May 23, 2022
Welcome to episode 53 of Fire Code Tech. On this episode we are speaking with Drew Slocum from the Fire Protection Podcast about professional development, podcasting, working for tech focused companies in fire and life safety, listing process, and more!
Fire Protection Podcast:
Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.
Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.
Hello, all welcome to fire code. On this episode, we're speaking with drew slum drew is a entrepreneur who is a co-founder of inspect point, which is a software development platform that specializes in inspection, testing and maintenance for the fire and life safety industry. If you haven't heard it, drew came on the podcast before, so you can go take a listen to episode 13, where we get into a bit more of Drew's background and how he found his way in fire and life safety and how he's got initially started within spec.
But this conversation is an update on what drew has been doing over the last two years. Um, you know, it's probably been a year and change since I spoke with him. But it's packed full with tips for business development entrepreneurs, how to be a more competitive professional. And I really enjoyed speaking with drew.
If you would do me huge favor and hit that subscribe button, I would greatly appreciate it. Also give us a follow on social media. And before we get into the show, I just wanna say, if you could give a five star review on apple podcasts, that would be a big help to the show. Uh, do you like Zen cast? Man. I really like it.
It's free. So I've been using it the entire time. And, um, I've only ever had audio issues like maybe one or two times. And, um, uh, Too bad. I think I'm gonna move to zoom. I'm just gonna do it on zoom, cuz it just, I don't know, seems the best. I mean, Zen Caster's free, but they're gonna charge you at some point.
They're gonna take a cut at some point, but I I've been using Riverside cuz it has decent video, but it's got a bunch of quirks in it and I the last podcast I did last week. Um, uh, I think it, it like dropped and I was all paranoid cuz I wanted to get it out quick. So. No love for Riverside FM. So if there's any podcasters listening to it, uh, this don't don't don't sign up with them.
what's funny is, is I've heard a lot of people like engaging with Riverside and it, my brother had experience and he not speaking so about it. I know it's, it's not that old it's. I mean, as far as like, those technologies goes compared to like a. Whatever, like, no, it's pretty new. I think the, the STI fire stop, that's where I first saw it and he did a great job.
Those guys did a great job with it. And, uh, anyway, I tried using it. It's just it's, you know, you gotta use Google Chrome. It's like this whistles. Yeah. Yeah. Only problem I had was in caster is like people with. Uh, like firewalls sometimes get blocked out from big organizations. Cause it's like, uh, you know, it's not like a teams or something it's real commercially like, well branded or known.
So some companies firewalls are like, what's this they're trying permissions for. But other than that, pretty, pretty solid. Cool. Yeah, man. So. What have you been thinking about the podcast? And now you're talking about like your, your effort level and just, you know, kinda keeping it going. But yeah, I would love to hear about what you've been doing with the fire protection podcast and how things have been going.
Yeah. It's been going good. It was a good start to the year. I've I forgot how many episodes I've had maybe four, so, but, um, I've got a bunch in the queue to, to get recorded. I, I can pump 'em out pretty quick. Like get 'em out to the. Um, essentially it's writing up the blogs and stuff around it and, and making sure, you know, people read about it and, and everything I had the, the, uh, 4 21, the marijuana one last week, which was, uh, um, very timely on four 20, uh, oh, nice.
That's good deal. Yeah, it was actually really good. Uh, and it wasn't, you know, there's everybody laughs at it, but, um, it was just called, is called four 20. But I think NFPA really stepped in and, you know, leaned. And we had a great discussion cuz there is a big issue within that, um, that industry. And uh, yeah, so I'm try, I'm gonna try to get two, you know, once I think probably once the summer hits a little bit more, um, uh, two podcasts a month, but really focus on, you know, things within the industry that are problematic or just trends that we're seeing kind of.
And I, I do like having manufacturers on, um, You know, I don't like them self-promoting as much, but, uh, uh, because I, I don't, you know, I don't charge for sponsorships or anything cuz cuz I wanna a, I wanna ask them tough questions if, if, if I have the chance, um, So it's been good. I think there's been some good traffic there.
We've we've got a decent amount of subscribers. Uh, Chris, Logan's really doing a good job. I know. He's, uh, he's got a lot of subscribers on the sprinkler podcast, so that, uh, that sounds cool. That that four 20 episode, I know I, Steven Lewis, he was working on that coming out, but I know there's a lot of.
Really substantial hazards with that. So that's a cool topic to talk about and get into. Yeah, it's funny. It's funny. It's it's in the Northeast. It's I talk to fire protection engineers and even contractors and it's like, there, it is just this crazy growth market and no pun intended and, uh, it it's, it's, uh, there's a lot of issues with.
It's just, it's just, it's, it's going up so fast that the facilities and, and the changes in their technology of producing it and extraction and all that, that, um, they don't understand some of the fire protection concerns. And, um, luckily there's FPE that are, that are kind of. Working on it now. So I think, um, I don't think there's, there's been a couple big incidences, like in California, I think there was an extraction extraction facility that exploded or whatever, but, uh, uh, yeah.
But, you know, nothing, nothing like all the, the home Depot and in warehouse fires lately, which has kind of been, oh my gosh. Have been crazy. So yeah. Did you see that, uh, Walmart distribution center that went up and they could see it from like the weather patterns from space? Oh yeah. Yeah. It's, it's nuts.
And. I, I don't, I don't know. I, I haven't, I haven't dug into it too much. I mean, there was probably, there's probably some topics there to talk about. Yeah. Um, you know, it'll take probably a few months for, for things to come out out of the wash. So yeah. I think people love that forensics are like fire investigations.
It's hard to. Well, I haven't had, like, I haven't sought very many professionals on that topic, but like went to a fire Marshalls conference recently and they were talking about, there was a pretty substantial fire, like within stones from where I was working in downtown Oklahoma city. And it residential residential facility that was a, a month away from opening.
And then just went up like, Match sticks. Um, wow. And so they had like ATF and, um, some like a panel of fire investigators talking about, uh, common features for fire investigation and also like the, the, we only have one ATF guy for the whole state of Oklahoma. So like one dedicated, uh, ATF guys. So he was talking.
Some of the resources and some of the things that were requesting in regard to like this big fire, but, um, seems like people love, uh, uh, talking about fires and things like that. Oh yeah. Yeah. It's uh, Hot topic for sure. For sure. Well, uh, so I wanted to, you know, we could talk more about the podcast, but I was really excited and was thinking about you, uh, and to come on podcast episode and speak, just cause of all the cool stuff that's been going on recently.
Yeah. I'd love to hear about, uh, what's been going on. You know, um, things you've been working on. Yeah. I mean, you know, we started the, uh, the company's still pretty young, right. Um, we started about 7, 6, 7 years ago. I, I actually don't know the date. I mean, it was kind of, we threw it out there cuz there wasn't a great solution.
Um, for inspection testing and maintenance and fire protection, and there's a few out there, but they're on. And there's still antiquated platforms that, that, that the industry's using. And, you know, you know, the fire protection industry, it's, it takes it, you know, it's a lot to change it and there's, you know, the industry drags their feet sometimes.
And a lot of. You know, a lot of that goes into the code of, of how the code legs. Um, so I, we just obviously saw an opportunity in spec point and, um, you know, I, I had the fire protection experience and partnered up with, uh, some really, um, really powerful software developers and other professionals, uh, pat, Jen and Phil, who, um, Who had been in software and, and been involved in startups and kind of the whole, uh, process of that.
So it was, it was kind of a, a perfect marriage and, you know, we got some product to the market and it really took off really the last couple years. And in solving, obviously the fire protection appliance problems with ITM, but driving, I. As you see every day there's contractors are, are being acquired, left and right.
And it slowed down a little bit with the economy and everything going on, um, and rate hikes and all that. But I mean, it's all tied to reoccurring revenue. So it's the inspection and service companies that are getting valued to highest. And if you don't have a, so. To obviously optimize that recurring revenue.
You're you're not value aside. Right? So it, we kind of, we, we, we had the platform, there's a lot of, uh, big users of the platform and it, it, it kind of hits one of the huge growth areas in the industry. Um, and you know, other people obviously saw that and, uh, We were at a point where we, we were hiring people.
And, um, I think there were 20, 20 something people at the company at the time, uh, late last year. And, you know, there were so many opportunities for growth to, in the platform to develop new new features and, um, just get out to the market better in, in, in different, uh, market segments as, as well as geographic segments too.
And. You know, we're approached by, um, a great company, main sale, main sale partners who is very well versed in software. Um, they they've been great to work with. They were great from the start when we first started talking to them and you know, they have, they have a great formula to. They're in all these different niche software, um, markets they're in heavy duty trucking they're in pest control.
They're in landscaping and all these little, little niche markets that they've invested in software. They have a, um, They have, uh, one for like liquid waste in porta potties, like who, who would ever think there's a, you know, software for, uh, porta potties, you know, , that's pretty wild, wild that's that's yeah.
I mean, but they're porta potties are ubiquitous or all over the place. So that makes sense. If somebody was trying to figure out, you know, company company outta , that's pretty hard. I did a septic guy, you know, show up at my door. I had to get my septic tank pumped last year. I'm like, you know, they're they're service companies.
Right? So. You know, that fire industry has got all the compliance in there. Um, it's got all the compliance in there. It's it's super niche. We've, we've made a, a good name for ourselves. We have a huge growth and, you know, 50% of the market's still on antiquated methods, like pen and paper, Excel or PDF. So stuff like that.
So, um, There's just a lot of them grow. So partnering up with them, it really infused us with a bunch of, to cash, a bunch of cash to really, um, you know, grow. I mean, we were, we could hire one or two people at a time before and, um, and it wasn't a struggle or anything. It was just slow growth. Now we can really develop, I mean, I, so far this year we've had like, I don't know, five huge new features and over the next six months, it's going to.
Products are gonna really transform and, um, help the fire protection industry to kind of push forward. You know, that's super exciting. I mean, that has to be a wild time for you as a, as a founder and somebody who has been in since the ground up. I mean, even 20 people in a company is a substantial company.
That's by no means a, uh, like startup or a bootstrap, so right. To be going from that to. You know, you're quickly approaching like medium size company. Um, and in some really cool technology in a space that is without a doubt, fascinating to me. I mean, um, the intersection between, uh, tech company and fire line safety, I think that's just awesome.
Really cool to hear about. Yeah. It's, it's, it's funny. I worked for obviously two big, um, manufacturers, Tyco and, and Viking, uh, prior, prior to spec point. And they were great. They, they they're great for training. They, they knew what they were doing within the, the spaces they were in, but technology is just, it was so slow and a lot of it was code and, and testing and stuff like that.
And making sure the, the market fit the product, um, Which is tough, you know, they're in a tough spot. You can't just throw something out to the market. But, uh, the, the tech side with, with software and technology, it's like, You throw it against the wall, develop it and see if it works. And, um, yeah, you still need, you need to prove it out, but it's a lot faster than developing a sprinkler head or a, a new extinguisher or something like that, you know?
Yeah. I guess you don't have to like, get the inspection it software like listed. So that cuts out a huge piece of that, um, kind of hindrance that you're speaking to in the fine. Industry, like it ties itself to code and kinda, um, inhibits that quick growth or that technology model that's been so successful.
You know, like another thing you're talking about that just makes so much sense. And I see so many, um, tech companies capitalizing on is like the subscription model and. And how to develop a service that, you know, generates a lot of value and, you know, just a, um, a consistent subscription basis for people to, um, latch onto for inspect point.
So. That's that's pretty cool. But I wanted to ask you about, like, you know, you mentioned some features that you are, you know, have released this year or that you've been developing recently. I'd love to hear about, you know, what some of those features are you, I know broad overview of point is, but yeah, my own interest and for the listeners, like, you know, what are some of these features or some of these value ads for.
Uh, a lot of it, you know, we, we've kind of, there's a few focus areas. Um, one of 'em the main one, or at least for, and it'll probably continue is the FSM. So it's, it's field service management. So, you know, we're great at the, um, inspection side and the compliance side, and that's always improving too. We thought we'd be done with it in like a year or two and we're still having to do it.
Cuz code changes. You know, the workflows for compliance and everything can get better. Right. And it's always, that's always changing cuz the code's changing, but the FSM side's so like dispatching getting, um, you know, there's, there's, there's like a hundred different, a hundred plus different service and dispatching softwares out there.
Right. Uh, That handle your landscaper, that, that, you know, that handle your H V a C. So there's like a lot of generic that are great for that, that dispatching and, um, fleet management, stuff like that. There's only a few of us in really the fire protection side. Um, so bringing that fire protection and blending in the, uh, field service management is, is the biggest goal.
And we've been doing that over the last few years. Anyway. But getting, um, and just scheduling improvements of how fire protection is scheduled and getting, uh, quotations out to your customers for contracts, for follow ups, um, really making an impact on, on the contractor or, or the facility. We, we handle a lot of facilities as well, but as ma majority contractors and, um, equipment distributors, things like that.
So. You know, the follow up work, and then, you know, we're developing a full, uh, kind of time and material. So any, any field technician, whether they're doing install, inspection, service, whatever they're doing, you the, the. Uh, the business will be able to grab their time and material. Right. Which is the main cost to, um, even on the engineering side, you gotta grab your time for the specific projects, right.
So, um, a better time capture mobilely. Uh, that that's gonna be launched, uh, next month, I believe. And then we're getting specific into the fire extinguisher side to make it easier to do swaps and inventory on, on the trucks. So that's really cool to see. And, um, What else we got here, we've got some really cool.
So we, we have our platforms based on, you know, we have an API, which an API is a, a, essentially a connector to other different parts of other different software platforms like QuickBooks online or, um, financial platforms. But, uh, there's these compliance. Um, compliance engine in these third party platforms where, you know, the fire jurisdictions, those fire marshals, um, require every building to upload all their data into there.
So that's a big kind of problem. I wanna say, it's a problem. It's just a hindrance within the industry to make the data flow better. From the contractor to the building and the AJ. So that'll, that'll be worked on this summer. Um, that's a, that's actually a huge problem, um, at least on the contractor and building side.
So, um, Yeah, that's good. And again, FSM, and we've got like 20 to 30 big, big initiatives, but, uh, those are, those are the main ones right now. Very cool, man. Cool. To hear about. I love, you know, got coding a bit for a, and so love hearing about. Tech and, and APIs and how to take some of these, you know, big concepts and integrate them into fire and safety, which is something that I, I think about a lot, um, just as an entrepreneur and somebody who is interested in seeing the industry develop, but you're mentioning like how that data piece and that reporting data piece is a big problem, but I don't think I, I fully understand that and why that's an issue.
Would you just like to explain a little bit more? Sure. Yeah. Yeah, totally. So, um, what it is is, uh, fire jurisdictions, AJS fire marshals. Um, you know, whether it's a city, whether it's a town, whether it's a state, they want to look at all of their fire protection systems. Right. Make sure their fire alarm, you know, buildings have correct protection per the fire code, which then comes down from the international building code.
Right. Um, so they're installed per. Usually NFPA standards, right? At least in the us, uh, the NFPA standards. So they're installed that way. Now they have to be maintained at a certain frequency, right? Usually, definitely annually, but there's more frequent, you know, with like sprinkler and some extinguisher and everything.
Um, so up until like, I don't know, 10 years ago, there was no great way for the HJS to find out how their buildings are doing. With maintenance. So are, are there fires happening because of faulty, you know, sprinkler systems or not, you know, uh, a fire alarm panel being off, whatever. So there's these third party platforms that emerge about 10 years ago that essentially it's a software platform that.
Takes every building from the city of, uh, just say the city of Austin, Texas, right? The city of Austin, Texas has, I don't know, 25,000 different buildings. Now they all all have different fire protection systems and the fire marshals wanna make sure that they're up to, up to code. Right? So these software platforms.
Force the buildings, uh, to upload all inspection and deficiency data on, on four inspection testing and maintenance on those buildings. That's usually done by the third part or, or the, the outside contractor, right? The fire alarm service provider, the sprinkler, the, uh, suppression provider. So you know, of the, of the 15 to 20,000, um, Contractors in the us, they're having to upload this data into these third party systems.
Now they're being charged for it. Um, somebody's gotta pay for it at some point anyway. So I think it's, it does drive, um, more service and more compliance. Right. But getting the data into the system, hasn't been easy. So that's what we're trying to figure out right now. We're we, we work at the contractor level.
Um, we, we do a great job in gathering that data. If we can. Push that into there. It just makes it so much easier, so much faster for the HGA to react if there's a critical deficiency and, uh, a lot easier for the contractor react. If they have to create a, um, uh, a fix on a system, you know, that makes sense.
Yeah. Yeah. I think like, uh, that's an interesting proposition I've had to get. That data into that database, that, um, whatever, uh, however you term that, uh, compliance database. Um, but I wanted to like speak with you a bit more on like, just the, the idea of data and as a company that is like effectively a software company inside farm life safety, you guys, you know, from all these.
Different, um, sources and contractors and, you know, people using the, the program. Um, is that how you would describe inspect point program or like an application? Uh, it's a, so software platform, a software platform. So like, how are you guys using data and like leveraging data, um, is like a way to further the business.
Cause I feel like it's gotta be like an integral piece of the whole equation. Yeah. I mean, we're not, we don't do anything with the data in, in our, in our terms of service and everything that whoever's purchasing, the platform owns that. Um, so we're not doing anything with that. Um, but we do create different workflows that we see that, uh, promote better compliance.
Also promote. Um, faster fixes and honestly more dollars to the, to the contractor at the end of the day. Right. And so if, I mean, we have a statistic. If we can, if you can get an, you know, as soon as the inspections completed and reviewed, if you can get a quotation without out there within 24 hours, there's an 80%.
More likelihood it's accepted by the building owner cuz it's in front of them. And, and we really push that because you know, so many companies are behind in getting those compliance and inspection reports out to the, to the client. If you can make that faster. And then, you know, you know, think of about your, you know, if you have somebody show up to your house, that's doing an inspection on your H V a C system, right.
Um, If it's a, you know, you got a bad transistor, uh, uh, piece of equipment somewhere, you know, just don't don't come back out, just fix it right now. I'll sign here's my credit card. I'll sign on my finger. Well, you know, why can't we be doing that in fire protection? So, yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense.
Taking these, making that more streamlined, efficient process. I mean, we're. With life safety here, you know, we don't need to be up extra barriers to making these things.
So let's, you know, you little bit about the projects that you've working on and like some different features for inspecting. Um, you know, what kind is the, the big dream or like the big goal for the company? I know you guys have some serious growth metrics, but, um, I mean, like, what is like, is the goal to like make point like hundred person or person, like thousand, like grow this thing to the moon?
Or like, what are you guys like big, bold dreams for inspection? I mean, the, the goal for this year is to, is, is I think about almost 50 employees. Which is crazy. It's doubling. And then we'll probably double again in another year, year and a half from there. So, uh, yeah, there's a lot of room, I mean, and we're just really in, in us and Canada, we're gonna, we're starting to expand out.
I mean, we're big in Canada right now. Uh, we have different languages, uh, supported now. So I think, um, NFPA is a good baseline, but you know, in Canada we have the ULC platform, which. Um, Canadian specific, uh, we, we can go into a lot of different avenues with that. Um, you know, as you know, there's gonna be a lot of add-ons with the product as well.
So as, as, uh, you know, and if I, I, one of your questions had, has to do with that FPA nine 15, which is remote inspections. Which is coming really fast, but it's not really a adopt. It's not a, it's not a standard yet, and it's not, you know, that's gonna be adopted HJ to HJ. They're gonna, they're gonna decide that.
Right. But it's gonna have the option within the different codes of 25 and 72 and all those other ones, um, to have the option, to do remote inspection and testing. Um, so we're, we're primed for that. We're ready. We're ready. You know, you could essentially do a remote inspection now we'd have to, we'd have to turn it on.
But, um, I don't, Marcus is not really ready for it yet, in my opinion. Um, and I don't think the structure and the codes there yet either. So, but that's that, that's, that's interesting to see right. Of, of why, why can't a junior technician go out. Um, Not to like a critical facility, but maybe like apartment complex or something like that.
Can't they have a set of Google glasses on, or, you know, virtual glasses on and why can't a. You know, if they have a question on a, you know, a specific technical question that could go back to a senior technician who's back in the office and they can kind of troubleshoot it and get it fixed right away.
Yeah. That makes sense. There's already labor problem with technicians and, and, uh, in installation techs. Right? So this is only gonna help that I think, I think the fear is. There's there's a little bit of fear right out there of, of, of how that's gonna work and making sure that there are certified people doing that.
Um, but that's all, that's all gonna be handled within the code. Right? I don't, we're not trying to take away. Um, People's jobs are just trying to make them make them more efficient. And, um, there's already a problem with labor shortage. So how do we solve that? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. I mean, there's a lot of big issues with even making sure that this, uh, you know, inspection testing and maintenance gets done.
So, um, how to, uh, you know, build a better mouse trap for, um, how this gets done and, and integrating it. Technology, I think is only the inevitable. Um, so inspect points, you know, poisoning itself to, um, make that transition or integrate that service when the code cycle in the market is really has an appetite for that is, um, really, uh, um, unique thought, um, needed like a cool idea.
Yeah, I see the challenges with it and just like people in their hesitance to adopt, um, something like this, even though it makes sense. I mean, you know, video capturing of these inspection pieces and we're starting. Two, you know, we do everything over zoom and we're starting to record everything of, of just reach outs to our, our customer base and presentations that we give.
Right. So there's documented, you know, um, video of the meetings, right? So why, why can't we do that? You know, live, I mean, that's a big compliance thing too. So if you show that you're doing the inspection, you're showing you're doing the testing, um, That could potentially open up to liability if you're doing something incorrect.
But, uh, I don't know. The more, the more eyes and ears you have on a, on an inspection. I think the better, um, anyway, this is my thought. No, you're right. Think you're right. And I think that, um, we're only gonna see more and more opportunity for this to, to be adding value. I mean, I know. I spoke with, uh, I don't know if you've had Christina Francis on the, on the podcast, but she was talking about in her time at Proctor and gamble, like, you know, some of the, um, uh, remote testing and inspection that Proctor and gamble had in place.
Yeah. Where, um, they could, you know, run gauges. Had readings from gauges at all times, and yep. You know, readings on the pumps and could kinda get like an EKG of the system and see performance. And so, I mean, I think that's where the industry's headed in, you know, fire protection really doesn't have, you know, it's all still manual valves.
And most of it, you know, most of the industry is, um, a lot of tech that is not new or right. You know, sexy cause of that listing process that we, we were talking about. So yeah, so listening, I, we work with Proctor and gamble with our platform. Right. And. Christina very well. She, she helped us out early on and I know she's, uh, AAG eager to see her in, uh, Boston at N FPA, but, um, in what she's doing at Tesla, but they've, they, you know, they were able to do a lot of that because they were their own kind of HJ within the, those facilities.
Right. Um, So, and, and they have, they have some really forward thinking, um, systems that, you know, grab, grab readings, right? Grab the fire pump, uh, churns automatically. And, um, uh, I will, would love for the market to do it. I think there's a price point and just a comfortability of, of the market. Um, I, I hope it gets there.
I think it will in our lifetime, but, um, Right. The code and listings have to change to a certain point and, you know, being involved in N FPA, that doesn't happen as quick as, as technology comes out, right? Yeah. Yeah. Without a doubt, the wheels on this, I'm sure people are tired of me saying it, but um, but, uh, Yeah, it's interesting hearing, like, you know, before talking with Christina, I didn't even know people were doing that sort of thing.
So even here that's happening in the industry at all felt positive to me, but it just, um, you know, how doddle the line between innovation and advancement of technology and, you know, services. And then also, you know, this listing process of doing our due diligence on the technology and making sure. You know, these pieces of equipment and these services are vetted properly.
I know that's a pretty substantial financial and time barrier to entry for bringing a product to market. You know, that I've just like a big interest in technology. I know it's been a through line in your career as well. And so, um, I'm kinda like, I guess just gung-ho on like wanting that to be progressed, but I understand that there's gotta.
Checks and balances, right? Yeah. Yeah. And I think the main manufacturers are starting to push it at least on the fire alarm side, some of the automation, but you know, some of the, the sprinkler systems, suppression systems, definitely in the extinguisher end it's it's, uh, manufacturers don't move that fast and it's, you know, a lot of it's the tied to the code and, and the listings.
Right. Unfortunate. Yeah. Yeah. And, and the money and just like where it viable for
it's it's not like, uh, it's not like a fringe case thing. It's like, no, we know for a fact there's a market for this and you know, we're gonna bring it. We're gonna bring that product there. Um, which you know, who am I telling? You know, that way better than me, but. No, uh, I wanted to talk to you about just like you
always enjoy when you conferences. Yeah.
Really like hearing about that stuff. I think it's a great. Professional development piece for people. Yeah. I mean, um, the I'm really excited for NFPA in Boston. Um, you know, N FPAs headquartered in Boston, so that's, you'll get a good turnout there. It's tough for some people on the west coast to get to in, in, in the Midwest.
Right. But, um, I mean, NFPA is a, a huge one. Um, I go to a lot of the trade associations, right? The AFSA N FSA is gonna be coming back around again. You know, COVID kind of put a damper on a lot of that the last couple years. So I think everybody's rare to get back out there. Um, I'm, I've, I've, I'm presenting at all three NAS.
I've actually presented twice NA fed in a couple weeks in Indianapolis. I'll be there. Uh, we'll be at the American fire alarm association next week. Jeff will be down there from inspect point. So, um, ISC west, which I really wanted to go to that was really well attended. That's on the fire alarm and security end.
Um, that's gonna be in New York city, I think, in, in the fall. Um, but the, the trouble with, you know, the, the expos and trade associations, you know, they don't even gather half the market of, of who's out there. Um, and the manufacturers are definitely there. Um, most of the time, but a lot of times the service providers and contractors and even engineers are not there.
Right. If they're not members of, of the associations, I mean, you could probably see that in the fire protection engineer community of are, are they, are they involved in S F P I mean, S F P probably. What has, I don't know, pretty low percentage of the FPE out there. And that's that that's, that's tough. I, you know, I wish there were.
And I don't know how, and, and maybe there's a swing cuz it used to be, I think there was a lot more participation and maybe there's been a lull and the new generations taking over that wants to be more involved in some of the associations and everything. Um, But I think the associations have to change to a certain extent, a little bit too, to entice more participation and cater to the newer generations too.
Right? Yeah. With, without a doubt, we I've been seeing that at the local chapter level for S F P just like. How to get engagement from people, you know, um, we've been working on trying to be more like digitally minded, not forcing people to come into in person meetings. Mm-hmm, , um, trying to focus on some different initiatives to, you know, get the students involved.
It's hard. I mean, like, it's really a lot of the old guard who are participating in the larger numbers. Um, you know, Are not opposed to these in person interactions where you're speaking with people on a face to face basis. And I mean, I think, um, probably my generation and, and definitely the, the new generation coming outta school is just like, way more comfortable with that, with that digital, um, engagement.
So I know, I think it's that that participation piece is huge. And I think there is a lot of professional organizations struggling with that, but. A very interesting point. You, you bring up about like, you know, how much of the fire protection engineering community does SF P really capture? I, I sure would be interested to find out how do we get more people to the do, do we, it easier for people to get involved and like bring their knowledge to the table, bring like their businesses and service to the table.
You. Well, I think what you're doing, you're, you're doing right here and I, I do in the podcast, in the, on the podcast, right. Uh, we get way more listeners and downloads than. Then any trade show out there, right? Yeah. You could pick NFPA in Boston and if you put, you know, podcasts up for a month, you're gonna get way more listens than you will attendees at NFPA.
Yes. It's not the same. You're not gonna see the product meet the people face to face, but I think it's a, it's a, it's a great avenue for, um, I don't know the new wave and you've done a great job. Uh, Chris, Logan's done a great job and you know, we, we're trying to set the table as well. Yeah, I appreciate that.
You mean, you know, that's like why I got into it, honestly, cause I wanted to go to some of these big conferences, but one or two year professional, outta paying, paying $2,000 for me to go, you know, whatever, fly to Vegas or something and put me up for a night and like, you know, send me to the conference.
So, um, Do think that like more webinars, like what we're doing with the podcasts and just, you know, more content in general is, is really good for the community and everybody, as far as just like stimulating that conversation and trying to get people. Um, excited or even engaged with the industry. It's free too, right?
Yeah. You can do it anywhere. you do it on the way work. You do it, right. He leaves in the yard. You can do it whenever. So, I mean, you know, I, I know that you're a podcast fan too, so, um, yeah, that's, that's how I was, you know, started thinking about it. But I know you were telling me before about how you were a podcast fan and that's what got you thinking about it, but it just makes too much sense, you know, for people who really wanna listen to.
To fires talk like it's out there and available for you. Yep. Totally. But, uh, yeah, so like, um, just wrapping it up and like ending and thinking about like professionalism or, you know, kinda, um, advice or, you know, things that you could offer to people listening. Um, you know, you're somebody who has, you know, seen success in your professional career.
I've seen you. Build rapport with people and, you know, establish and, and keep relationships. And, you know, I think that's an incredible skill and something that brings huge value to businesses. But yeah. What kinda advice would you have for, um, people who are listening or just like, you know, how to maintain business connections, how to, you know, like I know your professional, uh, involvement.
You're kind, uh, going to these conferences is big piece, but yeah. Do you have any thoughts for that? Yeah, I mean, uh, to, to, to go on the Association's piece, if you're a young professional, I mean, have get involved, uh, go to the meetings, volunteer, they need volunteers to be on these committee, you know, these different local committees, you know, and then obviously you can move into the national at some point.
um, but you know, it takes some time and you gotta, you know, give up a few nights and, and days to, you know, your spare time to do it. But I, that, that's how I got started, at least in the New York Metro area. Um, and you know, you kind of earn a name from that. Doesn't happen overnight, takes a few years, but, um, that as well as, um, you know, Make sure everything social like LinkedIn and social media wise, that you're up.
Well, at least LinkedIn, professionally. Um, you kind of keep an up to date with that. I think that's, that's very powerful. Um, you know, not everybody's doing that, but at least the younger, you know, it is a younger generation thing and it's older too is just there's, it's more predominant percentage wise, probably on the younger side, but, uh, stay active there.
And, um, I don't know, just be open to learning, learning new things, um, within the business and, you know, ask questions, volunteer your time to, to, uh, put yourself out there. Right. Um, I remember working back in the day with, uh, Tyco JCI. You know, I was just supposed to be doing sprinkler and all that, but I, I wanted to learn everything.
It throw everything at me, send me to any training you can. I want to be heavily involved and, um, you know, talk to people, pick their brain. Um, Whether it's something, somebody like me or somebody even like you GU, right. How, how, how have you done it? And, uh, Chris, Logan's the same thing. He's like, I, you know, I just wanted to learn more.
So now he's like, you know, everybody knows who he is. Not everybody needs a podcast, but, um, Yeah. I think even connecting with people from, from the, the podcast that are out there, there's a few hundred, right? Yeah. Um, connect with them, say, Hey, I, I heard you on this podcast. I think that's, that's really cool to hear.
Um, you know, I get it at various conferences if people know who I am and it's, it's flatter. That's cool. That's cool to hear. That's always makes your day when that happens. Oh yeah. You'll you'll you'll you're, I'm sure you're getting it, you know, once you get to a few shows, so yeah, it's, it's fun. It's always, even if it's, you know, a student or something it's always flattering, but, uh, yeah, I think that's a great piece of what you're saying about like professional societies and.
How it takes a while to build a name and you know, it's not gonna happen overnight, but if you keep showing up to these professional societies and keep trying to volunteer and keep trying to do things over the course of a couple years, you are gonna see dividends paid in your professional and social life.
So it's about putting that work like you're saying, which has. You know, a big benefit for me is being open to, you know, taking, taking the new job, taking, taking the new task to really learn and figure out and being open mind and eager to learn. So, um, I think that's all great points. Cool. Anything you wanna cover that I didn't talk about?
Or, you know, uh, no, no, not really. I mean, um, Subscribe to the podcast, obviously subscribe to your podcast too. But, um, um, if you're, if you're interested in learning more about in spec point, um, it's pretty easy in spec point.com. My email is, uh, drew ed and spec point.com. Um, we'll kind of show you some of the, the bells and whistles of it and, um, yeah, look forward to, to seeing people at NFPA, I'll be at NAFI in a couple weeks and, um, Yeah, excited to excited to have the summer here and kind of things slowing down with, and everybody getting back together after the kind of the pandemic's subsiding a little bit.
So, yeah. Yeah. Super nice. I was on the plane. This last year, a weekend or two ago. And just like not having to wear a mask was, was nice. Right. So it's pretty crazy. I know it's kinda, you don't think after like couple hours on the plane, how much relief that would be, but yeah, but, um, yeah, it's nice. Things are starting to get more normal, not completely normal, but, um, yeah man, I just wanna thank you so much for coming on and sharing your knowledge and talk about, you know, what you've been doing, but.
Yeah, big. Thanks. And, uh, yeah. Excited to see where you're gonna, what you're gonna do with inspect point is podcast mean it's all good stuff. Yeah. Stay tuned. And, uh, we'll talk to you soon. Yeah. And subscribe to the fire. That's right. Both of them fire podcast. Go do it now. all right, man. Thanks for listening, everybody.
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