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Hear from Long-Time Dude Employees & Clients About The Future

Today, we finish our special series with a chance to look into the future of operations, of data and of The Dude. Hear what long-time Dude clients and employees are most excited about with that future. 

SHOW NOTES: 

SHOW SCRIPT:

Brian  
Welcome to the Operate Intelligently Podcast, the podcast for all things operations.

Grace Flack  
Welcome back to the podcast for the third and final episode of this special series that we've been doing for the last few weeks all about Year of The Dude, our 20th birthday. I've compiled interviews from long-time Dude employees and clients, stories, some fun ones, some really sweet, interesting ones about how our business got started what we're all about. And then today, we're going to kind of look into the future of operations, about data, what clients and what we're doing with all this data to make smarter, intelligent decisions. And it's really exciting to kind of get out the crystal ball and dream about what might happen next for the world of operations management, facility management, maintenance management, as well as for Dude Solutions. And don't forget, if you haven't yet, go back and listen to Episode 100 & 101 to make sure you can lay the groundwork for this third one. Let's get started with some thoughts from long-time employee Pat Buchanan.

Pat Buchanan  
Early on, it was just okay, we've got a piece of paper that we're printing out, we're given to a technician they're turning back and we're trying to take that beautiful handwriting and turn it into some data that we can run a report on. And now we're saying, okay, we've got all these smart devices, we got all these technology and even trying to get more to predictive predicting when a work orders going to occur. When when should we go out and do the PM on that piece of equipment? And so we're definitely transitioning more of having the equipment, having the work order system predict more of when should we give time and effort to certain pieces of equipment or locations.

Grace Flack  
CEO Ed Roshitsh talks about what excites him most about the future.

Ed Roshitsh  
But I think what gets me most excited is you know, sitting down working with our clients to help make their their work lives easier and become force multipliers for them. There's an often bandied about statistic that, you know, for every seven of the current facility directors, managers as types, there's only two people skilled enough with the acumen and interest, frankly, to go back in and backfill those seven that retire. So the only way that that those organizations are going to survive and get that same amount of work done. Multiplication through technology, leverage, and we're right, we're right there, right. We're in the epicenter of that for our clients. And I think that's going to be a fun place to be not only for our clients as we help them solve other things, but also for all the dudes that they get a paycheck, serving our clients.

Grace Flack  
As someone who worked on the technology at the start of the company, Carsie Denning has a unique view on what's to come.

Carsie Denning  
And I'm 62 years old, but I'm honestly more excited today about being a Dude, then believe up in anytime in my career, because we now have the ability to do things that we've only dreamed about just a few years ago, the ability for the dude to be able to take data at the speed that we can. And to pull in that data. And to have some of the data scientists that we do. I think we're going to be able to do some great things. In terms of analytics, we want to be able to let a client know when they've got a problem before they even realize that they have a problem. And we're starting to do that nail. And, but yet, we really haven't touched the tip of the iceberg of what the possibilities are. And we're doing our best to provide them with the toolset where they can identify when a piece of equipment starts, when the efficiency for a piece of equipment starts to go down, which indicates that it's it's either wearing out, bearings are gone bad, needs to be greased, or something needs to take place. And that can take place now before anybody ever realizes they have a problem.

Grace Flack  
Long-time employee Scott hair talks about what's possible with new technologies. 

Scott Hair  
With how the convergence of you know with IoT, we have the ability to be able to really do a lot a lot more be a whole lot more predictive, provide more inside prior to anything, you know, building occupant coming in, which that just streamlines efficiency all across the board just makes everybody more efficient, again, more predictable. You know, from a revenue standpoint, staffing standpoint, that nature. 

Grace Flack  
If you're interested in learning more about IoT, or the Internet of Things, and its role in operations, check out Episode 76. Here's one of our clients TJ Imberger on the part that new technology is playing with his equipment and work

TJ Imberger  
Because what a lot of people don't realize is technology is filtering into everything. So literally, we have, we have utility vehicles, we have lawn mowers, we have field pepper machines that are all, they have computers inside of them. They're all Bluetooth capable. And so we're able to work consistently, we're already taking that information out. But now we're going to be able to draw that information and loaded into our deeds, pollution products, and then that's going to automatically update all of our PMs. Right now we're like manually entering in mileage like vehicles, and that's all going to come out of our field system. Once we move over to the new platform, we're actually going to be working with The Dude, we have some of our other, like our fleet of lawn mowers, those are all Bluetooth capable. And as they roll into our shop areas, they're already communicating with some systems that we have in place. Along with some of our larger equipment for road maintenance, our motor graders, and RR track hose and everything are also Bluetooth and GPS capable. So we're excited to look into the possibilities of being able to draw that information in daily and go directly into our PM system, and directly into our work order system at our garage area. Now we're starting to see where everything's gonna be able to talk to each other. And then we're drawing everything in as a whole. So even though if you're in a department like the garage, you're automatically tying into what everybody else can see. But our efficiency is going to improve because right now, the operator of the vehicle long halftime, enter their mileage into a separate system, when I go fuel up, it's going to be able to draw into platforms with the solutions, and I'm saving lots of steps. And if you have two or three vehicles, okay, that's, that's something but if you have, like I have, we have 200 pieces of rolling stock. That's a significant savings when you start doing the math on it.

Grace Flack  
Longtime employee Scott Carpenter talks about the important part that data is playing,

Scott Carpenter  
Because of 20 years, we have all this data. And I really believe data is going to be the minority is a big thing. But I think it's going to be the thing that transforms business in the future. And you know, with AI and machine learning, and the internet of things with IDR for energy for real-time monitoring, if you take all the things that are getting ready to happen with our software, and in the data that we have, and how we can overlap it with 360 and do some of the things we're doing it. It's just, I mean, we're at a point in time where we're, you know, we think we've really, really grown, I think we're going to exponentially grow in the next. And I think we're at the point where it's really going to start taking off in the next few years. And it's good. And then everybody's gonna go wow, can we even exceed that?

Grace Flack  
When we asked client Travis Tracy what he's most excited about the future. He also said data.

Travis Tracey
More data. And I know that's a very quick, very blunt answer, but more data, more growth, and smarter operations. So as we're growing, we're collecting more data. I'm looking forward and in seeing some of the efforts put forth by even dude labs and the applications that are being built for things such as collecting inventory and collecting that data, using things like OCR, optical character recognition, where you can walk up to a piece of equipment, and scan it with a phone or tablet, and all that data gets poured in. Because not only does that save time and save resources, but it produces better quality of data. And the more quality data we have, the better decisions we're going to be able to make. Our whole aim is to operate in a more intelligent manner using things like business intelligence. And I think looking to the future, that's what I'm excited about more data and more quality data.

Grace Flack  
Dude Labs is a new team at Dude Solutions that's focused solely on innovation. If you want to learn more about that team, check out Episode 86. Here's CRO Tom Knox on the impact that Dude Solutions technology makes.

Tom Knox  
The mission that we're on, the change that we make to the places that we live, the places our kids go to school, where we're educated, where we go if we need help if we're sick. And then obviously, the senior living component and even impacting places that people were, we're making those places safer, better environments to do their jobs, we're saving money. So we're making a really positive impact. To me, that's fundamental number one. And then number two, when I look at the, the suite of products combined with the database that we sit on, and the ecosystem that we've created, we're in a position to really step change how work, maintenance and operation gets done in the future. So I think the impact that we can have going forward has the potential to have a bigger impact than when we first introduced SaaS in 2000.

Grace Flack  
Brian Bell echoes those thoughts.

Brian Bell  
The better we get at using machine learning and various approaches to data analytics, the value of what we've built, only increases and we can turn that back into value for our customers.

Grace Flack  
If you're interested in learning more about the really exciting new technologies in our world, listen to Episode 90 on exponential technologies. Here's Jed DeGroote on what he sees coming next for the company and the world of operations.

Jed DeGroote  
I'm really excited to see what The Dude can do at scale. You know, we hear about that we're working to scale and everything, and we've just hit that $100 million dollar mark. So we're a big company. We're approaching, you know, the time where we can do even bigger things with bigger investments and more resources and everything. So before I even started, I mean, The Dude started 20 years ago, obviously, that's what this is all about. So we changed the way work was done. I can't wait to see like how we do that. Again, now with some of the opportunity we're doing with like machine learning and our business intelligence. With some of the stuff that do bye bye is pioneering like easier ways to collect data. You know, one of the more recent things I heard talk about is, how can we arm our clients to make even more intelligent decisions from their work order data where they don't have to look and assess it, that there's machine learning that's going to tell them, hey, you should keep your eyes open for this here, hey, you should look for this capital asset because there's a high potential of failure in the next two years. So I'm excited to see what we can do at scale.

Grace Flack  
Dude Evangelist Josh Peach talks about what gets him excited about the future.

Josh Peach  
I'm really excited about Dude Labs. I'm really excited about our commitment to continue to raise our own bar and to continue to find new, you know, predictive maintenance, predictive analytics, the business intelligence tools, the accessibility to benchmarking against our 12,000 clients and be able to see how you're really performing getting away from that island. I'm really excited to see kind of the next stages and steps and I'm excited it with with a lot of this new leadership and these new new folks that are coming in that are really putting in some some incredible ideas and thoughts and resources to get us to that next level.

Scott Hair  
You sit there and look at some of the products that we're doing today, not outside of even Work & Asset. You look at Event Manager. Wow. I mean, it's it's going to be day and night difference of you know, how we were operating 17 years ago with facility scheduling to event manager and looking at how do you? How does that type of product and drive overall community engagement and adoption? And you know, just, it's just is kind of crazy to think about it. 

Grace Flack  
Long-time client John Dufay talks about the impact that our energy management solution could have for them.

John Dufay  
Well, I think we're looking right now we were into the energy managers and and Energy Manager is an incredible tool that you're able to look at it real time. You can look at your energy usage, every 15 minutes, whatever you want. It is where the energy is being used, what areas are being used, what school, are we having a problem, controlling peak demand surcharges, those are so punitive. They were it's important to want to follow those and to to monitor what's going on, where we're able to then shut units down, whether whether we're curbing some usage, or whether we're do a slow start up in the morning click during the wintertime, or during the summer and some hard starts, we're able to control a soft start, meaning that we stagger each unit to start so we don't have a big surge of electricity, and then gives us a peek, chart demand charge. So there's a lot of things you can do and how we drive are the future of our school businesses. And it's any business facility. But for us, in the school business, where do we put our resources, resources are limited no matter where, what kind, but in education, they're limited. And to put it in this building to put it here, you can do forecasting, and until we're looking at where our problem schools are, and you can always say, Well, I know where my school is, but can you really show me and, and that's what the data does. And the thing is, is it's it's the idea is have information going to school board saying I need money for this, but you bring the data.

Grace Flack  
Pat reiterates that using data and reporting from The Dude helps clients with resource allocation.

Pat Buchanan  
How can clients achieve more with their system? How do they get credit for the work they're doing, how they get a more staff, more money for their organization.

Grace Flack  
Cofounder Lee Prevost comments on the future of the dude, under the leadership of CEO Ed Roshitsh.

Lee  
I think that he and the leadership team are thinking about the right things in terms of the the data being, you know, big part of what our clients really want to understand sort of where they are in context with others like them, you know, so so data and context and in sort of comparative information in more predictive, you know, information on: Gosh, can you tell me what's going to happen? Not just what happened? And can you can you give me some insight into where I should be focusing my energy and efforts, I think that's going to power our future, and we have a huge lead. Being that vertical, intimate people care about data in context with others like them. Being an early pioneer of vertical cloud model, I'm certain that we're well on our way to that billion.

Grace Flack  
Ed comments on some of the recent changes that impact the future of The Dude.

Ed Roshitsh  
I think from a people standpoint, you know, we've managed to retool reshape the executive ranks over the last 18 months, we've hired some spectacular people, you know, like our Chief Product Officer, our Chief Marketing Officer, etc. to help us with this next climb, you know, of the mountain from 100 million and beyond. I think the other sort of pivot point, we are now actively launching our next generation platform. Very few companies are able to make those turns successfully. And it feels like we have the hallmarks of a successful transition there as well. And I see that's really critical, you know, Asset Essentials, is getting a lot of favorable Net Promoter scores, lots of good, you know, it's not perfect, yet, we got a lot of work to do. But like, you know, the number of people logging in the system, the users, the feedback, we're getting.

Grace Flack  
Long-time employee Sandy King talks about her confidence in the future,

Sandy King  
I just think we're going in the right direction, not not only for, you know, for the good of the company, but really for the good of our clients days. You know, we're revamping moving everybody to the new platform. And, you know, I think it's going to be a good thing for our, for our clients.

Josh Peach  
Too often, and companies, they get stuck in their own way of doing things. And they think that it's good enough. And, you know, I gave it a quote yesterday at one of my talks: If better as possible, good is not enough. And we can always be doing better. So a lot of these new technologies that we're looking at, and implementing the new process of kind of how we're, we're looking at a lot of different things and try and getting things going quickly, where we always say, Well, you can't fail fast enough. And it's like, let's push and move and not like, let's not wait to make it decision on something, let's make a decision. Let's be decisive, let's rock, see how it goes. And if it's failing for it's going to fail, let's push it aside and go to something that works and and bring that to the top as opposed to just kind of banging your head off the wall forever. So I'm really excited for those things.

Grace Flack  
Ed talks about another exciting change with the partnership with Clearlake Capital Group.

Ed Roshitsh  
Well, I'm really excited. First off, for folks that have been sort of keeping track of The Dude, we have a new investor, a new partner, to help us grow and touch other things in Clearlake. We're very excited about having clearly holding hands with us as we walk down the road. We have a very thoughtful, yet aggressive strategic growth plan that we think about more clients more problems that we can solve for clients, maybe other verticals, different ways to solve problems with like maybe payment processing or contract or networks and there's a lot of things there. I can also then look back for you look at an exciting, you know, will at some point be you know, 1,500 to 2,000 Dudes strong as far as employees.

Scott Hair  
I don't know what the future is going to hold, but I can't imagine not being a part of it. I guess that's probably the the the easiest thing for me to say. 

Grace Flack  
Something that you'll hear often said around The Dude is change is the only constant. Carsie puts a spin on what that means and how exciting that really is. 

Carsie Denning  
I've been blessed in a career here with The Dude in that I really enjoy every thing I do here. It's great people. It's a great environment, we're growing. We're doing the things that we have to do to continue and grow this company. And let's change. Sometimes it's difficult for for people to accept change, but it's inevitable. The but what we continue to do, though, is do things that are challenging. We challenge our sales, and we support each other.

Grace Flack  
Well, folks, that's it. Thank you again for joining this journey on this special podcast series and for listening to the Operate Intelligently Podcast. We're so excited to have you here and to go into the future of The Dude and the world of operations with you. And a special thanks to all those who shared their stories with me to create this series. If you have any questions or comments on this series or things you'd like to see more of on the podcast, please email us at dspodcast@dudesolutions.com

Brian  
Thank you for listening to the Operate Intelligently Podcast produced by Dude Solutions. You can reach us by emailing dspodcast@dudesolutions.com or check us out on the web at dudesolutions.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai 

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