Special Guest
Edgar Amaya
Scott MacKenzie

What’s in this episode?  

In this conversation with Industrial Talk’s Scott MacKenzie, Edgar Amaya, Accruent’s VP of Enterprise Customer Success, dives into how to maintain close relationships with customers and ensure success. Specifically, they discuss:  

  • Automation and customer success in various industries
  • How customers scale and automate their operations, even with limited resources
  • How Amazon uses automation to achieve two-hour delivery times
  • Customer success and the role of small to mid-sized companies in the digital age

Join the conversation!  

Full Transcript


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 get around


Thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk, and thank you for your continued support of a platform that is truly dedicated to industrial professionals all around the world. Because you're bold, brave, you dare greatly, you solve problems, you collaborate, and you are making the world a better place. That's why we here on this podcast, celebrating all industrial professionals around the world. All right, and as you can tell, maybe there's some background noise that you can hear. But we are broadcasting on site here at the Gaylord in Nashville, I want to say Knoxville, but it's not. It's Nashville. And it's an incredible venue and we are broadcasting from Accruent Insights. And this is just a collection of people that are saying I need problems, or I have problems or not solving problems. And I'm going to collaborate in it is a fantastic venue. Edgar is in the hot seat. We're going to be talking about automation and a lot more. So let's get cracking. All right, are you having a good conference?  


I'm having a great conference. I'm enjoying this place so much. Yes. Incredible. I did. Thankfully there's a GPS version Wayfinder. That is solving my life right now. Yes. It is in the app. And it's so precise. You can put any single detail any room and it is going to tell you step by step where to go. It's incredible.


I got to pull that up. Yeah. Now that I know the place, I don't need it. But I just it's interesting. Oh, because we got here. And we did the whole online, you know, registration, and I didn't talk to anybody, right? But then let's go find our room. And that's when we made bad decisions. And we were out, "Well, what about this? What about this one?” Because it's a small state.


And I guess you ended up probably walking like three, five miles around the hotel,


Got our steps in, our Fitbits. We're just like blowing up. It's all good. But you know, what the heck, what can we say? Well, all right. As my wife was saying, not too smart. Anyway, give us a little background on who you are.


Yes, God, well, thank you for having me. My name is Edgar Amaya. And I lead the Customer Success team at Accruent. And my responsibility basically, is to take care of all our customers or existing customers that do business with us. I have the fortune and the honor of working with so many different customers, industries, products. That's the reason why, on my badge, you're gonna see all the different products and multicolors because I work with all of them. So I have that privilege.


So when you say customer success, that's across all industries. Yes, it'd be healthcare, it could be oil and gas, it could be manufacturing could be whatever.


All of them, all of them. And my background is earlier, before this conversation, we were talking about earnings. And I spent a lot of time in the telecom industry. And when I started, I actually started as a site engineer, I would go to the sites, climb the towers, make sure that everything was installed, then go down to the radio base station, do the configuration enabled and move on to a field. So that's where I started and spent a lot of time doing that in the Caribbean doing LTE G GSM. Networks when those were cool back then. Yeah. And I did a lot of that for many, many years. And then I moved to Accruent’s telecom division as well, we have a business unit that serves a lot of mobile operators, and also telecom tower providers. And that's how I joined it started my journey at Accruent many, many years ago.


How many years?  


I'm gonna count now. I think it's 2015. So almost nine years now.


See, you're still well within, there's a lot of individuals that are saying, I've been here for six months. Oh, my gosh, what's what's going on? And then all of a sudden, you're the old salty dog. That's not how we do it over here, my day. But anyway, so with this particular event, and you're wandering around, and you're listening to customers, because that's what you're about. Yeah. What are you hearing?


You know, the key thing that I'm hearing is, how can I do this at a better scale faster, quicker, and with the limited resources that I have? Everybody's thinking about their costs right now, everybody thinking about, “I need to do this. I'm being asked to do X, Y, and Z and more. How can I do this with the limited resources that we have?” And I think that's the beauty of this conference, but for two reasons, one because you learn about the tools that are available to you, but also how other people have thought about this problem and have solved it. And I think this is the beauty. The beautiful thing about being here, right?


It is, are you having conversations that are around, I'm having a hard time finding people, I've got to, I still have to keep the lights on, I still have to do my job and work my business. But I'm having a hard time finding people. And that's an automation question. From my perspective. Can you sort of expand upon that a little bit?


Scott, that's something that we hear across so much. Every single industry is experiencing the post COVID area in a many, many different ways. Right. I think the, the numbers around the labor report came up recently, and they look strong, but our customers are telling us that there's still some challenges, that they're finding resources and the supply chain and everything.  

So everything's coming down to a place where there are challenges. We're hearing that a lot. Our manufacturing customers, which I think I don't know if you've had the opportunity to talk with them, but they're, they're telling us, “Look right now, automation, it's key for us to solve a lot of the problems that we have in the last mile on the supply chain.” It's a combination Scott right now of how can I be operationally efficient, but at the same time remain competitive in this environment, with customer experience. We have a large retail manufacturer, which has a great customer of our great partner last night, we were having a fascinating conversation, because they are experimenting and actually doing a fascinating job in one of the warehouses that they have in Florida, where they came up with a full automation line on procure, and also predictability, using data on how much supply they're going to have in this certain area of this certain product.  

So that they're smart about which products are going to be in that warehouse. And not even that is if you need a product right now, how can it be delivered quickly in the most seamless experience? So it's a combination of, of its it's a challenge, how can you be efficient, but at the same time, think about fulfilling all the needs from your stakeholders.


This is such an interesting conversation because I, I had a conversation with Amazon, and their goal, their order fulfillment goal is down to two hours, they want to be able to achieve somewhere I'm online, and I order, you know, whatever, they want to be able to achieve it in two hours. Now, that requires, you know, assets that have like warehouse assets, all of the vehicles, all of the stuff that has to work in concert but be able to have the product on hand, but that requires intelligence, and then be able to deliver it on your doorstep.


It's incredible. It's fascinating. And number one, just a comment as a as a as a good Amazon customer that frequently buys guilty. You know, it becomes your expectation as a customer, right. It's how can I get this experience? And now you're expecting it from moving on. You expect that?


Yeah, that sort of line it. Amazon has screwed up everybody's expectations. And it's so true. What? I have to wait a week? No. Oh, yeah. You know, exactly. You know, but, but So, are we saying that that those are achievable? I mean, to be able to do that in a way that that.  

I mean, the expectation is so high now, what always fascinates me, Edgar is is through automation. And I guess through automation, we're trying to address a resource constraint. I don't have the people I don't have the right people. I don't have the skilled people. I don't have whatever those human, that human conversation. And so I'm, I'm trying to automate it so that the people that I'm able to sort of attract are the ones that I want for the resiliency of this business going forward. But that's still it's, it's sort of an interesting conundrum. Because I'm still I'm going to use less people because I got to survive. But then there's going to be more people. There's I don't you get get on sand. I'm just like, it's an interesting juxtaposition.


Yeah. And I think there are a lot of parallels with what you just said with what's happening with AI and how we're thinking about AI. Right. And my, my thought about this, even with automation with AI, is how can we use the current resources that are probably doing something that is repetitive that is transactional, that is something that probably could be done more repetitive? How can we liberate those resources from doing this and move them to do something that would require a different set of skills. So I think that that's where we're moving. If even if you look at AI, right AI, you need to train the AI model with a set of data to be able to do something that you want it to do. And if you're someone that is doing that task in a repetitive way, what you're able to do now is free up that time to be able to do something else.


But that begs the question that if I'm a business owner, and I recognize the value of, of using that innovative solution, to free up time for my valued resources, I've got to have a place for them to go, I've got to, I've got to train, I got to do that. I've got to think about it on what it looks like and then then nudge in that direction. That to me is a challenge


100% It's a challenge. But it's also something to look at with a lot of optimism, right? It's, it's like reaching a maturity level that we haven't been able to because of all the technological constraints. And now with both AI and with automation – and also the recent improvements on even the materials that we're using – that would enable having AI on your phone without having to go through the separate supercomputers. The future is amazing. And right now, having the ability to see this transition that is happening right now is so so exciting.


Are you are you getting customers? Because you're talking? Are they having that same level of of enthusiasm? Or is it like, I got a I got a bunch of headaches over here anyway, and you're asking me to sort of do this to you know, what's, what's the general consensus out there?


It's got, we're getting back, yes, I have a problem today help me solve this problem. It will, we'll have that conversation later. We will, oh, it's a reality is that we will always have a fire every single day. And I think one of the benefits that we have, at least I have the privilege of working with customers in customer success is that you said the time to have a conversation that is more strategic with your customers about their future. And we're having those conversations, and it's a great place to be. But what I'm very excited about is the cost that our customers realize that to be able to get, help them get to where they aspire to what their ambition and future and business goals is, right? Now you have to have an investment, you have to think about how you're going to position yourself to remain competitive in that future. Because if you don't, your competitors are not slowing down. And we're all in this situation, right?


Here's the deal. And it's not a negative. But larger companies have that ability to do that don't think strategically, have the luxury we've got, we got all this activity. It's the small to mid-sized companies that are really getting squished, but they have to do it. They just have to do it. And I mean, there's no other way of getting around it. And to be able to find those individuals. To trust that, to me is key to have that strategic conversation, because you're asking me, small business owner, that I've got to be nimble, and I've got to be able to sort of embrace this brave new world of innovation. Because it makes sense. That requires hand holding. You have smaller companies, right?


We do.But here's a positive side of things. I think right now, as we're going through the transition, things may look very overwhelming. Oh, what is this? I need to I'm already understanding about this, acknowledging there's another one coming up next weekend got another app like it's tailgating, tailgating, right? So many the speed of progression is going so quick right now. But here's where I'm very positive about this as we mature. I think that every single large organization is going to realize that we need to make it easier for users – for small companies, medium-sized companies – to use those tools without having to rely on a company to or consulting or someone with a lot of preparation and education to do things that you want to do. And I think we're getting there. There are a lot of apps right now that I have been playing around with that you can just enable integration within LinkedIn, for example, then your Outlook and your ChatGPT. And you can connect it in a way that it would automatically message the people that are reaching out to you, and feed into forums so that you can have a database like you're getting there. I think we're seeing the start of that path. But I'm excited. I'm excited to see.


And then my challenge me personally is I'll get, I'll see that shiny object out there, and I want to go for it. It might not be the best move, but it's shiny. thing and I want to go, I want to waste my time over there just because well, I want to. Yeah, right. And then there's another one over here. And it's it requires there's a discipline that has to happen. But then again, there has to be this ability to be able to connect with with trusted individuals to be able to sort of have that shiny to I want to do that to you know, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. And all the time just just goes away. I don't know. I think it's exciting. And I think that I think that there's just you just have to be engaged. You just have to have these conversations and change is coming. Change is happening. Change is happening all the time. But have these conversations just because educate anyway, that's how I'm with you.


Amen. Amen to that. Yes. In everything that you said. Yeah. Well,


very good. Well, how does somebody get a hold of you, my friend?


I'm available through LinkedIn. And I can be reached out there. But of course, anybody can just email me at edgar.amaya@accruent.com. More than happy to connect


you up. Fantastic. Just joined this conversation. Thank you, everybody. Everybody, I'm not going to do that. Everybody. Pray that? Yes, everybody's the best. Thank you. All right, thank you very much. All right, we're gonna have all the contact information for Edgar out on industrial talk. So if you're not reach out, because you got to have this conversation and definitely being a part of the customer success. me he's got the finger on the pulse of what's going on out there. So if you're not, you got to reach out to him. We will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


That, my friends, is that your call to action is to connect with that girl. It is all out on industrial talk, bind his podcast, and on there is his LinkedIn stack card, just click on it, reach out, have a conversation around customer success. How Accruent is facilitating that you need to succeed. You need to have a conversation with Edgar, in a big duck on way. All right. We're building a platform, we're building a platform, an ecosystem that truly celebrates industry professionals. You want to be a part of it, you want to be on it. You want to elevate your podcasts, you want to elevate your blog or your video or whatever content you need to be a part of the ecosystem. We need to continue to spread this word. Why industry is so incredible. That's why industrial talk is here. Go out there. Reach out to me say Scott, we want to be a part of it. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly hanging out with that. Change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation coming from a crew inside shortly so stay tuned.