Jeff Roscher is the co-founder and CEO of eWorkOrders, or Information Professionals, Inc.
At eWorkOrders, Jeff Roscher“provides state-of-the-art Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software to businesses of all sizes, throughout all industries.”
For over 25 years, Jeff Roscher has helped eWorkOrders establish itself as a reputable company in the industry. It has also become an “industry leader in CMMS software.”
Jeff Roscher got his MBA at Rutgers University, and immediately began his career as a senior systems analyst at one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in New Jersey.
For his work at eWorkOrders, Jeff Roscher brings his tech savvy and experience from the pharmaceutical company.
What drives Jeff Roscher to do his work at eWorkOrders is “technology and the creativity of developing new and exciting applications.”
Jeff Roscher says he “learned a lot working for a large company.” But working with a large company tends to restrict a person’s creativity, and Jeff wanted more.
It was Jeff Roscher who convinced his brother that they “should start our own company together.” His brother “began as a consultant and through an assignment at another larger pharmaceutical company.”
While working their respective jobs, Jeff Roscher and his brother “found the need for a good maintenance management system.”
Later, Jeff Roscher and his brother would adapt this system to become eWorkOrders.
In starting a new business I think everyone goes through tough times and good times.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
Jeff Roscher: There were really several Aha Moments that led to where I am today. The first was when I was a teenager.
I quickly realized that it was going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to meet my goals getting paid to work.
That’s when I noticed that rock stars wrote a song and recorded it once, then sold it millions of times.
I wanted to find a way to do this, but unfortunately, I didn’t have much musical ability.
I realized that I could write a computer program once and sell it over and over, so I thought writing software, which I was good at, would be a great way to go.
After college, I was working at a large pharmaceutical company building computer systems in a 9–5 job.
I was given responsibility for some amazing projects. My favorite was one was a project for the CFO.
It was a statistical model that included a data collection portion and a Monte Carlo based financial analysis.
It was used to value all inline and developmental compounds. This system was used to make multi-billion-dollar decisions for the company.
Unfortunately, my main reward for doing this was just a job well done, nothing significant financially.
This was when I realized that I wanted to start my own software and consulting company.
I convinced my brother that we should start our own company together.
He began as a consultant and through an assignment at another larger pharmaceutical company, we found the need for a good maintenance management system.
We were able to negotiate a contract with them to build the system for them at a discount so that they would be able to use it at any of their facilities and we would own the rights to the software itself.
This system would later be adapted to be internet based, multitenant software as a service known as eWorkOrders!
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Jeff Roscher: In starting a new business I think everyone goes through tough times and good times.
For me, I was ready to break out of corporate life and start a new business.
Starting a business from the ground up and building a customer base can be very scary and challenging.
This was new technology, I was the new guy introducing a new software solution to businesses who had no clue what it was, why they needed it, or even if it worked.
I was lucky. When I launched the business I had a few good customers with who I worked very closely with.
This is a big process, understanding what their real needs are, versus nice to have features, making sure that everything was compatible with their other solutions, and the list goes on.
But they helped us worked through their issues and helped drive the creation and upgrades of features for our CMMS service.
I am thankful for their patience and assistance. From there, eWorkOrders just kept on growing.
I think that both Brain and I attribute our drive to our parents.
Having a father who was a professional computer programmer, who introduced computer programming to us at a very young age got us to love technology.
Back then when we started into computers, there were no classes for us at our age.
Between what our dad taught us and the drive our mother instilled in us, we continued to learn things on our own, which made us self-taught entrepreneurs.
Our thirst for learning and using computer technology continued to grow and hasn’t stopped.
Today, I contribute a lot of my drive from my wife and two boys.
I want them to be able to do what I did and not be afraid to venture into new projects.
If they have a dream go for it. I have a great family, who supports me every step of the way.
Without their support, I don’t think my business would have been as successful as it is today.
Our business continues to grow.
Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?
Jeff Roscher: Our business continues to grow. I have a dedicated staff who are more like a family and our customers are treated the same as well.
I don’t want my staff to feel like they are just a number, because we are all a team and all have opinions to share to make the company even better.
Coming from a corporate life into my own business, I brought a lot of knowledge and experience on the type of environment I wanted to create for my employees.
My team is very close, have excellent communication skills and all feel that this is not just a job, but they are contributors to making eWorkOrders CMMS a success.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Jeff Roscher: When I was first starting out in the business, I thought that our services would be perfect for local government.
This was due to their tight budgets and need to manage large amounts of assets, maintenance, and people.
I spent years targeting these clients specifically.
While our software is a great fit for these types of clients and we have many clients that get a tremendous benefit out of eWorkOrders, I really misread the difficulties in dealing with the government and the lack of desire many of these organizations to have any kind of controls in place or their desire to be more efficient.
Remain focused on your goals and objectives.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals.
Goals help you create a clear path for your company and get you headed in the right direction.
Having realistic goals that are attainable, gives you the momentum to continue toward bigger goals.
- Balancing work-life, family, and friends.
In order to be successful, you need to find work that you are passionate about that makes you feel good about committing the time.
But you need to step back when you are with the most important people in your life, you need to be fully committed to being with them and eliminating all business distractions.
Never forget that your ultimate goal is to be able to provide a good life for you and your family.
- Remain focused on your goals and objectives.
Take smaller steps and try and focus on a few things every day and get them done.
Trying to multitask and focus on too many tasks at one time can greatly decrease your main focus, productivity, and accuracy.
If your tasks do not fit into your overall goals and objectives, you may be wasting time on things that don’t matter and help you succeed.
- You can’t do everything yourself.
One of the biggest challenges when building a company is finding the right people to be a part of your team.
Focus on people who are willing to learn, enthusiastic about your product.
Enthusiastic people bring positive energy, passion, and creativity to your team and will do their best to help you succeed.
Their background does not define who they are, it is their enthusiasm, passion and drive that makes people successful.
- Put a lot of effort into your marketing.
We focused too much on our product and not enough on our marketing. This led to much slower growth in the early years.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jeff Roscher: Follow me and eWorkOrders here:
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!