Erik Klein with Prometheus Group

Industrial Talk is onsite at the 30th Annual SMRP conference and speaking with Erik Klein, Senior Sales Engineer with Prometheus Group about “Strategies around digitizing and executing your reliability journey”. Get the answers to your “Asset Management” questions along with Erik's incredible insight on the “How” on this Industrial Talk interview!

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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Erik Klein SMRP

Thu, Mar 30, 2023 8:38AM • 17:47


prometheus, maintenance, people, industry, platform, solution, system, asset, business, Erik, industrial, software, saas, usability, data, tribal knowledge, big, challenge, planning, conference


Scott MacKenzie


Welcome to the Industrial Talk podcast with Scott Mackenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's go.


All right, it's day two. We're here at SMRP. This is an incredible conference that you need to participate and you're listening to Industrial Talk. This is a platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, brave, and you dare greatly you collaborate, you innovate, you solve problems, you're making my life and the world a better place to live. That's why we celebrate you. All right, you heard it. This is the 30 event. This is day two of the 30th annual SMRP conference. And it's just getting better. And better. And better. Problem solvers are here. If you are in the industrial world, you need to be a part of this organization. So do not pass this up. It's a must attend event. Erik is in the hot seat. Prometheus is the company. Let's get a crack at iron.


Hey, thanks for having me, Scott. The first time at this particular conference. This is my first time here. Yeah, no. Yeah. So far, so good. It is amazing to see everyone out here it is.


It's nice. There is it's just a tons of solutions, man. Oh, yeah. I and what always fascinates me because I've been very fortunate to be a part of the industry as a whole for many years is, is see the changes that are taking place than the evolution of what's taken are happening within industry. And And anyway, I I wish I was young like you, but I'm old, not you. So anyway. So for the listeners out there, Erik, give us a little background on who you are. And then we're gonna get into Prometheus, the solutions and and why you're here. Yeah.


I'm Erik Klein. I'm one of the solution experts when we're talking about our company Prometheus Group. So what we do more than anything where a bolt on solution when we're talking about asset intensive industry and how we handle maintenance, so anything from SAP Oracle Maximo we have solutions for planning and scheduling, mobility, IoT, how we handle EHS. So we're a way to allow you to have basically a controller that interacts with your system makes it a little easier for your folks out in the field. So even for sign like our mobile solutions, going out having that online offline capability, simplifying what you typically see in Notifications, as well as making certain changes to it. So I can enforce certain workflows, and make sure we're following business practices as well.


What was the what was the challenge? First off, that's not a background into you. You're just I want the background into you. And then we can proceed forward. So for CES, a little background into you who Erik is the human side? Yeah, a fun side.


Oh, the very fun side. Yeah, so my background, I actually came from human factors. So it was about how people are interacting with their software with their physical tools. So I had a deep background when it came to ergonomics, as well as operations where I worked in a facility for the DOD and tried to work on munitions after that worked with software for a while and transition to more of the maintenance space, especially when we're talking about things like permitting and safety and how we visualize risks or barrier management. So that's how I got my transition. Our


thank you that that that paints the picture of Erik. Now, back to Prometheus, if you could sort of simplify because there are a lot of systems out there, there are a lot of platforms out there, there are a lot of companies that are pulling in data doing whatever, what was the gap? What was the solution that that Prometheus said, Yeah, this is this, we need something here. Oh, yeah.


I mean, there have been quite a few. But what are start was when we we really noticed the biggest gap that we initially saw was, how are we visualizing the work and how are we executing? Right? So obviously, there are different ways to see your different work orders in the system, but it was tough, like trying to manage what is my capacity? What can I realistically get done in this timeframe? So we started off with a planning and scheduling tool that was fine, where we're trying to make it easier for people to visualize and prioritize what work needs to be done so that they can grow from there. So it's not supposed to be the end all be all to your maintenance teams. It's supposed to be a way for them to really be moved forward, right you're you're able to see what's in the system, be able to move with that. So I now have insight and what you know, I have a guy out sick, what does that mean for my overall capacity, what might need to be pushed around so that I can still get all the work done?


Okay, so we we have this system, we put it in place, we also have legacy systems. They are there. So don't come to me and say sky we don't have any legacy systems. You have have legacy systems. And so from a business perspective and the bolting on, if I could use that, can I use it bolting on of the Prometheus platform or solution? What does that gain me? What am I? What am I what? You know, you come to me and you say, hey, we need to do this, because you'll get this and this and what does that get me?


Well, good example being right now we're in the Carolinas, it's not as common in the center of the state. But I know on the coast, we have hurricanes that come through, if five hurricane comes through, I have all my work orders. But if we have to shut down, all of a sudden, what I do with all those workers, it's going to be hours of planning for my guys to go through, push everything back, rearrange that schedule, we have tools in there that allow you to do mass change. So instead of having to rearrange the entire schedule, I just push them back a day. So I mean, it's saving immense amount of time for my guys, it allows them to be more proactive. So again, it's it's minor things that are adding up over time. So you know, with a lot of this stuff by 1000 cuts, we're trying to reduce that pain,


do you there's so many questions. Do you also look at the quality of the data? There is always this like, yeah, we want to do this, we want to go down this road. Yeah. And yet, when they start just looking at the data, the data is challenging. So there has to be a scrubbing of data.


Oh, yeah. And that's actually a sign we, we started building that one out a few years ago on our master data services. So what we were seeing is, you know, especially when it came to things like our assets, our bombs material, there are a lot of duplicates. There's not a standard taxonomy. That's and


then they they cannibalize it. And then your your kidded was all messed up. No,


I got it. Yeah. And I mean, even when companies get new acquisitions for brownfield sites, it just compiles. So we have a few different tools that help out there. Things like we have a capture solution going out in the field, getting a current state for what's out there. Because one thing we see quite often is for, like rotating equipment, if it had been changed out, but they might not have updated that in their system. What does that mean for the overall reliability here? Because now I have work orders going to the wrong thing.


It happens. Happens all the time. Well, that that that's, that's a big component. That's a big challenge. That's always been a big challenge with any, any systems and in an adoption of a system. Now. Another area that can create stress, is usability. Right? Oh, and and there's always that desire to say, hey, we're just going to pull it off the shelf, we're going to do this, we're not going to customize it. But there's always going to be customization. With that mind mindset. Tell us a little bit about the ability, the usability of the platform and sort of that level of customization.


I am glad you asked.


I get paid the big boy,


oh, yeah, no, I so when when I transitioned to software, I actually was on a UX team. So usability is incredibly important to how how everyone is actually, I mean, you could buy the most amazing software out there. But if no one knows how to use it, then it's just gonna sit in the corner. And yeah, I mean, you Oh,


nobody wants to adopt it. Nobody, it'll sit. And I, if I'm asked to do a little bit more than if I have to click off of a box, then that's, you know, nobody wants it.


Well, at the end of the day, right? People are being paid to turn wrenches we're not, we're not supposed to be sitting there and software. And unfortunately, I feel like that is the double edged sword that we're seeing. And a lot of the software that's being introduced is there's great insights to the different information we can pull out of our systems. But, you know, at the same time, now, we're expecting our folks to be more into the system. So that is something where when we approach a lot of the design for our product, it's with that in mind, we're trying to be taking people out of the applications, because that's not what we're supposed to be doing. Yeah. So one thing with it as well is, I really like to emphasize a lot of how we set this up is on configurability not customization, where we understand there's gonna be massive differences in business when it comes to the different industry, we actually service. And even outside of that, you know, especially for things like our EHS, there's gonna be different regulations state to state or country to country or even within the business itself. You know, some sites might have a more rigorous standard when it comes to certain hazards I might incur, just based on the type of equipment that's around. So because of that, you know, we don't like to punish our customers for having to make those changes. So that's something that we train super users, typically, they'll go in and make those changes and that way, you know, they're able to keep it to their process and not have to adhere to


is there a specific industry that Prometheus team Prometheus feel more comfortable or is it just crossable or


anything that's asset intensive. So we started mining metal oil gas. So that's where we got our start paths there. We started working with pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage, all the way down to pulp paper. So I mean, it's been something we've been constantly expanding on, because we've noticed, when we got our start, we realized a lot of the same problems that were happening in mining metal Oil Gas were incurred across the board, right? It's the same reliability issues that people were having, hey, how do I have visibility into my systems? How are we handling our PMS? How are we actually executing our work? And it's, it seems to be across the board.


It is. And the frustration that I have is one that although technology and innovation is happening, and it's happening at a blistering pace, I see it, boom, you see it here at SMRP. But the frustrating part is the same conversations. It's the same, same challenges. It's it's the same stuff. And I know that many are looking for that silver bullet, but then there's a lot of blocking and tackling that just has to happen. Oh, yeah. And I've been in the business for so many years. It's the same conversation. It's just a different year. So is it can be said that. And I'm looking at by the way, Prometheus is right in front of where we're broadcasting, they have the biggest booth. And so I'm staring out there. It looks like a dashboard of some sort. Somebody's taking a journey through your platform. Looks good. It's got the classic green, good, yellow look red, bad.


Oh, yeah. Some of the things just like, you know, Hey, are we over capacity? are we approaching him over?


But but it's, it's more than just, it's more than more than just resource management? Right? Big time? Yeah, it gets down to pulling the data from the asset and determining whatever the you know, the health of that asset.


I mean, at its core, right. When we're talking about maintenance, it's, I feel an industry, it's commonly overlooked. It's like, oh, that must be a very simple thing. It honestly, I think maintenance is probably one of the most complex parts of any business in general, because you're having to deal with anything from my equipment reliability to a are my materials coming in. There's the logistic aspect, there's obviously the resources, there's the obviously planning for the unplanned. And I mean, that's incredibly difficult. So that's where, yeah, we try and bring in as much of that information as we can. So we can be prepared for the season.


You're, you're you're spot on. And I think that I think it's not appreciated enough to think that maintenance ever, there's just so many moving parts. The challenge I always see, along with all those moving parts, is continuity with people, right? People come and go, and that that that knowledge comes and goes. And it's just, it's it's it along with all the challenges or the just the challenges of maintenance in general, then you get that human component.


And a lot of it becomes tribal knowledge of it. Yeah.


Does Prometheus have sort of a platform similar for resources like people,


there's a few different things we do there. For contractors, we have contracting management solutions. But when we're talking about the folks that are here in presence, the main thing is, and this is present in all of our systems, we were talking about this a little earlier actually is trying to unsilent as much of the data as right, because what we typically see is again, things like the tribal knowledge. Sure, yeah, tackling a lot of these different considerations. If you break off things in Hey, my data historians over here, my safety and permitting systems over. Yeah, and I mean, this can have really dire consequences. Because, you know, we have our maintenance guy on the front line, he sees a massive problem to people up the ladder, do they see that same problem? I mean, this is this has led to pretty catastrophic events over the last few years, things like oil rigs, unfortunately, having massive breakdowns or facilities having a shutdown turn from two month endeavor into like a six month


is this a SaaS product?


So we do offer some things to serve like the software as a service, but for the most part, we do have for things like our planning and scheduling, those are more bolt on, they're meant for we pass it to your team, your guys can run with it. It's, it depends on which solution, it's on prem. Yes, we have on prem as well as cloud, you do. Yeah. For some of the stuff that we do, such as our master data, there's gonna be quite a bit there where we'll be handling a lot of the services for that'd be more of a SaaS model.


Where can people get a hold of you?


Well, one of the easiest ways would be reaching out through the Prometheus Group site. We're more than happy to talk with you. We'll have contact information present there


and be in one That spells a spelling challenge guy. I know I'm gonna have to hammer out Prometheus a couple of times before I got it right,


it took me some time to engineer non English.


All right, we're gonna have all the contact information for Erik, as well as the Prometheus Group out on Industrial So, fear not, check out their platform. If you're in the maintenance and reliability space, check out their platform, you've got asset intensive business, check out their platform. That's a must. Alright, once again, we're broadcasting from the 30th annual SMRP conference. It is great problem solvers everywhere. If you're in that business, if you're in the maintenance business. Yep, we need to be here. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the Industrial Talk Podcast Network.


All right, thank you once again, for joining Industrial Talk. And thank you very much for your support. That was Erik Klein. That was at SMRP. That was last year, we're still working through all the wonderful conversations around reliability. Prometheus Group is the company, check them out all the contact information for Prometheus Group, Erik SMRP. And then we'll be out on Industrial Talk. Because if you're in the world of maintenance, and reliability and asset management and everything in between, put SMRP on your bucket list to one attend a conference and to to be engaged and participate with that organization. And all of the members that are a part of that organization as well. Great, great group of professionals. All right. I'm gonna mention this one more time. I'm going to mention more than one more time. Mercy Chefs, is an organization that delivers food. And it all came as a result of Katrina and the Katrina. You know, the individuals that were impacted by Katrina, and what help they were receiving from a food perspective was not very good. And so the the founder of Mercy Chefs at we can do better and they can, feeding body and souls. Go out to Mercy Chefs and see how you can participate. They're already in Mississippi, and they're helping people. They're there all around the world. I don't know how they do it. But they do it. And they do it with a big heart. Mercy, chefs, check them out. All right, be bold, be brave, dare greatly hang out with Erik and you're going to change the world. Thank you very much, once again for joining Industrial Talk. And we're going to continue to work through all of those wonderful SMRP conference conversation so stay tuned.

Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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