Special Guest
Marvin Clark
Scott Mackenzie

What’s in this episode?  

In this conversation with Industrial Talk’s Scott MacKenzie, Accruent CIO Marvin Clark talks about the importance of effective asset management and more. Specifically, he dives into:  

  • How Accruent software facilitates effective asset management, and utilizes data to replace assumptions with real, actionable insights
  • Accruent’s focus on collaborating with our customers to offer services and solutions that truly help their organizations and solve their most pressing pain points
  • Trends in the software industry and the importance of flexibility and being open to change
  • The value of working with a company you can trust
  • The importance of data literacy and understanding your organization’s data

Join the conversation!  

Full Transcript


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Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry-focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots. And let's go!  


Once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk and thank you for your continued to support. This is a platform, a platform that is dedicated to industry professionals all around the world because you are bold, brave, you're daring greatly. You are changing lives, and you are changing the world - worthy of celebration, and that's why this platform is for you. All right, we are at Accruent Insights. Nashville, Tennessee. Gaylord is the location about that. Did I nail it this time? That was because this is take two by the way. anybody listening out there? And I'm talking to Marvin Clark. Acruent, you got to see this place. If you've ever been to the did you get lost? No,


I've only got lost like six times so far.


Six. It's crazy. It's just crazy. All right. Let's get cracking with the conversation. Marvin Clark’s in the house in the hot seat? Yeah. And you can't you can't just wander around this facility. And I'm sure that the other ones are the same, right?


Oh, yeah. It's gigantic. This place is crazy. It's crazy. Yeah.


And then somebody says, yeah, just turn left at the green plant. Thanks. Great. Yeah. She says, yes. It took us forever. And then we finally made it. We found our bed. And


if you ever come down, download the app.


I did that. But I was impatient. Yeah,


that's how I get around now. says you are here. And where do you want to go?


That's pretty doggone cool. No, no, don't go to a task list. There you go call to action. All right. For the listeners out there. Martin, give us a little background on who you are.


Yeah, Marvin Clark, and I'm the CIO for Accruent. And been with Accruent for like, the last year and a half and loving it - great company, great products. I love our customers. Prior to here, I've spent 30 years in financial services. So this is a new industry for me. I'm learning every day, but loving what we do.


See, this is interesting. And I'm going to venture into it just for the listeners. You got Accruent? And for those listeners that don't know Accruent, tell us a little bit about


that? Yes.


Do you know


it took me it took me a little while to figure that out? That's for sure. Yeah. I would say if anything to do with facilities management, so it's either managing the buildings themselves, it's managing the assets inside the buildings, managing the people inside the buildings or even outside the building.  

So if you're looking at remote work or things like that, anything and everything around facilities asset management, that's where we really focus our time and energy.


See as you as we're here at the Gaylord This thing's a massive, a massive facility. It has a gazillion lights it has you know, HVAC, it has so much equipment that has to be managed. Yeah. And and I don't see how you can't use a platform provided by Accruent in any way. I don't know how you manage it? It's like It's like shopping for PVC, right? You're gonna miss that elbow. Oh, yes.


You're right. You're right. Where? And now I look at things so differently. Like you just said, when I walk into a building now or a hospital, I'm like, “Oh, I wonder what's being managed. I wonder who's doing this? I wonder if they're even managing the lights or if they're even managing their assets.” But you’re right.  


what why is it important? Outside of the obvious, of course, outside of the obvious you don't want to walk into a dilapidated property. You want to walk in They just say, Okay, this is great. And it's one of those unspoken things, you know, you'll know when it's bad, right.


And I think that probably the most important piece is you, you want to always do better. So, you want to make sure that if you have lights, or if you have an HVAC, or whatever the case may be that, that doesn't get to a point where you have to replace it and you just didn't know about it. Or maybe you're not using it in the in the way that you think so maybe lights are staying on 24/7 and you have no idea. So the more data you can get from each one of your points, each one of your assets, that helps you manage them better. And there's insights that you get that if you weren't looking at the data, you'd have no idea how the asset’s actually being used and how often it's being used. And if it's being used at all.


Yeah, I and in with that insight with that ability to see this asset, this this living, breathing, you know, physical asset, yeah, you're able to identify areas where you can become more efficient. Yes. Cost savings. Yeah, bottom line value, keep at it. And I would imagine, it's also good for there's churn within the organization, and then you're able to at least create some continuity, is that sort of the right thing,


I think you nailed it. Once you start looking at the data, you stop making assumptions. And the data tells you something, and it can be different for every single company. It could be to your point, how do you more efficiently manage your buildings or your assets? It could also be, wow, man, we've never even looked at that as an asset that could produce some kind of return on investment or do something different that they've never even thought of just because they haven't looked at the data.


Do you find your your customer base? You know that it's it's a, it's monumental, many of these organizations, universities, whatever it might be, they're just, they're so busy into the day to day?  

Are you finding some opportunities to say, “Hey, how about something like this?” Or, “Let's educate you on that,” or whatever it might be? Do you find a willingness to do it? Or are they just in the trenches trying to maintain these things? Like some of these


roles? Oh, yeah, well, one thing I've learned, like I said, this is still a very new industry, for me. How smart and intelligent, and how proactive our customers are. They want to do things differently. It's amazing. And historically, they've just been logos to me, you know, name a big company. And now I'm working with them. They're not just a company, I buy things from, or I go to, or my kids go to school at or whatever. But the people that work there are just amazing. They're brilliant, they're smart, and they're so proactive. They want to do what's next. I think it's just about getting them information on what we can do and how we can help. And it's that collaboration of, “We have a solution, or we think we have a solution and they have a problem. Can we come together and solve that problem?” And what I've seen on a lot of the calls that I've participated in, they're giving us really good ideas, really good things that we should be focused on, that maybe isn’t in our product today, but will be in the future because of the feedback we're getting.


So that's, that's that's key. Yeah. Because you're not you're not operating in a vacuum. No, you're operating in a way that is truly collegial, and maybe collaborative, to be able to identify and then be able to take these conversations and then say, “Hey, here's a use case. It's over here, but we can apply it over there. And that's the way.”

So how does, in Accruent, how do you go through that process? Because sometimes probably some of the ideas or not, it's very niche. Yeah, I got it. Okay. We'll help you with that. Yeah. What's the process within Accruent to just sort of make sure that you're constantly with open your base,


talking to them about what we're building, what our roadmap looks like, and then getting their feedback. And in today's world, you can be really flexible. So we think we're going to build something a certain way in six months, eight months, nine months down the road. But we can always change course. So what we want to do is get out there early and share with our customers, here's what we're doing, here's why we're doing it, here's what we've heard from you in the past, but then also continue to get their feedback all the way through. And if they if we're hearing we should take a left turn or a right turn or add something new, we can do that. So, getting that functionality out there early and getting their feedback gives us the ability to make changes. Then when we do deliver something, it's it's what we all want it together. It's true collaboration. It's not us going away for nine months, building stuff that we think we're that's really cool that we're proud of, but then completely missing the mark. Okay,


So we're at Accruent Insights here this conference, this user community. Is at, really at its core, are you hoping to glean some insights and vice versa and be able to share? What's the objective here at this particular event?


I say that there's, there's a couple of first for me selfishly, which you just said, I want to talk to as many folks as I can from all the different customers and clients that we have today. Because I do want their feedback, I want to know what's going through their minds, I want to know, what can Accruent do that we we both know about today, but maybe think even bigger and understand some of their other problems, or maybe even some of their opportunities or, or things that they're thinking about.  

So, for me personally, it's just, I can't wait to talk to as many customers as possible. But then here, I think what we're really trying to do from from the conference perspective is create that collaboration, a little bit of us sharing what we know, and what we want to do through demos and through workshops, but also just getting the feedback. I mean, it's been four years since Accruent has been face-to-face with their customers in the conference. So, this is I mean, yeah, we're all dying for this. We're just having those face-to-face discussions and getting two or three customers together and seeing them collaborate and seeing how they talk to each other and what their problems are, what their opportunities are. That's what this is all about.


Because right now, I'm looking out behind you. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And then you just got tables, and people are surrounded by a terminal and they're talking, and they're chirping, and people are pointing at the screen. I'm sure. That must be that's that's a part of


it. Oh, this is this is awesome, right? I mean, this is, this is what collaboration looks like, this is us wanting to hear what they have to say. And this is the customer sharing what they want and what they need.


So, listen, if you can't see it, because it's not in the camera. But right behind Marvin is just multiple tables, with with screens, with the solution up having one one-on-one conversations, and pointing at stuff. It's just, it's pretty, pretty doggone cool. It is cool. So where do you see it going? Where do you see all of this going? Where do you see the trends happening? Because I just, oh, man, these assets? I was here. 20 years ago. It still looks great.


Yeah, this is a beautiful place. This is really awesome. I don't know, you know, I I'd say all of us. None of us talked about ChatGPT, six months ago. And if you say you were talking about it, you’re lying, wasn't Yeah, none of us were right. And now we're all I was five months ago, five months ago. So, there's so much changing. And I think it comes down to two things. One, capture as much data as possible, because when you have the data you can do something. And then, two, figure out how you decipher that data, you have a fast, fast way, but in a correct fashion. So you don't want the data to tell you something's not true.  

Man, I don't know where this is gonna go. But I know it's going really fast. And so we have Microsoft kind of leading it right now. AWS, or Amazon and Google and companies we don't even know about today, they're going to be jumping in the mix. So, I think it's just I think companies need to be really flexible and ready for change. That's gonna be the key. And try things try.


Yeah, see, this is what's interesting. When we start talking about trying. I want to try, but I want to try with somebody I know and trust. I don't want to just try with that somebody off the street. Yes. And yeah, I've hung my AI shingle out. And now I'm also an IoT specialist. Right? Yep. I want to be able to have some conversation with something that means something that I can trust. You agree? I mean, Accruent provides those capabilities.


Totally agree. And I know it sounds like a commercial for Accruent. But you're right, you want to go with companies that you have trusted in the past, help build those partnerships with with the new companies that are coming up. And that's what we're trying to do at Accruent is work with companies that are really good at IoT that we know can deliver the right data so that we can capture that data and figure out the right insights, the right learnings, but across the board outside of Accruent, I do think it's wise to work with companies you trust. Because it's so fast. It's so fast.


I I remember going to one conference five years ago, whatever. Yeah. And and the topics were, you know, hey, we need to collect data. Well, why? Well, there's something in that data. It's like, you got it. And then all of a sudden, you fast forward, and it's like, yeah, collect it, decipher it, identify, make sure that that's the data you, you know, you want and not some sort of, you know, garbage in garbage out type stuff. And


I agree, and I think if we can get to the point, data scientists are incredibly important. They're phenomenal at their job. Yeah. If we all can become data scientists, and you don't need that special role to figure out what the data is telling you. I think that's when we make a big leap forward.


Who's going to do that. Like what, ChatGPT?


I think it's a little of that it's a little bit of AI. So yeah, but I think when we all become experts with the data, and it becomes easy for all of us to identify what the data is telling us. That's when we make a big a big step forward. In my opinion,


don't you think? It's something like, like, I'm an artist, right? I'm an artist. I have a canvas, and I'm drawn on the canvas. I don't know when to pull away, maybe that, you know, a little shading here and a little do, don't you think sometimes data analysts are? Okay, you're, you're at the 99th percentile, right? Are we getting that bang for the buck? Or is there still just gold in the data like, like, there's so much more to gain from it.


Gold. Think about how much data we're collecting today, compared to say five years ago? I mean, the size of databases that every company has data marts, data warehouses, you name it, data lakes, just data, data, data, and just little things. Now we're back to the IoT. Just think of all that data that's being collected every single second. It's insane. The


continent of Australia is going to be a cloud farm. It's I don't I don't know. That's a whole other conversation. Because I have no clue. Yeah,


I don't either. I mean, I take pictures all the time, right? Yeah. Go someplace. Because the cloud


because the cloud


is just a whole world's gonna be a doggone cloud. It's, and the energy associated with that to keep those bad boys. Cool and efficient and safe and secure. And


so true. Yes, yes. And two or three or four copies of everything?


No, I'm efficient with mine. No, I'm not. Alright, you are absolutely spectacular. How does somebody get a hold of you?


Reach out to marvin.clark@accruent.com. That's it. That's it. And you will respond. I will positively respond.


I'm gonna test it out. Or just test it out to rebuild. Well, you were absolutely wonderful. Thank you have a great, I'll be around.


Looking forward to talking to you. All right. Yeah.  


All right, listeners. Once again, we are broadcasting from Accruent Insights here in Nashville, Tennessee, Gaylord. This is an amazing property, at least put it on your bucket list to check it out. We're gonna have a lot more conversation. So we're gonna wrap up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


All right, that's a wrap. That's Marvin Clark. Accruent is the company that was Accruent Insights. We are talking about managing those building assets, the data, the information coming from the devices, and how important that is to be able to deploy and analyze that information so that you, building manager, can make better decisions in managing that building asset. Big time. Great conversation. Fun. By the way. You got to go to Accruent Insights next year, just because it's, it's, it's excellent. The people are excellent. Everything's excellent. The food is even excellent. So it's all excellent. Yep. Put that put them on a bumper sticker. All right. Industrial talk is a platform, a platform that is dedicated to industrial content creators. That's you. You need to be a part of this platform. You have a podcast, you have a blog, you have a video. Industrial Talk is the place for you. Let's get let's get this information out there people will be brave daring, greatly hanging out with Marvin changed the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly.