Cloud for ERP: Simplifying Job Site Technology

The construction world is too competitive and fast-paced to rely on analog systems, especially when it comes to accounting and payroll. This is why the future of construction technology lies in cloud-based software. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, in particular, is on the rise thanks to its ability to connect people from job sites to the main office on any smart device or computer, giving them the opportunity to share information in real-time. This leads to benefits such as expedited labor reporting, connected and reliable information across the entire organization and up-to-date rules and regulations. So how does ERP work? Is it easy to implement? And how quickly can a business see benefits? 

Darcy Boerio, President of DAB Partners, joins Mike Merrill on this week’s episode of the Mobile Workforce Podcast to explain what to know about ERP software and how to make the most of it. She breaks down the differences between cloud-based software and cloud-capable software, and shares why cloud-based software will push legacy systems to the side for good.

Key Takeaways:

    1. An ERP is a central hub that connects key areas of a construction business: Contractors work with various systems and run into problems when these systems can’t connect. However, when they implement an ERP, data from job sites, such as labor tracking, can flow seamlessly to departments like finance and accounting. This results in everyone working from a single system of record.
    2. Giving employees cloud-based software increases mobility and productivity: Mobility gives workers and employees the freedom to access and update their systems from any device, no matter where they are, at anytime they choose. This eliminates risks of delays and guesstimates that throw off data. 
    3. Cloud-based software ensures your policies and systems are evergreen: One reason manual and analog tracking is so detrimental is that it slows productivity, increases errors and decreases user confidence. Cloud-based software ensures up-to-date with any changes and updates that the developer makes. Additionally, an evergreen platform ensures that payroll, accounting, and safety policies are in compliance.

 

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Episode Transcript:

Mike Merrill:

Hello and welcome to the Mobile Workforce Podcast. I’m your host, Mike Merrill. And today we are sitting down with Darcy Boerio the president of DAB Partners and the cohost of the Enterprise Software Podcast. Darcy has nearly 25 years of experience in onsite technology and implementations. So we are very excited to have you on the podcast today. Thank you for joining us Darcy.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Mike, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for asking me to come and it’s great to see you.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, we’ve had some of our events that we used to see each other at shutdown this last year.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah. To submit the only time I see you is when you’re out running on Instagram.

 

Mike Merrill:

Well, I try and do that as much as I can. So I like some of your running pics too.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I need to do more of that.

 

Mike Merrill:

Sounds like I’ll post more and I’ll watch for you too. So well, before we dig into the conversation today, can you give our listeners just a little bit of your background and experience?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Sure. So I started my software career at Timberline Software about mid ’90s and worked in the Beaverton, Oregon headquarters for the next 10 years or so. I started in support and over the course of the 10 years, I always joked that I worked on every segment of every floor in the building because I went from support. I did consulting. Then I moved upstairs and I was in QA for three years, believe it or not. And then moved to sales and marketing. So worked kind of in all facets of that business before joining Alliance Solutions Group of what as one of the original employees, then Timberline as… well, Sage Construction and Real Estate, or many iterations of that over the years reseller. Around 2012, I decided to exit the construction business because I can name with the economy. So I went and worked for Avalara, a cloud-based sales tax automation software, and then did a couple of years with some different ISVs.

And then 2017, somewhere along the way I started co-hosting a podcast, Enterprise Software Podcast. I’ve been doing that for about six years and really have discovered my passion for all things, ERP software. And then started my own business DAB Partners in 2017 where I consult with software publishers to help them grow their partner channels and referral networks.

 

Mike Merrill:

Wow. That’s a long and illustrious career, and you’re not done yet, right?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Oh, no.

 

Mike Merrill:

Your husband says no, right?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah. Right.

 

Mike Merrill:

So Darcy’s husband, Tim also works for Alliance Solutions still. So I run into him quite as well. And he’s another good friend of the industry. So you mentioned something there, you used the word ERP. Can you just explain what that stands for those listeners that maybe don’t, or aren’t familiar with that?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Absolutely enterprise resource planning software and it’s not a term that we’ve used in, I would say in the construction industry, when I was around the construction industry, we’d call it construction accounting software, or we called it even maybe construction financial and operations software, but ERP really implies… you’ll get different answers from different people. But to me, it’s not just saying, “Okay, we’re just doing accounting and then we’re going to do something else over here and something else over here and all these disparate solutions.” It’s saying, “We’re going to find a product or products that work together that cover our entire enterprise.” And so we used to leave it to the realm of manufacturers and distribution. We didn’t really talk about it in terms of construction until fairly recent years, but really it’s… For a construction company, we’d want something that’s going to cover obviously their job cost accounting, their estimating, their project management, maybe service management, and have it all be integrated together seamlessly rather than having a bunch of different products for each of those things. So I would say that’s the big difference of what an ERP is today in the construction world.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. Versus just an old accounting and payroll system.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah, exactly.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, that’s a lot of areas of the business that a system like that touches. So I imagine with mobility being such a big piece of today’s ecosystem, that’s just a whole other dynamic. How have you seen that play into the ERP space at this point?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I mean, it’s huge and it really expands out the ability to have a true ERP environment, because you’re able to put integrated tools in the hands of people that aren’t sitting in the office connected to the server. And so it just makes it that much easier to accomplish that goal of keeping everyone on the same system and all in sync and together in ERP. And mobile it’s such a crucial part of ERP. I mean, you can’t have an ERP or an ERP add on solution without some sort of mobility component, especially today, obviously.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. And the mobile, I guess, essentially it would be an app, or some type of collection to feed that ERP. Is that how you’re seeing it utilized?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Typically, yeah. I mean, there’s different variations, but mobile kind of implies also just general mobility. So I mean, it is apps, it is handhelds and tablets and devices like that, but it’s also being able to work from anywhere. Especially obviously today that’s mobility too. So it’s all part of mobility. Back in, oh gosh, it was, I think 2005, I used to sell this product called Field2Base. Have you ever heard of it?

 

Mike Merrill:

I remember Field2Base very well actually.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I don’t know if it’s still around or not, but I would go out to meet with contractors with this big tablet. I mean, they were so heavy and huge, but they were tablet PCs and nobody really knew about tablet PCs back then, but they were in these ruggedized cases and we’d go out and we’d be like, “Look, you can go out on the job site and you can take a picture and write on it and then send it back into the office.” And everyone’s like, “Oh wow.” And these things were… they were $2,000 for the hardware alone and then the monthly after that, we actually just ran across when the other day we were cleaning out some closets and found an older one that we had sitting around the house and we were laughing about it because it’s so long ago, it’s come such a long way.

So I mean, that back then was people had… sometimes they would have a laptop on the job site. Often they would not have internet on the job site. They would maybe have a fax line on the job site. So we’ve just come so far in just maybe 10 years or whatever.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. I remember we had the PalmPilots back then to collect and they had these tablets and we remember just thinking, “Wow, that is amazing that they’ve…” We felt like at the time, maybe it was a little bit too far of a… Sorry about that. Oh, jeez. That’s new John. That’s my RingCentral system. We’ll just take a pause for a second, if I can… The funny thing is that their marketing director, she’s probably forgotten I’m on this podcast right now. Exit out of that altogether. Let’s see. Where were we? I said PalmPilots and you’re talking about…

 

Darcy Boerio:

Maybe just start with Field2Base. I remember those back then.

 

Mike Merrill:

Okay. Sounds good. I remember running into Field2Base back then. They were again, kind of ahead of their time for sure. Definitely, they were onto something. I think it was just a little ahead of the curve. We were using the PalmPilots to collect data and we thought, “Wow, how cool that would be to have the whole computer and a tablet and all that in one solution.” But obviously it was probably a little too far of a gap to bridge early in those days.

 

Darcy Boerio:

They think it was. It was interesting because we had a lot of really quick early adopters that were just like, “Yes,” but those were like the bleeding edge people and then it just tapered off and it was really hard to get adoption. I remember the first time I saw your product, I think it was either at Southeast Building Conference or the International Builders’ Show. And I was like, “Wow, that’s so cool.” And I can’t remember what device it was on. Maybe it was a PalmPilot, but it was so cool because it was just… somebody showed it to me. It was a time entry. It was basically clocking in and clocking out, I think, and it was just so simple. It had big buttons and you just go I’m in, I’m out. And it was like, “Wow, that’s so different from having to buy a $2,000 tablet and then have one person holds the tablet and everyone else comes and checks in on it and everything.” So it was a pretty revolutionary what you guys had already back then in the mid 2000s. I think it was or something when I first saw it.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. That sounds about right. I think it was the International Builders’ Show in Florida if I remember. And I think it was Field2Base South and North Carolina. Is that what I’m remembering?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah.

 

Mike Merrill:

Okay. Seem like that. So again, going back, we’ve come so far in actually a short period of time really, we’re talking like a decade or so, like you were mentioning maybe decade and a half. So I was a general contractor and when I was in my early and mid 20s and growing up in the industry, so to speak, I know accounting was almost a swear word back at that time, it was like a necessary evil, paying your taxes you had to do it, but you didn’t really like it. What’s changed? Is it the same? And why is that perspective out there do you think?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I think for one maybe there’s a perception that you need to understand accounting to use an accounting software. You don’t need to do a T-account or debits and credits or things like that. I mean, that’s all in play, but that’s behind the scenes. Assuming that you get it all set up right, then a modern accounting software, ERP software does it for you. You don’t have to sit there and every time you make a transaction entering what GL account is going to and all that kind of stuff, if you set it up properly based on your rules. So it can be actually very beneficial because it’s not just invoices AP and AR, you’ve got now your job data in there and that’s all incorporated in and you can get important reports out of it. So it’s very valuable. It’s not just this little thing that should be set over on the shelf alone to pay your bills and bill your customers.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. And I love what you said earlier about the mobility, because that’s something I think is a great reminder for everybody. Mobility doesn’t mean smartphones and tablets and apps, but the ability to work remotely, like you’re saying Darcy, even on the accounting level, have that data out there at your fingertips on the job.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah. I remember when I was selling Timberline and it was an on-premise software. There wasn’t any cloud options for it. And then there’d be these other cloud products out there and they’d go, and this was years ago. So people come to me and go, “Is your software in the cloud?” And I’d say, “Is that important to you?” And they’d go, “Yeah, that’s really important.” And I’d say, “Why?” They didn’t even know what it meant, but they just knew that they were supposed to be in the cloud. But the argument was that, well, I mean, does accounting really need access from the field? I mean, they’re in the office, where are they going? That was the thing back then. Obviously today we know that’s not the case because number one, accounting this past year, hasn’t been in the office, but number two-

 

Mike Merrill:

No, it hasn’t.

 

Darcy Boerio:

But secondarily, I mean, I live in Florida and sometimes we have hurricanes coming and people have to go and if they’ve got their server in their office, they got to go, “Wrap it up and put it on high ground and pray for the best.” If their server’s damaged, then no one can work. If their power’s out of the office then they’re all relying on connecting to that on-premises server, even if they have figured out how to connect it remotely securely. They still may not be able to access it if there’s no power or the server has been damaged. So that’s just one of the reasons why I mean, back then we didn’t think of all those things in cloud wasn’t as accessible as it is now, but today it’s like, “Okay. Yeah, you need to be in the cloud even accounting.”

 

Mike Merrill:

Right. And then you’re challenging Florida definitely. I mean, I’m in Utah. We don’t have hurricanes here, so that’s not… maybe earthquakes or avalanches, but a different challenge, but it is interesting that a server is so critical for those that have their business hosted on it. I mean, what a risk to have that in one location that maybe isn’t so secure. So tell me with cloud based accounting systems are options now that the job site has visibility into the same data that the office does, what has that done in your perspective for efficiency of just construction or even industries in general that utilize these types of technologies?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I mean, it’s the real time data and it’s the real-time bi-directional data. So when something’s happening on the job, there’s technology, like what you guys do, that it makes it so easy for someone on the job to…. they don’t have to dig into some software and get it on the laptop at the end of the day and go enter a bunch of information and then maybe print a report or whatever. And then someone else back at the office enters it in manually. And so the office gets access to that information much more quickly for whatever they may need it for their accounting purposes. And likewise, possibly more importantly, the field gets access to the data from accounting without having to wait until, oh, that invoice hasn’t been entered yet, or that invoice got entered, but I’m not sending you a report until tomorrow.

And it’s right there immediately in real time. And ideally even with abilities to analyze the data, drill down into the data slice and dice, do what if scenarios with the data right there in the field and to really know about any risks that you have on the job, as far as budget or schedule issues that may be arising. So you just know that much faster and are able to react in time to mitigate the problem.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, that’s a great point too. And I mean, I still hear this commonly, if companies aren’t getting their invoices out quick enough maybe the jobs closed out or maybe now they’re hitting another draw cycle. So not only speed of making decisions, but just getting paid and ensuring that you are getting paid. Sometimes companies don’t get paid. And if the budget runs over and there are challenges with ownership or whoever the bank, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. If you’re last in line to get paid, sometimes if you do get paid, it might be pretty late.

 

Darcy Boerio:

All of these things can make or break a job very easily. So under billing can do that and off schedule can do that. So there’s a really lot of things to keep an eye on. In the past, I mean, I’ve seen people getting faxes with the stack of papers. Aging myself a little bit on that, but I still think there’s some of you guys out there that are doing that, that are maybe not faxing, but there’s still a lot of paper being transmitted around, a recording being transferred around to be able to sift through and everything. And it’s yesterday’s data because somebody ran the reports this morning or whatever. So real time information is so much more accessible and so important.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. So you mentioned cloud-based and that was the buzz word or the question, the check box that somebody should be checking off in order to be innovative, but what’s the difference between cloud-based systems and cloud hosted?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Typically hosted is really just going to be your software only it’s on someone else’s server. well, it’s all on someone else’s server, but someone else has a physical server for you or a virtual server somewhere and they manage it, instead of you managing it. And typically those are data centers where they’ve got the temperature controls and the security and things of that nature. But there’s still anything subject to cyber terrorists and things like that. Ultimately it’s on-premise software. You still have to do your updates. Somebody still has to come in and update the software when there’s a new version and that kind of thing. It really isn’t substantially different from an on-premise server, except that you typically have someone else who’s maintaining this hardware for you and you don’t have to do that yourself versus cloud software where it’s actually out of the office.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, I said, so they’re wrapping it in plastic from the hurricane instead of you.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Typically, they hosting centers will pick it and in a location where there’s very low natural disaster, they’re probably a lot in Utah and whatnot, not many in Florida probably. But with a with a cloud-based software that’s typically not the case. Now there are some cloud based softwares that are actually really just hosted on a large instance of AWS and then there’s also just true cloud software. So it’s all varying degrees, but typically with a cloud-based software you’re not responsible for even worrying about that server or even thinking about it, the upgrades can be pushed out automatically to you instead of you having to go say, “Okay, it’s time for an upgrade. Let’s go get all our ducks in a row and upgrade the software.”

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. And I think in my history, both as a contractor and as an executive here at a software company that sells cloud based systems that used to do on-premise software, I can speak to the great cost savings of going to a cloud based system where you’re not paying for the labor to do those updates and the effort and the lags and the delays, I mean, just that cost alone is very expensive and something that I think contractors have primarily started letting go of that. I don’t think that’s the majority any longer, which is a good thing, but there are still some, like you said, that are still hanging onto their fax machines and still got their paper.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah. The typical contractor does not have the technical expertise on staff to take care of all that. I could go on all day about this with security risks and things like that. It’s just, I would never want to trust it to the guy down the hall who’s real good with computers. So you usually just go ask him when there’s something wrong, you don’t want that person in charge of your sensitive data and your operations being up and running.

 

Mike Merrill:

Right. Yeah. It’s very critical data. And definitely, I think sometimes we forget we get busy and our hair’s on fire and we are just used to doing things the way that we’ve always done them, and in construction we’re problem solvers. We’re good at fixing things and jerry rigging stuff to find a solution quickly, but this is not an area to try and cut those corners on for sure.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Well, you don’t think about it until you’re lying in bed at night thinking, “Oh, do we even have a backup? We might have one, but have we ever tested actually restoring it?” And those things get alleviated.

 

Mike Merrill:

Or does the guy that know even still work here? I mean, I’ve heard that a lot, they lost the guy that knew.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah. Well, and that’s another point that I think we should talk about is losing the guy that knew, because I think whether you’ve been on a software for a long time or you’re new to a company that’s using a software, I think it’s so interesting that so many businesses only use just a fraction of what their ERP software can offer. And the person who set it up, did it for whatever your business conditions were at that time. And maybe haven’t evolved. I mean, maybe you didn’t have a lot of people out in the field running all over the place. And so it wasn’t a big deal at that time, but I think businesses just need to remember that they should be checking and saying, “Where do we have manual processes? Where do we have gaps in communication?” And just saying, “How can we fill these?” Because chances are, there’s a solution. It may even already be in your software. It may be an add on solution, but you always keep evolving with your software because I know that people that make the software are always evolving for you and if you’re not paying attention, and you’re just assuming that you can’t do things, then you’re missing out on a lot of the value you could be getting out of your software.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah, that’s a great point. Last month it was very enjoyable. We were at a local AGC event. It was the 99th annual Utah Chapter AGC Conference. And they did have an in person. So it was wonderful. And the fact they’ve got another event, a couple of days here, a safety conference that we’re going to so pretty excited about getting out there and seeing people again a little bit. But anyway, I was sitting down at dinner with a group that was telling me they’re still on the same software, but they started doing concrete work. Then they got into general contracting. Then they started doing paving and now they focus on construction for mining. And so they’re like… and oh, by the way, and cell phone towers and maintenance. So it’s like their entire business has shifted multiple times. And now they’re looking for a software that’s more designed for the things that they’re doing. And they’ve tried to just navigate all of that with one ERP solution that probably is under serving them.

So it’s a great point you bring up that our business has changed and we should regularly look at those different tools that we’re using, make sure we keep them sharp. So do you have any scenarios that you’ve heard of companies that maybe for a specific reason they’re not on the cloud or they can’t be for one reason or another? Do you run into those scenarios?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah, it’s usually when people don’t like to be efficient or save money or communicate well, that’s usually the type of person that’s best served steak. No, I always say there are a couple of examples where it’s arguable that maybe it’s not best to move to the cloud, but one being there’s people who just… there are businesses who are located in places where there’s just not good internet. And that’s going to be a challenge no matter what you do. So there’s tools out there that can combat that for the field tools, because a lot of tools, I believe yours will go ahead and work off a wireless connection or we’ll collect the data and then sync back up when you’re in range.

So for that, argument’s even going away a little bit, but if you’ve got a huge manufacturing plant in the middle of nowhere and you just don’t have good internet, then that’s another one I would say is people who have a lot of HIPAA requirements tend to balk against having any kinds of cloud-based solutions because there’s just a lot of the products out there don’t deal with that. I don’t know that a lot of contractors have that problem. So those would really be the only cases where I’ve encountered people having legitimate reasons not to go to the cloud.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. No, that makes sense. Well, that’s good. So that means everybody else has an opportunity, I guess we’ll say to maybe look at it further, if you haven’t made the jump.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I don’t know, have you seen any other legitimate objections? I mean, I’m sure you’ve heard some, but-

 

Mike Merrill:

I hear from companies say they do government work that’s maybe certain reasons or maybe a division or department of their company that, like you said different very site-specific, or again where they physically are located. But I haven’t heard too much that I don’t think we could help solve with a cloud based system, but people still think that on occasion that maybe it’s not best for their business. And maybe it’s worth investigating that a little bit further with today’s technology. So in our pre-call you had mentioned something about cloud based systems being evergreen. What does that term mean for the listeners? And is that something you can shed some light on?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Well, so I don’t know, there’s a lot of moving parts in regulations and forms and things of that nature that change very regularly. I mean, the best example I can give is a great one, which is Avalara, which is a sales tax automation software that’s cloud based, because they have thousands and thousands of rural rate and boundary changes every year. And they just push those out to the cloud. And so when you’re a connected to Avalara, you get the latest and greatest automatically because it’s a cloud-based software. So all those types of things, any kind of compliance it’s much easier to keep on top of if you’re not responsible for manually entering it into your system, because you’re connected to the cloud and it’s going to automatically bring the latest compliance, whatever type of apparatus you’re going to need, whether it’s tax or payroll forms or things of that nature automatically that can save you a ton of time and also keep you out of being in non-compliance.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. Right. No, that’s a great point. Actually, the OSHA or different safety regulations, especially with COVID, I mean, how many things are changing almost daily, weekly, monthly? I mean, there’s been so many changes that everybody’s been dealing with and it would be nice to know that some institution or organization is on top of those things and that’s a full-time job, and you can just continue building buildings and doing the things that you’re used to doing and let them focus on keeping those things up to date for you. So with somebody who’s maybe on a legacy system today, a server based client server, and they’re looking to move to the cloud, what does that journey look like? Or what project do you think that they’re in for to make that change?

 

Darcy Boerio:

So there’s a lot to that. I would say it’s scary. We have what we have. We don’t want to lose what we have in our functionality. I mean, my advice would be definitely number one, to talk to… contractors talk to each other. They’re in the AGC, or in the ABC, or in the CFMA talk to your peers and find out what they use, what shortcomings they’ve found and that kind of thing to try to just make sure you’re picking the right choice based on what they tell you, not based on what you read on the Rocher or from a software publisher, but what your peers are really saying. And then find a partner who specializes in construction and a software reseller typically, then you’ll know within a few minutes of talking to them, probably if they really understand construction or not, it’s very imperative that they understand construction.

There’s a lot of companies out there that understand ERP but don’t necessarily understand the intricacies of construction. So finding a partner… but that it doesn’t have to be horribly painful. You are going to probably have to make some decisions about how much data you want to convert. And people get a little scared about losing their historical data, but there are ways to mitigate that. You get choices to make about how much you want to bring over and how much you still need to be able to access. And there’s a lot of technology out there to bring over the important data that you need. So those are the things and just think longterm what you’re seeing with some of the legacy systems in general, in ERP, and I’m not calling out anyone particular, but the non-cloud basis that they’re not investing a lot more in the future of these legacy products.

And so if you want to keep being able to get the latest and greatest and even a product. So if I’m a software publisher who makes an amazing business intelligence tool, and it’s the coolest technology, and it’s really awesome and everybody wants it, but I’m going to look at your old legacy product and I’m going to go, ” I’m not going to write an integration to that because that’s dying off.” And so you’re potentially cheating yourself out of a lot of cool new technology and ahead of the game, because if people just aren’t developing all this great new technology is out there, there’s AI machine learning, all these things, nobody wants to go build that for a product that’s going away. So that’s another consideration. Just start the move. Every journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. So talk to people, hear their stories and get with the 2020s.

 

Mike Merrill:

And I guess obviously you would say because of what you’re sharing that it’s well worth the move as soon as possible, not later, right?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I mean, that’s what I’ve seen with adoption. I mean, honestly, I can’t think I’ve ever heard of anyone say to me, “Oh, I wish we never moved to the cloud.”

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. We did that here. We moved our accounting and ERP from an on-premise. And I remember having to get backups to the accountants. And yeah, wait, hold on. Don’t do anything in this until we get the backup back from them. And I mean, it was just a mess and you were in a holding pattern and you just can’t do that these days. So we are so thankful that we… I mean, I got to be on my phone a thousand miles away looking at a report or a dashboard in the accounting system.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Out in the woods, running around, what’s my county doing?

 

Mike Merrill:

Fair warning, checking those reports, no questions. So before we wrap up, I always like to ask a few more personal questions, but even before that, I know, I mean, you’re a respected podcast hosts, I’ve enjoyed many of your episodes. You have awesome guests on, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to your Enterprise Software Podcasts. Are there any guests or topics or stories or just something that really stuck out to you that you could share with our listeners that you learned or heard, or you think that they might enjoy hearing?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Oh, thank you for the compliments. That’s very kind of you. That’s really hard because I have so many favorites and one of my favorites is always a guy named Ed Class, he’s with Sage.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I’d be curious to know how applicable his topics are to a construction company, because he is very much against hourly billing. Now, I don’t know that the construction industry could ever really get away from that, but he does it. His whole concept is value based pricing. So you’re basing your pricing on the value of the output, not on the actual cost of the inputs, essentially. So this stuff’s really good. I don’t know how much of it you could adopt as a contractor, but it’s very thought provoking.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. Well, and interesting to you. I mean, the phrase, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so to speak those ideas are always fascinating for me to hear, because again, I am constructions in my bones. I think like a contractor still, sometimes I have to try and put on a technology hat and not look at things the way that I might have in order to be more effective in a technology space. But I think there’s a lot of contractors out there that want to be more innovative. They just don’t quite know how. And so when you’re busy and especially in a market that’s just booming and crazy right now, it’s pretty hard to find extra time and bandwidth to go and try something new.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I agree 100%. Another facet of what he talks about too, is he’s very passionate about subscription pricing for anything. And even just as a human being, as a consumer, you can learn a lot from him about how he’s basically saying everything’s going to be in subscription very soon. Look at how much we’ve switched everything to subscription. So he’s got some really interesting thoughts on that as well. So that helps maybe comfortable people feel more at ease with a subscription model that you typically have with cloud-based solutions is just understanding, look, you’ve subscribed to Netflix, you subscribe to whatever else you have. So you’ve always had certain subscriptions and now it’s more and more, so why not your software, lower your operating expenses, I mean, I’m sorry, your capital expenses and shifts a little bit towards your operating expenses.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. Great advice. Well, so now that you’ve been on the podcast a little bit, and we’ve had a little bit of dialogue, I want to ask you a few personal questions, so nothing crazy, but so what’s one skill that you feel like you’ve mastered, or been able to really implement in your business life that you could share with others that maybe they could learn from?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I think one of the most valuable things that I’ve mastered is how-

 

Mike Merrill:

Don’t be bashful Darcy.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Oh, no, actually I would say one of the biggest things that’s had an impact on my business has been podcasting. It has been such a great opportunity for me to meet people that I would probably have otherwise never had access to and learn from them and get their insights. And it’s also really pushed me to keep up with the industry news that’s important to my business, even though sometimes I’m like, “I don’t want to read that article. I don’t have time to keep up with everything.” I’m like, “Oh, I got to do it because you might talk about it on the podcast. I need to talk to my listeners about this.” So that’s been really valuable and I encourage anyone to look into it to, to doing a podcast. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun and can be very rewarding.

 

Mike Merrill:

Yeah. I love that. You had that always learning attitude and it shows you’re very well versed on a lot of topics. I’m sure this is a big part of why.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Thank you.

 

Mike Merrill:

You bet. So what about your superpowers? There’s something that’s just like when Darcy puts her cap on what is that something you’re excellent at?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Okay. Well, I guess if we put my cap on, it’s when I put a badge on at a conference. My stupid human trick, I prefer to call it than a superpower, because I feel like is networking. I love networking. I love going to conferences and meeting new people and introducing people that can partner together and help each other out. So it’s just something that I really enjoy and I humbly say, I think I’m pretty good at, so that would be my stupid human tricks, super power.

 

Mike Merrill:

I love it. I remember meeting you at a conference over 10 years ago and that wasn’t by accident. So I’m sure that there’s many others that were memorable for it. So I agree. So what’s one mistake that you’ve made in your business career that you wish you would’ve learned earlier? I guess, maybe not a mistake, but something that you feel like you were able to overcome and improve that an impact for you.

 

Darcy Boerio:

I think one thing I learned is to be more willing to say no to things that aren’t in my wheelhouse, which is not to say that you shouldn’t try new things and branch out, but what it tends to do in my experience and from what I’ve seen other people doing it as well is take you on a learning curve that distracts you from your core profitable facets of your business. So that’s a lesson I have to learn to myself. To me is like, “Oh, I could get involved in that. That sounds cool. Oh, but wait, I do have all this other stuff I have to do that I’ve been meaning to do that actually is part of my core business, stay there. It’s okay.” So I mean, it’s not to say don’t try new things, but just be aware. Is it worth going into, is it going to help be healthy for your business in the long run to take something on?

 

Mike Merrill:

No, that’s great. I love that. Super applicable to our audience of course. Do you take that job on that’s totally not what you do just because you can and it’s there, or do you stay in your lane and focus on what you’re already good at?

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah.

 

Mike Merrill:

Love it. All right. Well, so the last question. So if our listeners were to take away one thing from yours and my conversation today, what would you hope that would be for them?

 

Darcy Boerio:

I would say to just keep in mind that cloud and mobile are not going anywhere, they’re here to stay, so get into it.

 

Mike Merrill:

Buckle up.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Yeah.

 

Mike Merrill:

I like that. Well, thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure Darcy. I’ve very much enjoyed catching up with you a little bit and having this conversation. I think our listeners will really enjoy this one.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Oh, thank you. It’s so good to see you. Thanks for having me.

 

Mike Merrill:

Absolutely. We’ll do it again down the road.

 

Darcy Boerio:

Okay.

 

Mike Merrill:

Thanks. And thank you for joining us on the Mobile Workforce Podcast today, to go listeners sponsored by AboutTime Technologies and WorkMax. If you enjoyed Darcy and my conversation today, or were able to learn some helpful tips or tricks or insights, please give us a five-star rating and review. And we would love you to also subscribe to the podcast. We appreciate you sharing this with your friends and colleagues. After all our goal is to help you improve not only your business, but your life.