Monday, June 14, 2004
Interview with Mark Friedman, Accruent
Mark Friedman is the CEO of Santa Monica-based Accruent (www.accruent.com), which recently announced a round of funding for its contract management solutions, and the acquisition of one of its competitors. I recently spoke to Mark to get a deeper understanding of the company and its products.
BK: What does Accruent do, and what kinds of solutions do you offer?
MF: Accruent solutions enable industry leaders to transform "fixed" contract costs into cash that goes directly to the bottom line. We provide each of our customers with precisely the right mix of software and services to support their immediate and long-term business goals. Our comprehensive cmSuite delivers immediate results, rapid ROI, and lasting benefits:
- Provides visibility into all contractual commitments
- Eliminates costly errors and vendor overcharges
- Improves financial controls and lowers expenses
- Allows you to enforce hard-fought contract negotiations
- Ensures results through rapid contract abstraction and system implementation
Our solutions manage all contracts - everything from real estate contracts to equipment leases - on one central repository. Contract compliance and operational continuity are assured through automated best practices that improve visibility into processes and operations.
BK: Who are your typical customers, and how do they use your solutions?
MF: Accruent's 150+ customers come from a variety of industries including retail, financial services, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare, real estate, advanced technology, media and entertainment. Our clients include Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Consolidated Edison, Eaton, Mellon Financial, Pfizer, Rite Aid, Siemens and Viacom. These companies use our solutions to boost profits and generate cash by leveraging value within contracts and transforming fixed costs into manageable spend.
BK: I see you recently announced a funding round--why the new round?
MF: The capital will support the company's aggressive product development efforts, increase sales and marketing and acquistions. A portion of the capital was used towards lasts month's acquisition of National Facilities Group.
BK: How did your recent acquisition of National Facilities Group come about? MF: Accruent and NFG have been friendly competitors for years. The deal will provide both companies clients with more choices, more resources, and better networking. The deal will also provide Accruent with an economy of scale as well as a greater pool from which to derive ideas, since customers teach the company about their needs. Accruent will continue to market cmRealEstate and National Facilities Group's SLIM (Strategic Lease Information Management). However the majority of our R&D investments are going into cmSuite, our next generation, web-based product that incorporates the best of both SLIM and Accruent?s current flagship product, REM. cmSuite expands beyond real estate contracts into other enterprise contract types such as service, equipment, IT, procurement and IP contracts.
BK: How many employees does Accruent have, and where are they located?
MF: Accruent employs 92 people with headquarters in Santa Monica, CA and regional offices in Chicago, New York and Dallas. We also have approximately 40 off-shore engineer contractors, and several hundred long term contract employees at our data centers in the Philippines, Vietnam and India.
BK: Had you taken any venture rounds prior to this funding, and if not why the shift?
MF: Yes, this was an expansion round, bringing a total of more than $35 million raised in capital since the company's inception in 1995. We expect this capital will bridge the company to profitability in the second half of 2004.
BK: What's the next big goal for Accruent?
MF: Our next major milestone will be to roll out our web-based version of cmSuite. But our biggest goal will be to get the contract management message out far and wide.