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Damon Pistulka, Dyci Sfregola, Curt Anderson, Sneha Kumari
Damon Pistulka 00:01
All right, everyone, welcome once again, it is Friday and Friday means we are going to have another little party, what we call manufacturing ecommerce success. I’m one of your co host, Damon Pistulka. And that guy right over there good looking dude right there. Kurt Anderson is my co host.
Curt Anderson 00:21
Take it away, Kurt. Hey, Damon Pistulka from exit your way, Damon, happy Friday. Thank you for just thank you for putting this party together. But you really know how to host a shindig, I must admit so. I don’t know if you’re Are you sitting down for this one today? Because this is sitting down to there’s like I don’t alright, I don’t know if my heart is going to handle this one. We’ve got two powerhouses on the stage. Like it’s
Damon Pistulka 00:45
a bit mellow. Like, one
Curt Anderson 00:50
not a young guy anymore. DC so we got to keep it right Damon?
Damon Pistulka 00:54
But yeah, yeah. Okay,
Curt Anderson 00:55
so we can’t get too hard. Here’s Hi guys. Happy Friday. We’ve got to supply chain powerhouses on stage. I’ve got DC Danville oh me from my angle. And I’ve got Snia over there. So DC I’ll start with you. Happy Friday. How are you?
Dyci Sfregola 01:14
I am great. I am this is the last meeting that I have for the day. And I’m going to try to see if I can sneak out to go get a massage and go to the sauna and do a little afternoon mom alone time it’s been it’s been a busy couple of weeks.
The end of q1 q1 going into q2, I always forget how busy that time is because our our see our our business is very seasonal. So like q4 you go into that lol you kind of ramp things back up q1 But it’s like it just happens to where it’s oh so busy all the time. And I always forget of course to like pace myself. And I burn out and then I call Sneha and she’s like go to sleep she’s like we can can we have this way? Let’s just go on vacation we’ll have a conversation you come back
Curt Anderson 02:15
No, I love that DC what a great talking point is I taking care of yourself like you know without Damon you say it all the time, man if you don’t take care of yourself if you hit me really virtually nothing else left right. I mean, being captain obvious with that. But DC good for you. Congratulations, DC is the founder 2020 of new gen architects and DC I think it was your COVID baby right is new gen your your COVID Li 20
Dyci Sfregola 02:42
It was very much I don’t want to keep like interviewing at companies where I don’t really want to work. So I’m going to just do this on myself temporarily.
Damon Pistulka 02:55
I love it.
Dyci Sfregola 02:56
I don’t actually want to work here but I need a job. So I’m gonna Yeah.
Curt Anderson 02:59
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s just aka I’m unable to work for anybody else. Right? Just when you’re just you’re unemployable
Dyci Sfregola 03:09
me into entrepreneur entrepreneurship. I was like, Well, I don’t really want to work places. And do it myself.
Curt Anderson 03:17
Well, you and I met right about that time when you were Izmir fact we we met prior or right around that time of you launching your business. And so it’s been an honor hadn’t even
Dyci Sfregola 03:25
launched yet. launched yet. And you you were one of the people that I can definitely say like, you know, take the leap of faith trust that God has always provided for you. Is there going to be a situation now to where he is not why would that be the case? And you are talented, you can make it happen? And yeah, very much so I have to give credit where credit is Zucker,
Curt Anderson 03:53
man. Amen, like a proud
Damon Pistulka 03:57
that’s cool. That’s cool. As an entrepreneur, it’s a tough, tough road. You’re going to doubt yourself every single minute some days and and that kind of little bit of inspiration really helps because everyone goes through it and now look now yeah.
Curt Anderson 04:13
And we’re gonna dig into it and DC has done an amazing job you are so inspiring. Blossoming your business and so DC it’s been just such an honor privilege having a front row seat watching you just grow your business and so God bless you. Thank you just for our friendship and man All right Damon, I don’t know if I’m gonna do you guys. We’ve got some people chiming in here we got John Grande. We’ve got John Buck Leno. We’ve got some other folks here, man. It’s a tough name. I don’t know if I can pronounce that name right.
Damon Pistulka 04:42
Curt Anderson 04:43
take a stab at that one. Damon.
Damon Pistulka 04:46
D who suka. Okay, why Happy Friday dry man.
Curt Anderson 04:52
Yeah. So let’s go. Let’s go over to our friends Nia. Mary. Do I have that correct, right. Yeah, you know what, I’m two for two cuz I did the same exact thing last time I interviewed you. If we go back aways, we’d become fast friends. Happy Friday. Welcome to the program what’s going on in your world.
Sneha Kumari 05:11
But first, I’d like to just exactly what we were talking off stage was boys growing up, both the boys are turning five, which is kind of making me a little nervous because every day there’s a new personality coming back from school and saying things that was never said in my house. So still, like trying to understand like, how do I deal with it? And he’s just five. So I guess like, that’s definitely occupying my mind right now. But other than
Dyci Sfregola 05:39
my son loves her kids it’s okay. Between me and say, hi, but we can bring everyone into it the last time they were together was not copacetic don’t ever my kid sees now on a call. He always says yes, she has two kids. One poked me in the eye. Oh, no.
Sneha Kumari 06:05
That’s awesome. So still dealing with the different personalities running in the house? Like I’m minority in the house. So three boys?
Curt Anderson 06:13
Yeah, you’re ganged up on aren’t you?
Sneha Kumari 06:17
Yes. having all the fun that family guys
Dyci Sfregola 06:20
like, you know, family.
Curt Anderson 06:24
So let’s take it in DC your son’s been on our calls multiple times. So we’ve we’ve gotten to know each other. Your dad’s been on our calls, I think over the over the past and so it’s a big family affair. Her Damon so you know, it’s the we were talking earlier, you know, like teaming? You know, I only have like that one question that I just am you know, maybe at some point in time, I’ll get a new one.
But when DC was on last time, this question was not in our repertoire. Right? Record, we do it. We have to repeat offenders here, right now these deeds do they’ve been both in a program. And they were just so good. So amazing. So wonderful. We had to have them back. So DC, I have to hit you with this question. I just have to sneeze.
I have to ask her. Right. So DC is a little girl growing up in Nigeria, like you’ve lived all over the world. And we were saying before we went live when like when when you get on a call with DC you just you never know where not even like what city like you don’t know what country she’s coming at you. So my question to DC is a little girl growing up? Who was your hero? Who is your hero as a little girl growing up?
Dyci Sfregola 07:27
Oh, my goodness. Put me on the spot.
Curt Anderson 07:35
As I was
Dyci Sfregola 07:36
growing up, I can’t think of you know, any one particular person. And I think that it’s it’s so hard to think about because it’s hard for me to separate what my life has become in the last decade. Because like, that wasn’t what I was thinking about as a little girl. You’re like, I never envisioned this. I very distinctly remember that. I want it to be president. And, like at the time, you know, the first president I remember. And the job whose job I want it was Bill Clinton. I like it was built into my role model. I don’t know. Maybe Maybe you take from it.
Curt Anderson 08:28
Well, you know what, we’ll take that for an answer. And how about that? And we do we have a female vice President Of course now. And so, you know, hey, looking up, you know, as little kids, you always look up to our president rather back in history, or current times, regardless of what political party you cite, you know, you align with, you know, having a president as a hero is absolutely a great option. I think we’ve never had that one.
Damon Pistulka 08:50
No, no. And I was gonna say with with current situations, the last couple of presidents, you’ve got decades to work on.
Curt Anderson 08:58
You got decades of work fine. So
Dyci Sfregola 09:02
like, if I really, really think, you know, I was in third grade, I really loved my third grade teacher, and then the same fifth grade, and I really love my fifth grade teacher. In seventh grade. I really love my seventh grade teacher me for a long time. I want it to be an educator. So when I was going through my first degree, I was gonna do foreign language education. And I started I started on that path. So probably as a little girl, my teachers were who I really looked up to him like, that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to teach.
Curt Anderson 09:33
Nice, perfect Alright, man, you’re singing our song right there. So let’s come over to you now, you know, you you’re a frequent visitor at our show. So like, you know that question. I did not ask that question to you last time. So, Damon, you know, why would we are going to go there. We are going to go there. So as a little girl growing up, who is your hero?
Sneha Kumari 09:57
I think I’ve answered this before too. But I have to say it was my mom. My mom, she still is, like, I come from a pretty small town in India. And then when I was growing up, I didn’t know that I could live in Europe and China and us at some point, things that I’m doing today, that wasn’t something in my head, of course, I had dreams of becoming a pilot at some point, or maybe getting some other crazy things that I’m not going to talk about here.
But I ended up like, what I have to say, like, you know, my first my first visit to a manufacturing facility was a steel company. And that happened when I was just out of high school. And that I think, was just so fascinating. To watch live in person of how a molten steel converts to really like bars of steel was something that has dropped, like struck me stuck with me through throughout. And here I am doing manufacturing, doing supply chain, all things that I love, and also venturing now in a different industry.
But throughout this like, yes, you know, growing up seeing my mom, like she’s the biggest motivator, keeping me you know, grounded and also like making sure that I’m not like giving up of course you have you have your moments you have your failures. But then, you know, the friends that community have built here that I’ve made here, the mentors I’ve gotten throughout my life, I learned from everyone, and have learned like taken my taking the good from everyone and try to see if I could use them in my life. But yep.
Curt Anderson 11:29
Well, that’s a wonderful answer. So decent, let’s slide over to we’re talking manufacturing. And guys, everybody out there, drop a note in the chat box, you definitely want to connect with DC you want to connect with Steve here on LinkedIn, or whatever social media platform, go to new gen architects DC has a fantastic website, do you have a wonderful video, your video, so check out her website.
And again, if you’re looking for supply chain expertise, boy Stick around, we’re going to take a deep dive but DC, you know, talented, you’re just you know, so charismatic, just such a wonderful person, you could have brought your talents to any different industry, why manufacturing what attracted DC to manufacturing?
Dyci Sfregola 12:11
I really love the idea of, um, have you ever I’m sure you’ve heard of the show how it’s made. You get to do that in personnel, and actually see like, it makes the world go round. You know, manufacturing is the actual creation of something out of nothing, you have your raw materials, you put it all together, and then there’s a thing at the end. And that like the industry is just very fascinating to me.
And I mean, the niche that Sneha and I have been naturally just kind of organically fallen into. It’s, it’s even more interesting, because it’s an industry like, on the cusp of I know, there’s always like, is it a revolution? Or is it for me? Sure, like whatever it is, it’s all of that right now. And it’s applying that manufacturing to, you know, construction and industrialized construction. And, you know, it’s like, where we live?
And, you know, where are we not just live in, like, where we sleep, but also with commercial buildings and industrial buildings, like where we work, and it’s so important to just keeping the world going, that it’s an industry to where you feel the purpose, you know, and not to say that all you know, industries don’t have that. But I feel like it’s very pronounced in manufacturing, and especially in industrialized construction, because it has so much effect on our daily lives and what impacts us and the human experience.
Curt Anderson 13:56
I love that. So I so we’re taking a deep dive into supply chain snack, can you please confirm or maybe dispel, Damon and I heard this rumor that there’s been supply chain challenges for the past two or three years? Is this? Is this true?
Sneha Kumari 14:13
Yes. Just for the past two, three years, I guess. We have always had supply chain challenges. Exactly. Now in the past two, three years, our government is using that word. And there are lesser and lesser people asking us what is supply chain? What the heck is a fight? What is that?
Dyci Sfregola 14:31
The task? Like there’s always been challenged, there’s always There’s
Sneha Kumari 14:33
always new challenges.
Curt Anderson 14:35
You know what, that’s a great point guy. So let’s dig in. I mean, they’ve always been there but was it just escalated or like now I don’t know if we’re getting on the other side of it. And like hopefully it wasn’t too soon to kind of crack that little joke, right. But as we’re getting into supply chain, like, let’s let’s go there for a second number I’m gonna dig into like your current process, but, you know, talk about the pre COVID supply chain challenges and then where we’re at today Snia Do you want to take that first?
Sneha Kumari 14:59
Yes, absolute So I have to put this out there. If if we have supply chains supply chain or is watching this, they would 100% 1,000% Agree with me supply chain is the backbone of any industry in general period like without any questions asked. But But of course, we always had challenges because supply chain touches every phase of your product lifecycle. And then you’re always you’re literally interacting with every single function that exists in your company.
It has been, of course, way more pronouns, not just in Skyward. Do you remember the times where President announced the tariff issues? The tariffs went up since then, I think the escalation and the effect domino effect has continued, meaning, you know, the poor delays and being you know, again, rethinking your shoring up opportunities, do we bring it back? Do we near shore, resort, and all of that like that has that whole effort, focus has been magnified the opportunity.
And one thing that was very, very starkly pronouns during this phase of the tariffs going up the COVID, hitting us in the, you know, us trying to grapple, you know, our, you know, this situation and trying to deal with it, one thing was pretty sure that all the strategies that we use to as in supply chain or you know, business strategies we use or focus on, there was a, there used to be this function of risk management, but not something that was taken really seriously.
And then suddenly, when you come across the situation, you’re you thought that okay, we would just probably did not make in the countermeasures effective enough to actually put it into effect, that, that focus of managing your risk effectively and being serious about it, I have clearly seen that change, clearly seen that happening in supply chains.
And so yes, it has magnified. And so yes, definitely a need for how do you be more efficient? How do you actually optimize on what you have what you got, and make sure that you are, you know, don’t like setting yourself your company up for success. DC always talks about it a lot on has on our shows, too, that this is not a back office function, it’s your profit center, right, treat this as your profit center.
And, and it’s, it’s funny, like we DC and I have been like going to conferences lately, you know, our pivot to this industry of modular construction, we’ll get I’ll get more into that. Also, where the role of supply chain is even more pronounced, and even more like important, we realize that that’s an industry that still needs to be learning more about supply chain, the importance of a supply chain, and why it needs to be optimized.
And what are the opportunities out there some great opportunities out there to change your processes and you know, be thinking leaner? But yeah, I mean, it has magnified people are taking steps to reduce your risks and improve, improve your bottom line, like creating, making this more of a profit center. But there’s a lot of there is a lot long way to go and lots of opportunities to still be doing stuff.
Dyci Sfregola 18:12
I’m not crazy about the narrative of like, going back to normal fighting chain, because yes, during the pandemic, everything was crazy. Yeah, it wasn’t just by chain, it was everything our lives. And I feel like that created this foundation to say, Oh, well, this is what normal should be. Or this is what we would expect normal to look like, as it relates to disruptions. So like now, every, every time there’s a disruption, it’s in the headlines. But like in supply chain, we’ve been dealing with supplier shortages and disaster, you know, natural disasters and strikes and like, you know, like, that’s just been a way of life.
So So now, you know, even when I was reading something, I was like, Oh, we’re going to a freight, you know, recession or whatever. And I was like, Are we are we just kind of going back to pre pandemic? Question or you know, me so it’s just the narrative around it, I think has been a little skewed. For people who are not in the industry, it just seems different than what it actually is.
Damon Pistulka 19:25
Well, and honestly, I think what happened COVID prove this is when the average person walks into a grocery store and can’t buy things like toilet paper, then they understand what supply chain is about.
Dyci Sfregola 19:42
thankless job if you’re doing Yeah, nobody says anything when you’re doing when somebody messes up. It’s like, why isn’t the supply chain working?
Sneha Kumari 19:50
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think at least at least after COVID People know the supply chain is not working the supply chain. Yeah.
Curt Anderson 19:58
So, so DC Let’s go here, you’d like to talk about like processes and people over technology. Now, my conversations with you, I like you are a tech guru. I feel you’re off the charts. It’s very prominent for you to say, people and processes over technology. What do you mean by that? Or can we go? Can we go there in the conversation from a supply chain standpoint? Yeah, definitely,
Dyci Sfregola 20:19
it’s very much a start there first. So I love digital. I love technology, I love to figure out how to improve the end users lives, improve business users lives and get them out of doing this manual work giving them purposeful jobs. It’s not just, you know, something that a computer can do, or AI or a robot or something like that, to actually have that strategic thinker and that strategic perspective that’s really bringing value. And that means that before you start looking at demos for technology, and before you say, I’m just going to add in some robotics, that means figuring out what that means for the people involved.
And that’s from a change management, Change Leadership rescaling. upskilling, maybe organizational structures, shared KPIs will once you are doing things better, faster, more agile with your systems, people change. And, you know, I was, I was reading or commenting on a post a couple of weeks ago about how, you know, one guy was saying I wasn’t really concerned about check GPT taking procurements jobs or AI taking procurements jobs. But I’ve been giving these prompts that are making me a little worried.
And I say, Well, if you have the right leadership, those people are going to be repurposed, they’re not going to be replaced. So it’s really important for me to work with companies to think about things from that perspective. We’re not automating or bringing in technology with the goal of replacing people, we’re bringing it in with a goal of repurposing people. So that means what are people going to be doing?
What is that new process look like? And let’s define a new process. let’s standardize that process, and then have technology in able the humans. Not that like, hey, how many people can we get rid of and you know, reduce headcount? So the people over you know, people in process over the technology or the data over the technology is very much a, let’s start in the right place first, which isn’t just let’s call up vendors and get demos, that’s not the way you should start with your digital journey.
Damon Pistulka 22:41
Yeah. You make such a great point there DC because the people that technology can replace need to be repurposed, because we can’t hire enough people in manufacturing anyway, you just can’t. And if we don’t have the robotics, we talked about how many years of people talk about robotics is replacing people.
I don’t see the you know, that being a big factor in, you know, huge mass layoffs, in manufacturing, just like any other technology and supply chain, it is doing exactly what you said repurposing people to higher value work they can do within these organizations, because we don’t have enough people. We just don’t have enough people. Exactly.
Curt Anderson 23:22
Yeah. And we can even go back 200 years ago, you know, to the Luddites, when they were rebelling against, you know, like in England and the textiles and, you know, David, Paul Bunyan, right, you know, like, competing against the machine to take down trees. You know, like, this has been a centuries long challenge. And unfortunately, like, if it’s your job, and you know, you’re kind of like, Hey, this is what I do.
This is how I’ve done it, you might get caught in that little trap, but boy, technology advancement, change is going to happen, whether we want to or not change is going to happen. So we need to embrace it. Steve, what do you tell folks as far as like, how do we embrace that change? Maybe for folks that are a little bit resistant? Or like, you know, digital immigrants or tech challenge? How do you help folks kind of embrace that technology that those new changes?
Sneha Kumari 24:09
So I lost like you, you actually pivoted very, very right into this, like change is inevitable, right? But as humans, we really resisting like, nobody likes change. So the sooner we accept that, because there’s a lot of I have seen in the industry, there’s a lot of a lot of software fatigue, that’s been going on for some time, because you are folks are inundated with software’s. Clearly not a lot of Vi has gone into before purchasing a lot of software’s right. And then if you do not understand the VI, you clearly are not changing.
You clearly do not change to actually realize your ROIs right. And that’s where that’s where you know, I have been coming in and working with industries to now We get that change. But, you know, you have to first start with being a Lean Six Sigma expert and practitioner myself, the approach is always do we even know what your current state is? Do we know where you are, like where exactly you are.
And when I say you are doesn’t mean that, okay, as a as a purchaser, I know where what I do daily, but I have no idea what the inventory manager is doing. It’s about bringing all the doors in one place and understanding what the flow looks like, you will clearly trust me, you do that sticky map, you do that on a piece of paper, wherever, right, you don’t need a fancy software for that you do that you will clearly know where the problem is, like, just step back and see how these folks are interacting with them and how many times they are calling each other, or actually writing emails back and forth and losing track of it.
It’s it’s mind blowing, and it still happens, yes, it still happens. And even in bigger companies, okay, so let’s, let’s just accept that that’s the truth, how do we navigate the change. So start with understanding that understand where your waste is, bringing someone who gets it, like, if it doesn’t, you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time or do not need to take 100 different courses to get an expert and then make a change.
If you got help, seek seek I get it and bring the experts in and understand what could be the immediate, like, there’s always like, especially like with Lean, there’s so many immediate tools that could that’s at your fingertips that there are so many like low hanging fruits, you could go after immediately and realize some efficiencies in every every function that you have within your operations or your overall value stream, I would say, once you have that then comes in, okay, you know, these are the places where you could where we could do better.
Like there’s a if you are running your floor shop floor, right? There’s a lot of tribal knowledge that goes into running your day to day, right? How do you manage your schedules can intelligently manage it, of course, right?
You have tons of data, you’re running a, you know, a million billion, whatever dollar business, there’s tons of data at your hands, why don’t utilize it and see if you could do something better, right? And use that and then think about, you know, if there is a good tool that could that could be used at a budget that you can really support and understand your ROI, right, and then go about it.
And then I say tool, that tool doesn’t have to be $100,000 tool, do not need to go implement SAP. For every single business, let’s let’s just accept that. There are many more tools out there that could be more catered to what you need for that particular function and then go with it, and see if it realizes but then once you when you’re doing the tool, again, the terms have changed.
If your people who are going to use the tool do not adopt it usually did not see adoption. So you did not really care. That’s when you know, think about it, like go to my I call it a go to market strategy just for your internal users. Right? Understand your user personas, what’s in it for them and why should they use it? If I tell a purchaser Hey, you know what, if you use this you could actually go home early, right? You don’t need to spend 10 hours today do
Dyci Sfregola 28:15
they will buy a marketing indicating of what’s in it for me? For me?
Sneha Kumari 28:20
That’s how I think about it like it’s not a one size fits all okay, you know, just go ahead go use it No, understand why it’s important for a purchaser for inventory manager for Sorry, I keep talking about supply chain but you know, for for marketing for
Dyci Sfregola 28:37
manufacturers pregnancy supply chain, no, I say that makes a lot of really good points. And you know, very specifically for change and combating that. Because the user adoption piece is so important. Even when it’s not technology related, let’s just say we’re talking continuous improvement and we’re changing some processes and we’re not throwing technology into it.
If people don’t understand what’s in it for me why this is changing, why should care they’re just gonna revert back to old behaviors. Because it even just becomes what do you call it muscle memory that you go in to do so why go through the extra money should explain to me why I should be going through the extra work of changing all of that and reworking all those neuropathy and, and then the education piece of it.
I mean, people are afraid of the unknown. So if they’re saying, Oh, well, this tool can now do this thing. If you haven’t explained on top of what’s in it for me now what I’m going to be doing different and like giving me the security to understand that I still have a job and like I’m still gonna be doing something you’re not gonna fire me.
Then I am now engaged it in figuring out how to make this work because I understand why it matters to me, I go home, I don’t have to sit on the phone with the support I have for 30 minutes trying to figure out what appeals are, I, my life is going to be easier, I’m going to keep my job. So now I’m invested in figuring out how to make this work. So I’m gonna work with the consultants, it’s not a babysitter that’s coming to, you know, figure out what I’m doing wrong.
And you know, it’s not a, what do you call them, the people who like the head cutters where they, they, their job is to come in and just get rid of everybody and like, reduce, you know, the workforce. That’s not the case. And very specifically, because the work that we do is with small and medium manufacturers, you know, we have, we’ve come up with this new assessment, we’ve come up with, you know, proprietary software, we’ve come up with these training programs.
And it’s all very specifically geared toward, if you, you know, most of the MVPs that we work with, they have said 80% of our membership base of manufacturers are companies that have 20 employees or less, and they are the companies that are not ready to take on all of the new demand and the infrastructure dollars from, you know, the chips act, and reshoring, and nearshoring.
And what all that is going to look like so we need these companies to understand digital readiness, we need them to understand what the processes should be what the technologies can be that they could adopt, even within their small scale of whatever their piece of the pie is. Because ultimately, we all know small businesses run the you know, small businesses drive the economy, small businesses in manufacturing drives a lot of that.
So there is purposeful work in figuring out how to help smaller manufacturers embrace digital, from the perspective of growth and scale, a lot of that is just education. I mean, the assessments that we do that, you know, Sneha talked about bringing a consultant, etc. We do that. And we’ve gotten tremendous, like very positive feedback of we’re now saying, we highly recommend it as best for you if you have to, we’ll do this with us.
Because in the concept in the in the context of doing it, we’re going to teach you what we’re looking for. We’re going to teach you why are we asking these questions? What is procurement mean? What is demand planning mean? In the context of your business? Sure, you can go check a lean course, you can go take a Six Sigma course, is going to be best practices for Toyota from 50 years ago. Are you Toyota? Is it 1970?
You only like it. Yeah. But also not. It matters. Also, it doesn’t at all. So you know, what can we how can we apply these best practice concepts to your very specific reality with your team with your financial constraints with your, you know, training needs, and figure out what that looks like, so that you can grow in scale and not be afraid of the technology and understand how to embrace it. And then these are the tools that work.
I mean, the tool that Sneha and I have developed, it’s very much like, if you can use an app on your iPhone, you need to be able to use this tool, like we have very much that user experience is important. You know what I mean? We’re talking about training needs to be very much Hey, this is what it is. And everything is very intuitive. And it is the behavior change that has to come with it, not the actual user enablement of the tool.
So we’ve thought about those things. Because in industrialized construction, it is a lot of resistance. It is a lot of like, Dude, we’ve been doing this for forever, you know, construction wasn’t thrust into this, go home and use teams like you can’t build stuff at home with teams. Yeah. You have to build stuff at a site. So there’s this like digital transformation that we have to you know, take part in during the pandemic for this industry. So it’s a lot of education
Damon Pistulka 33:56
Yeah, I just didn’t go there.
Sneha Kumari 33:59
Hey, John, thank you
Curt Anderson 34:05
man was that juicy or what?
Damon Pistulka 34:11
Just kept going.
Curt Anderson 34:12
Remember my line last week? Damon do remember my like, Guys, do you remember going to Grandma’s on Sunday dinner, you know, Sunday dinner and just like no matter what grandma made, it was just delicious. It just the the aroma, just grit whatever grandma made was just that much better. This was like grandma’s Sunday dinner right? So that was it, man. My mic is broke. i i So software fatigue. The I love that line. Yeah, digital readiness.
You know what in DC if I’m going to put this out to both you guys I know like conversations I’ve had with both you. You guys are big. I feel like we’re talking communication, collaboration, teamwork, breaking silos. Can we go there’s no limit. I’ll start with you. How important Is it for you know, and again, even our smaller manufacturers, not the big corporate corporations? You know, the smaller manufacturers talk about why is it so important to break these silos down to get into the end zone for these opportunities?
Sneha Kumari 35:12
Yep. Yep. So I’ll start with, you know, just was wanting to, like continue that conversation that DC was saying, like, for specially small medium businesses, you will see, like, a lot of, okay, nothing against Excel. I love Excel, you could do a lot with Excel. But a lot of things are being done in Excel or actually in your head also. Right, we are in 2023. Right. And a lot of software’s that we have out there today, all the good ones, the big ones that named out there, right, a lot, do not really care to be in this industry specifically, right?
And what what both of us realized is we don’t need to have obsolete software experiences, just because we have very small business, right, we don’t meet and also we don’t need to be investing hundreds of 1000s of dollars just to feel get a feel that okay, yeah, maybe you know, someone else is doing an efficient, maybe I’ll be efficient. So let’s go ahead do that.
While that’s clearly not a great investment of the money that we hold, and the revenue that we are generating. So the goal was to make sure we are able to access be, will we allow the SMEs to be able to access a good easy to use simple experience, right? Also, and as I said, like manual methods definitely don’t want to do and now we were talking about the business is fast paced, we want to grow our business and you know, increase our sales, but then also
Dyci Sfregola 36:36
cannot do if everyone is doing their own thing. Yeah. And we’re working in different directions. So your you get to move faster.
Sneha Kumari 36:44
Yes. And so, you know, so via you want to grow sales, and I think that’s also a bigger focus for SMBs, making sure that you know why you’re doing it, how are you actually profitably scaling, right, making sure that your profit margins are actually also scaling, when you’re taking more businesses, you cannot do that.
If you’re not efficient, let’s let’s be clear, your profit margin is a factor of your sales and costs. So when you look at costs, think about it. And as you you know, as you’re growing, and you’re setting up setting, you’re setting that stepping that stone in that ladder, make sure that you’re taking a look at it, bringing in people using the right tools, and then making it efficient. So when you grow, you increase your revenue, but you also increase your profits.
Dyci Sfregola 37:24
And I want to I want to, I want to really hone in on that point. Because, you know, we’re talking about the small business space, and you know, 2020 to 50 employees even less. And I’ve talked to owners, and I’ve heard stories of I’m not really looking to grow and expand, because I’ve tried that before, and my profits were the same. Well, that’s not a sales problem. That’s not a sales problem. Who have an operational efficiency problem. Yes, yes. You didn’t execute properly, you have a productivity problem? Yes. Exactly. You don’t, you don’t have to stray away from growth. The same you want to fix so that you
Curt Anderson 38:09
grow. Same, and that’s a huge problem right there. Right. Yeah. Deal with that a little bit. Right. Keep it going, man, this is good. Keep it rolling. Right. All right. So it’s not a sales problem. It’s an operation problem. Where, where do we go from there?
Sneha Kumari 38:28
And so, you know, though, now that you have realized it, right, there’s a lot, there’s a lack of interrupts operability, right, making sure that you understand those metrics that you’re a lot of times, like, you know, both both DC and I have been working with different companies and different, you know, industries, we realize that a lot of times, you’ll see that we don’t even have a full grasp of what our finances look like, like, what’s my total landed costs, like what’s my cost of running and operating this business?
So once you really get once you get that reality check, you will realize how important this is. And once you like, once you do that, and I think a lot of us also haven’t taken the effort to go to these SMBs be talking to them, we actually catering to them. Right? We there’s a lot of marketing happening for the bigger, you know, folks out there and we somehow like everyone is following whatever, you know, holding the hood and then going going after the technologies that exist out there. So
Dyci Sfregola 39:24
what is part targeted and market it to the small and medium businesses is very much sales. How do you improve sales from from sales? How do you improve sales? How do you increase sales?
Sneha Kumari 39:39
So you know, I mean, I’ll just throw some keywords out there like you you will you definitely have a productivity problem. If you’re listening to this def. Like at least go take a look at it and see
Dyci Sfregola 39:50
what ask yourself these questions.
Sneha Kumari 39:54
Like, can I be more interrupted operable? Can I have more visibility Can I do a lot more vile actually going out there being in the field talking to my sales, customers doing sales and talking to my customers, can I still get a hang of hold? You know, you know what, I want to take this deal? Like when when can I actually when what what my lead time looking like? What’s my delivery date looking like?
Can I just do it in minutes versus actually calling someone up? Making a two day commitment to understand, okay, where everything is, how can I move things around and then schedule this project, you can do that. Trust me, there are tools out there that can help you do that in matter of minutes. Again, we want to be digitally smart. We want to be more than Ising the way we do operations DCM taking that from you.
Dyci Sfregola 40:39
station, station versus trans presentation. What little piece? Can you or what little piece or pieces? Can you start to modernize in bite sized pieces versus trying to boil the ocean. And again, going back to what Sneha mentioned, like we hear a lot in the headlines of, you know, Legacy brands and enterprise companies.
And it’s like, great, you know, I remember talking to a small frozen pastry manufacturer a couple years ago, right when I was starting the company, and she said, I really appreciate how you’ve been approaching this, because if I talk to one more consultant that says, This is what I did with Nestle, I’m gonna lose my mind. I don’t have the money. We have I don’t have the resources that nest.
Yeah, I don’t care what you do with Nestle. So. So I think it’s just very important to, you know, to focus on that. And, you know, just in the journey of figuring out what is nga going to do? And what is mgas contribution to the industry to bring value. I mean, working with, with today, Han and coming up with our software, you know, we’ve we’ve figured like, very, very easily, you don’t have to have an ERP, you don’t have to have all these other fancy systems. But let’s take the scheduling piece out of it.
Let’s make that intelligent, because it’s very, it’s very easy to overcome that resistance. You know, if you It’s also very easy. Do I need this? I don’t know if your plant manager walking in every day, and like in his head, looking and seeing Oh, or her head who came to work today? What projects do we have? Is this machine down for maintenance?
Should it be coming up for me? Like, are you doing all of that in your head? Like don’t do all that on notepads and sticky notes and like walking around the plant floor to see what’s actually you know, being developed are getting produced and where you are changeovers like don’t do that. You don’t need to have to pay $200,000. In order to do it. There’s like intelligent scheduling. So it does it for you know what I mean? So it’s, it’s not this big platform of like, we’re going to revolutionize manufacturing.
But we are going to release exactly what David mentioned earlier, there is a labor shortage right now, you know what I mean? So what can you automate, that you can’t throw bodies at? Even if you want it to? Yep. So now that every customer that we’ve talked to every person that we’ve talked to that has seen the demo that has been interested in what it is, has said, and I always ask this, how are you handling, you know, procurement relationships right now? Or how are you handling?
You know, the scheduling of different vendors on site off site, your different partners, so that you have visibility into that? Well, we just call them all and say, Okay, well, what would you what would people do if they weren’t calling people? Oh, well, they would be doing this other thing. And they would be working on this other stuff. Okay, well tell them to stop calling people and just put the data into the system.
And what you now have to do instead of sitting down and figuring out like, oh, how do I make this work in my head or on my spreadsheet? I have to now say, is the system telling me to do something that makes sense, then I accept it. If not, I do a quick override. But now I’m gonna go those other strategic things. And our jobs are enabled by technology on the shop floor, you know, on the construction site. So it’s, it’s taking th
ose bite sized pieces, and improving things that way with quick wins, low hanging fruit. And then you can say, oh, imagine how much more efficient and how much more agile we could be if we had an ERP system or a new TMS or new WMS? Or what if we integrate it directly through API, so you get people on board and then that’s when you can start getting creative with other ways to be able to improve operations so that you can support growth in a profitable way. I don’t even know how much time we have here like
Curt Anderson 44:56
three hours, so
Damon Pistulka 44:58
yeah, only three hours. If
Dyci Sfregola 45:02
I can keep going, I’m sure we can get what
Damon Pistulka 45:06
you’re saying is really relevant, though, for a lot of these smaller manufacturers. They’ve been beaten by beaten to death by salespeople, they’re selling ERP systems that they they just look at and go, I don’t have the people implement this, it’s a lot of money. I don’t really know what I’m going to get from it. They’ve they’ve got something that’s taken care of their finances already, right? That’s because if they’re a business, they’ve figured that piece out. But what your people they can get paid?
Yeah, they can pay people and get paid. That’s, that’s, that’s what what you’re talking about when you talk about scheduling inventory is supply chain management, that piece is kind of the black hole. And a lot of businesses in ERP systems don’t address it. Well, anyway, they say they do, but they really don’t. And then if they do, it’s like this monster system that you’ve got to do all this just incredible amount of work to get it to start putting out mediocre information. Or you even have
Dyci Sfregola 46:01
to you have to buy a Ferrari when like, you really need a Toyota, I need this one feature, I eat the whole thing. But this doesn’t have that one feature. So now I’m like, it’s like I’m gonna they’re gonna pay $5 Or I have to pay 5 trillion bajillion dollars. Yeah, where’s like the $50 option. Like, my budget is $50, I don’t want to pay zero. But I also don’t want to pay too much with that get me. And I think that in the manufacturing space, a lot of it is it when when, when companies think about digital, it’s very much the ERP. And that goes by, like, you only know what you know.
And if I’m trying to make stuff, I’m not like spending time figuring out what the supply chain and manufacturing tech options look like. Like, that’s a date I I mean, I’ve made my career off of it. Like there’s literally a job. Like, yeah, knowing who the players are knowing who is actually doing something and knowing who has longevity, know, and knowing and understanding which industries work best, which team financial constraints, what to turn on what to turn off, and that’s a job.
So if you unless you have a CTO or chief digital officer, and that’s all they’re doing, which for a lot of these small companies, it just doesn’t make sense. Because you don’t need all of these systems, you need to improve one or two processes, you need to automate one or two processes, not the entire business in order to actually see some ROI.
And a lot of companies know project management and ERP like, those are the two things, so anything outside of that, there’s just not visibility to it. And there’s, you know, so So that’s, that’s what we’re, you know, really trying to encourage people to at least reach out and have a conversation I have probably shoot it, but I never charged people to say, oh, based off of what you’ve told me, look at these three tools. I’m never going to make someone pay to do that, you know?
Now I will say like, Hey, if you want me to call people, like really go through your processes, and like, really, truly see if that makes sense, then sure, like, let’s sit down, let’s define processes, I can have the hard conversations with the salespeople who are going to say, Yes, this works, then I’m going to say but does it really though, look. So it’s just one of those things towards like, the ERP isn’t the only option. The project management tool isn’t the only option. There are different software out there’s different software out there.
And especially now that we’re in this, like, we’ve always been global, but I feel like software now is even more global. I mean, I would I some of the tools that I recommend to customers are out of India, or Singapore, or you know, like what we’re not looking at companies that are just you know, stateside anymore from a technology perspective, you the Ukraine, we have a I have we have our preferred like warehousing technology vendor out of the Czech Republic, you know what I mean?
And, and the manufacturers don’t have those that knowledge, those relationships. I mentioned, they’re not going to the conferences that we’re going to they’re not scheduling demos every single week and vetting people every single week. So they just don’t know that there’s more out there than the ERP which like let’s just face it. No one’s figured out how to do it right ERP so
Damon Pistulka 49:36
yeah, well yeah.
Dyci Sfregola 49:38
School wants to do everyone is avoiding ERP as much as hard
Sneha Kumari 49:43
one question was watching who’s gonna watch on the recorded line like go back, you know, just introspect retrospect whatever. Tell me like, tell yourself the truth. Are you using every single module that you have purchased in your year? Yeah. It’s available. It’s available. You’re paying for it, but you’re not using it.
Curt Anderson 50:05
Yep. All right, let’s do this man, I like I’ve completely lost track of time DC, like you just mentioned. Like, this is like a fastest 50 minutes of my life, I could just, I’m just so captivated. I know,
Dyci Sfregola 50:17
because I’m thinking about my massage.
Curt Anderson 50:20
Gotta get DC on her way gaming on West Coast time. So we did time for me to go. And we did have a question here. Do you think aligning supply chain participants with real time two way information flows? The biggest supply chain team? Or? If no, what do you think the biggest is? Anybody want to take a stab at that question? They’re
Dyci Sfregola 50:39
aligning to real time two way information. So I don’t think that’s the big I don’t think real time is the biggest pain point. I think that real time is a is a nice thing to say. But most businesses don’t move that fast. So you don’t need real time you do need updated, you know, accurate information. And I don’t even know that two way is, is what’s new, because it’s like 15 way, isn’t it? But let me I don’t know say how if you have a if you have something off the top of your head, what’s the biggest supply chain pain point? Yeah.
Sneha Kumari 51:16
First of all, thank you for the question. But yes, I mean, real time is a great visibility to have today, specifically when you’re on the road, right doing stuff, you know, interacting with people like outside your company all the time. Great visibility to have, is that the biggest pain point?
I don’t think so. I think the biggest pain point pain point today is actually challenging the status quo, knowing that you have a pain point, a lot of times, especially in supply chain, we are so truly engrossed in the depth and firefighting every day with the we start thinking that there are better ways to do this.
I think that’s where DC and I have been like, really like amused I would say and amazed in when when you talk to people and industry is like, you know, you could do this better. You know, you could be thinking more strategic, you could be thinking about a lot of great stuff, versus actually coming to the job and firefighting. And that doesn’t even excite you. You hate your job. I think that’s the biggest pain point, I would say in supply chain operations today that knowing that you have a pain, realizing that and doing something about it.
Curt Anderson 52:25
Sunday dinner right there. Daymond. Yesterday dinner, grandma’s
Damon Pistulka 52:28
dessert just rolled up in the room that’s
Curt Anderson 52:31
just coming out of the oven, man. So hey, calls here today, guys, thank you for dropping the comments here. And DC Snia. There are folks that are asking to connect. And so guys, absolutely. Please do yourself a favor, you will thank them and I afterwards, connect with these two, as you can tell they’re absolute powerhouses, we are running out of time.
So if we guys can do this quickly. I mean, we could go easily another hour. Yep, we Daymond we did a fun, exciting jam session. Background Labor Day was back in September, DC Snia. If you guys recall, at IMEC, the Illinois MEP was about diversity. Man. Did we have a good time? Or what was that fun? Yeah. So just if you keep it, you know, relatively reasonably within time, we want to be mindful of everybody’s time here.
See, I’ll start with you. Why should if you’re speaking to young folks, in particular, folks, women, and who we just said, we had Nancy on here last week, and I asked her this question, like why should young girls have a teenage daughter? Why should young women go into manufacturing? She’s like, everybody should be going into manufacturing. I don’t care who it is. But we’re talking about diversity and women manufacturing Snia Why should all the cool kids be thinking about a career in manufacturing?
Sneha Kumari 53:45
Oh, because it’s cool. Like it’s not as simple as that. Because I Okay, I am a women and minority women of color, right and immigrant here, and I am in manufacturing. And trust me, I still face those. Oh, do you work in it? Because you’re from India? Sorry, but that’s good. No, I don’t know. I don’t I work. I’ve worked in manufacturing working for construction.
Dyci Sfregola 54:06
You built a software? Oh, I didn’t. I didn’t do that. I have I have a team that does it. There we have a CT. Yeah. But CT.
Sneha Kumari 54:17
Okay, has it I didn’t do that. But I’m in a manufacturing, trust me the feeling of what DC was pointing out of actually building something, seeing something happened, right? That That feeling is phenomenal, right? Adding that value to your customers is phenomenal. And you touch every single phase of a product lifecycle. It is cool, no matter what everyone tries to tell you come in try it. And it’s growing. It’s growing and the recognition is there. Women are actually seeing more opportunities and there is more appetite to allow them to grow. Still biases.
I’m not saying it’s but biases are everywhere. Manufacturing is not the only industry that has biases. I’ve worked in very different industries. Trust me, there could be bigger biases and others, so come in, we are valued, we are getting valued, we need to drop the space. And, and you know, just, you know, let allow space for other young women coming, you know, make space for them and you know, let them be leaders.
Dyci Sfregola 55:14
I’m just I’m gonna say that i very i think that is it all just comes down to marketing, I feel like so much content comes down to marketing. And other industries have done a really good job of like, making it sexy to go work for stress.
And then also, I mean, let’s just call it call it what it is manufacturing construction, skilled trades for a long time, I grew up in the world of go to college, go to college, go to college, go to college, and you can make more money. If you go to college, you’re gonna have a better earning potential across your entire life. If you go to college, go to college, go to college. The bottom line is that you can still have a very fruitful, prospective career in manufacturing.
It’s you can if you if you want to go to college, then great. There’s plenty of finance, accounting, those types of jobs in manufacturing that require a four year degree. But there are also other jobs that don’t, and a lot of manufacturers are doing apprenticeships and a lot of manufacturers have a lot of opportunities for training and for upskilling and rescaling. And at the end of the day, like realistically, especially as a mom, especially as a mother, you’re thinking how do I make money for the family?
You know, how even just from an economic and like international development perspective, research has shown if you give a microloan to a woman, you improve the entire community. So you know that economic development factor the prosperity for your family, you can find that in manufacturing, and any artesunate Hoss point i i don’t walk into customers ever and feel like oh my goodness, this is just like blatant sexism, blatant racism, you know?
So, are there strides that we can continue to make? Of course, I mean, we had a, we had a customer that specifically say, did we think you guys are great? A guy? Come on, listen, elastically you know, they said, we, we need this to work. And we need the team to answer your questions, honestly.
And they’re gonna feel more comfortable having that conversation with a guy. So but they weren’t like, Hey, can you guys not come like, girls here? So I, you know, I haven’t had any experiences where I thought, Oh, my goodness, I’m not going to make it in this industry because I’m a woman. So I think it’s I think it’s a great industry. I think it’s really fun. I think there’s a lot of like innovation happening with 3d printing and advanced manufacturing. Like there’s, there’s
Sneha Kumari 58:06
Dyci Sfregola 58:10
is super cool. And it’s really fun. And like, no one’s great at marketing.
Sneha Kumari 58:14
That was one thing. So sorry. I know we are taking more time but very that hardhat and that vest and walking the shop floor is amazing. I love it.
Curt Anderson 58:25
And throw on some high heels. We have a club we have a client wears her pink hard hat with her high heels. And she she absolutely loves it. So hey, I bought this for you guys right there. dropping some love thing. I Snia where can folks find you? Where would you love to connect
Sneha Kumari 58:44
LinkedIn? Definitely, absolutely. Find me here the most where I’m active ABS building my Instagram presence more. And so we’ll be linking that here. So I would love to connect out to Yep.
Curt Anderson 58:55
Okay, so DC, where can you find LinkedIn? Just LinkedIn? Just like yeah,
Dyci Sfregola 59:04
there are other places but like, just LinkedIn.
Curt Anderson 59:08
Yeah, it’s one word, right? Like beyond my DM. Just DC right V Ray CI, right just so i Guys, if you’ve been hanging out, you’ve been sitting down, you know, for the past 59 and 18 seconds. It is a perfect time and opportunity to stand up. Maybe give a little stretch and give a huge, huge standing ovation for our two powerhouses today. Man, you guys certainly don’t have a point man.
This was like, Man, you guys are good. And Damon I survived my heart hold up for the whole hour because I was a little worried about myself. I didn’t know if I was gonna make it but I did make it so DC Snia Thank you.
God bless you. We appreciate you more than you know we value your friendship. When you get this. You have some exciting things going on connect with these guys and take this offline. And when you guys are ready, we Daymond I would be honored to have you back and we’re gonna we’re gonna geek out some more supply chain. guys have a great, amazing, incredible weekend. We appreciate everybody out there, Damon, take us away brother.
Damon Pistulka 1:00:13
Well, thanks so much to DC. And now for being here today. It was awesome like said the hour flew by with that without even knowing it and then just thanks for being here. Thanks everyone for the comments out there and listeners. Go back and listen to replay. There’s a lot of good value. There’s a lot of valuable nuggets in here. You will not regret your time spent on that. Everyone we will be back again next week. See you then. Bye