How IoT Technology is Making the Construction Site Smarter

Construction technology doesn’t just track your budget and gives you information on the progress of your projects. Technology is now integrated with your equipment giving feedback on utilization, early alerts, and warnings. Ajoy Krishnamoorthy joins host Mike Merrill to explain how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the job site forever. Ajoy is the Executive Vice President of Products and Chief Strategy Officer at Acumatica, the leading cloud ERP provider.

Ajoy has a deep background in technology including almost a decade at Microsoft. He launched his own award-winning app, and is now coming up on a decade in the construction industry. In this episode, Ajoy and Mike cover how IoT works, how it’s impacting the construction industry, its relationship to machine learning and AI, and how to best approach investing in this important technology.

 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Sensors on key equipment decrease maintenance costs and increase safety. Sensor technology isn’t just a heat sensor on your HVAC or boiler units anymore. Sensors can maintain and monitor the usage of any mechanical equipment that is on the jobsite. Sensors can also be used in conjunction with cameras to ensure that the proper safety equipment is being used. They can immediately ping the worker, and supervisor when rules aren’t being followed as both a reminder and to document the warning.  
  2. Machine learning can be utilized to your advantage. Machine learning used to be an overwhelming or scary idea but the reality is that it permeates every aspect of modern life. Every time a website predicts something you want to see or buy- that is machine learning. The same concept can be utilized on the job site with live field data. The programs can begin to predict your next move based on past experience allowing for a smooth transition between tasks.
  3. Integrated tech stacks are needed to reach peak efficiency. Technology like IoT and live field data are a much more obtainable investment in your business. It is important to guarantee that you getting the greatest ROI on all of your technology investments by ensuring that each piece of the puzzle integrates, talks and works with everything else you have. That’s your tech stack. When your entire stack communicates with one another, everyone on your team is empowered to accomplish their goals at the highest level with maximum efficiency.

 

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Episode Transcript

Mike Merrill:

Hello, and welcome to the Mobile Workforce Podcast sponsored by AboutTime Technologies and WorkMax. I’m your host, Mike Merrill. And today we are joined with our friend Ajoy Krishnamoorthy. Ajoy is the Executive Vice President of Products and Chief Strategy Officer at Acumatica, the leading cloud ERP provider. So Ajoy has a very deep background in technology, including almost a full decade at Microsoft, which at Microsoft, he launched his own award-winning app, and is now coming up on a decade for the construction industry. Today, we’ll be talking about the internet of things or IoT as it’s called, and how it’s impacting the construction industry, and also its relationship to machine learning and AI, and the best approach to investing into those important technologies. Hello, Ajoy. I thank you for joining us today and welcome.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Absolutely, Mike, great to be here. Thanks for having me and wonderful talking to your listeners at the Mobile Workforce Podcast. Looking forward to this conversation.

Mike Merrill:

Awesome. Well, I am too. And we just both got back from your Acumatica Summit, which was a fantastic event. The best one we’ve ever been to. So thank you for putting on such a great opportunity for us to meet with our customers and prospects.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Absolutely. And what a phenomenal show. And for all of us, we’ve been pretty much in remote set up for about 18 months, to be back in a in-person conference. This happened to be in Vegas, meeting with our customers and partners. It was just a phenomenal opportunity and we had a great time.

Mike Merrill:

Awesome. And I think we got what about six more months and we’re going to be back there again, right?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

That’s right. That’s right. With the date being changed due to COVID, we’re going back to our original schedule of hosting the event in the beginning of the year, so we’ll be back in Vegas end of January.

Mike Merrill:

Awesome. Well, that’ll be great. Well, so to start the conversation today, just one of the things that I thought would be important to talk about. We both know that construction has a reputation as being a bit of a laggard in terms of technology adoption. What’s your take on that and what are you seeing in the field today?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

No, great question to start off. And I think for some of us, and many of you listeners, and you Mike, you’ve spent a lot of time in the construction space. And traditionally yes, construction industry was viewed as a laggard in terms of technology adoption, but things have been changing. If you look at the recent past both in terms of the software and the hardware side of things. And we saw the hardware innovation happening quite early on where organizations … If you walk the conference say either it’s a World of Concrete, or CONEXPO, or the IBS show, a lot of these industry trade shows, I mean, you saw companies investing in new technology, whether it’s robotic automation or capabilities in the tools themselves to be able to track and better utilize them from a both effectiveness and efficiency.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

But then on the software side, yes, there was a little bit of a delay I guess in terms of companies adopting newer, modern technology. And that’s one of the reasons actually we at Acumatica got into construction industry in the first place. When we started looking at the landscape, a lot of the back office software was very siloed. Innovation as an app and in the last … And technology upgrade as an app in over a decade, and a lot of the systems were pretty closed and with little to no opportunity for multiple systems to interact.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

But then we also saw on the other end, customers were starting to demand and starting to use a lot of those utility software that are modern cloud-based with mobile and so on, and clearly saw an opportunity for providing a cloud-based back-office system that also works very closely with the front office solutions in the field solution if you will. And that’s driven by a couple of things, right. I mean, one of the obvious ones is the new workforce coming into the industry, and the new workforce are coming in. Obviously, the moms and the dads, the aunt, uncle that started the construction company are now transitioning and handing over the ownership to the niece, the nephew, the son, the daughter, and these are the folks that grew up in the very technology … There’s the grasp of what the technology means to them from a day-to-day standpoint.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And this is the generation that grew up with the Snapchats, and the Facebook, and all the social media. TikTok and whatnot. And this is the generation that also has the ability to take a picture of a check and it shows up in the bank, and then they show up to work and their stack of invoices, and somebody has to manually key it in. And they’re like oh my gosh, this sucks. Excuse my language there but that’s the reaction for them. It’s like hey, how can I have that type of experience when I’m a consumer and then completely go into a Stone Age when I come back into doing my job? So that’s what I think that are, obviously, a lot of demands coming from this generation to say, “Hey, this got to change.”

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And then the second piece is construction companies realizing technology is not a necessary evil, it’s actually a competitive differentiator. We saw that, obviously, with the pandemic, a lot of the customers saw the value. And I mean, we work with a lot of our giant customers here, Mike. They appreciated the fact that they could have all the system up and running in the cloud with mobile access. And then one of the customers said it in a webinar we did back in April of last year, they did the transition without missing a beat, right. They’re able to work in the office and then within a week when the restriction started putting in place, they could move and work remotely. So that aspect I think helps drive a lot of the construction companies across many industries, but particularly in construction as well going into this cloud-based model.

Mike Merrill:

I love that. Love your answer. And you went into some depth on a few things which I really appreciate because that’s the same thing we’re seeing and hearing out there on the job sites, in the projects, in these construction offices. Adoption is becoming a very key differentiator. And again, like you said, it’s a competitive edge that companies are gaining by adopting these newer technologies. So tell me, when we talk about the term IoT, what exactly is that and why is that important for the workers in the field today?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

No, absolutely. I think there’s few technology trends that are making significant impact into how the business are operating. One of them is, obviously, the IoT, internet of things, and then the other one is around machine learning and AI, and we’ll talk about that in a second here. So internet of things, right, in a nutshell, it’s all about use of sensors, right. I mean, we’re seeing sensors everywhere. And a lot of us as consumers, we’ve gotten into this home automation whether it’s using the Ring camera to capture what’s happening in a moment, to having automated garage door openers, and so on so the delivery guy can come in and just track what’s going on and that type of stuff, and drop the product or the shipment if you will. So the automation from that standpoint, using the sensors is happening everywhere.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

In construction, I think you’re starting to see that in a few different places. Obviously, tracking equipment is, obviously, a big one, right, and especially if you have lots of tools and big equipment. Understanding where they are on any given point in time. Did somebody leave a jackhammer in the job site, right? How do I track it without having to send somebody back 20 miles to the job place to check? Having that ability to track the product.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And then also, more depth around utilization, right? These products are now becoming smarter and smarter where you can put a chip on the product itself and it’s starting to track utilization, any early alert and warnings. If I’ve used a particular equipment for too long and it needs to go back into calibration sooner, those type of stuff is being automated. And in the longer term what it means is that it ensures safety of the equipment also of the operator, but also increases the life of the equipment. The last thing you want to do is have the equipment fail and then go back and fix it.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Some of this stuff like this is also now coming into pre-build, right. I was talking to an analyst not too long ago from one of the large analyst firm, and she was talking about how the facility’s management aspect is evolving from a sensor standpoint. We’ve all heard the stories about the boilers and the HVAC unit having sensor in them and sending alerts whether it’s the Schneider Electric or Johnson Control, these guys have put in sensors that can tell you whether the certain thresholds are exceeded. If a temperature of the particular unit is more than a threshold and that has happened more than once or twice or thrice, automatically send a notification to the maintenance team so you can do some preventative maintenance before the system breaks down.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Now, that whole aspect is now coming into play even during pre-build and design. Now the construction companies are starting to invest and take advantage of that as they’re planning out the building, making sure there’s enough data being captured, understanding of the different HVAC units, and that leads all the way down to how you do the handoff, right. When a construction team completes a project and handing it over to the owner, they want all the data to be available, everything digitized and being there.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I remember attending a conference not too long ago, maybe three, four years, and it was a Construction Technology Conference, and one of the speaker, I forget who said this, but it’s just stuck on my head. He said, “I can find more information about my 1992 Honda Civic than the building that I just took over about a month ago because everything is in a file, everything is in people’s head, I don’t know what I’m getting. I don’t know what the warranty is for the HVAC unit,” et cetera, et cetera. So there’s definitely quite a bit of digitization that’s important, that’s needed in the construction, and I think sensors are going to play a big role.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

On top of that, this whole sensor IoT expanding it beyond that, there’s also a safety aspect of it. I know you work in the time capture, and a lot of innovations happen there with biometric and presence-based. You know when the crew was in a job site and so on. There’s also camera-based tracking that’s becoming popular. I saw one example recently where in a job site you have a camera that’s a static mounted camera that’s capturing the workers moving around. And if somebody forgot their hard hat or took off the hard hat, it gives an immediate notification so you can alert them and say, “Hey, careful at this job site. You need to have the hard hat on,” because that’s being careful about the crew’s health and safety. So there’s lots of creative ways that can be applied and that’s what I see as a trend.

Mike Merrill:

I love that. So you mentioned safety and tool or equipment management. You talked about sensors and devices. What about productivity? Do you see things that are adding to company’s productivity because they’re utilizing IoT?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Yeah. I mean, again, I think at the end of the day, right, all of this means that you can do your job in an efficient manner, right. The point I talked about the equipment’s giving you signals on where they are in terms of their strength and health, and also in the context of them needing a calibration or needing servicing. Imagine if you don’t have that information and you have a breakdown on a particular equipment. It’s the backhoe that you needed for an excavation project and then that failed on the morning of the job. now you’re scrambling, right. That’s impacting at the end of the day your crew’s time and resources, how you’re allocating timeline to that project, the project might get delayed.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

So at the end of the day, a lot of this technology, even though in an isolation it looks like it’s solving a specific problem, at the end of the day it’s all about hey, can I do my job better? Is it helping my team members be more productive? And is it helping me offer the best service I can to my customers? It has to accrue to that overall value. And I think technology like IoT, and machine learning, and AI used in the right way helps us be that much smarter about what’s going on in our job site, in many industries for that matter. I can talk about similar examples that’s happening in agriculture and manufacturing and so on. It’s accruing to that customer value at the end of the day.

Mike Merrill:

Well, and what I love, something that you said earlier, it also increases safety. So if we’re building more efficiently, if we’re being more productive, and we’re doing it safer, that’s a win, win, win, and certainly something that companies need to look at things more clearly.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Totally. One of the things that I … Again, I can’t disclose the name, but this is one of the large tool companies that we are working with. They have actually built into the toolset the ability to track them. It’s what you can do with this, the tags. You probably have seen them around. You can put the tags on your car key or in your TV remote to find where you place. So similar technology, but that whole thing is embedded into the tools itself. So when you buy the tool from this vendor, it can automatically track on any given day what it is including utilization and so on, right. And so we’re working with them in terms of bringing some of the data into Acumatica, for instance. What are particular job if you want to track utilization of the tools and then associated cost? You could do some of that without having to manually go through a check-in and check-out an assignment and so on. So there’s definitely some work that’s going on that’s going to continue to push the envelope on this particular area.

Mike Merrill:

I love that. Tell me, what are companies doing now with machine learning and AI to really utilize those more?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I mean, again, this is one of those areas I think things are lot different now than even three years, five years if you will, right. Machine learning traditionally is not available to a lot of the smaller companies because you need a significant power and so on and also data to be able to analyze them and identify some patterns and start using them to do some prediction. Again, going back to the parallels in consumers. We all as consumers, we are using machine learning whether we know it or not. When you go to Amazon and order a particular item and it says, “Hey, those who ordered this item also ordered these three items,” that’s machine learning right there, right. Understanding what the purchasing behavior and making recommendations. When you’re watching a particular show on Netflix, it’s recommending similar shows. Or listening to music on Spotify, it’s listening … Suggesting a few other tracks for you. Those are all driven by machine learning capability at the end of the day that users don’t know it but they benefit from it.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

To me, that’s the power of it, on how we are thinking about utilizing those capability in construction for that matter. Whether it’s doing data analysis … I mean, you’ve talked … You’re working in this time tracking aspect of it. Imagine you can predict what that project time is going to be on a particular given week, month or so on. People are using it like a set for analyzing the job site for any type of safety violations and so on. There are a lot of core activities that happens in a construction workflow. But take an example of things like photo log, meeting minutes, right. And a lot of times what happens is you collect so much data but it’s hard to track and find the information that you’re looking for. You and I, we’ve got tons of images on our phone, and now phone systems have provided sophisticated search capability where I can look for hey, show me a picture of me and Mike when we met at Waldorf Concrete.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Of course, you won’t get that … Into that level of specificity but you can start looking at images based on some characteristics. You can say, “Hey, show me pictures of my family at the beach.” So it can take me to pictures from a vacation. Of course, we haven’t done vacations in the last 18 months so it’s more of a memory from a pre-COVID I guess. But imagine you can bring that same level of discoverability into commercial scenario, right. So in a photo log, in the daily field report, the project team is capturing all the data, bringing it into a system, and it’s collecting information on a daily basis. How can I discover and find the information from within it?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Same thing on the financials. At Summit, I showed you a couple of examples, right. We’ve already done AP automation using our … One of the services from Microsoft to be able to take a picture of an invoice and then automatically read what’s in the invoice, including the breakdown of items in the invoice or expense receipt, right. A construction workers out there, they need to go buy something from a Home Depot or Lowe’s, and they go in, they got the receipt, and usually, it’s such a manual time-consuming process. Instead, they can just take a picture of the receipt, and then boom it looks at what’s in the receipt and automatically post them into the expense claim system, in this case, Acumatica. Not only that, based on prior classification, the system would know oh, by the way, that’s just a purchase for the job site so put them in a specific account code. If it happened to be a meeting with the owner and you’re buying coffee it can tag them as a meals, for example. So that’s the type of stuff that saves a lot of time.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And one of the other things that I showed and I talked about is the anomaly detection, right. The ability to catch some human errors or fraudulent transactions. If you’re going in and putting a particular invoice against a project, on a similar project you never have an invoice. Maybe it’s amount of I don’t know lumber that you’re buying, right, especially given now the short supply it is and the cost, you need to be very careful. And there could be a mistake where you put in that the amount … X amount of two by fours and the cost is $10,000. You might’ve been used to seeing it at $3,000 and the system might detect it as an anomaly, but it could be a real data because the cost has gone through the roof of late, but that’s the type of stuff you can catch early on. It’s going to save a lot of time for the accounting team to validate and verify asset closing the books for the month of the quarter or the year. So that’s what I see machine learning and AI coming into play.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

A lot of interactions with mobile, right. I mean, you guys are big on that with WorkMax. How do we enable the same type of interaction using mobile? People able to talk to the phone and have that converted to text and put that in. Punch List is a good example. We showed an example demo, and I think it’s starting to pick up in construction this whole VR, AR particularly augmented reality. You’re walking through a job site with an AR goggle and you’re able to capture issues on a job site and then just give instructions to it so you’ve got hands free to work on the job site while you’re capturing. Same thing in a service tech scenario. You got a service technician inspecting a job site, you need your hands free to be able to work on stuff. So that’s the type of stuff that’s starting to pick up and I think there’ll be more coming in the … As we make advances in simplifying the experience if you will.

Mike Merrill:

So if you were to build a tech stack from scratch, what would you start with, and maybe what order would your priority be for a company?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

You’re talking about the construction company, but I mean, obviously, and I’m a little biased here so I’d say look at the right ERP system because ERP becomes your system of record. And not coming across as I’m trying to sell Acumatica. Or the key to this, obviously, build a system that’s open from an architecture standpoint that enables you to connect with other systems because we don’t believe in be all end all, one system that’s all you need. It’s not going to be the case. There’s so much innovation happening there. There’s best-of-breed software out there. For the work your team and our team did, Mike, for instance, you’ve got a time capture system that’s very popular. A lot of people are using it. How do you bring the data into Acumatica? With other legacy ERP systems, it’s a file-based import, export, right. It’s like you’re just packaging that up, throwing it over the fence hoping everything worked. And something fails you have to fix. Oh, I missed a comma. You fix a comma and throw it over the fence again and wait for it. Oh, ’90s called and they want their technology back.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

This day and age you can’t just be operating like that, you got to be a lot more real time. And that’s where I think finding a system that’s got the open architecture with open API support that works well on a browser where most of the team, especially in the office, are working, but also works well in a tablet and mobile phone so folks can go and experience that. At Summit, I showed an example of what you can do with an Apple Watch. It’s an illustration to inspire people. Think about how we can bring some of those capabilities into the watch, for example. But that’s the type of stuff we got to collectively continue to invest in and that’s what the customers need to be thinking about.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

What’s the right … First of all, identify the problem area because a strong system like an ERP system that can connect with the multiple different applications, and then look at the areas where you need the solution right away. But then keep in mind, the investment that you’re making in technology it’s not just investment for the today, it’s for the future. So take a bet on something that you believe. Not just what the product does today, but do you believe in the vision and the value that the company offers? Is that something you are subscribing to as a customer? Then take a bet on that type of a relationship as a vendor, and that’s going to set you up for the last next eight, 10 years.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

One important thing I’ll share, Mike, is that one of the things we have seen in the last 18 months, and some of it is, obviously, driven by the pandemic, people didn’t have a choice they have to make a quick action. And I remember customers, some of them calling me and say, “Oh, we are ready to move to cloud ERP and we want to go live tomorrow.” We were like “Okay, wait, slow down here. There’s a method to this madness, right, we understand and appreciate the intent.” But you want to make sure you’re doing it the right way as well, right. Sometimes you got to slow a little … Go slow a little bit to be able to go fast as they say. But a lot of the teams have learned how to be very nimble, and agile, and be scrappy if you will, right.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And I remember somebody saying that you’re seeing 12 years worth of transformation in 12 months, right? I mean, we’ve all seen that as a consumer. The hotel, restaurants, and schools, and everybody is online and so on and so forth. And the similar things that have happened in the construction industry and many industries out there. And my request is let’s not forget that. Let’s not forget that new skill that we have learned which is able to assess a fit for a particular technology or a solution like cloud ERP, or a time capture system, or a project management solution, able to make the decision and get that system in place in a rapid time, right. And that’s a skill that I think a lot of the companies have gained. And I strongly hope that teams continue to use that. It’s the running the two-minute drill, right. There’s certain things you do differently. And there’s, obviously, some … A pattern and a method for that type of execution. And I’m encouraged by what I’ve seen and I think that will continue to be the case going forward.

Mike Merrill:

I think the … I mean, to summarize what you just shared, I think one of the big things is that there’s an urgency today. I mean, COVID, obviously, changed that urgency level very rapidly. Nobody could see that coming the way that it came and the challenges that it brought, but I have seen so many companies adapt quickly, and pivot, and make adjustments because they had to, there really was no choice. And so now we’re used to utilizing Zoom meetings, and Microsoft Teams, and other tools, we’re used to seeing people remotely and working remotely. And so I think there’s an opportunity here to rather than move back into the slow lane, to keep our businesses in the fast lane, and continue to innovate and adopt these technologies that so many other industries are already embracing and have been profitable from for decades.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I mean, some of the industry had an advantage, right. Financial services and retail have been the forefront of technology even before, but someone like construction, maybe agriculture, they’re just … There’s a little bit of catching up happening right now, right. And that’s the other piece too, right. This whole notion of digital transformation. There’s a lot of hype about it, but then if you just peel the onion and look at it at the … What it means. I mean, it’s like how do you take an organization that’s disconnected, that’s operating with silos, a lot of manual broken process, how do you transition into a state where systems are connected, operations are very efficient? And the players. Key is the people and the process, the people understand what they’re doing, right, and have tools that actually help them be successful and be more productive.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And it’s never a said and done. Oh yeah, I just did it I’m done. I’ll come back in 15 years and review this again. No, this is a journey, right. You’re constantly having to look into it and invest, and that’s why it’s important to invest in a platform like I talked about earlier. What do you … The decision you’re making now is a decision that you want to be with for decades to come, right. And how can you future proof that, right? If that’s the term they use, right. It’s understanding your challenges today and what solution best solves the challenges today, but then is it going to be helpful and to get me prepared for what the challenges will be tomorrow? So some of that is the part of the dialogue you need to have with whatever software that you’re looking into getting on.

Mike Merrill:

I was reading a study recently and it said that 98% of companies are expecting to increase their productivity utilizing technology like IoT.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Absolutely. No, I totally believe that, right, because especially in a … With the transformation that we’ve seen happen, I totally see that happening.

Mike Merrill:

So my last question is this. What are the right questions that contractors should be asking to make sure that they’re investing in the right technology to maximize that ROI?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I think it starts with the what they’re trying to address, right. Like I said, depending on where you are as an organization, understanding the key problems that you’re trying to solve and then making sure that the product that you’re getting addresses the problems that you’re trying to solve for if you will, and that’s where you start. And some of the points that I made already on this one is that not just stopping with that but looking at hey, where do you see your organization going in the next call it two to three years, three to five years, right? And an understanding of this new system that you’re going to be putting in place. Whether that system has got the vision or the vendor that’s behind that system, has got the vision and the investment from a ongoing technology growth standpoint to take it to the next level. If you don’t get that feeling, then I would definitely pass and do the due diligence even further because the things are changing so rapidly.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I mean, I shared this excitement at the Acumatica Summit. What a phenomenal time to be alive with so much technology innovation happening. I mean, what you thought was cutting edge two years ago is now outdated, right. And that’s the rapid pace that’s going on. And I think for our customers, that’s why it’s important that they make the selection keeping in mind what the future is at stake, right. Understanding and questioning a lot of the assumptions whether it’s hey, my interaction with the system is going to be limited to X, Y, and Z. Well, is that going to be the case going forward? Imagine yourself in two years. And again, going back to the comment I made earlier. Technology, when we talk about in the case of software, I mean, it’s not a necessary evil. An ERP system or a time capture system should not come in the way of how you run your business. If any … Not anything. At a minimum, it should make you move faster.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And then, of course, add a lot of value on top of it. That’s where a lot of these automation we talked about, things like machine learning and AI, sensor-based data, and bringing it into the system and analyzing it, separating the signal from the noise. All that’s the responsibility of the solution provider that these construction companies need to challenge and say, “Show us where the value is today, but show us where the value is going to be tomorrow and in the near future.

Mike Merrill:

That’s great. Great advice. So a couple of personal questions before we wrap up if that’s okay? So what is Ajoy’s superpower when you put your cape on in the morning before you go to work? What is your main go-to?

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

That’s a phenomenal question. I mean, again, I think that the sport … What we are doing with my day-to-day job at Acumatica, this is a team sport, right. This is not something that you just put the cape on and go “I’m going to solve every problem.” At the end of the day, it’s about collectively as a team, can we produce more than what we could have otherwise? Right. And some of it is … I talk about this go big or go home, right. This is the time where we need to start evaluating and challenging the status quo, challenging the assumptions, and pushing on what makes sense for our customers, and getting the team to buy into that shared vision and moving forward. That’s what I would say in some cases. If I may borrow Gregg Popovich famous quote is, “Getting out of the way sometimes, right, to make sure that the right things get done. That’s important as well.” And to me, I mean, again, personally … You know me. We spent a lot of time together. I get pretty excited about the space that we’re operating in and the technology as a whole.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

And having the balance is important. It’s not just technology for the sake of technology. Of course, I commit that sin all the time. The shiny blue object, that looks so cool let’s just go play with it. Of course, you want to do that, that keeps you excited and maybe young at heart I guess. But in terms of the application itself, it’s understanding hey, what does the technology mean to the business problem we’re trying to solve, right? And can we make … Either make the business process run that much better or eliminate some of the mundane tasks, right. If you don’t need to do certain things the way you’ve done it which consumes four hours, we can do it in four seconds, be my guest let’s put it in place. And we’ve done many of that as we were looking at the workflow in the context of Acumatica construction and other modules as well.

Mike Merrill:

That’s great. So as a final thought, what would you have the listeners have as a takeaway? If there was one thing you could put an accent on here at the end.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

I mean, the main thing is again, none of this decision is, one time you make it and you move on. This is an ongoing journey. I mean, you see, construction companies are going through this transformation just within the construction industry as a whole in terms of the tools that they use, in terms of the materials that they’re dealing with. Modular construction is now starting to pick up. There’s so much change happening there.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

That is so true when it comes to technology as well, right. Where it’s not a decision you make in one point in time and you just forget about it. So constant investment is important. That’s why you want to work with vendors that you trust. The software solution providers to be a trusted advisor and trusted partner for you as an organization. If you don’t have that comfort, then if there’s a small amount of doubt in your mind, trust me listen to your gut, right, there’s probably something that you need to investigate further. But that’s the important thing, right. Like I said, and we talked about this even before. Digital transformation, it’s a journey it’s not a destination. So there’s constant evolution that needs to happen. And for that, the listeners here that are looking into making some technology decisions, keep an eye on that, right. Make a decision that feels right for you today, but make it with the confidence that it’s going to be the right decision for you in the near future.

Mike Merrill:

That’s fantastic advice. Thank you for sharing that Ajoy. Thank you so much for being a guest today.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

No, it has been my pleasure. Great discussions, some good questions. Hopefully, this is valuable. And I look forward to listening to this and other future podcast.

Mike Merrill:

Confident it will be. And we’ll have to have you on in the future and talk about some other things.

Ajoy Krishnamoorthy:

Absolutely. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Merrill:

All right, great. Thank you. And thank you to the guests for joining us on the Mobile Workforce Podcast today. If you enjoyed the conversation that Ajoy and I had, we invite you to please give us a five-star rating and review. And more importantly, share this episode with your friends and colleagues. After all our goal here is not only to help you improve your business but your life.