🎧 Welcome to another exciting episode of the Digital Supply Chain podcast! In today's episode I'm chatting to Nick Foy, Founder, CEO, and Chief Evangelist of Silverdale Technology. Get ready to dive into the world of Odoo ERP and discover how it can revolutionize your business operations.
In this episode, Nick shares how Odoo can transform your business by consolidating all your data and processes into one unified system. From managing contacts to tracking sales, inventory, and more, Odoo offers a seamless progression that adapts to your company's evolving needs.
Nick also emphasizes the importance of starting your ERP journey early. Whether you're a small company or a rapidly growing enterprise, implementing Odoo can bring significant benefits. By centralizing your data and workflows, you gain a holistic view of your customers, projects, and finances. Imagine answering client calls with instant access to their entire history, from meetings to invoices, without switching between multiple systems.
But what about customization? Nick cautions against excessive customization, as it can lead to future complications and high support costs. Instead, he highlights the value of leveraging standard processes and extensions to maintain flexibility and simplify system upgrades. Nick shares an inspiring success story of how Silverdale reduced a client's custom code by a whopping 74%, significantly lowering their support costs and increasing system efficiency.
We also discuss the future of ERP systems and the integration of ChatGPT. Nick reveals how Silverdale is utilizing AI-powered chatbots to enhance customer support, streamline coding, and drive predictability and scalability. By tapping into the vast knowledge base accumulated from thousands of client interactions, Silverdale is taking ERP functionality to new heights.
Are you ready to unlock the full potential of your business with Odoo ERP? Tune in to this episode of the Digital Supply Chain podcast to gain valuable insights, hear success stories, and explore the possibilities of ERP systems in today's digital landscape.Support the show
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It doesn't matter how many companies you go to and how many times people say, oh, you know, I, I I love change. Change is not something I, I worry about, you know. if you say you like change just try a couple of things when you go home today. Swap knife and forks over in your cutlery drawer, okay. Or try and persuade your partner to sleep on the other side of the bed tonight Right. See how that goes.Tom Raftery:
Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you are in the world. This is the Digital Supply Chain podcast, the number one podcast focusing on the digitization of supply chain, and I'm your host, Tom Raftery. Hi everyone, and welcome to episode 331 of the Digital Supply Chain podcast. My name is Tom Raftery and I'm excited to be here with you today sharing the latest insights and trends in supply chain. Before we kick off today's show, I want to take a quick moment to express my gratitude to all of this show's amazing supporters. Your support has been instrumental in keeping the podcast going, and I'm really grateful for each and every one of you. If you're not already a supporter, I'd like to encourage you to consider joining our community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about supply chain. Supporting the podcast is easy and affordable with options starting as low as just three euros or dollars a month. That's less than the cost of a cup of coffee, and your support will make a huge difference in keeping this show going strong. To become a supporter, simply click on the support link in the show notes of this or any episode or visit tiny url.com/dsc pod. Now, without further ado, I'd like to introduce my special guest today, Nick. Nick, welcome to the podcast. Would you like to introduce yourself?Nick Foy:
Hi, Tom. Yeah, my name's Nick Foy. I'm the founder, CEO and chief Evangelist here at Silverdale.Tom Raftery:
Okay, and where are Silverdale based? Nick?Nick Foy:
Well, we're based in the town of Silverdale which is about an hour and a half west of Seattle. Most people don't realize there is an hour and a half west of Seattle but trust us, we're here. Although we're based in Silverdale, we're called Silverdale, but we operate right across the US, Canada, and Mexico.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And that's not a strong US, Canada, or Mexican accent I'm hearing there, Nick.Nick Foy:
It is not indeed, it is not. I'm a native of Scotland although I haven't lived in Scotland now for 23 years. But yeah, my accent's still with me. So if I sound a little bit like Groundskeeper Willie at some point, then I'm sure.Tom Raftery:
Indeed. Indeed, indeed. And so for people who might be unaware, Nick, what do Silverdale do?Nick Foy:
Yeah. What we do is we are the antidote to other ERP implementation companies. That's what we do. We, we make ERPs and ERP implementations available for companies of any size. So it doesn't matter whether you are an individual sole trader or whether or not you're a company of 250 employees. We make what is traditionally a very difficult and inaccessible project for those small, medium-sized businesses, we make it very accessible, easy, understandable, and predictable for those companies to get into the E R P world and gain those benefits.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And is it, is there a particular ERP application that you specialize in, or do you, do you know, if I were coming to you now as a sole trader and saying, I want an ERP system, do you go, okay, we'll give you a full SAP suite or a full, you know, Oracle suite, or actually we think this one is just right for you, or how does that work?Nick Foy:
Yeah that's a good question. And so our, our strap line, you can't quite see it, my t-shirt here, but our strap line. Yeah. The Odoo Consulting company. We've hitched our wagon to the Odoo ERP system. It, it, quite frankly, I haven't found a situation yet with any of our clients, where Odoo hasn't been the right answer. It's the reason why really we focus on one ERP system and it means that our consultants, our developers, our technical staff are all really focused around one tool. And that really does make us experts in that single application. And as I say, I haven't found an industry or a customer that hasn't benefited from that yet. Okay. And how long have you been in business? We've been in business now for three and a half years. So we're relatively new in this in this space. A lot of our. Competitors have been here for a long time. And, but I'd like to think that, you know, certainly we're disrupting this part of the industry pretty well. We pick up a lot of what we call rescues from other Odoo implementation partners and from Odoo themselves and people who have tried to do an ERP implementation on their own. We pick up probably more than half of our business, in fact, is what we call an Odoo rescue where we step in and help get a project over the line or to get things done. And it's really because our approach is so different from the traditional ERP providers that it really resonates with those small, medium sized companies to actually get things over the line.Tom Raftery:
And what's so different about your approach?Nick Foy:
Yeah, so our, our approach so first of all, my background is very much in operations and supply chain. I'm a, I'm an old trucks and sheds guy. You know, I spent time in warehouses doing, picking, doing packing and manufacturing lines and, you know, in supply chain generally as well. And, you know, the, I came to kinda the te technology side of this of this game. Kind of, I would say relatively late but also very much as a kind of a side shoot of that physical operation. And the reason why I think what we do here at Silverdale is so different is because we bring a very big, real world experience to the project. So for example, a lot of our clients come to us and you know, if you went to a traditional ERP provider, one of the first things they'll do is they'll start mapping out your process and they'll start looking at what you do. And. Trying to fit that kind of around the, the system that they're proposing. What we don't do that it is not something we do with our clients. Most of our clients, quite frankly, don't have processes and you know, if you do a Visio lift chart in front of them, they wouldn't know what to do with it. Right? And that's the reality for most small, medium-sized businesses, right? They don't have a business process team. They don't have a lean team there who's doing that for 'em? Like, like some of the big corporations? So, so what we do is we already have a business process library of about 200 business processes. That work out of the box with Odoo so processes like how to create an invoice, how to run your account receivable, how to run your p and l, how to do your bank reconciliations, how to do CRM opportunities. So we've got standard business processes that span the business end to end across all the work streams. And then what we do is our approach is to come into a business. And I'm gonna walk you through what this business process looks like, okay? And what it looks like in a standard Odoo environment. And then I want you as a client to tell me why this will not work for you. So my question isn't about, you know, what do you need? My question is, why will this not work for you? Because by the way, this works for 80% of the businesses out there. And actually, unless you're in the business, of designing p and l reports or balance sheets. Okay. And let's face it, most businesses aren't okay. Then guess what? You can use the standard one. Don't start tinkering with stuff you don't need to tinker with. So what we try and do with our clients is really get them to adopt our standard business process, what we call our best practice processes. And really we challenge our clients to say, why can't you do it like 80% of the other businesses in the world by using the standard system? And what that does is it reduces the complexity, it reduces the risk, it reduces the cost and timeline, and most importantly, it reduces that overall total cost of ownership for the entire project. It makes the project much more predictable, understandable, and scalable, which means that, you know, we can give our clients fixed timeline and fixed price projects, which is very unusual in this business. But again, only if the business is willing to adapt to our standard business processes. And as I say, most small, medium sized businesses are able to do that cuz they don't have established, you know, big business process teams. So, so our approach is very, very different right from the outset with our clients and the approach has been very, very successful for us.Tom Raftery:
Okay. What about these businesses though, who say, hang on, we do it this way and we feel that's a competitive advantage for us.Nick Foy:
Right. That's, and that's a great point. So what we say is about 80% of your business processes, okay are the same as the business next door across the street, and the next block over. Okay? That's the reality. We all buy stuff, sell stuff, create invoices, pay our vendor bills, right? We, we all do the same thing. We want a p and l and a balance sheet at the end. There's practically no business, no organization out there that doesn't need some combination of those things. Now the challenge is that do you really think how you create your invoice or do you really think how you run your p and l is a competitive advantage in your market? I very much doubt it unless you're an accounting firm right then I very much doubt that's a competitive advantage for you. What really is a competitive advantage is your service, your, product, the things you're launching next, you know your focus on customers. That's what makes you distinct, not how you create invoices or how you manage contacts, or how you manage your p and l. And so really it's for us to identify what's the 80% that can be standard as much as possible, and then we focus our attention on that 20% that really makes you unique. What are those things that really make you stand out from the crowd and from your competition? Frankly, we've gotta get the 80% done before we can focus on the 20%. Okay? And of course, everybody wants to get to the 20% really quickly, but hey, you've gotta trust us. We've gotta get that 80% in place first. Get that good foundation in, and then we can focus on the 20%. And honestly, it's that 20% where you should spend, you know, most of your time, your effort, your money. If you are gonna do customization, do it on the 20%, don't do it on the 80%. Cuz quite frankly, you just don't need to.Tom Raftery:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. What about the We Fear Change brigade. I mean, you're coming into an organization, you're upending their, their IT systems or their technical systems or whatever it is, and putting a whole new thing in place with all new processes that they haven't been used to doing. That's gotta be challenging, right?Nick Foy:
Oh, yeah, without, without a doubt. It doesn't matter how many companies you go to and how many times people say, oh, you know, I, I I love change. You know, change is not something I, I worry about, you know. if you say you like change just try a couple of things when you go home today. Swap knife and forks over in your cutlery drawer, okay. Or try and persuade your partner to sleep on the other side of the bed tonight. Right. See how that goes. Okay. Trust me, you're not as good at change as you think you are. Right. Okay. So, you know, the reality is, is that, you know, change is such an individual journey and we've gotta realize that, that, you know, we can come up with change management plans and we do. We have actually on staff we have certified change managers who are certified in the ADKAR change methodology. So we employ that in the way that we do our projects. So we're, you know, we, we take this sort of thing very seriously and we know that, I wouldn't like it if someone came to my workplace and started moving things around and start moving my mouse on the other side. Right? And the reality is an ERP project can be very similar. Right is now we're saying, Hey, this screen needs to do this. Now it does this, and now you've gotta do these different things. And that's a very, very difficult journey for some people. But the important thing is, one is to have a plan, right? We need a change management plan, right? And we need to walk through some very distinct steps, okay? Making sure everyone's aware of what we're doing. Building the desire in the team to want to be able to embrace this change and embrace this new system. Showing them how great this could be, taking some of the pain points they have today and really showing them, ah, actually this pain point goes away, or This is how it's going to be managed in the new system. And really getting them kinda wanting to desire that new system, that new way of working is, is important. Right off the bat. And then we move into the kinda later phases of, you know, doing some training, doing reinforcement, doing, you know, as part of the rollout, making sure that support structures in place, make sure people are listened to making sure that actually we, we pace the change depending on the individuals as well. That's a very important part of what we do is making sure that, you know, change is a very individual thing, right? It's not, you don't change an organization all at once. It happens at dif different stages and different phases for different people. So. You know, again, one of the things that stands us apart from a lot of our competition, especially in this small, medium sized business space is that we also spend a lot of time with our clients on site. Okay. So we actually spend time with them face to face in the warehouse, in the office, you know, in the retail store, wherever that might be. And actually working with them one-to-one, working with them, you know, in the real world, supporting them as they're going live. And, and it's really important for us to do that on site time. And that's pretty unusual. For at least, you know, when you look at the big industries, as you know, right? The SAPs of the world, the Microsoft Dynamics of the world, right? Of course, a whole army of consultants would descend on, on that site and it'll cost you, you know, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Right? Now, the types of customers that we are talking about, those small, medium-sized companies, don't have that sort of money to spend, right? Mm-hmm. So, you know, it's, it, unfortunately, when you look at that small, medium sized business, you know, most of the implementation companies in, in our world try and do this thing ho entirely remotely. And that I find is just a disaster. We've tried that. We tried it during Covid cuz we had no choice. Right? Right. But I'll tell you, the projects we've done since when we've been on site with clients have been far more successful. Because we're actually getting to see how things work on the ground and really working with our clients in the real world is a very big thing for us.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And. Why do, or why would a small, or medium-sized company need an ERP system? I mean, what's it gonna do for them?Nick Foy:
Yeah. That's a good point. And, and we talked just before we started there about, you know, you know what it it, my phrase for this is it's never too soon, but it's always too late. Okay. By the time you realize that you've got 20 different systems and 20 different logins, and you've got all these subscriptions, and you've got all these systems, that aren't talking to each other, and you got all these Excel sheets or Google sheets that sit in between all these CSV exports that you're now trying to keep on top of. Right. Before you, by the time you realize that you are in so much trouble with that. Okay. That's when it's gonna be really difficult, quite frankly, to implement an ERP. Right? You've left it too late. Okay. It's never too soon to do that. Right? And I'll tell you right now, and this is not a a plug for, for you know, Odoo's pricing structure, but I'll tell you right now Odoo did change their pricing structure a few months ago. You know, and it from a, you know, single person company, two people company, it's extremely affordable to get started. There really is no reason not to do this. Right. Even for a five person company, you're talking about having a monthly licensing cost of about 300 bucks, right? And, you know, I, you start totting up all the costs you have for what, all the different systems you're using, right? It's gonna be far more than that even, you know, with a small company just starting out. But the important thing is with a, with a system like Odoo or any of the ERPs, the sooner you get started, the better. Because then you're gonna start putting your data into one place. You can start using that data properly and you can start building on what you've got. The great thing again about Odoo and a lot of the other ERPs. It doesn't really matter how small you start, even if you're just using it to maintain your contacts, for example, right? Because then you'll grow to then start using crm, and then you'll start growing into creating quotations, and then you'll start doing sales orders, and then you'll start doing inventory. Then you start doing purchase orders, and then you start doing, you know, so, so this is a progression for a lot of people. It isn't just a big bang. I don't like Big Bang projects. They have a tendency to do exactly that. They go bang in a big way. And I, I don't we try and avoid those as much as possible. But certainly if you're a small company or you really don't think it's for you, trust me, it is okay. It's never too soon, but it's always too late. If you think you don't have time to do it now, you're never gonna have the time to do it later cause you're gonna be fighting with all the other systems you have all your Google spreadsheets, all your Excel sheets you know this. They're gonna tie you up in knots. If you're already in that place trust me, now's the time to make the call. Tomorrow's too late.Tom Raftery:
And what kind of functionality does it deliver? I mean, I'm ex-SAP, as you know. And as many of the listeners will know. And I think, I think when I left the SAP product portfolio was four and a half thousand products covering, you know, everything essentially. And if there was, if, if there was some part of the functionality not covered by some SAP product, there's all the partners that come in and sell on the SAP store as well to cover those gaps in the, in the, in the, in the functionality. So, what does Odoo deliver?Nick Foy:
Yeah, so a, a, again, you know, not just about Odoo but I think ERP in general. I think one of the things that you get from a good ERP, okay, a good implementation is a single source of truth, okay? And that's something you know, a single source of truth or a single view of the customer. Those things have been talked about. You know, say, you know, since I didn't have gray hair right, you've told me those things a very long time. It's a panacea that we've all sold to clients in the past, right? Being able to see a single view of your company in one place. But if you do this thing right, you do your ERP implementation, right, you really do get that. Okay. And I can tell you, you know, certainly in our ERP for example not big surprise, we use Odoo ourselves, of course. So, you know, but I can tell you in our Odoo, when I look at my customer, I look at my customer contact card, and in Odoo I can see how many meetings we have planned with that client. I can see how many invoices are outstanding. I can see how many tickets they've got open. I can see how many projects and tasks we're working on for that client. Right? I can see any QA issues that we're having for that client. I can, I can see all in one place, so when I'm talking to a client, I can have a really intelligent conversation about the entirety of their business. Right? I don't have to, oh wait a minute. I've just gotta log into another system. Hang on on one second. Right? You know the companies you call and you hear them say that, right? Yeah. Oh, lemme just log into another system. Let me, oh my, my system just crashed. Need to log in somewhere else. You know what a load nonsense, right? We all know those companies who've got this right? And we all know the ones that have got it wrong. Okay? And so, I really encourage our clients to really think about, you know, what sort of company do your customers want you to be? Do you, do they want you to be that customer? Who, when they call you, right, is your, you know, is your VoIP, for example, integrated with your ERP, right? So when the customer calls in, can I see exactly who it is and it brings up my customer card and I can see at glance what's going on, even before I press answer. If you can't do that, then you haven't got the right ERP or you haven't done it right. Okay. Because that's the sort of thing that customers love. You love it, I love it, right? Mm-hmm. When I call, Delta, for example, Delta Airline, right? If I call them, they, they answer the phone with, you know, hi Nick. Right? They know exactly who I am. They can see all my bookings. They can see what's going on there, right? And again, you know, the companies have got this right and the ones that don't, which one do you want to be? Right? Which one do you want your customers to experience with you? And so certainly for me, I would say, you know, that single view of the customer is, is, is really, really important. But also what I'd say is that the kinda workflows through a single system is really important. Being able to see the progression of how, you know, from all the way back from a customer payment. Where did that come from? Oh, it came from this invoice. Oh, this invoice came from this shipment. This shipment came from the sales order. The sales order came from this opportunity, or this opportunity came from this marketing campaign. And actually specifically it came from this particular email that we sent. Now, you know, there are very few, you know, if you tried to do that outside of an ERP, oh my goodness, how many systems would you need to log in? How many VLOOKUPs would you need to employ to do those sorts of things, right? It would take you hours to try and do that without an ERP. With a good ERP implemented in the right way. You can do that in seconds through a couple of clicks, right? And you can start seeing how successful was this email campaign? How successful was, you know, this particular marketing initiative. Right? And again, a lot of companies just don't have access to that kind of data to make different decisions. I e run that email campaign again or don't. Right. If it if it wasn't good, right? Most companies just don't have access to that. But again, You know, part of what we do at Silverdale is we, we make those types of ERP systems and data and processes available to companies that wouldn't necessarily traditionally begin able to get access to them.Tom Raftery:
Okay? Okay. And I mean, You've, you've talked about one and two and five person companies and even 250 person companies. What's, what's your average customer size, or who's your ideal customer, you know?Nick Foy:
Yeah. I, our average number of users is about 35 to 40 is our average, although we've got some big outliers in there, as you can imagine. Our, our largest customer is 175. Our smallest customer is two. Right? So we've got the two bookends there as well, right? You know, but, but average is out about 35 to 40, I would say. Companies that we deal with I would say mostly are you kind of old family run companies who are now starting to kind of, emerge into and maturity in terms of you know, they're, they're starting to become bigger companies and really starting to want to grow and scale. Companies who, you know, are currently operating in one US state, for example, want to go into the entire US. Companies who are really ready and willing and knowing that they've got a problem, okay. In the way they're currently working. And also very important for us that they're also willing and able to adjust to our standard business processes. It's one of the, it's one of the first questions we ask of our prospective client is, you know, are you willing to adapt and change your business processes based on our advice? And the answer is no we're pretty happy on how we do it. Fantastic. Then you're not a, a good fit for us. Okay. Because we're just gonna be fighting all the time. Right. And I'm gonna be saying no to you a lot. You know, and that's never fun. It gets for our kind of, you know, you know, say no to, to some clients and just take everybody on. And we have, we do say no to clients. Unfortunately we do have to say no sometimes cause it just isn't a good fit. What we tend to find Tom is, you know, companies who are that 1, 2, 3 employees. And I would say those above, I would say 250 employees. They want to customize everything. They think they're too big to use standard, or they think they're too small and they've got a great idea and they wanna do it completely differently to everybody else, right. So we tend to find those two extremes are much more difficult you know, in terms of getting them into the standard processes. The ones that are around, I would say that 25, 30 mark where we're dealing with probably the founder who's also the CEO, who really realizes, you know, something we've plateaued or, you know, where we want to do this hockey stick type growth, but we just struggle with our own internal systems and processes. That's an ideal client for us, and honestly, industry wise, doesn't really matter to us. You know, we're, I, I'm a, as I said at the start, I'm a trucks and sheds guy. So, we do tend to do a lot of business around logistics, warehousing, distribution manufacturing, just simply because that's my background. But But we have customers who are in printing industry, medical industry, legal we have nonprofits, we have botanic gardens and nurse and garden nurseries, plant nurseries as customers. We have clients in the financial space, cell phone space. You know, we're all over the place in terms of clients. And that just shows, I think that, you know, our business process is that 80% is the same again. You cross go across any of our clients. Guess what? They're all pretty much doing those 80% things in the same way.Tom Raftery:
Right. Okay. Fascinating. Fascinating. Do you have any particular success stories you can point to?Nick Foy:
Well, I think some of the success stories we have you know, again a lot of our business is what we call a rescue. Okay. So clients who come to us and they've got a, they've got a problem, right? They've already maybe got Odoo or maybe they've got in something else and they can't get the project aligned. Certainly one success story we have is actually on our, on our websites, one of our testimonials from a client. You know, who was really struggling. They've been with Odoo for a number of years been through a successive series of partners, but also have done a lot of customization. Right. And unfortunately that succession of, of partners you know, wasn't really a partner. Okay. They were really just a vendor. Oh, I want my Odoo to look a little bit like QuickBooks. Right? And that's what you find a lot of. Okay. And guess what? You know, if you're with the wrong partner, that's exactly what they're gonna do for you. Okay? They're gonna say, yeah, sure. I can make it look like QuickBooks. It's gonna take me six weeks and it's gonna cost you $25,000. And if you're okay with that, great, I'm actually gonna take 12 weeks and charge you 40,000 in the end. That's what happened. Industry, you know it, right? That's how it worked. And it's horrible. Okay? And unfortunately, this client had come to us, me through success and succession. Of of other partners where that had been the case. And of course for the time they got to us we, we do an odoo audit. Okay? It's where we come in and take a look at what, where you are, right? We look at a whole series of things to see where are you in your project, where are you in the system, where are you in your usage and training and everything else. It's a great audit. Takes about 10 days. It's fixed price, $2,000, right? And we would, that's a very much a a for our first first step for us with a lot of our clients. As a result of the audit, we then identify, okay, you know, something, you've got all this customization, this can all go right. You don't need this. Either use standard or use one of our existing extensions that's, you know, already prebuilt. And so this specific client you know, we actually, they had 17,000 lines of custom code when we took them on. And we reduced that by 74%. Okay? So we got rid of almost three quarters of that customization. And from a user perspective, the users didn't notice. Okay. There was no loss of functionality. There was some retraining required. Okay. But even ripping out, you know, 70, you know, almost three quarters of their prior customization, which of course they paid for and paid for once and then paid for extensions and then paid for support and all that nonsense, right? And, and we took it all out. And guess what? Now their support costs are reduced significantly cuz they're using the standard system. They don't have all this custom code in there. And, and so for us, you know, that client was very happy. It took us, you know, quite a few months to do that project from end to end. We did an upgrade and a back to standard. That's a very very common project for us is an upgrade and back to standard at the same time. They're on the latest version of Odoo. We reduced our custom code by 74%. They've reduced our total cost of ownership now because their support costs are a lot lower. Right. And the beauty of that type of project for us, Tom is you know, we put our money where our mouth is. Okay? And so, you know, to keep us honest, okay? To make sure that we don't go down this customization route. If we do a project like that for a client, I'm gonna upgrade them again in two years time and every two years for free. Okay? And the very few people out there who do that, and I'll tell you why, is cuz they're too afraid of the customization of the day. That's the reason why, right? Of course. Yeah. And that's, and that's why people don't do it, right? Yeah. And I'll tell you, that's why we absolutely do it right, because I know if I do any customization for a client today, two years time, I'm gonna have to upgrade it. So either I don't do it, okay? And I persuade you to use standard Odoo where possible. Or if I do have to do customization, I do it in a way that makes it easy to upgrade. It's better for the client, it's better for me. That is why it's always a partnership for us. We work with clients as if we're gonna be with 'em for the next 20 years, and that includes free upgrades every two years and that keeps us honest and to and true to our company tenets.Tom Raftery:
Okay. And if as in this example, that customer had already been through two or three previous partners, how do you establish trust?Nick Foy:
Yeah, that's, that's very important. And actually the, the audit is a really good way for us to do that. You know, our audit, as I say, is fixed price, fixed timeline, just like all of our projects. And really what we do, you know, clearly we have an incentive in that audit. Of course we do. But, you know, our audit really is, we try and be as dispassionate as possible, okay about that. We just tell you, this is what you got, here's what we think of it, versus our coding standard. Here's what we believe you've got. Now, I'll tell you, we actually did an audit just just the other week I was reviewing the report and actually, you know, when they, when we did the score for their custom code, they scored like 97%, right? Like we, we couldn't find, you know, we were really struggling to really find a flow with the custom code that their previous developers had done, right? Okay. And so if, if that's what we see, that's what we see, right? There's no point in me making it up and saying, oh, this isn't very good. Right? If it's good, it meets the standard. Fantastic. You. You did well there, right? And so, you know, we, we don't, we don't, you know, we're not trying to just sell on the back of that audit. We really want people to be able to take that and either take it to their current partner and say, Hey, I've had an audit done and here's what we need to go do. That's great. Go do that. Right? Or you come to us or whatever, but you, the report is yours and you do what you like with it. Building trust upfront also involves also getting in front of clients face-to-face. You know, people buy from people at the end of the day. They don't buy from companies. And so making sure that our team are on the ground with the client face-to-face, seeing their business, talking to their people, building rapport, and really showing credibility, right, right from, you know, even prior to the sale. So being able to understand how the warehouse, how the pick is working, how receiving is working, how, you know, expiry dates are working on their products. So really talking about the things that we know have been issues for other clients and being able to talk that same language and really build that credibility up front is incredibly important. You know, we, we'd be, you know, you probably wouldn't be surprised at how many deals we've won because one of our people has actually spent time on site prior to the sale. Right. And actually offered advice or solved a couple of tickets for them in advance, sorry, of the sale. We do that a lot. Okay. Okay. You know, you know it, normally when someone reaches out to us, normally some things got to a critical point. Right? Something really went wrong yesterday or this morning that made them pick up the phone and say, right, that's it. I've had enough. Right. So, and if we can help 'em with that specific thing right off the bat, we absolutely will do that. We, we won't wait until they make us their partner or anything else. We'll give 'em help and advice all the way through.Tom Raftery:
Okay. Okay. Okay. Where to next?Nick Foy:
Where to next for us? Well, you know, honestly, we, our intention as a company was always to branch out in, into the ERPs. Right. Okay. That was always our intention. We're three and a half years in. I thought we'd be doing that by now if I'm honest. Mm-hmm. I thought we'd be branching out, but quite frankly you know, the, the Odoo space is growing phenomenally well. You know, Odoo is, is is really selling very well right now on their side. And honestly, that's keeping us very busy. We're not short of clients at work right now quite honestly. And really for us it's about scalability. You know, how do we scale and drive our business and make it more predictable and scalable, is really the thing for us now is, you know, we do a really good job on our client projects. We do a really good job on the, on the support side. And what I really wanna do now is really scale that business, both, you know, I would say in the US but also internationally. I think we've got a lot of opportunity there.Tom Raftery:
Okay. Fantastic. We're coming towards the end of the podcast now, Nick, is there any question that I haven't asked that you wish I had or any aspect of this we haven't touched on that you think it's important for people to be aware of?Nick Foy:
Yeah, I think I, I think one of the things that's been really exciting for us you know, as well as kind of our growth plans and, and looking at what we're gonna be doing internationally. One of the other really interesting things that we're seeing a lot more of now is this interest and, and kind of the ChatGPT and, and how that's being incorporated in our business. Right, right. We, we, we've started on our ChatGPT with Odo with Odoo which is great. We've really enjoyed seeing how we can be using that with. You know, we've got thousands of help tickets from our clients, you know, over the last three and a half years we've got, you know, over I think we're over 120,000 project tasks and development tasks now as a company. One of the great things is now we're able to use that type of technology to really help us drive predictability and scalability, right? Being able to interrogate our help tickets from all of our clients so that the rest of our clients all benefit from that, right? Someone asks us a question. Now, you know, we can find the answers really quickly. We're using ChatGPT now to help us kick off some of our coding as well for example, right? Doesn't do the whole thing right now. It takes a care of about 20, 25% of our, of our coding. It can't do the whole thing, but it's getting better all the time. But things like that really help us as a business to to, to scale, but also to make what we do more predictable. We take a lot of that kind of the variation out of our business by doing that. And it's really starting to kick in on the support side is really where we're using that a lot and how we now deploy that to our customers is the real challenge. You know, we, we have, we have the benefit with all of our clients that part of the support package is that we actually deploy what's called our Silverdale Cares module to all of our clients. That gives them access to our team through chat and through email help. And we're now starting to build into that the ChatGPT as well. So actually you're getting more help. And access to our knowledge base without having to leave your ERP. Okay. And how people are benefiting that from everybody else is really exciting. I'm really looking forward to that, kind of launching the next couple of months and seeing our clients use that.Tom Raftery:
Cool, cool, cool. Nick, that's been fascinating. If people want to know more about yourself or any of the things we discussed in the podcast today, where would you have me direct them?Nick Foy:
Yeah, so the best place is to start from our website, which is silverdale tech.com. We're on all the socials at Silverdale Tech. Is right across all the usual social areas. People can always reach out to us as well at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can also fill in the contact form on the website. And, you know, of course we have chat available on that as well. If you wanna chat to us on the website too.Tom Raftery:
Cool. Cool. Nick, that's been great. Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.Nick Foy:
Thank you, Tom.Tom Raftery:
Okay, we've come to the end of the show. Thanks everyone for listening. If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, simply drop me an email to TomRaftery@outlook.com If you like the show, please don't forget to click Follow on it in your podcast application of choice to be sure to get new episodes as soon as they're published Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast. It really does help new people to find a show. Thanks, catch you all next time.