I always love a good conference—one where the speakers not only have good information, but where they also dream a little bit about how the new information will improve the future. It always spurs my own imagination about how we can better use technology to partner with our clients and help them achieve their goals.
Recently, I attended a tech conference in Houston where that’s exactly what happened. I came away thinking about how to help our partner clients decide whether to self-host their SCADA systems or to let us do that for them. All the while getting them the information they need to become more efficient.
Did you note how I referred to our clients as partners? That’s on purpose. At Zedi, our philosophy is that vendors simply deal with numbers, but partners deal with end goals. We’re passionate about being partners, not just vendors.
So when I talk to producers about who should manage their SCADA system—or if it should be a hybrid, us and them—I always want to learn about their goals first.
That’s because the goal is never to install a certain number of sensors or to produce more reports. The goal is to become more efficient, using field data to find or even predict problems and reduce downtime, increase production, speed the billing process or something like that.
Lots of vendors can install sensors. Only a partner can get the end results. We’re looking at the end results.
After discussing SCADA system goals and how Zedi can help achieve them, we talk about the numbers.
The costs. The savings.
Then I realize that people make decisions—numbers don’t.
I’ll readily admit I’m already convinced that if we host the SCADA system, it relieves the producer of all responsibility for maintenance, upgrades, equipment additions/subtractions, and all. It lets them focus on their core business, while we give them the information they need to operate more efficiently.
And I think we can do it at less cost.
But sometimes I hear, “Yes, but we have a department that does (this task) already. We don’t need you to take this over.” Well, my numbers show that, if that we took over what that department is doing, we’d do it for less cost—which would be greater savings for them. But they want those numbers off the table.
Let me stress, we’re not here to cost anybody a job. As technology changes, it does create disruption, but most of the time employees can be retrained for the newer, higher-tech jobs. That helps them become more efficient and boosts company growth.
However the conversation resolves—with us hosting, the producer hosting or some combination—we always want it to be a conversation. There is always more than one way to handle an issue, and as I said above, we’re a partner—so we’re looking at the end results and the best interest of the producer. Every single time!
Vendors simply deal with numbers. Partners deal with goals.