CWJJ Ep 17 - Randall Hackworth and Jon Beam

February 04, 2021 00:29:23
CWJJ Ep 17 - Randall Hackworth and Jon Beam
Coffee With Jim & James
CWJJ Ep 17 - Randall Hackworth and Jon Beam

Feb 04 2021 | 00:29:23

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James Cross Jim Schauer

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Ladies and gentlemen, boys, and girls of all ages. Welcome to the most amazing interview show on the information super highway. Now zooming to you live and simultaneously from two secret studio bunkers in dual time zones are located somewhere South of Alaska, East of area, 51 North of Guantanamo. And if we give you one more clue, we'll all be in deep trouble. It's the amazing twin namesake separated at birth that two most famous guys, not in witness protection. It's coffee with Jim and Jay. Speaker 1 00:00:37 Welcome everybody to this week's episode of coffee with Jim and James. I couldn't be more excited to be here. We couldn't be more excited to be here. When you think of dream team, what do you think of the 92 basketball Olympic team, Chicago bulls in the heyday, or when you think of the SGA natural gas connect Academy, 2020 event dream team, do you start to think about the people on the screen making up that dream team? I don't know about you, but I do at this time, my partner crime as always Mr. James Cross, James, what do you think about this team we've assembled today? Um, it's the best we can do absolute best. We know they're a great group. Uh, you know, we've had Randall on before. I have no clue, John. I think we're getting zoom bombed right now. This is what they were talking about. Speaker 1 00:01:33 Um, no, we've, we've had ramble on before, obviously. Uh, John's a good friend of yours, Jim, which means he's a good friend of mine. So, um, we really pulled it together because, um, because this group is all active in the SGA natural gas that's going on for this entire month. And so, um, we, we wanted to pull it in. This was something for some of us. This is our first exposure to a virtual conference. Um, and for some of us, it is our first exposure as exhibitors as well. And the same for SGA, I would say. So really we wanted to pull us all together and just have some open dialogue about what we feel is working, what we could do better at really. What does this look like in the future? So that's really the intent tonight. Jim, do you wanna do just a quick intro of John and Randall or pass it off to them and then we'll jump into some questions out some dollars. I'll do, I'll do a quick intro and ask a question. Cause I got some things burning on the mind, but Mr. John beam with equipment controls company, a long time, friend of mine joins us today, as well as Mr. Randall. Yes, he is the man Hackworth with Wade trim joins us to that's exactly what his business card, but, um, you know, gentlemen, we've each other for a long time. Speaker 2 00:03:00 Uh, we've been to countless events together and, but why don't we talk about SBA and what you and your companies are doing at this year's 20, 20 natural guest connect Academy. And just give us a little insight into that and uh, why don't I kick it over to John first? Speaker 3 00:03:15 Sure. Thanks Jen. I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on here. It's an honor and a privilege to be in your company so far. Okay. All right. So, uh, equipment controls company, um, we have three boosts. We're, we're a long time member of the SGA. Uh, we're a sponsor. Um, at almost every event we attend in some that we don't, uh, but we have three boosts. So equipment controls company is a distributor in the natural gas industry. We have 12 different product lines that we rep. And so, uh, under the equipment controls company booth, we have, we represent census and census, um, and Eagle research, 3m, just a host of products. And then we have, uh, a McDonald who we just started repping. So we have a booth for them just to kind of let people know that we now rep them kind of spotlight them if you will. Um, and then we also have the PSCO Fiorentini booth. Now we're the master distributor for Pietro in the United States. So, um, so we have a booth for them as well. Um, I'm Speaker 4 00:04:23 Sorry, that, Speaker 3 00:04:25 That is, that is a lot to take on. Uh, it's a little bit easier virtually than it is in person. I'm not lugging stuff in and out of, uh, out of a booth, which is, I guess you could chalk that up as a pro. Um, but yeah, so we're involved, uh, you know, we're doing a $50 gift card to get people to our booth, as you know, it can be hard to get people to come to your booth in person. And so virtually is virtually almost impossible. So we're trying to do anything we can to get people to come by sending messages out during the conference, just trying to stay in front of the customer as much as we can. Speaker 4 00:04:59 Randall, thank you, Jim. Good to be here. Good to be here with you guys. Again, of course I was weighing trend, which way trim is a civil, uh, full service civil engineering firm, and they cover pretty much the Eastern half of the United States, 22 offices plus, and continue to grow, um, specific to SGA. We do have an energy pipeline group that focuses on design engineering, uh, replacement programs, linear projects, station work, et cetera, et cetera. And, uh, but what we, uh, have been pushing is a presentation or, um, exposed pipe mitigation and, uh, kind of taking a natural approach to it. So we've had a good bit of interest with it and, um, we're not actually doing a part of the curriculum for the Academy, but I'm just kind of pushing every way I can via the website that they've given us virtually. And, uh, so it's been a, it's been a challenge to do that, but I do miss being there in person because I miss the people ignoring me in person. So Speaker 1 00:06:09 It's so much easier when you can get reject rejected, right. To your face. Yes. Virtually it's just not the same, Speaker 4 00:06:15 Just it happens. I'm not giving white pins to people that has got to be Speaker 1 00:06:23 There's some guy that's in charge of swag back in the office, you know, it's blossoming the world as well, guys. Um, you know, as, as we said in the opener, we really want to focus around, you know, diving into these, uh, virtual events and what do they look like? How are they doing? So how many of us let's just do a quick show of hands, Jim you're included on it? How many of us is this the first virtual event that we're attending or exhibiting? Speaker 4 00:07:00 Oh, I, I, I think this is my first. Speaker 1 00:07:03 Yeah. I mean, I've done webinars and stuff like that, but to actually attend and then secondly, exhibit, right. Um, this is our EWS first time exhibiting. Uh, so it's a totally new experience. Didn't know what to expect. Um, in fact, it's new for a lot of our, our sales people and also the people attending. And so, you know, they're scrambling around asking questions, not, not really sure how to do it, whereas, you know, if we were in person, you just kind of show up at a hotel and just look for somebody, you know, you know, so it's a different environment for sure. I think, um, we're all navigating that what y'all experience so far is just it being the first time you're involved in a virtual conference, random. Speaker 4 00:07:48 Okay, I'll go, I'll get along this one. I have to admit I was lost, but I'm going to throw a name out there. Stephanie, Carlos, he has been super helpful to get me, uh, to get me to the finish line, to make it a functional and useful, um, venue. And, uh, so I really, really, uh, I really want to do say thank you to her. And I've, I've written her a couple of times and made sure hopefully she understands what she's done has been fantastic. And, uh, and that's not taking away from anybody else at SGA, but she's the one who I've had the most interaction with. Um, it's, it's definitely different because I think you guys were all for no better way to say creatures of habit. And I like talking to people, I like shaking hands. I like hugging people and I'd love to give her a hug, but unfortunately I can't, I'd love to give you all. Uh, but, uh, you know, we're not there, we're not in person and that's a, it's a very, very different, uh, it's a different thing. So, uh, I don't want to get used to it. I'm hoping this is the only year. And, uh, next year we get back into person. Speaker 3 00:08:56 Yeah. I mean, I, more or less second, all of that, it's, it's, it's new for everyone. Obviously the SDA included and they are doing the best that they can to, you know, get our money's worth and get our, you know, our best foot forward and in front of the customers, if you will, um, you know, Stephanie's done a fantastic job, you know, you would know she's juggling as many, you know, as much stuff as she is, uh, the, the attention that she does give us. So that's been really good. Um, we, I think, I think they've done the best that they can. It was, you know, Rocky to start, but you know, it all came together when it was supposed to come together. And I think they've done a really, really good job. It's just a matter of, okay, now, now we've got this platform, you know, how can we, how can we improve upon it and how can we drive that customer base to come to come see us and to come visit us? Um, but you know, it's going, Speaker 1 00:09:45 Yeah, I, I'm going to echo something else too. And Randall, you nailed it with, Stephanie's been amazing. Um, I would say the whole staff that I've been involved with, cause we've been involved with several, whether it be sending Mitchell, who's been a guest with us before. Um, I have a direct line via text with her. I've been gone back and forth on various things and questions and ways that we can improve and get better, you know, as an industry in this, in this new world, um, the, the whole staff, you know, it'd been one thing if it would've been Rocky and then, you know, everybody wasn't customer centered and, and, um, you know, good friends of us. And we couldn't, if we wouldn't have had that kind of support, I would have been a totally different experience. But, um, I think they were very upfront about that. Speaker 1 00:10:32 So, uh, I echo the same things when they've had nothing but good experience, um, you know, getting up and going or our months as well. Yeah. You guys were helpful too. Cause I know I, I came to you guys and said, Hey, what are you doing here? And we suddenly have absolutely no clue what we're doing. It's trial by fire. You got to play with it. And that's, uh, that's the thing is you have to, you gotta work on it and adjust it and that's what we've done. So we keep trying to do that cause we have four weeks. Yeah. Right. Okay, great. Absolutely. I never leave my computer. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:11:06 Ever, you know, Randall, you, uh, um, hit on a good, uh, good point there about working together as a, uh, as a team or as something that this industry really, um, I would say embraces absolutely. Now I've been doing virtual conferences this year, back since March. I don't know if anybody else, uh, out in the West, there was some Western energy Institute conferences and that was right at the beginning of this. And at that point, when somebody said to me, we're going to do a virtual conference, I'm like, like Randall and John James, I want to hug people and shake their hands and talk to them and you know, go do this and that, um, you know, having had some virtual conferences or at least this one under our belt, what's your thoughts about some of the good, bad and the indifferent virtual conferences? Speaker 4 00:11:54 What, you know, what's your take on, I'll give you again. My take one. I miss everybody. We all know that we're all in the same boat. We all want to get together, but I will say this. So by seeing you all at the conference or talking and just reconnecting it, it definitely keeps that excitement in me. So any thoughts from you generally, either John or Randall on a kick in there? Speaker 3 00:12:17 I'll uh, I'll kick in here first on this one. I think the good, um, is, am I not have this totally right. But I want to say that if, if your company was already registered to go, you could basically bring anyone to the show. Right? You could, anyone's allowed to come to the, come to the sessions and sit in and obviously visit the vendors. So I think we might have a lot more traffic in that way. Maybe some people who are clicking on your website, who are looking at your, your bulletins or whatever you've got posted on your website that are, I'd be introduced to your company that maybe normally wouldn't be able to go to a conference like this one had the opportunity or whatever. So I think there is that opportunity to see people I say, see, you know, that normally wouldn't be able to see you or see your, your company, what y'all, you know, Speaker 4 00:13:02 They're just intimidated to come into your booth. So Speaker 3 00:13:05 Yeah, they just walked by or, you know, I mean, you know, with Randall standing there, it's, it's hard not to be intimidated by, by that gloriousness Speaker 4 00:13:14 I think that is the right term, but I will eat for that one. Speaker 3 00:13:22 Yeah. And the battery, just not being in person, but go ahead, round on what he got. Speaker 4 00:13:25 I'm just going to say it's, it's not the same. Um, and it's, it's, it's not as good. It's not as good. And I will say that because the in-person we're able to, you know, go, go to dinner, where are you able to get a launch with faults, et cetera. And you know, it's a little bit different, a little bit more personal when you're, when you're, when you're, when you were there. And, uh, in this case it's unfortunate, it's the scenario and we have to make the best of it. So that's what we're doing. So, um, like I said, a minute ago, I I'm just hopeful. This is the only year that we have to do the virtual conferences. I think it will become a thing, um, um, for the future. But, you know, people want to be in front of their prospects. People want to be with their clients, et cetera, et cetera. And, uh, and I just don't think that's going to be replaced. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:14:21 Yeah. I mean, I agree. Excuse me, Randall, uh, from, from my company's perspective is we have stuff that you need to touch and feel and get your hands on to really get an idea. So yeah, this is this regulator, this meter I've been talking to you about, or, you know, whatever the case may be. And it's, it's really hard to do that virtually, you know, we do training webinars and separate customers as, as needed, but you know, they really want to get their hands on this stuff and, you know, pull it apart, put it back together and stuff like that. So that's, that's the biggest myth and that's the bad, and it's nobody's fault. It just is what it is. Um, and just try to work through it. But that's, that's the biggest, I guess, bad if you will, is that they can't get their hands on this stuff. Speaker 1 00:15:00 Yeah. It's definitely different. Um, Jim, I'm going to go, I mean, from an AWN standpoint, I'll tell you some of the good that we've pulled out of it it's, you know, sometimes it's booth rats or whatever you want to call us. You know, we get complacent to a degree, you know, I mean, you go, you set up your booth the same way you're waiting for the people you see the same people, you know, there's, uh, there's definitely that habitual nature to it. Randall hit on. Um, and for a lot of us, you know, the real business happens at the bar after a dinner, you know, those, those sidebar type situations. But I will say from a good standpoint, this was tested us, you know, as a company of getting out of our comfort zone. Right. And, and what ways, I mean, here we are on a, on a video call, right. Speaker 1 00:15:51 And, and recording it and going to share again for exposure to the event, to our own boosts, things like that. I mean, there's a, there's a motive behind it at times, you know, very quickly we realized that, okay, we got to do some work to make this work right. And sometimes other show, I'm not saying we don't work. Believe me. I know the days are long just like you guys, but there is a routine there, and this was not routine this time. And so getting, you know, what are some creative, more, more creative last week in trying to figure out how to maximize this event than I've ever seen our group be when it comes to a shell. Right. And I think that's fascinating, right? There's an angle to that. That, that intrigues me. Like why, why don't we treat every event this way, whether it's a person or not. Speaker 1 00:16:43 Right. Um, you know, as far as the bad, I mean, not to beat a dead horse, but obviously, you know, we all want to be there. Um, w John, you bring up a fantastic point of there's some layers out there that you just got to get your hands off. Right. I I'm, I have got to do it. There's no replacement. Uh, we don't live necessarily in that world. You know, ours can be definitely done virtually, however, there's a personal element there that, that, you know, you know, who you're dealing with, you know, that mindset, things like that. Um, you know, I, it's different for me. I come from a technology background. So you know, this virtual world that is very, I don't want to say that it's, it's easy or it's convenient, or, you know, like it's not perfect for what we're doing, but there's a, there's a little piece of it that seems natural to me. Speaker 1 00:17:40 So it's not as hard. Yeah. Because I, and I'm a creative writer. That's my background. So for me, a problem, I get to solve come Monday morning. Okay. How are we going to get people in and get them activated? Right. Um, we were doing things. We turned our vendor showcase into a webinar. We're out there promoting, promoting it like crazy. And we wouldn't have done that. We would have sat there and waited for people to show up for our 15 minutes at the conference and went about our business. So that part is exciting for me. It's that? Embrace it. Yeah. Like you said, ramble. I hope it's only this year. I pray. It's only this year. Speaker 4 00:18:21 I have a question for you. Cause you, you are a technology, technology, tech, technologically gifted, and a technology guy. Do you ever play video games? Speaker 1 00:18:30 Nah, nah, me and my son built that project. I'm sure a lot of people have wondered what that is right there. It's an awesome project that we got to do and him and I got to do, we monitored that thing. It's got tons of games on super fun, super fun project. Now it's just a prop. So it looks cool. It makes me seem a lot cooler than that really. Speaker 2 00:19:01 Hey, this backdrop makes me seem a lot cooler than I, Speaker 1 00:19:06 Right. I mean, not all of us can be in San Francisco. So, um, the last Jim, did you have anything to add to that? Speaker 2 00:19:15 I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I was thinking, you know, when you think about, we all are in a time of, Oh, woe was with me at times and we can get down, but then we always look at the bright spots, but one of the bright spots is all of our comfort level with virtual conferences and then going forward, we're all ingredients we want to be there, live together, hugging. There's a whole generation of people out there, especially our younger generation is very comfortable with electronics that like to go and maybe pop into a conference or a session, but not actually go to it. Not actually take the time. And I think if we do hybrid conferences in the future, or again, we have our normal conference, but maybe the sessions are our broadcasts where some, an engineer or a project manager can hop on he or she for a few minutes and, you know, watch, uh, a session or two and again at 10 part of the conference and gain something from that where they might not have gone in the past because it was a live conference. I think that could be in the future. Speaker 1 00:20:11 Yeah. I think, you know, I think we live in a hybrid world moving forward. Um, I'll tell you from my own experience and I've not been in this industry as long as you guys, I assume. I don't know. Um, I've only been in here four years, but I can tell you the first couple of years I was scratching my head. I have no clue what I was doing, but when I was able to get out there and be at these events and sit in on sessions and talk to people and understand how it was all connected, that that was huge for me. And you, you hit it on the fact that there's so many people sitting behind a desk that work for us and us that never get that chance and they never would. But in this hybrid environment, I think that's going to allow us to create better products, to, you know, see all the way down the line of where, where we can make impact. And that's something we wouldn't have got if we would've stayed at 100% in person. So, so that brings up what I think probably is the last question. And that's really, you know, moving forward, what does this thing look like in a, in a perfect world, Randall that you live in, you know, with that backdrop in a perfect world, what does this look like? Moving forward for you guys? Speaker 4 00:21:33 You know, I can throw out some buzzwords by, Oh, it must be more, it needs to be more intuitive and this and that, but I don't really know what that means, so I'm not going to go there. Speaker 3 00:21:43 Um, so Speaker 4 00:21:44 I, I'm not sure exactly what we do cause it's, uh, it's, it's just one of those scenarios where it's in, in my case. And I say, I can't remember who I was talking to, but I was like, wait a second. I think it was Jim. I was talking to him, go, you know, with these, with these virtual conferences, do you ever think, Oh, wait a minute, there there's a bunch of people over in this room way over here or in Texas or somewhere having a meeting, but I do it by computer. And, uh, I don't know. I just of want to see something and maybe, maybe seeing something live going on would be helpful, but I don't, I don't know what the next steps are. It just, there, there may be a way to do this simpler, but uh, I'm not sure exactly how to answer that question, to be honest with you, James. Sorry. Speaker 1 00:22:36 You just want it in person. That's pay to say, I think, I think we all feel that way. It's a hard one. It feels somewhat in John. I swear. I'm not trying to steal your thunder if I do. It was meant to be, uh, cause I know you're itching to answer that question, but you know, it feels kind of like a stop gap, right? I mean, it feels like we're in this purgatory of who you spend a ton of time trying to figure it out or do you just wait it out? You know John's. Speaker 3 00:23:09 Yeah. And I mean, that really pretty much that furniture. Thanks a lot, sir. Um, James Kim, sorry. Um, no, that's pretty much, uh, that's pretty much it it's, it's embraced what we have in front of us right now and do the best we can with it and, and hope like crazy that we're in person, but yeah. Gotta be able to take this experience today and if we're going to be virtual tomorrow, okay. We're going to be work till tomorrow. What does that look like? How can we improve upon what we did today? Um, and just make the best out of a, not an ideal situation by any means. So yeah. Continuous Speaker 1 00:23:46 Improvement. Speaker 3 00:23:47 Yeah, absolutely. And I have to say there is, I was laughed at, I, I actually felt like I was at a real conference with the four of us hanging around a booth area or out in the lobby, just the way we're kind of bad, three to it. Speaker 1 00:23:59 And John's a very witty, quick humor. It's absolutely beautiful. Those are the things you'd miss in a virtual setting. I mean, we're blessed right here to be four people on a video. But what I mean is that that conference, that stuff would happen all day long. But when, when you're sitting on a webpage waiting for somebody to slot in, Speaker 3 00:24:24 There could be 500 people and you would have no idea, even if they click on something. I don't know that unless I go into some logs somewhere. And then that's kind of the frustrating part too, is unless they actually are interactive with it. It's knowing if someone's there and you know, what did they click on it? Speaker 1 00:24:42 It's my baby's spirit drawn on phone rings and that's the Randall's number. I'm concerned. It's tech support related, like he's found a feature and he's broken. I'm going to meet him, bro. You like everybody else. Does I call you later guys? I think this has been enlightening. I mean, when we started doing coffee with Jim and James, we kind of joked that it was almost there before us, those therapeutics, that was really the intent when it started, there had to be other people feeling the way we did, but, or sure. The platform to share. Right. And so we've had people on and the thing that's continuing, I think this is episode 17, 17, or will be when it comes out. If it doesn't get canceled before then. Um, but, but this has been therapeutic for us and we hope, you know, the SGA other associations that we're all involved with involved in can take a little nugget from this and know that, you know, we support it. Speaker 1 00:25:52 We understand there's a need for it. We want to be a part of making it better. And uh, in hopes that, that in the very near future, we can get this thing back in person. So yeah, absolutely. Hey, I just want to say real quick, thank you guys for, uh, for being there for me. I want to thank my company for the same support during all this pandemic scenario to the SGA and the other associations are dealing with this the way they've taken the time to deal with it, to support their members as well as, as well as associates. Thank you guys. Great job. Keep it up at, we can support you. We definitely, you know, I, I guess I'm speaking on behalf of myself, but Randall can support you. He'll call me for tech support. I'll call James to help you any final thoughts. Speaker 3 00:26:49 I really appreciate the opportunity to be able to, to come and speak with you all and speak to who's ever listening to this, the millions of people everywhere. That's right. That's right. Um, it's kind of echo what Randall said. You know, the support that my company has given me during this time and the flexibility of life, you know, has been, has been tremendous. So, uh, you know, look forward to seeing everyone here real soon. And again, thanks for the opportunity would love to be a part of something like this again. Speaker 1 00:27:15 Hey John, good. Like you're tearing up a little bit. Can we cut to commercial please? Hey, crab. I'm the first to start over. That's all he started over. Cause I'm going to wrap it up, but any final thoughts from you, James or anything to say, or I think going down the path of continuous improvement, it's not a new, you know, it's not a new term in our industry, right? I mean, we've put together what we can put together in the time allotted. And as we move forward, we hope we can make it better. And um, I think conversations like this honest and open and passionate conversations as well, we have to continue to have, I, I could have said a bore and Mo better myself and uh, couldn't sit any more than that. So thank you for that. Again, that's a trick by the way. Speaker 1 00:28:21 Maybe they did that. No. What movie? The Wolf of wall street with that, we are going to wrap this up. This is just going to keep going on. We would like to thank our special guests, John and Randall. Um, great guys. Uh, if you do know, um, shout out to them, give them a hard time about being on this episode. If you're not on it and connect with them through LinkedIn, they are great guys and they can definitely help you in the industry and people you would want to know as well as if you don't know James and I connect with us. Uh, we have a few connections. So we look for having a few more until then everybody, please have a great day. Enjoy the SGA conference. Uh, let's all be safe out there. God bless you. And God bless our industry until next time. Have a great day.

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