Q&A with Scott Heide, Chief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation

Media 7 | August 3, 2021

Engineering Intent Corporation
Scott HeideChief Executive Officer at Engineering Intent Corporation, brings more than 30 years of experience in knowledge-based engineering software and has long been a key source for industry understanding of application strategies for engineering and sales automation. Heide drove the development of Knowledge Bridge, a cloud-based comprehensive EPQ (Engineer Price Quote) and visual configuration platform. It offers tools and methods to automate custom engineering, technical sales, and business processes – the “To Order” in “Engineer To Order”. Heide holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University and a Master of Science in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For companies that make engineered-to-order products, tedious design and engineering tasks are often the bottlenecks for selling more products and preparing them for each customer.



MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself? What prompted/interested you to take up this profession?
SCOTT HEIDE:
I have always had an interest in mechanical design, mechanical drawing, engineering, and programming. This started with drafting classes in high school and then I worked my way through engineering college as a professional draftsman (paper and T-square). I also took as many programming classes as I could, including punch cards and FORTRAN. This led me to the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT doing object-based pattern recognition during the first hey-day of AI. That eventually led to an object-based automated design, which is basically what I have focused on for my entire career. I love to learn about how products are designed and then I enjoy the challenge of figuring out to automate that process.


M7: What is Knowledge Bridge? How does it help in beating the costs and challenges of customization?
SH:
Knowledge Bridge (kBridge) is a tool for capturing design knowledge that can be used to automate design and engineering processes. For companies that make engineered-to-order products, tedious design and engineering tasks are often the bottlenecks for selling more products and preparing them for each customer. Knowledge Bridge reduces the time it takes to produce a quote; often enables the quote to be more compelling, more complete, and more accurate; and then it reduces throughput time, and overall engineering resource expenditures to prepare it for manufacturing once the order is received. This helps companies scale their business, without needing to scale their staff.


It is becoming much easier to purchase products electronically. Of course, access to the internet is the foundation, but technologies like Knowledge Bridge make purchasing otherwise complex products easier, faster, and more accessible.



M7: What are the benefits of replacing traditional CPQ solutions? How does it help in accelerating the sales processes?
SH:
CPQ systems can’t automate design – that is, the generative creation of new designs. All they can do is choose among previously engineered solutions. So, for products that need to be truly designed-to-order, kBridge enables the process to be automated where, otherwise, it would have to be hand-built outside of the CPQ system. We call what we do EPQ, engineer price quote. Because the engineering is automated and the application guides and constrains the user to a valid solution, far more people can create a quote. EPQ allows them to do that without cycling it in-house through slow manual engineering processes. This broadens the group of folks who can build quotes that contain valid engineering, dramatically speeding- the process.


M7: What do you see as the most noticeable change right now happening in the workforce, encouraged by the rise of digital technologies?
SH:
It is becoming much easier to purchase products electronically. Of course, access to the internet is the foundation, but technologies like Knowledge Bridge make purchasing otherwise complex products easier, faster, and more accessible.


CPQ systems can’t automate design – that is, the generative creation of new designs. All they can do is choose among previously engineered solutions.



M7: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work - what day-to-day processes have you had to re-tool to be able to pull them off remotely?
SH:
Our company has been built on a virtual office concept from the start, 12 years ago. This was the only way we could bring together a diverse group of folks with the right combination of unique skills and experience to build such a dynamic leading-edge company. Because of that, our internal processes were not affected much. However, our interactions with our customers have become much more virtual, which frankly seems to work well for us and the customer. I spend much less time in the Sky Club! 


M7: What do you read, and how do you consume information to stay at the top of your game?
SH:
I keep up with business, cultural and political news that may impact my company by reading Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review, among other news outlets. I also enjoy reading historic fiction and non-fiction to help provide perspective on where the industry is today, and where it is going to be tomorrow.

ABOUT ENGINEERING INTENT

Engineering Intent is the world’s leading provider of enterprise engineering automation tools that help engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturers with complex product configuration solutions. The company’s motto is “Automate the To Order in Engineer To Order.” Founded by Scott Heide, the company’s flagship solution is Knowledge Bridge (kBridge) cloud-based software as a service. kBridge uniquely captures engineering, configuration, geometry, user interface, and business rules. It is designed to enable visual configuration, handle EPQ (engineer-price-quote) needs, and deliver engineering automation. Organizations using kBridge consistently experience increased win rates, increased product and sales scalability, faster time to quote, improved quality, and lower costs compared to companies which rely on manual methods. Heide shared, “The technology is proving to be increasingly attractive to a broad range of ETO manufacturers from massive multinationals to small and mid-size enterprises.” Connect on LinkedIn.

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KUKA | September 23, 2022

Pioneers in modular construction and car factory automation have teamed up to advance the construction industry. U.S. modular housing pioneer, Waypaver International and German automation leader KUKA are today unveiling a predesigned automation solution to produce modular housing. The solution, System P4, provides everything a factory owner needs for an automated modular housing operation, off the shelf. System P4 is designed by Waypaver, powered by KUKA automation technology, and backed by the P4 Housing Collective. The P4 Housing Collective includes four separate companies: Waypaver, Prefab Logic, Modular Maven, and Effektiv House. The team collectively offers a construction ecosystem of plant design, people development, preconstruction design/engineering, and products ready to be built—designed together to work together with System P4. System P4 began with a collaboration between Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver, and Timo Heil, one of the CEO's of the KUKA System Group. Murdock and his business partner Curtis Fletcher pioneered the use of automation in construction in what is now the highest volume automated modular factory in the western U.S. Following this success, Murdock and Fletcher were sought out by developers, factory owners, and municipalities seeking new solutions to the global housing crisis. "Developing the world's first automated plant of its kind forced us to make big advancements in construction engineering and manufacturing, "The goal has always been to learn and share better ways to build, advance modular construction, and make housing more attainable worldwide. Collaborating with KUKA on System P4 is a major next step because it gives future factory owners a turnkey solution based on real-world lessons learned by pioneers in both construction and automation." -Rick Murdock, CEO and Founder of Waypaver. Heil—who has extensive experience in the conceptual design, planning and implementation of complex systems—adds, KUKA has played a decisive and global role in shaping the automation of the automotive industry in its more than 100-year history. Together with the strong team around the P4 system, we will put all our know-how into a paradigm shift in the way we build homes. Because nothing less than that is needed to meet the global challenge of housing shortages. Automation closes the wide gap between construction capacity and demand, while also making construction more efficient—both in terms of cost and sustainability. KUKA, a leader in automation for car-manufacturing, had a vision for how their technology and automation expertise could be used to build housing. Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher teamed up to envision a factory design that could combine KUKA technology and innovation with the proven best practices of automated modular construction to give modular factory startups a predesigned solution. The result, System P4, is a complete solution including Waypaver plant floor layout and logistics combined with KUKA robotics automation, hardware, and integration services. System P4 is a response to the worldwide housing crisis due in part to labor shortages and inefficiencies in construction. According to McKinsey & Co, construction is the world's largest industry, yet it has been one of last and slowest to advance technologically. Between 1900 and today, car manufacturing has made staggering advancements. In the 1920s, it took Ford 12 hours to produce a car; today a car is produced in less than a minute. With System P4, Murdock, Heil, and Fletcher see similar opportunities to reduce the time it takes to build housing—while relieving workers in the construction trades of physical stress. Our constant focus is making homes attainable, and making construction more precise, more productive, and easier, Fletcher said. The P4 Housing Collective is a team of separate companies united around this shared passion. We've made huge progress with data-driven methods for smarter construction and standard products plus automation to take the back-breaking work off of people. System P4 is powered by KUKA, and backed by data-driven preconstruction, off-the-shelf products, and people development programs—all designed to work together with System P4. This is great news for developers, municipalities, and modular builders looking to establish their own steady stream of quality housing. KUKA: KUKA is a global automation corporation with sales of around 3.3 billion euro and roughly 14,000 employees. The company is headquartered in Ausburg, Germany. As one of the world's leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, KUKA offers customers everything they need from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, metal and plastic, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail and healthcare. Waypaver International: Waypaver International is a small and mighty team of modular manufacturing experts with proven expertise helping design numerous modular plants. The team's members average more than 30 years in modular construction each. Waypaver's founder led the development of the first automated modular plant of its kind, and acted as the factory's most senior manager as it became the highest-volume modular factory in the western U.S. in less than three years. Collectively, the team has led the design of more than a dozen modular plants. Waypaver is committed to helping potential plant owners and operators understand risks, avoid costly mistakes, and enjoy the adventure of paving the way for a smarter, faster, more efficient construction industry worldwide.

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