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Episode 18

The Evolution of Asset Management Technologies & Maintenance Strategies

with Tom McCormick of the iOFFICE Asset Division

Tom McCormick is General Manager of the Asset Division for iOFFICE where he directs teams under the ManagerPlus and Hippo CMMS brands to provide industry-leading Real Estate Facilities, Business Operations, and Enterprise Asset Management solutions to help organizations of all sizes deliver modern, frictionless experiences to their clients and building occupants. Mike Petrusky ask Tom about the latest trends in the asset management marketplace and they explore the intersection of data and technology tools in today’s fast-changing world. You’ll hear Mike learn about the difference between CMMS, EAM, and APM tools as he continues on his journey to fully understand the value of asset management software and strategies. Tom and Mike also discover a common interest in 1980’s rock music which leads to an inspirational Van Halen version of podcast karaoke!Your Asset Management Toolkit

Connect with Tom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tommccormick/

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikepetrusky/

Learn more about the iOFFICE Asset Division and explore more interviews at: https://www.assetchampion.com/

Share your thoughts with Mike via email: podcast@iOFFICECORP.com

Read the full transcript:

Tom McCormick (00:00):

Every asset comes with a lot of sensors, feeding little bits of data, harnessing that data and making information out of it, and driving that towards decision-making analytics. I think there's a huge evolution going on there. It's how you interpret those and make information out of them that's going to drive your business.

Mike P. (00:21):

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.

            Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Asset Champion Podcast. This is episode 18 of the show, and I'm your host, DJ Mike P. And I'm excited to welcome a very special guest. He is the General Manager of the iOFFICE Asset Division. Let's welcome him from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Tom McCormick. Welcome to the show, Tom.

Tom McCormick (01:04):

Thanks Mike. Happy to be on.

Mike P. (01:06):

As my audience knows, I've had a couple of guests on in the past. Cody Gray from the Manager Plus team, and Daniel Gallup, who comes from Hippo CMMS. They're key members of your team, right? So Tom, tell me a little bit more about what you do as the General Manager of the iOFFICE Asset Division.

Tom McCormick (01:24):

Sure. So as General Manager, I've got responsibility for everything, from marketing, sales, implementation, support, customer success, development, all of the different facets of our asset products. So we've got the two brands, as you've mentioned, Manager Plus and Hippo, and I'm balancing our responsibilities across both to try and drive growth, retain clients and build better product.

Mike P. (01:53):

Awesome. Well, I can't wait to learn more about that. But before we get too far, tell us a little bit more about yourself personally. How did you end up where you are today?

Tom McCormick (02:00):

Sure. So I started on this journey in kind of real estate and asset 16 years ago. I went to work for a large scale real estate developer. And we were doing construction management, we were managing all the buildings that they built. And in that process I got to work very closely with facility management software, and that's what's really informed me a lot about what we're doing here today. So along the journey I went into IBM, I worked across their real estate and asset division, so I got to view both of those. Within asset I got to work with some of the large manufacturing companies, like Ford Motor Company, and Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical. Just really massive companies that their assets drive their revenue and drive their bottom line. So every hour that their assets are offline, they're losing tens of thousands of dollars. And that was very impactful on my education in asset management, to understand just how vital asset management is to those companies.

Mike P. (03:09):

Yeah, absolutely, Tom. That's what I'm learning here being the host of this new show, is there's so much riding on these assets and it's essential to keep them up and running. So we're going to get into more of the details of how we can help companies do that. But as you mentioned, you've been on a journey. I've been on a journey as well, learning all there is to know about this industry and I've had a lot of fun doing it. Have you had a chance to hear any of the shows yet?

Tom McCormick (03:34):

I have. I've listened to all of them. I'll confess, I had to do a little binge listening to catch up. But I have listened to all of your podcasts now, Mike.

Mike P. (03:44):

Awesome. Well, I appreciate you doing that. And now that you know that I love music, do you have a favorite motivational song or type of music that gets you inspired?

Tom McCormick (03:53):

So I grew up in the 80s, those were my formative years from a music appreciation standpoint.

Mike P. (04:00):

Me too.

Tom McCormick (04:01):

So my taste in the 80s was Metallica, Def Leppard, ACDC, Aerosmith, Van Halen. I liked the big hair bands. So, when you talk about kind of your favorite song or a song that you think about, the one that really comes to mind for me is Right Now by Van Halen.

Mike P. (04:19):

Oh sure. Classic. That's when Sammy Hagar took the reins as lead vocalist, the 5150 album, right?

Tom McCormick (04:24):

Yeah, absolutely. And I love that song. I feel that song's very inspirational. It is a take action kind of song. Do it now, make your change, drive hard for your goals. I've used that in my own personal goals, whether they've been with my family, or with my life direction, or with my career, I've reminded myself of that song. I listen to that song often, and it really helps drive me in the direction to take some change. If you don't like what's going on, do that right now.

Mike P. (04:57):

Perfect. I remember, that was kind of a departure from the hard guitar, at least in the beginning of that song, it's like [and 00:05:08 music noises] ... and then the drums come in, bam.

Tom McCormick (05:09):

All the build up, yeah.

Mike P. (05:14):

[And 00:05:11 music noises] ... Then it gets rocking with that [00:05:15 music noises].

Tom McCormick (05:18):

It gets the hair on my neck standing up just thinking about it.

Mike P. (05:21):

Let me see if I do my Sammy Hagar. Hey, it's your tomorrow right now. All right. How about an inspirational quote? We do like to motivate the audience if we can. Do you have one you could share with us, a favorite?

Tom McCormick (05:36):

I do. And for probably 12 or 15 years, I had this on my signature for my email. Somebody had said this phrase to me and it really hit home with me. So it's, "collaborate, because none of us are smarter than all of us." And I've really taken that to heart. I feel like collaboration across industries, within the industries, within a business, all of that is, it leads to better outcomes. None of us are really smarter than us collectively, right? So working with other people and being able to come to a solution everybody agrees on is usually the best path.

Mike P. (06:14):

Yeah, absolutely. Many years in podcasting, I've always talked about the importance of collaboration in order to innovate. And the fact that we are in this pandemic life, and in many ways isolated from one another, we really need to kind of go above and beyond to find ways to recreate those moments of collaboration, don't we?

Tom McCormick (06:33):

We do. It's become harder to whiteboard solutions together. We've got to work harder at it. It hasn't gone away. We just have to find different mediums and different ways to do that. And you get yourself settled at home and I'm settled at home, and we still work on getting those creative juices flowing and working together to come up with combined solutions.

Mike P. (06:54):

Agreed. Absolutely. Well, what part of your job are you enjoying the most? What brings you the most satisfaction, Tom?

Tom McCormick (07:00):

For me, and it's a good question, I haven't been in a role before where I've had so many different things to look at. I've been in sales, I've been in supportive, I've been in implementation. This is overseeing all of those. The thing that I'm really drawn to is the design of our business solutions and what problems we're solving for our clients. So it goes outside of just designing the solution. It's also caring for the clients that feel like they didn't get what they needed or they need a little bit more. I'm one of those guys, Mike, that liked the word problems in math class in college, right? I like having that problem and figuring out what's the best way we can go about solving it. When a train leaves the station and another train leaves the station 30 minutes later. That type of stuff to me is very interesting. So that's what gets me up in the morning, what problems can we go solve with that?

Mike P. (07:56):

That's awesome. Well I'm glad you're doing that, because I was promised when I took this job there'd be no math. So I hope that I'm not expected to solve those [inaudible 00:08:04] equations. But the people's side is what I really enjoy. And I've been listening to my guests on this podcast, I've been listening in meetings and any opportunity I get to talk with a Cody, or a Daniel, or anybody else from your side of the house. It's really been educational for me. So I always like to ask the question, because this is such a vast discipline, so I like to ask, from your perspective, Tom, how would you define asset management, and what about it do you find most interesting these days?

Tom McCormick (08:31):

Sure. It is a evolving practice. And if you're learning about it, you're probably hearing a lot of different answers to that question.

Mike P. (08:39):

Yep, I have.

Tom McCormick (08:40):

It's gone from reliability and just uptime of your assets. There's a basic definition that starts there. And then it moves into getting some more insight into your assets, how they work and how you can get them to work longer and better. It really goes everywhere from managing work orders on the very simple side of it, to streaming telematics from your assets, figuring out different ways to extend life cycle, and to be able to provide maintenance at an optimum level, planning for downtime and critical assets within your manufacturing screen. It can be very deep and it can go on very long. So you start probably on the one end with work orders, and you move on the other end to asset performance management, and predictive failure and those types of things.

Mike P. (09:35):

Yeah. And Tom, these days our world seems to be changing rapidly, and I'm sure you've seen a lot of that. What are some of the significant trends you find in the marketplace today?

Tom McCormick (09:45):

Sure. So, good question. A lot of the heavy assets that companies use to run their businesses, and really anything even within a building, we've got customers just with refrigeration units in a retail setting, every asset comes with a lot of sensors dialed in already, and they're feeding little bits of data. So harnessing that data, and making information out of it and driving that towards decision-making analytics. I think there's a huge evolution going on there. It's really starting from the sensor point, getting to, how do I inform my asset manager what decisions they should be making? And that better decision-making is really what changes your business. It's not the sensors that are on the asset, it's how you interpret those and make information out of them that's going to drive your business.

Mike P. (10:37):

Okay. So what are some of those challenges, Tom, and how can asset managers face them? And what can we do as the IOffice Asset Division to help them?

Tom McCormick (10:46):

Sure. Good question. So, the collection of data from the sensors is not a problem. In today's environment, that's really table stakes. So having a sensor that collects data off your assets is great. You need to start there. What other data you can tie that to and how you can use that to inform the client better how to make better decisions, that's really where this becomes impactful to them. So, the fact that I know I've got something that's running over temperature or beyond normal pressures, that's a great alert. What I really want to do is change the behavior of that asset over time. I'll use an example. So with a HVAC equipment, with a rooftop air handler for a retail store, if I can record all the times I touch that asset, what parts and materials I use up while I do that, if I get accurate information about it, I can start to understand my total cost of ownership enough that I know one brand might work better than another.

            For a lot of our heavy building owners, they probably own just about every combination of air handling model, make and model, that are available on the market. When they're doing new construction, they should be using that information to feed that decision-making, not just taking the lowest bid out there. But if they understand how to maintain those assets, they understand which one of them might be 18 year assets, 20 year, 22 year assets, depending on how they maintain them. That's where you're getting some impactful decision-making, and that's really starting with your asset management program.

Mike P. (12:29):

Okay. So this ties into the more strategic side of what I've been learning. It's not just about the data and not just about what the sensors are picking up, but what else goes into an asset management strategy and program?

Tom McCormick (12:40):

Sure. So there is data that will emerge as you look at that make and model over time. So if I am a fleet company and I have several trucks, whether that truck is made by Mac, or international, or something like that, I would understand that asset to function differently over time because I've got hundreds of them or thousands of them, and I can collect that data. So I know my maintenance on one type of truck might be every 50,000 miles, on a different truck it might be every 100,000. I need to cater my maintenance program to the make and model of my asset in order to get the most out of my asset and make sure that I'm not over maintaining it. Does that make sense?

Mike P. (13:23):

Yes.

Tom McCormick (13:24):

So how can we help those asset managers? I think it's by aggregating the data that we get, because we're seeing more information about more assets than they are. They're just seeing their inventory. But helping them aggregate the data to specific make and model, and allow them access to a library of information on how they could be maintaining their assets optimally.

Mike P. (13:51):

Okay. Great. So this actually leads me to another question I've heard come up before, and I'm not sure I still have a really clear answer, so maybe you can help. Because I'm sure if I have this question, many in our audience have the same question. And it's about the tools themselves. So I know that we offer Hippo CMMS, and Manager Plus is more of an enterprise asset management solution, and I've also heard this term APM come around. So can you help distinguish between the three, CMMS, EAM and APM?

Tom McCormick (14:19):

Sure. I'll try and put this in, I guess, broader terms. This could be an hour podcast by itself.

Mike P. (14:26):

Of course.

Tom McCormick (14:27):

But CMMS really starts with a work order based system that will help you maintain your assets. Enterprise asset management gets you more into asset strategy, the ability to drive your asset strategy. So enterprise asset management gets a lot deeper in a lot of these concepts. It goes well beyond work orders and helps get some insight out of your assets, or how your operators operate your assets differently. Asset performance management compliments EAM. There's a lot of APM solutions out there that will show you the performance of your assets, and building that into your EAM program really helps you drive strategy. I was asked recently if I thought the emergence of APM will eventually replace enterprise asset management? And I don't think there's any way it will, but I do think it informs your enterprise asset management. So those two concepts need to overlap, need to be tied together. If you're an industry that can benefit from asset performance management, you're going to want to use that data to inform your asset strategy and the maintenance program for your assets.

Mike P. (15:43):

Excellent. No, that's really great. That's a great summary. And again, for a 20 minute show, that's all we need to know right now.

Tom McCormick (15:49):

I can't go deeper than that, unfortunately, with the limited show time.

Mike P. (15:53):

That's right. That's right. Tom, I've got some other questions that I haven't prepared in advance for you. You mind trying to answer a couple of these?

Tom McCormick (16:02):

Sure. I can answer those right now, there's no tomorrow.

Mike P. (16:05):

Awesome. Inspirational Van Halen. In real time, we get to hear the inspiration of Van Halen. That's fantastic. Well, how do we integrate IOT with these tools like CMMS and EAM software?

Tom McCormick (16:19):

Yep. IOT really fits in. It's going to be hand in glove with asset management going forward. There are a lot of companies popping up with partial solutions with capabilities that fit into that IOT bubble. And for an asset manager, when I look at what's out there in the market, I've got the ability to buy sensors, buy bits and pieces of data. What I have a difficult time doing is buying a full business solution. And that's where they need to look for good vendors in the market that can pull all of that IOT data together to make sense of what they're seeing with their assets and to help drive their decision-making. IOT, asset performance management, all of these to me are the future of enterprise asset management. How can I pull in enough information to help me make better decisions to do more with less?

Mike P. (17:17):

Great. Makes a lot of sense. Is there a way for those out there listening to really recognize which tool is best for them? In other words, are there minimum thresholds where an EAM makes more sense than a CMMS? And then in broad terms, is there a way to kind of look at the economies of scale for different tools? And how would you direct someone if they were just beginning to investigate these options?

Tom McCormick (17:39):

Well, that's really the trick. That's a great question, and it's one that's in the forefront of every asset manager's mind. They have a lot of options out there and they need to figure out which ones are going to suit their business, and it's going to be different for every one of them. When I was doing sales full time years ago, prior to this general manager role, I was the first guy, if my solution couldn't get you the ROI that you needed, I was the first one to walk out the door. I don't want to waste your time or my time. Our asset managers need to think about their ROI. So there isn't a cost threshold, but it is a cost and benefit trade off. And if I can see where I'm going to get that ROI, and if that's going to suit my business needs, that's what I need to be doing and what I need to be thinking about. You can't just stop and pick up every shiny nickel. So you really need to think about, is this going to suit my business in the longterm, and what's my benefit?

Mike P. (18:39):

That's great advice. ROI drives the decision-making. Fantastic. Well, Tom, this has been great, educational, and informational and also inspirational with your Van Halen music. So I thank you for taking time to be on the Asset Champion Podcast.

Tom McCormick (18:56):

Sure. Thanks Mike. I love doing this. I hope that some of this can be useful to our listening audience and to our clients. And I'm happy to come back. If you gather a few more questions from your listening audience, I'd be happy to come back and try and answer those for them.

Mike P. (19:10):

Excellent. Well, we will definitely have you back on the show down the road. In fact, folks, if you want to hear more about what we can do here for you at the IOffice Asset Division, I encourage you to check out the show notes. There are some links there to send you to the right place. I hope you've enjoyed listening as much as I enjoy doing these episodes. And as Tom mentioned, if you have a question that we have not yet addressed, please send me an email. You can reach me at podcast@iofficecorp com. And of course, we'll try to address those as we continue to get together each and every week to encourage and inspire each other to be an asset champion. Peace out everybody. Thanks Tom.

Tom McCormick (19:56):

Thanks Mike.

Mike P. (19:57):

Awesome.

            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 assetchampion.com.