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Facilities Management Now: Operational Excellence Summit

Summary Cody Gray is Director of Product and Design for the iOFFICE Asset Division where he leads the teams developing the ManagerPlus and Hippo CMMS products to meet the needs of the asset management community. Mike Petrusky recently hosted a presentation with Cody at the Facilities Management Now Virtual Summit on the topic Operational Excellence … Continue reading "Facilities Management Now: Operational Excellence Summit"

Facilities Management Now: Operational Excellence Summit

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Cody Gray is Director of Product and Design for the iOFFICE Asset Division where he leads the teams developing the ManagerPlus and Hippo CMMS products to meet the needs of the asset management community. Mike Petrusky recently hosted a presentation with Cody at the Facilities Management Now Virtual Summit on the topic Operational Excellence where they discussed digital transformation in the world of facilities and asset management. Listen to the entire discussion in the super-sized edition of the show!

Full Podcast Transcript

Disclaimer: Asset Champion is produced to be listened to. If you can, we encourage you to tune in on your favorite podcast platform. Transcriptions are generally a mixture of human transcribers and speech to text software, and can contain errors. 

Cody: So what really will help kind of identify the solutions is if you could start with what are the outcomes you’re trying to achieve? This is essentially a different way of saying, what is your asset management strategy? That can be anything from, we want to reduce costs, we want to be more compliant. 

Mike Petrusky: This is the Asset Champion Podcast, where we talk with facilities maintenance and asset management leaders about the industry trends and technologies impacting your organization. This show is powered by the iOFFICE asset division, delivering easy to use maintenance management software tools to help you drive powerful asset performance. Hello everyone. And welcome to the show. 

Mike Petrusky: My name is Mike Petrusky, and I’m so excited to have the opportunity to present to the facilities management now community. I’m a longtime friend of the FM world. The people, the human side, is what I like to talk about. We’re all people aren’t we? As Depeche Mode said back in the 1980s, people are people. So why should it be? You and I should get along so awfully. So bringing people together, talking about this important topic of facility management and asset management is something that I get to do on a regular basis on a podcast that I host called The Asset Champion Podcast. I’ll tell you about that in a second. But first, let me introduce my guest today. He is our director of product, our vice, I keep wanting to promote you, Cody, to vice president, but you are director of product and design for the iOFFICE asset division. And you’re based in Salt Lake City, Utah. How’s it going out today in the beautiful Rocky Mountains? 

Cody: It’s a little bit chilly. We had some spring this week but now we have snow. So that’s spring for you in the mountains. 

Mike Petrusky: That’s a typical spring into transitional summer, right? So you never know what you’re going to get. Snow one day, beauty the next. I’m here in the Washington, DC area and we are at the end of the peak of those apple blossoms or the cherry blossoms, which makes for a really pretty setting here in our nation’s capital. But you all are here from across the continent, the globe maybe, I’m not sure where the audience comes from. But as I mentioned earlier, the world facility management is one that I’m very familiar with for the past 15 years. Many of you may know me when I started a podcast about five years ago called The Facility Management Innovator podcast. And on that show we did 85 episodes and I encouraged you all to be an FM innovator. Use technology, use the latest strategies to advance your facility’s operation. And it’s a privilege I have to talk to incredible leaders. And I do it now on a new podcast called The Asset Champion Podcast. And here we talk about operations and maintenance and reliability strategies in this kind of bigger wholistic view of asset management. Facility management is part of that, of course, and we are thrilled to talk to guests each week and I’d encourage you to check out the show at, or on Apple, Spotify, wherever you find podcasts. But Cody, you and I have had the chance to talk about this topic of the digital transformation of asset management a number of times now. And it’s something that you’re really passionate about, right? Tell us a little bit more about the work you do for the iOFFICE asset division and manager plus specifically. 

Cody: Yep. So here in the asset division of iOFFICE we have two products or solutions that we offer. One is a computerized maintenance management solution, it’s a CMMS as you might not know that acronym, focused on maintenance, work order management. We also have a second application, which is what you referred to Mike, which is manager plus, which is an EAM, or an enterprise asset management solution, really takes equipment assets and tries to help you realize your asset management strategy using these tools. The EAM will include all of the functionality that you would expect in a CMMS, but it really focuses on asset analytics and essentially managing the asset management life cycle. So it’s a little bit more robust in that respect. 

Mike Petrusky: Excellent. Yeah, and we’re not going to talk like it’s a commercial for those products, but just as a background, that’s the world we come from. Today, we’re going to handle this presentation more like a podcast interview. Okay? So if you’re familiar with some of the YouTube videos you’ve seen of people talking to each other on the Joe Rogan podcast, or some of these other shows where you have two people who are interested in a topic, sharing ideas, having a little fun. That’s what we hope to recreate here for the FM now conference. So we’re excited to do it. We encourage you to be part of the conversation. Make it an interactive experience, talk with each other in the chat room. This is a really robust platform. You’ve got the opportunity to interact with each other and leave questions for us. So we will have a time for Q and A. But Cody, then the last time we talked about this we had a rush through the topic of trends in the industry and the challenges that are ahead, and some of the opportunities that are ahead and the technologies that we can use to advance the world of facility and asset management. And now we’ve got this hour together so I feel like we can take a little bit of a deeper dive today. Are you excited about that? 

Cody: Yeah, no, I am. This is a topic that I really enjoy discussing. 

Mike Petrusky: All right, well, we can’t get there and get into it until we do a little bit of inspiration. So, Cody, I always like to ask my guests to share an inspirational quote before we get too far into the subject matter at hand. And you’ve got a great one here from the poet, T. S. Elliot. This surprised me when you first shared it with me. Let the audience know about this quote. 

Cody: Yeah. So, this quote really speaks to me on a personal level, but also at a business level, and it’s this. Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge, and where is the knowledge we have lost in information? This is important for us that work in software solutions, especially in the IOT era, where we just have access to so much information. But the challenge today is to take that information and translate it into some sort of knowledge, or some way to make it actionable. When for us in the asset management space, we are getting analytic, the analytical data from the assets and equipment. We are getting utilization data. Everybody has access to, in some way, interact with machinery. And this feeds up a lot of it, a lot of data. And then how do we make that actionable? That is where the ability to really optimize your organization resides. And that’s what these systems that are out there are aimed to do for you, is to help you manage more efficiently all of this that we have access to. 

Mike Petrusky: That quote, Cody, reminds me of something. And I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this to you before. I know I’ve mentioned that I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and every time we talk Cody, your name reminds me of the Star Wars prequels where all the clones, you know the Stormtroopers of the original trilogy. Folks, if you’re in the Star Wars world with me follow along, if not, hang there for just 30 seconds as I share this analogy. But Cody was the name of the first clone that was like used on all of the empires clone army, right? Well, at first it was the rebels clone army, or the republics clone army. I’m getting too deep into the subject matter. But Cody, every time I see your name, I think about Star Wars. And I also think about Yoda when I think about data. Because many of my guests on the podcast have talked about all this data, all this information that you allude to here. And they say we have all these data lakes of information and what can we do with these data lakes? And I made an offhand comment, or no, one of my guests first said, we can’t make those data lakes become data swamps. Where there’s just too much information, too much data that becomes useless. And I said, do you mean like Yoda lived in the swamps of Dagobah? Are you tracking with me at all on this Cody? 

Cody: I am following you along perfectly. 

Mike Petrusky: Well, many in our audience may not know of what I speak. So we should move on very quickly. I love Star Wars. May refer more to Star Wars. In fact, a big fan of the Mandalorian, as you see me sip my coffee, this is the way folks. So another reference you may get, or maybe not. But Cody let’s start things off for our audience here today and set the stage with the industry as a whole. What are some of the big trends you’re seeing in the world of asset management today? 

Cody: Yeah. So I guess to start off with that answer, when we talk about asset management and your asset management strategy, we’re really talking about organizations that rely on, we say asset, what does that mean? That is equipment or space, or whatever you need to manage to essentially provide your good or your service to your organization. And so in asset management, that is the management of that means a production in some way, right? Whether it’s a good or a service. And so what we saw, especially in 2020, was we saw a real uptick in some organizations that just got hammered with more need of their good or service. And we saw others that had a decline in their utilization. But for us in the asset management space, that created new opportunities for organizations to take on more capital projects while they were in this time of quiet. Others were just scrambling to stay efficient, to stay, to keep their equipment up to high reliability standards. There’s a ton in the safety world. And so we’re seeing like a greater need for integration. We’re seeing a greater need for asset management solutions. And this is also creating a new frontier for organizations as they figure out how to apply these systems in their space. And so 2020, for us in the asset management world, was a very busy year. There were people trying to figure out how to operate more efficiently during this time. And it was, it’s been quite exciting. There’s a huge spike in mobile requirements. Needs to consume additional information from different sources, consolidate information. So there’s a lot going on in this space today. 

Mike Petrusky: Yeah. And you and I have been talking about this, like I said, and one of the things we did about a month or two ago was share a conversation with the head of operational excellence at a independent research firm named Verdantix. Now you may all know Gartner, you may all know some of these other industry research firms that take surveys, compile data about market trends and analysis. Well Verdantix is a UK based independent firm. And our guest on that hour long discussion was Malavika Tahani who heads up their operational excellence division. She had some incredible data to share. And Cody, I was surprised to find Malavika share that this issue of operational excellence and the digital transformation of asset management is something that has really been accelerated through the pandemic. During this past year of recession, and in many cases, budget cuts, you’re seeing a lot of organizations actually add to their budget and implement new technology tools and so forth. We’re going to talk all about that. And if you have questions folks about this, please, again, share them in the chat. But Cody, this more holistic view, as you alluded to, of operational excellence and digital transformation includes safety. It includes risk. It includes asset reliability, maintenance, and operations. Tell me your thoughts about that more holistic view. And then we’ll drill down on it to see how our members of the audience can apply it to their practical lives. 

Cody: Right. I love this topic about this intersection of all of these disciplines. Kind of, as I alluded to earlier, like assets and equipment are a thought heart of every organization’s ability to provide their good or service. And that means that the asset management strategy is going to be company- wide, right? That means that as we try to determine what that asset management strategy is, for many that would be reduced costs. Others that could be improved safety. Others could be maximized uptime. Others could be some sort of compliance that they’re responsible for. So when we use the term asset management strategy, you can all apply that to yourself and think, okay, what is our asset management strategy? What are our objectives and goals that we have for our organization? But that asset management strategy doesn’t just live with the maintenance and engineering and asset reliability group. A asset management strategy should go beyond that. And if you have a really good way to take into effect or make a reality your asset management strategy, arguably this should be a competitive advantage for your company as you’re able to be more reliable, have better uptime, provide the service better or faster. But we all, all of these disciplines intersect at the equipment. And you can think of this as maintenance, engineering, they all intersect at the assets and equipment, right? But then you also have production, right? The safety group. The environmental group. The risk management, or even accounting and capital planning, all of these disciplines intersect at the asset. And this is why an EAM, or an enterprise asset management solution, ends up being almost the center of this. And let me give you an example to kind of show this in real life. 

Mike Petrusky: Great. 

Cody: A few years ago we did a large-scale implementation for a recycling organization. And they ended up purchasing a EAM primarily for the maintenance needs. They had about 60 sites at the time and they needed to get a handle on maintenance and reliability needs. But later on, so this is where the other disciplines come into effect. Later on, they began a large acquisitions, or many acquisitions of other smaller organizations. So the shift ended up bringing capital planning into the mix. They started to use the EAM for operational efficiency, corporate governance, as they begin to bring new organizations into their organizations, inventory. Then later on this organization had a series of accidental fires and this caused a whole host of issues to arise. So now you see other disciplines getting involved in the EAM. You see safety. You see legal as there’s remedial requirements now because of these accidents. You see inspections heightened up by the environmental group. And so the EAM, where it started with the maintenance and reliability group, expanded out to planners. Expanded out to accounting. Later on expanded out to risk, safety, environmental. And it became the hub of where all of this reporting on assets and equipment was being found and governed at a corporate level. And so you can see that when we talk about operational excellence and this integration of safety and risk in with the asset reliability team, this is like an example of where all of that starts. This is also why maybe a limitation of a computerized maintenance management solution comes into play, because a CMMS is very centered around work orders. And EAM takes that focus and puts it on the asset, which is broader in scope when you talk about this intersection of all of the company disciplines. Looking at asset data to actualize their asset management strategy, whatever that asset management strategy needs to be for your organization. 

Mike Petrusky: Yeah, that’s great. And it reminds me again of the human side of this. People, whether I’m talking to the asset management community, the facility management community, or corporate real estate and workplace leaders, which I do on my second podcast, The Workplace Innovator, this opportunity, or this challenge, it could be seen as both, right? Of multiple departments having an interest in the business outcome. So I’m guessing who our audience is today, I’m sure there are many facilities management professionals that can relate to either all or part of these disciplines that we’re talking about. Whether it’s frontline maintenance and operations folks, or asset management folks who are in a municipality, for example. Or possibly on a college campus where there’s a vast need to budget and maintain for many, many assets. I know, Cody, you have experience with our customer base and they run the gamut. From buildings, facility managers running a corporate campus, or an office complex, to people who are in heavy machinery manufacturing and oil and gas and pipelines and fleet management. It’s really fascinating. So kind of give me that human element of whatever the role. And I kind of always think about the old eighties’ movie, The Breakfast Club. Do you remember The Breakfast Club, or was that before your time? 

Cody: That was before me. 

Mike Petrusky: Okay. I’m an old guy here, folks. But many of you out there may remember The Breakfast Club where on a Saturday kids had to go serve detention. But each of these kids who are in trouble for different reasons came from a different kind of clique in high school. You had the cool, popular girl. You had the athlete. You had the kind of the rebel guy. You had the nerd, like me, that was probably watching Star Wars and kind of a geek. And you had the kind of the basket case girl. And what happened at the end of that movie, spoiler alert, is they realized that they had a lot more in common than they had differences. And this experience together forced them to work together. So when you’re describing the fact that, and a holistic view of asset management and facility management requires this cross departmental collaboration, instead of the cliques in high school, we’re talking about silos in our organization. Where one team may not really be speaking to the others. Do you have any stories or experience in bringing those different communities together and putting a successful program together? 

Cody: Yeah, this is, I have two good stories with this one. 

Mike Petrusky: Great. 

Cody: So there’s a common, when you talk about manufacturing, I’ve seen it very common where there’s almost this innate maintenance versus operations. When equipment goes down the operational group blames maintenance. And maintenance blames operations for not taking care of things, right? And so there is an inherent conflict sometimes with these organizations. And when I say production, you may, whatever means of production is applies to you, you can probably run the parallel. And sometimes the implementation of systems like this is to just bridge communication. Like that is really critical. These teams that are, and we talked about the digitalization of asset management, a lot of these teams are using their own tracking and reporting solutions. That can be paper. That can be Excel. And it’s difficult to share those things all the time. And so this, partially, it creates the conflict, right? And so digitalizing this process can ease or smooth that out. And let me give you an example. I have a really good example of an organization that we rolled out a solution for, which was a manufacturing facility, plant organization. And this organization, oh, go ahead, Mike. 

Mike Petrusky: No, I was going to say, I’m excited to hear the story. 

Cody: Yeah. So this organization had about 50 plants in the US and Canada, and they had a really good process already in place. We started with the asset management and reliability group, the engineering group, where they had processes in place but it was all paper based. It was all paper based. It was all in Excel. But they had a really smooth-running facility. And they said we need to implement a system for this stuff. We need to just get more information out there. And after five, about five months after initial implementation, I get this email from the project lead and he says, “Hey, Cody, I just want to let you know that our GL is showing us trending approximately $500,000 less in branch production equipment expenses for repairs this year versus last year. And we can assume that it was the EAM for that.” 

Cody: And I was thinking, well, this organization already had good asset management practices. They understood their asset management strategy. They were acting on it. What did the system or the EAM do for them, right? What does digitalizing this process do for them? Right? Because they already had so many good practices in play already. And really it comes down to a couple of things. Number one, when you centralize on a system, you get more engagement and more exposure. Nobody has to hunt for that paperwork order or that paper inspection when an auditor comes over. Or you don’t have to, you can look at things across multiple branches. So that’s number one. Number two, there’s visibility on KPIs that you weren’t, that are being calculated automatically by the system. Nobody has to go hunt that down, calculate it and figure that out. And so everybody has visibility into this now at this point, right? 

Cody: There’s a common, what’s that, that Pearson’s law? When performance is measured, performance improves. And when performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates, right? So you have that in play as you digitalize your process. That Pearson’s law is hard to put into effect when you have to calculate everything by hand or on Excel, or dig up paper, right? If you’re a multi- site organization, the other thing that this does is it establishes norms and best practices that can be shared across the organization. Meaning you can now have some level of corporate governance on best practices, information sharing norms. And in the end, what ends up happening is you make the asset and equipment the center of all of this conversation. 

Cody: And this has a cultural effect to everyone. From operators of the equipment, as they become exposed to some of these KPIs that they may not have ever been exposed to. There’s now this cultural effect where people are more conscious of these expenses, or conscious of the KPIs or the goals that we’re trying to do. And this all goes back to deciding what our asset management strategy is. Because that is where we’re going to build our KPIs around. That is going to be what information we share and show. That is what we’re going to make alerts on. And then you can just imagine, culturally, how that just goes out throughout the organization. Everybody is aware where they may not have been aware before. They see how we’re trending or not trending. Right? And so when I think back to this example of an organization that had a really good asset management strategy, and they were acting on it, what did the digitalization process do for them? Well, it changed their culture. Even down to the operator being aware of how rough to be on equipment. 

Cody: And let me give you an example of that. If you track failures of equipment there’s going to be some kind of origin to that failure. So if, a couple of years ago we had the polar vortex. You guys remember the polar vortex out in the Chicago area? And how everything was freezing. It was extremely cold. Well, we were able to track, what was the expense that the polar vortex did to our organization? Because we were able to track that. We were able to find the origin of failures and see the cost of that. And so we knew in a lot of organizations what that cost was. The cost of acts of God, which was the polar vortex, how much did that cost us? But then that goes to, well, how much is operator accident or operator error costing us? Well, we can figure that out too. 

Cody: That turns into better training for, we could maybe make an argument for better training, or we can make a better argument for some sort of engineering improvement that could stop this harsh treatment of our equipment, right? These yield, I guess, what I’m trying to give you is what it yields as far as insights into the organization. And that information, knowing that we are being too harsh as operators, or we know that we broke things and having that information shared, or how well we’re doing, all of this just changes the organization culturally as people become more aware. So that is, I guess, the cultural aspect, or the human aspect that digitalization of this processes does. Is it just shares information. You’re not, there’s not as much cloak and dagger, everybody’s aware and rowing the ship together. 

Mike Petrusky: I love that. I love that. And it speaks to this issue that you all probably experience in your career as a facility management professional. And whatever your focus, again, it’s hard to know out there if this content is most interesting to you. But we talk about it in these broad terms, but we’ll get into some specifics as well, around technology tools and some of the strategies, and things that we can do to help you on that digital journey. But the principle that Cody is describing in those examples, and I have heard time and again, in my conversation with facility management professionals is that the profession is evolving. 

Mike Petrusky: Technology is having a huge impact on what we can and should be doing in our organizations. And then the decision becomes, what is our role? What is the role of the facilities management professional? Are we going to take the lead and bring together a team of workplace and organizational leaders to give the case, the business case? Sell our ideas around this digital transformation and some of the tools that are available? That’s something that we talk about a lot on the asset champion podcast. And we also talk about getting out of our comfort zone. 

Mike Petrusky: And as human beings, regardless of who you are and what you do, we’re good at certain things, and we’ve had experience in certain areas. And now the marketplace has changed. A pandemic comes along. Or technology advances, and it becomes a decision point or a point of, am I going to continue to do it the way I’ve always done it on paper, on spreadsheets? Am I going to continue to just kind of be good at what I do? Or, am I going to open my mind and take a risk, take that leap into a new area and put myself out there and take a risk to become an innovator, a leader in my organization? And we’ve got some really practical ideas around that. And some of the tools that Cody works on and works with, and we’ll get to that in a second. But before I get too far, I want to take a little pause here about halfway through our presentation. 

Mike Petrusky: Again, invite your questions. I know there’s lots of different areas of focus and interest so please share those with us. But we do something on the podcast, and Cody you know this. I didn’t prepare you for this too much, but I know that you know, I am known as DJ Mike P because of my very bad singing occasionally on my podcast. It’s always set in the context of getting to know my guests a little bit. And I’m meeting all these great facility management and asset management leaders, and I don’t have a chance to really know them personally, so I ask about music. What kind of music do you like, do you listen to? What inspires you? And it always brings the most interesting answers. And it’s always something kind of surprising sometimes. So Cody, when I asked you about what keeps you going, you’re into like the electronic dance music, right? Or some kind of a chill instrumental beat that keeps your brain going, right? 

Cody: I do. I find that it helps me focus. And I really like it. 

Mike Petrusky: I like it too. 

Cody: Listen to it when I work. 

Mike Petrusky: Go ahead. 

Cody: I listen to it when I work. I listen to it when I work out. So it just gives me focus. 

Mike Petrusky: Yeah that deep base and a good drumbeat is always a good thing, but I wanted to be able to sing. And I was like, okay, Cody, you’re not helping me there. But if you ask me what I’ve been listening to recently, again, I’m going to date myself here, folks. But many of you could probably relate, and maybe you’ve never heard this term, but if you have Sirius XM radio, or if you’re on Spotify and you’ve ever listened to a mix called yacht rock, are you familiar with yacht rock Cody? You know what I’m talking about when I say yacht rock? 

Cody: No, but you’re going to make me look it up now. 

Mike Petrusky: You’ve got to check it out because it’s this kind of period of the late seventies, early eighties, soft rock. The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald and that smooth, what a fool believes, that kind of thing. And then you’ve got Hall& Oats and Steely Dan, and all these great artists who were putting out this cool smooth dire straits in the early days. So many things. Kenny Loggins, this is it. Before his top gun days of danger zone. So anybody out there looking for a throwback to that generation, that era, yacht rock is the key search term on whatever platform you get your music. Okay? And you’ll hear some great, great stuff. Cody, check it out, okay? 

Cody: Yacht rock. Yacht rock is like I’m going out in my yacht. 

Mike Petrusky: Exactly. It’s like, hey, everybody, let’s listen to some soft rock from the seventies and eighties. Yacht rock. They got this DJ on Sirius XM that talks like that. It’s fantastic. So, again, a little tip from DJ Mike PDU, and I hope you enjoy that. But back to the topic at hand, and again, we’d love to hear your comments and questions along the way as we get to a Q and A time in about 15 minutes. But Cody, let’s give some practical advice around some of the tools and technologies that are impacting the world of facility management and asset management. So you mentioned EAM software, CMMS tools. There’s also IOT and sensors and all the things related to analytics and AI and then mobile solutions. Why don’t you speak to some of those and tell me your thoughts on where we’re headed in the industry. 

Cody: Yeah. So obviously we talked about the EAM being like the center point. But there’s a couple of other peripherals that you probably want to make sure you hit. The biggest is, the biggest trend we’re seeing is in mobile solutions. And when I say mobile solutions we talk about how do technicians and mechanics communicate back up that they’ve done work, or that they need to perform work, or that they want to capture pictures, or they want to perform an inspection? All of these things captured digitally keep you from having to come back and transcribe things. It helps things be reportable. When you do things on paper, those things, in order to be reportable have to be transcribed. 

Cody: So we talked about the digital transformation of your asset management strategy. Paper inspections is one of the worst offenders here. So going to moving to digital inspections allows every one of those points to be reported on. And this is where it gets really crazy in and EAM is that you think of, what are you doing the inspection on? 

Cody: Well all of the assets and their characteristics are reportable. So think of a characteristic of an asset. I’m looking for critical equipment that has a certain capacity above X amount, and what failures have we seen? Or, what equipment fails the most by manufacturer? Because those are, manufacturer capacity, those are characteristics of the assets you’re inspecting. So just by digitalizing your inspection solution you now have statistical analysis on that. This allows you to even move into predictive analysis as you figure out well, what, or maybe when you’re doing capital planning, what equipment doesn’t, fails the least? Or, do we see the fewer problems? 

Cody: Because you’re looking at maybe inspection or maintenance data, that’s what you’re looking at, but you’re basing it off of some of the asset characteristics such as what’s the capacity, where is it located at? What division is it in? Right? If you’re looking at a manufacturing plant certain areas of the plant are harder hit than others as far as the facility, from a facility perspective. You know, ventilation is important or critical in certain areas and it gets, it needs more love than other areas. And so all of this information is really nice. You get that data by digitalizing your inspection solution. You don’t get that by doing paper inspections. So mobile is a huge piece of that. 

Cody: But mobile goes beyond that, right? Mobile goes beyond just the digitalization of the data and reportability of the data. It also allows you to go outside of even apps, because what we’re talking about is probably inspection related apps or apps that are downloaded. But it also allows you to touch more of your organization. And when we think about tools for operators, or when we think about scanning, you may see in a facility, if you have a problem scan this QR code, right? 

Cody: That’s essentially a mobile solution in kind and that it allows you to interact with your facility management group or your asset management group by not even being a member of the organization. I can scan. I can be at an aquarium and I can scan a barcode and I can submit an issue, right? That extends. There’s some extensibility here in that you’re now getting even more information up to your EAM by introducing these types of mobile solutions. You’re also getting speed at which you understand the problem. So if an operator can easily communicate, or a patron can easily identify a problem that you didn’t know about, that allows you to react much quicker and catch problems before they ever become an issue with the organization. So mobile, that’s one. I think mobile is a hugely important aspect in that crosstalk. 

Mike Petrusky: Before you go on, let me ask about that because you were describing something that I’m always drawing analogies between my asset audience in my workplace corporate real estate world. And in the same way we consider the occupants of our facilities in a corporate campus environment to be the customer as an FM practitioner, right? You’re caring for these workers. You want to put tools in their hands and give them the power to have control and flexibility and report and communicate. Is that what you’re describing with the opportunity here? The power of mobile tools in the world of asset management? 

Cody: Yeah, no, that’s exactly what I’m describing. You don’t want to, there’s a couple of parties you don’t want to belabor. Your customers are one, your vendors are another, right? Like you’re, generally organizations that work with customers or vendors cannot get them to download a special app to communicate with them. That’s just not going to happen. Right? And so you have to think of other solutions where they can, with their phone, not having to do anything special, can get an email, click on a link and interact with you. Or scan a QR code and interact with you when they want to. 

Cody: You don’t need to make them do anything more than that. And by removing these points of friction you can actually encourage more interaction with those third party groups outside of your organization. Like vendor management, for example, is another one where it’s really important. If you could know immediately in your EAM that they accepted a job or something like that, that would be awesome. If you could just send them a link and it said, hey, here’s the job to be done. Do you accept? If they click accept, then boom. In your EAM it says, hey, this task was accepted and it’s moving forward. And that takes out so much paper and email and calling if you can figure that out and interact with them. 

Cody: There’s also timestamped records that show that an event occurred. Well, this is a very common occurrence is they’ll get on the radio and they’ll say, hey Mike, can you come take care of suite 763? We’ve got an issue here. And you get on the horn and you’re underneath something, doing something else up in the ceiling and you say, sure Cody, I’ll get right on that. Three days go by and I asked you, hey, Mike, did you ever get that, take care of that thing at the, that I had mentioned? And you say, oh no, I forgot. 

Mike Petrusky: Oops. 

Cody: At least we have digital timestamps and we can, they get on the list. And sometimes that can be driven by the customer. Like the customer can say, this date I talked to you. It wasn’t just a phone call it was actually in the system, in the queue. That a lot of things get lost over the radio. And so we talk about dispatching technicians and things like that. This is a really critical, mobile solutions become very critical in this space. 

Mike Petrusky: That’s right. Anything we can do to take the mystery out of all these things. The human frailty or the human, I guess, imperfection is something that’s universal, regardless again, of the role or the job you’re doing. And I see it on all sides. And I see the need for communication and capturing that information and being able to refer back to it. And I know that in this conference here at FM now we’re going to be talking in other sessions around return to office planning and sharing information, and bringing people back to offices in a comfortable way. 

Mike Petrusky: That’s something I talk about a lot on The Workplace Innovator Podcast and these same types of technology tools and data capture. And then the ability to analyze that data is something that’s essential in space management and space planning and office planning. But Cody for the remainder of our time here, let’s talk about some of the other industrial applications for technology. I know we talk about IOT a lot. That just means that there’s a connectivity, a capture of data, information about equipment and about maintenance and operations through sensors and other tools. And then tell, blend that with the power of that information through predictive and predictive analytics, I guess, is the proper term, right? 

Cody: Yep. So equipment, modern equipment, almost all of it will have some kind of censoring on it by default. The ability to pick that information up and analyze it over time will give you insight into potential failures. There comes a point, where equipment is operating optimally, when it begins to not operate optimally. You get into this potential failure zone where you could potentially fail at that point. 

Cody: If we can trigger a maintenance or some sort of work order based on any sort of indicators there, you will prevent downtime, you will prevent dissatisfaction from your organization. And this is where the power of IOT is coming. Is more, yes, it’s important to know that equipment is running. Yes, it’s important to know all of those things. But if you can really capture trends and then identify potential failure points, and then determine an action, like that is where money is saved and uptime is achieved. But even if you aren’t there, when we’re talking about the digitalization journey most people that are on paper or on Excel sometimes don’t start right there. 

Cody: Sometimes they just start with digitalizing their inspections. So there’s a full gamut here that we’re talking about on this digitalization journey. At the top, you really want to have robust asset data and an inflow of asset data that you can have analyzed. And going back to all of this data, it is, I can’t stress the importance of applying business analytics or business intelligence tools in here, right? How do I get graphs, charts, reports, and analytics to me that I can make decisions out of? So making sure there is any kind of a business intelligence, or business analytics, those are absolutely critical. Because as you can consume more data, you can make better decisions. 

Cody: And this goes back to my one of my earlier points of your asset management strategy, in my opinion, should be a competitive advantage for your organization, should be. And that’s going to require, it goes back, it ties back into the cross- discipline. That should mean that the whole organization is trying to affect this asset management strategy. If it’s just the reliability group towing this line, it probably won’t ever become a real competitive advantage to you, it will just keep you in business. Which is important, right? But if you want to excel over someone else in your space or another competitor, your asset management strategy should be able to do that as we are more efficient, cleaner, better, safer, even for your own workers, safer, right? So the digital transformation brings so many benefits with it. 

Mike Petrusky: Awesome. You know what you did there, Cody perfectly? We call it in the radio biz, a segue. And as we transition to this last section about the practical advice we can offer this audience around beginning or moving forward in their digital transformation journey, it’s something that we can’t speak to everyone at once. There’s no one size fits all. Everybody’s at a different place on this journey. But I imagine there are many who just either don’t know how to start or don’t know how to move things forward with digitalization. Any advice you can share in the final minutes? And then we’re going to open it up to Q and A folks. So put your questions in the Q and A box. But Cody, your final thoughts around this idea of getting started or moving along in the digital transformation of asset management? 

Cody: Yeah. So what really will help both you and your provider kind of identify the solutions, is if you could start with what are the outcomes you’re trying to achieve? This is essentially a different way of saying, what is your asset management strategy? That can be anything from, we want to reduce costs. We want to be more compliant. 

Cody: An example is a couple of years ago we had an organization call us and say, hey, we make parts for Boeing and Boeing put our contract on, or suspended our contract because we created a couple of parts with defects, and they wanted to see our records on our equipment. And we gave them Excel and they said that’s unacceptable, pulled our contract until we could remedy that. And so their asset management strategy was digital compliance, digital record keeping, right? Some of you that have historic buildings, digital record keeping is important because that building is going to be around for a long time. I’m talking about maybe cathedrals or historic sites, right? You need to keep a record of what’s going on. So is that your asset management strategy? Is it safety for our patrons? Is it better kept facilities? Is it equipment life, right? What is the outcomes you’re trying to achieve? Those do help both your provider of your EAM, but it also helps you. It also helps your organization come together on these terms. 

Cody: But I will also say the other thing to get engaged is is that the providers of EAM solutions can help you kind of do some discovery. To give you just an example, our teams, our sales teams, have on them solutions architects. Their whole job is to just listen to what you need and then help you craft a solution to achieve those means. So those would be the two things is really, as an organization, come up with your asset management strategy and then get engaged with some sort of EAM provider. They can help you, or they should, they should have staff on there to help you do some discovery and then create or architect kind of what you need to do. 

Cody: There’s a lot of configurability in these EAMS. So when we talk about our EAM may have one point, or I’m sorry, our asset management strategy may have one goal. Our asset management strategy may have 10 goals, right? And so we need to make sure that the system is configurable. It gets even a little bit more complex when you’re like, well, we have 10 goals and we have 100 locations, right? It’s a lot simpler if you have one. But so those would be very simple, but you can also get a little more, a little more involved. 

Mike Petrusky: Great stuff. Yeah, good advice. I really like it. That’s the place to kind of wrap up our talking with each other, but now it’s time for you folks to share your questions for Cody and me. If you want to talk about music. In fact, I see a chat came in from Eric about some music to check out and I will do that. But as we wrap up our kind of presentation and leave the final few minutes for questions and answers, I’m going to share a quote from my favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin. This is the guy on the screen here. He is the perfect kind of source for inspiration around the human side. Whatever your role, whatever your challenge ahead, he gives some great quotes to share. 

Mike Petrusky: And this one is perfect for our times as we head into year two of our existence alongside COVID- 19, and looking to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us. Optimism is the most important human trait because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation and to hope for a better tomorrow. So again, that type of stuff from Seth Godin is what keeps me going as I try to maintain my sanity during these quarantine days, and look forward to getting back into human interaction. I know many of you are already there, but you’re going to need to help your teammates, your workforce, the employees, the people around you in both your private and public life to move things along. And if you want to have those types of conversations, please join me on the podcast at or But as we head to the Q and A time, Sammy, I’ll welcome you back in. And I’ll just make a comment to Eric about check, he asked me to check out Gadabouts with Edie Brickell and Steve Gadd. 

Mike Petrusky: I have not heard that music and I certainly will check them out. I know Edie Brickell, Eric, from her days in the eighties, or maybe it was the nineties with Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. What I am is what I am is what you are or what? Something like that. I have that song in my head from Edie Brickell. I’m not aware of too many things, but I know what I know and I know what I mean, is what she would say. But thank you all for being a part of this conversation. I hope you enjoyed it. I think if you want to follow up with more questions or learn more about the suite of products and services that iOFFICE provides, the easiest way is to go to And that’s the host page for my podcast, The Asset Champion Podcast. You’ll see the archives of our 40 plus episodes there, as well as some free resources, white papers, reports, things that will help you along in your digital transformation journey. And Cody, it’s always a pleasure. Thanks again for doing this with me today. 

Cody: Yeah, thanks Mike. 

Mike Petrusky: And everyone out there, thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of this event. I hope you enjoy the rest of the conference. And I hope in some small way, during this hour together, we encouraged you all to be an asset champion. Peace out everybody. You’ve been listening to The Asset Champion Podcast. We hope you found this discussion beneficial as we work together to elevate asset management success by improving efficiency, reducing costs and building best practices. For more information about how the iOFFICE asset division can boost the performance of your physical assets by providing comprehensive enterprise asset management software solutions, please visit, 

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As the host of both the Workplace Innovator Podcast and the Asset Champion Podcast, Mike's role at Eptura is to share thought leadership with CRE, FM, and IT leaders in the digital and hybrid workplace. As an in-demand public speaker, Mike engages audiences with his focus on the human element of workplace and facility management at International Facility Management Association, CoreNet, and other industry events.

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