04] Right. It\'s kind of funny. I get maybe you get the same thing. Yeah. Till I get my kids, they\'re upstairs going, sending me texts. I\'m like, I don\'t do texts. Right. Or, or it\'s on the weekend and they\'re like, no dad, I\'d facetime Joe like, Hey, my phone is on my nightstand instead of, you know, in my pocket. And then of course she texts like this. I don\'t even use two fingers. I just do. I learned you could talk into that thing. You got that right? Yeah. Yeah.
[20:34] Ah, but it\'s so funny and, and you know, I, I think, uh, will eventually evolve into just people who are just down like this and hunched back over a period of time.
[20:44] Well, even, even me, I get to the point I\'m like, hey kids, that\'s kind of cool when they said drop a pin to where my location is or I, you know, to come pick them up or whatever I need to do. So, uh, it\'s a, are you even an old folks? Like, and I\'ve concluded myself with you like us can learn to do this stuff cause it\'s becoming so easy and it\'s just a part of what\'s happening. All right.
[21:08] Si. Si, Si. I hear the music. That\'s pretty cool, Huh? Yeah. That\'s how we just sort of segue into closing out this interview. I forgot to give you the heads up. Well there you go. God, I figured so there it is. It\'s like, oh gosh, I got to, I got to segue out, but I didn\'t tell him about the segue out, so he\'s just going to have to roll. Hey, surprise. [inaudible] well, thank you very much. All right, everybody that was mark boards. He is a special guy within four. Thank you very much. This was a great conversation. I love the topic and it\'s just continues to grow and we\'re going to have followup conversations with the, is that acceptable? No, absolutely. Whenever you\'re ready. Shamia into it. Yeah, a lot of fun. Thank you very much at hey you industrial talk listeners out there. Stay tuned. We\'re going to wrap it up on the other side, so thank you very much for joining and thank you once again for in for, and the wonderful people here especially. We\'ve got another one. Got another end for coming up, so stay tuned. He\'s gonna. He\'s gonna. Boy, he\'s going to be better than you. I am going to be better than him. All right, thank you. We\'ll be right back.
[22:16] As an industrial professional myself, I was always passionate about sales, marketing, Brandi expanding the marketplace. For my company. That\'s what Ian Dust, real talk platform is all about. It\'s about you, the industrial company, the industrial professional and your legacy, increasing sales, gaining greater exposure on what you do and how you and your company change the world. Go out to industrial talk.com that\'s industrial talk.com contact me. Let\'s have a conversation to see how we can work with you on improving your bottom line and that you can be a part of an ever growing network of industrial companies focused on expanding and growing and leaving a legacy. I hope to hear from you soon and be safe out there.
[23:21] I\'ll ride in four nation. Thank you very much for joining industrial talk podcast. That was Mark Ford. Now in the interview I said Mark Boards unacceptable on my part. I apologize for saying it with an S. It\'s Mark Ford and you know what? He\'s active out on LinkedIn. He\'s got amazing stat card there, so I highly recommend that you go out and you check him out. You connect him because if you\'re looking at a system, if you\'re looking at investing in a solution, you know you need to contact mark because he\'s got mad skills. So reach out to him. What is it going to hurt? Chip, bring him in. Talk to him. I guarantee ya he\'s going to open up your way of thinking. So that\'s Mark Ford within for, and once again, thank you for a month for 2018 the industrial talk podcast. So glad that you\'re here. We\'re going to have some more wonderful interviews come on up. So stay tuned and thank you very much. And of course be safe.