Special Guest
Frederic Baudart
Scott MacKenzie

What’s in this episode?  

In this conversation with Industrial Talk’s Scott MacKenzie, Frederic Baudart discusses:  

  • How customers are looking for a nimble, agile technology partner to do business with, particularly in 2024.  
  • The importance of true connectivity and human connection, and the difficulty finding balance between the two in the modern landscape.  
  • The need to have the same seamless technology experience both at work and at home, and how work environments are still lagging behind.  
  • How old-school generations – who prefer pen and paper – and younger app-based generations need to work together.  
  • The importance of capturing legacy knowledge before older generations exit the workforce.  
  • The importance of developing trust in order to have a successful customer relationship, and more.  

Join the conversation!  


Full Transcript


Alright, once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk. And thank you for your continued support of a platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, yes. Brave Yes, dare greatly. Absolutely. You are changing lives, and and therefore, you are changing the world each and every day. We thank you for that. And that's why we celebrate you on this platform.  

We are once again, Accruent Insights is the location, is the conference. And I gotta tell you, you need to put this on your bucket list. It has to be a part of your 2024 I guess schedule to get here because it has been a fabulous event. We are in Nashville, Tennessee, and we are at the Gaylord. And if you've ever been to the Gaylord, you know that everybody gets lost, and it is a common conversation. But we have Frederic in the house, we are going to be talking about generation and all the Generation X Y, Z. I can't keep track of it. The math is hard. So, let's get cracking. Hey, man, how you doing?


I'm doing fine, thanks.  


Yeah, this is great. I'm looking forward to this conversation. By the way, I've had a great time. This has been a good, good event. Another good event.


I cannot agree more, I think good feedback. Yeah, good feedback, I think it's just good to be with customers, to be honest with you. I think that, when you look at it, it's been four years, since we've actually get everybody to get an eternity. It is it feels like it and even more so, this is actually the first time that you have all diverse product together in one place.  

And so we made an effort to actually make this happened, then we have all our customers from the different parts of the business, and also from the different part of industry under one roof.


For years, and that's an eternity when you’re dealing with – I mean, the conversation four years ago, is completely different than the conversation you're having today. Oh, absolutely. It's, it's, it's just completely different. And so you're able to connect with the customers and the user community and just say, “Hey, what's going on with?” And how can kudos to you know, team Accruent, because it's, that's a tough time. That's that's, and you're delivering solutions. Every every conversation I've had have been just absolutely possible.


That's awesome. Yeah, I hope that's the case. And we were lucky that we had a lot of customers that were interested to do to do a podcast and talk to you to kind of get their feedback and have really all kinds of kind of conversation, not just about the product, but about hey, what do you think, what's important for them? What's not important for them? What the vision is like? And I'm sure you get great feedback in that in that aspect. Oh,


yeah. There, let's just sum it up. They like the direction that it's heading. Because the reality is, is that the technology, the innovation is happening so quickly. They need a partner that is every bit as nimble as what the market is telling them. They've got to be nimble, you've got to be nimble. And I think that many of the conversations indicated that, that that's the case. The question I have, and because we want to talk about it, is that there's always these resource challenges, but But you brought up a really interesting topic and that is these the generations the different generations. And you know, recognize we're an industry. We are, it's just is what it is. How do you see the the behavior of the Gen X Gen Y Gen Z Gen? I don't even know what I am, um, I must be some Gen. Gen guy. So how do you see that impacting business?


But I think it's not just the business - I think it's also the industry, a diverse industry that we are in to it. There's no question that, as leader in the industry – I've been in industry for 2027 years now. So I've seen the variation from not having connectivity, not having Wi Fi to be able to do just about anything you want with your cell phone or with a tablet.  

We grew up without having that connectivity, without the Wi Fi, which to certain extent was actually a blessing when you look at it, because we actually had the ability to disconnect. Now, we want to be so connected, that we forget how to disconnect. And this is one of the aspects that are trying to do, especially when I go on vacation with my family is “Oh, yeah, I want to go on vacation. And I want to disconnect.” Well, to truly disconnect you need to turn off your notifications and not pay attention to it. That's the whole point. And I think we, we lost ourselves a little bit in that aspect.  

But when you look from a business perspective, we all want to be connected, which is great. And we should, but we also have the need to communicate as human. I mean, case in point was this event, is it I heard probably countless times this week is like, “I can't believe we're back together in person. Because we can have conversation on the stairs, on the steps, in the hallway that we would not have through zoom or through teams.” Online, you can't shake somebody's hand and say, “What is your problem? Can I buy you a drink? Can we actually have a longer discussion than 15 or 30 minutes on a zoom?”

 And those things, if you don't do do things in life, without the phone without your laptop, you’re really missing out on the connectivity aspect. I think then, our I'm Generation X, born and’ raised in the 70s and 80s in Europe. And I also have a slightly different vision on this. I can disconnect from my phone, I have no problem. I remember when I don't have I didn't have a cell phone, I didn't have a tablet.  

It is very difficult for my kids and their generation to be able to disconnect completely or even even for an hour. I mean, if I try to take my my daughter's cell phone away, yeah, is she's gonna crucify me. I mean, you know this very well. Yeah. But I think then It's interesting also is, we also have to look at the aspect of how do we use technology, on the personal aspect, as well as the professional aspect.  

I hear countless stand and we're so connected at home, then we even text our kids from room to room. But then we don't use a tablet at work and we use a clipboard. Plant Services has been doing a service since 2014 looking at what kind of technology are you using for connectivity. Every time I look at the survey, from 2014, even all the way up to last year 2021, it was 60% of the people at work would use a tablet, I'm sorry, would use pen and paper. Now think about for a second, any only has decreased about 10%, while other have been increasing by 20 and 30%, like wireless tablets, and so forth.  

So it's increasing, but you still kind of 60% of the people responded to that particular survey saying, “Yeah, we use pen and paper.” So you can have all the best software in the world. But if you don't have good digitalization and connectivity, it's gonna be very difficult. And that goes back to what we start talking about, about the different types of generation. How do you match somebody who’s Gen X or even baby boomer was about to retire and say, “Well, I don't like to work as a tablet. I don't like to work with a computer. I'm really hands off in that aspect.” And then you have a 20-25 year old who is eager to learn about maintenance and reliability and say, “Oh, I can just I need an app in order to get this done.” And you got to reconcilable, the two of them. Because the fact of the matter is when you look especially in maintenance reliability, if we take this as an example, right? You still need to learn a pump, how the pump works or how the model works, how a fan works. Regardless if you are a specialist in in apps or not. You have to learn that in order to do your job and you're not going Don't use that only you learn it with an app, you got to learn the schematics and stuff like that.


You need to get your hands on that asset.  


so how do you reconcile how they work together? Because it's, you have kind of the old school, I'm gonna get this done, I'm gonna get this is how long to do it. And then the second aspect you have the younger generations coming out of school, and say, “Wow, I'm sure there's an app for it. I'm sure we can do this electronically, connected to your tablet,” but it's not always the case. And so we had to find a middle point right there, how to work together.


How does an organization begin that journey? And I see it, you know, it's, it's, it's just the reality of how people behave, how people learn how people leverage technology to get jobs done, right. If I was an owner, and recognize that your point is valid, don't get me wrong, it's valid. That means I've got I've got three, four different approaches to my workforce that I have to be mindful, which I never really had to before, but I have to now. What do we do? How do you help me solve that problem?


From the discussion I had, and what I have seen on site customers, and listening to customers. First of all, you can't force technology on people who don't want to learn. As simple as that. There's just some people who don't, they're just not interested. That's not how they work. That's not how they think. But you can still educate them in a way, then it will help them with their work. And at the end of the day, we're not trying to replace what they do, because their knowledge is extremely valuable. As a matter of fact, we would love to be able to take the knowledge that they have in their head, and put this in a digital format. That's kind of the goal of that. Because it's so valuable, because you have a John who has been working 37 years in a particular role, or in multiple roles in a manufacturing environment. Once he leaves, and he goes into retirement, that knowledge is gone out the door, you can't replace it.


We've been struggling with that forever.

When I was a pup, we were struggling with that, because you had people just walk out the door. Yep, I think we have a greater opportunity to be able to create that real, you know, mining of that knowledge and putting it into a digital format, more than ever, but it's always been a challenge.  


I can't agree more I think digitalization in that aspect of the technology has really given us an opportunity a a tool in multiple format, then when you have somebody who has some has done knowledge and wants to go retire, trying to bring that knowledge then digitalize. So the younger technicians in their 30s, and 20s, can still learn from a digital format, because that's what they used to it. That's why they either grow up on it, they feel more comfortable than somebody who's, you know, 65, 66 years old, and has really most of their career has not grown up with that, oh has not necessarily adopted and not necessarily biozone phones, because maybe the organization has not adopted that technology as well. Because often we relate this to the generation, but it's gonna be a combination also of the organization that works with all the different employees, regardless of the age, the experience that they have, and the culture they have. So it's a two-way approach right there. Probably even more so.  


Yeah, I look at it this way too. And you're spot on with your analysis on that. I look at it this way. If I owned a business, and which I had in the past, I'm keen to try to learn from the youth. Because they're looking at problems that I look at differently. That might be a creative way of solving a challenge through whatever means. There's, there's a freshness that, you know, if there's a positive there, there's a freshness that look at a problem. And I can appreciate, I can respect that. And that to me is I think that's where the from my perspective, the gem is the gold is because they're gonna look at you're gonna say, “Well, why do I have to do it that way? Why don't I do it this way?” And then you have to be realizing or have to realize that I can do that way. So that's a good thing. You agree?


Absolutely. I do agree 100% with you on this one. I think there's also a sense of for us being more senior, there's a sense of vulnerability that we don't talk enough about it. And, you know, be able to reach out to somebody who's younger, who does not have this same experience to say, so if I do this this way, how would you do it? And I see a two facet, is it not only I'm being vulnerable, and say, maybe there's a better way to do it? Or is it the different way, by way is not necessarily the best way to do this maintenance practice. But also, they could be a fresh way. That's also another way to us, slowly challenging that generations. And say, “if you were in my shoes, what action would you take? What responsibility would you take to get this done?” Yeah, that could leverage a lot of innovation and changing given thought about it.


But but, you know, if I had a nickel every time somebody is saying, “Hey, I'm having a hard time attracting talent.” You have to create an environment that would attract this youth. You’re just gonna have to you, you can be stubborn, but why would you want to be stubborn? So if I mean, you've got to attract it. There's this, there is this energy that exists there that I think is attractive to young individuals, young professionals, young leaders, future leaders, whatever it might be. And I just, I think senior individuals have to think through that and make it attractive. Yes. And I think there's a lot of opportunities to do that. A lot of technology, a lot of innovation: automation, robotics, AI, whatever. But you still can't get away from the fact that you better dig into that pump. Correct? You better pull it out, you better wind it, you know? So how would you recommend, with that, how can Accruent be a great facilitator for me? If I if I've just got Scott, manufacturer of Scott, Scott healthcare? How can you help facilitate that that transition?


From a customer perspective? Good question. I'm not going to pretend I'm gonna have the right answer, but I'll give it a shot. I think first and foremost, if you were a healthcare partner, or any other partner, our customers, you’ve got to establish a great relationship with the customer. A partnership with the customer. It goes hand in hand. I mean, some of my most successful customers that I've had is not because they spent a million dollars with me. It’s because from the beginning, I made them feel then they were at home, essentially. And that would take care of them. And whatever solution would have - some of our solutions, depending when I was working at GE, or Fluke, or even Accruent, may not be the best one, or the most sophisticated one, but they were the one for their needs. And we were able to, to explain this in a way. But if you don't partner with them, not for the short term for the sale, but for long term to resolve their problems, then you're not you're not gonna win customers.


I know for me, personally, I want somebody I could trust. Yes, I just do. And that that trust is developed over time. It's developed through dialogue, collaboration, solving problems in the near term, whatever it might be, but but I'm looking for that. Especially now, when you have an environment that is so rapidly changing, it seems like it, I have the conversation, rapidly changing challenges that require really creative solutions. I don't want to just pick out anybody who's hangs a shingle and says, “Hi, I'll digitalize your business,” or whatever it might be, because there's going to be plenty of those. I need to trust to go through this journey I need to trust.  


So partnership, a partnership is multiforme. One of the things that we often recommend even with our own organization and say, Hey, let's go to gamble. It is good with the customer do the work. And I think a lot of them internally are really excited about this. I was lucky enough in my career over the past 27 years and I spent the hundreds, if not 1000s of hours in more than 250 sites and locations. And I've seen it all. But I also use almost like a sponge when your field service or when your service director because every customer you go, you learn so much, even an hour on site, it's more than probably 100 hours on the phone. Usually, you see you feel your sense, and the fact that you are odd to customers, you are in their own environment. And what's important, they will share all kinds of information, they will absolutely not shared on the phone call on a zoom restaurant. And you learn so much that way. And what you learn, you learn about what they like, what they don't like, what's important, what's not important, and how a potential solution if you talk about the solution, how this solution could actually help them, regardless of their age, or background. And I think and you learn to work with the young, with the 30-year-old and with a 67-year-old is about ready to retire.


Yeah, nothing, nothing can replace that. No. I mean, it's that that field work that that connection to the field, talking with those ones that are out up, gosh, absolutely vital, especially in this world. Come on. And then you'll be able to understand how the new innovation the new technology can be applied. Right?  


How do people get a hold of you? They say they want to have additional conversations.


I'm so I'm fairly good idea for my friends. And they can get a hold of me at all my email address, but reach out on LinkedIn. I'm on LinkedIn as well.


But we're gonna have all the contact information for preppers out on Industrial Talk. So if you're not if you need to connect with this, Jeff, because you will not be disappointed. Never was just great. I enjoyed that conversation.  


It’s great. Anytime, anytime, Scott.  


I really appreciate it. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. Stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


Frederic's his name, Accruent Live was the event we were talking specifically around how do we inspire the next generation of leaders, which is very important for industry. You need to focus on that. That's a That's a must. And a philosophy for your organization. Your Industrial Talk platform is here for you. We're here to educate. We're here to collaborate. And we're here to help facilitate any innovation that you have going on. And it's quite simple. You just go out to Industrial Talk, you click on let's connect. And then you'll talk to me. And let's see how we can amplify your voice, how we can create opportunities to bring more eyeballs to your organization, and of course opportunity. So that's what Industrial Talk is all about. All right, go out there. That's your call to action. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly hang out with Frederic, you will be changing the world. We're going to have another great conversation coming from that event shortly.