Interviewer: Martin van der Roest
Jim, tell us a little more about yourself, background, and current responsibilities.
Prior to joining vdR, I worked as a consultant in the computer aided facility management (CAFM), computer maintenance management (CMM), and customer relationship management (CRM) industries. I was responsible for managing a wide range of tasks from pre-sales, requirements analysis, implementations, training and into support. Additionally I worked in architecture for a number of years as a CAD drafter focusing on both residential and commercial designs.
Currently, I’m the Director of Professional Services for the vdR Group. I’ve been in this role for the past 9 years. My primary role is to oversee all facets of our service offerings that include everything from pre-sales tasks, like demo’s and RFP’s, and all the way through to the final system delivery, including training and ongoing support.
Who are the type of customers you serve, and what’s prompting them to implement a solution?
For many years now a sizable part of our activities are geared to helping owners-operators and engineering procurement and construction (EPC) companies. EPCs work on behalf of owners-operators. Everyone seems to have their own way of developing, managing and tracking engineering documentation. EPC’s typically apply their own standards for areas such as numbering conventions, revision control and version control. The EDM solution we have developed allows them to show their accountability on everything that they produce as a deliverables.
A high percentage of clients use the EDM solution for plant/facility operations. They have a great need to maintain their enterprise content; especially engineering drawings and documents. For these clients the solution provides not only the ability to search and retrieve their documents, but enforces corporate controls and internal policies and procedures.
To pursue these opportunities, we work with direct customers as well as the partner community and their customers. On the partner side of things, we work closely with the business development and sales teams and essentially provide domain expertise and proposal development support. We’re able to provide demonstrations of the entire EDM solution suite, help understand client requirements, and provide scope of work estimates for proposals.
Of the delivery activity that you just spoke of, what represents potentially unique capabilities that your team brings to the table and that ultimately helps solve some of these challenges your customer face?
That is a good question. I think what sets us apart from other service providers is both our industry knowledge and our deep technical knowledge of the EDM solution. Understanding of the industry best practices allows us to come in and quickly assess processes that clients are using to manage and control their engineering content.
Since we were the original developers of a majority of the EDM suite, we’re uniquely qualified to know how to best configure and develop the solution. So in summary we are able to talk shop, understand how clients operate, compare it to industry best practice, offer recommendations, and then deploy a solution that is tailored to each client.
So, what type of challenges are you helping customers solve?
On the partner side, they typically have a short window of time to scope out and propose a solution. With our help, we’re able to provide partners with information that they need to provide an accurate scope of work that is thorough and realistic for both schedule and cost.
On the delivery side, client’s biggest challenges include the ability to search and find drawings, provide a single source of truth for their published content, and show accountability on content that requires strict review and approvals.
All of these challenges are addressed within the EDM solution. However, it’s our experience of best practices and how to apply them that allows us to solve these challenge effectively and efficiently.