Having been a customer before joining Prometheus Group, Jarrad Huby brings a unique perspective to the team. A fascinating character with a truly global outlook, Jarrad lived and worked in Australia for Prometheus Group before taking on an Asia Pacific role then finally moving to Raleigh, North Carolina.
Before the pandemic, Jarrad spent a vast amount of time traversing the globe visiting customer sites from Texas to Singapore. His busy professional life as the global product lead for safety and permitting is supported by an equally lively personal life with new baby Eli, his dog Sydney and his wife, whom he met at Prometheus Group. It's clear that downtime is not something he embraces!
We managed to find time in Jarrad’s schedule to chat and find out more about his globetrotting career and why he is our permitting & safety solutions guru.
I first came across Prometheus Group when I was evaluating the platform almost a decade ago. In 2013, I joined the team as a functional consultant based in the Brisbane office. At that point, we were a small family of about 40-something employees with a vision to disrupt the asset management space with our platform.
Before Prometheus Group, I spent almost ten years in the mining industry in Australia.
Serving as an emergency medical technician, an electrician, and in a variety of IT & maintenance roles gave me hands-on experience of the challenges customers face. I believe that this helps me truly understand and advocate for safety in industrial settings.
Living and working on two continents has given me a unique opportunity to understand and be cognizant of cultural differences. I’m able to connect with our customers across the globe and communicate the benefits of our solutions and how they address the distinct challenges they face.
Effective communication and listening skills are the bedrock of my career. Any company with global aspirations needs people that understand cultural nuances and adapts their communications accordingly. I would encourage anyone thinking about a career as a consultant to hone these skills.
I’m the product lead for our Permitting & Safety solutions, which means I work with our customers to understand their needs and design products that help them on their digital transformation journey. In the early days, we addressed critical gaps for customers that our competitors ignored. Today, we act as a disruptor in the asset management space, developing solutions for areas that traditionally are reticent to adopt technology.
My role focuses on guiding customers through their digitalization efforts. The key to increasing user adoption is to explain and show how the technology will make their tasks easier. At Prometheus Group, we focus on the benefits of integrating our solutions rather than overwhelming customers with “computery stuff”.
A typical day can span the gamut – from building an isolation schema in a substation with our users to visiting an office in Europe to provide training on safety best practices. Being able to make a measurable difference for our users by helping guide companies on their digital transformation journey is incredibly rewarding.
Over the years, I've built great relationships with customers and many are now close friends. I still catch up with many retired maintenance and safety people who love to reminisce about the good old days. I’m a big proponent of always being available to offer support. The day I lose that desire, I will retire.
Culture change! Hands down, this is the number one roadblock that customers run into. Until they make the decision to tackle it, projects will continue to slow down. I often joke that if I had a magic pill that forced culture change, I'd be the most popular human on earth. Helping educate and inform users, through practical training that focuses on how technology can help teams work smarter and not harder, is critical in guiding teams toward cultural change.
We've built our solutions around core values that provide a clear path towards best practices, no matter the stage of maturity or organizational readiness. For example, if a customer has a group that struggles with using its ERP, our solution can make it feel like they aren't even in the system. We'll still be able to capture all the information that will improve the lifespan of that organization’s assets.
Mobility is an excellent example of this; we often see organizations try to go from zero – relying on paper permits – to 100mph with the dream of a fully mobilized digital worker. It’s a fantastic goal, and we always encourage this objective. Still, through years of implementations, we’ve learned many lessons about the speed at which users and organizations can move.
Master data also presents a myriad of challenges with the pivot to digital. I’m still surprised that in 2020, many companies rely on pen and paper to record inspection results and then wonder why things don't improve. It's never too late to start capturing master data, and while it's important not to underestimate the effort to get to 100% accurate and cataloged master data, no one is there yet, and you can (and often should) start small. A slow approach to achieving accurate master data will always trump a rushed and inconsistent approach.
When a customer deploys our solutions, they have our support for as long as they need. We view our customer relationships as a partnership. Our solutions are "out-of-the-box," but there are many items jam-packed in the box, and everyone takes those items out at their own pace. We commit to being there (instructions in hand) as customers undertake that journey.
Our mission is to help customers understand more about industry best practices and how to integrate technology to solve real-world problems. Key to our success is the ability to translate functionality into practical benefits to someone who works on an offshore rig versus someone who works remotely inspecting wind farms.
A common question I hear from organizations is how to prevent the ensuing brain drain from an aging workforce. I recently showed a customer a way to capture some of this knowledge by taking audio recordings of various assets and having the site expert describe the noises they heard and what they could mean when they are performing an inspection. It's amazing to see how 'in-tune' some people are with equipment when they've been around it for decades and how difficult it can be for someone new to grasp what a "grinding noise" from a gearbox actually sounds like. Solving these types of challenges makes life at Prometheus Group so rewarding.
I’ve seen Prometheus go through many stages of growth, from startup to newly crowned Unicorn. As we’ve grown and matured, we’ve maintained the ethos of treating everyone as a leader and expecting them to deliver.
Our goal is to help our customers get up and running with our solutions as quickly as possible. As a result, our people gain experience in a wide variety of organizations across industries. This approach disrupts the legacy model of having consultants remain on-site with one client for extended periods. In our view, consultants need to offer a perspective acquired from working in a multitude of settings rather than one or two. We pride ourselves on having an agile team that focuses on driving real change in lockstep with our customers.