Link To Guest Website:

Title: “Transitioning From CFO To Sales with Visibility”
Guest: Dave Sackett of Visibility
Interviewers: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC & Evan Macedo – Sapers & Wallack / FEI Boston

Click here to read the transcript

Jeffrey (1s):
Oh, here we are again, sitting in our zoom studio for Radio Entrepreneurs, ready to go over 7,000 interviews and counting over a million. People have listened to our stories or watched our stories in counting maybe a lot due to this co-host I have here, my superstar, cohost, Evan Macedo, vice president of finance and operations at Sapers & Wallack. And that must mean that this is another FEI moment.

Evan (28s):
Yes. Another wonderful FEI moment in another wonderful FEI show.

Jeffrey (34s):
Oh great. And you have brought us a new guest from FEI. You brought David Sackett, former CFO, and now chief solutions architect at visibility. Welcome

Dave (45s):
Dave. Thanks for having me,

Jeffrey (49s):
You know, I always thought I knew the definition of visibility, but I have a feeling you’re going to change my mind this today.

Dave (56s):
It’s a little different

Jeffrey (58s):
Go for it. Change my attitude.

Dave (1m 2s):
What visibility does. They’re a software company made in 1988. They make a software for manufacturing companies called engineer to order. So companies that manufacture things that are kind of custom have engineering departments need full visibility to their business in terms of financials, engineering, modules, scheduling, MRP, anything that’s really related to manufacturing to have a software tool to help you do your job.

Evan (1m 32s):
That’s great in Dave. I know, I know you personally, and I know you’ve been a CFO by nature and you’re more in a sales architect role at this new company. Right? Extremely fascinating. And I’m sure a lot of other people looking to, you know, change up their career also would find that fascinating. What made you transition into a different type of role?

Dave (1m 54s):
I’ve been a CFO or in the CFO role for about 14 years. And I wanted something new. I wanted something where I could leverage my CFO background, something that would kind of give me advantage maybe in another career. So I figured, okay, if I go to software sales, for example, I’ve been on the other side, I’ve been a customer of visibility for over nine years. Use their product, love their product, know all the functionality. And from a CFO point of view, I can talk return on investment. I can talk about the value of audit trails and all the financial functionality that visibility ERP provides to really go back and forth with customers and really try to show them the value of visibility, ERP software.

Evan (2m 40s):

Jeffrey (2m 40s):
Well, you know, who would be typical clients that would be working with visibility, Dave?

Dave (2m 46s):
So yeah, anyone that does custom manufacturing, it could be aerospace defense. We even have some furniture clients that make unique furniture each time. What visibility really excels at is change control engineering. So as you’re building something on the shop floor, maybe you’re putting together a really big tool. There’s changes. The customer has new requests. They want to add different functionality. What my system does says, okay, everybody stop what you’re doing. Here’s where all the changes are. Go do your thing and pick up manufacturing. As soon as you can. Again, give new dates on when that’s going to be done from a planning point of view, from a resources point of view and go about your business.

Dave (3m 28s):
So it’s really designed for complex manufacturers that make something unique almost every time.

Evan (3m 35s):
And Dave, I know that the manufacturing has just been thrown for a little whirlwind over the past year and this year as well. And supply chain management has been difficult as we all know, but I know you are very in tune to the industry and you’re always following all the data that’s going around in it. Do you see any trends that you feel will be coming up in 2020 that people should be looking forward to?

Dave (4m 3s):
Yeah, I think in the coming years, you’re going to see manufacturing kind of full away from Asia and more into the U S again, you’re going to have people, you know, shorten up their lead times, not have supply issues. I think you’re going to see kind of a return to us manufacturing at some level, you’ll still be, you know, dependent on imports, but you should be doing, we should be doing more manufacturing in the U S and this is now an opportunity given the trade disputes and issues in the world right now.

Jeffrey (4m 35s):
So, you know, you don’t meet a lot of attorneys that become doctors and a lot of doctors that have become attorneys, but we’re currently talking to a person who was a CFO, successful CFO member of FEI who becomes a salesperson. So what advice would you give to people who were be considering doing what you’ve already done?

Dave (4m 54s):
Yeah, I would say, you know, do your kind of homework on what’s really required for it. I was very much a technology CFO. I was very much out there doing interviews, talking to people, being a customer reference already for visibility clients through that partnership that I’ve had with visibility. So it’s really finding, you know, if you’re going to jump to sales, what’s your day to day going to look like, how have you been training as a CFO? How does that translate to sales? And from a CFO’s point of view, I still had to sell the board of directors. I had to sell my CEO and really what that means. It’s having that level of trust, you know, showing the value.

Dave (5m 34s):
So I did have some sales experience prior to making the jump that said, it’s still a lot of learning on my side, kind of a big adventure for me, trying to figure out how to be the best sales person and how to connect best with my customers and prospects. And it’s been fun to me to still do CFO work. I’m sure I could do it. I could jump to another CFO role, but I wanted something new. I think with the pandemic, I did a lot of kind of soul searching, really looking where can I add value somewhere else, given my CFO background. So for me, the natural fit was, you know, go to my ERP partner that I’ve known for many years, use the product and really have passion for the products.

Dave (6m 18s):
So, because I know it and I’ve used it and I love it. That comes across. When I talk to prospects, you know, when they get excited, I get excited about the product. They get excited about the product and we have really good conversations. And that’s really what to me, what it’s all about.

Evan (6m 35s):
And Dave felt being, speaking about being the best. I know that you’ve been in FEI for quite some time, and I know there’s a lot of really great senior financial leaders in there. I just wanted to hear from you what you feel FEI has done for your career. If there’s other people looking to join it so they can hear your experience.

Dave (6m 57s):
No. Sound good. Yeah. My experience has been fantastic. It’s opened up doors for networking to get speaking engagements, to be on a committee. So I’m on a national committee for finance and it called see fit for FEI national. That has brought me to cause some of the biggest companies in the United States to actually sit there and see what they’re doing from a FinTech point of view, kind of that finance related technology and what are they doing? And robotic process automation and applying AI and looking at blockchain solutions. So that’s really kind of fueled my interest into technology and finance. So for me, it’s something that I’ve used, my FEI connections.

Dave (7m 40s):
I’ve used, what I learned. I used that opportunity to really grow and really, you know, get the most out of my career technology and just keep going. It’s, you know, you’re with FBI, it’s, you have so much opportunity if you put the time in and if you want to actually go for it, there’s plenty that you can do. And plenty of ways that can help professional development has been fantastic. It’s I’ve given talks on things that I’ve originally heard about in FEI. And now I’m a speaker related to things that FEI kind of helps support and help give me the backgrounding connections to really share information and kind of get myself out there.

Jeffrey (8m 22s):
You know, one of the things I hear Dave from almost every company is that they have trouble finding new hires. And I hear you’re not having that problem.

Dave (8m 31s):
No, there’s no, there seems to be a lot of people. Yeah, no interested in software. So a lot of, you know, we’ve got more people wanting to join here. Then we have open positions, but I have heard at other companies, even our customers, it’s been a really hard time to not only get new employees, but to have them stay. So I think it is an issue that a lot of companies are seeing. I’m not personally seeing, but certainly aware and certainly understand the dynamics are changing and the workforce in terms of what people’s expectations are, what they’ll tolerate and what they want.

Jeffrey (9m 7s):
You know, do you think it’s industry, is it culture or anything in particular you think that’s working?

Dave (9m 12s):
I think, yeah. Maybe it’s the pandemic again, you know, people did, you know, what am I going to put up with every day? What am I going to tolerate? What do I need from this world? Like, do I want to work? You know, be mission-driven and do something that really speaks to what I’m passionate about, you know? Or is it just a job? And if it’s just the job, am I getting paid fairly enough? You know, is the wage enough to keep me going? Does it make sense relative to what’s out there? And I think people are asking those questions and people are taking action. So it’s really kind of a wave of kind of a, almost a new beginning in terms of how you approach work. And what’s important to you.

Jeffrey (9m 52s):
We’ve been speaking with Dave Sackett, chief solutions, architect and visibility, and Evan, Macedo, CFO at Sapers & Wallack. Also our co-host for Radio Entrepreneurs. Dave, if someone wants to find you and the company visibility, how would they do that?

Dave (10m 11s):
Yeah, they can look on our website, There’s ways to connect. My email is and people can always look me up on LinkedIn. I accept all connections and that’s another great way to find me

Jeffrey (10m 26s):
Great. And Evan Macedo, I follow you all the time, but for those who want to connect with you, how would they do that?

Evan (10m 34s):
Jeff? It’s very easy. I will just direct you to our website. If you go to, you can click on our team page. You’ll see me there. You’ll see all the rest of our wonderful, wonderful professionals. And if you’d like to get in touch with any one of us, feel free to do so

Jeffrey (10m 52s):
Well. I like it. I’ve been able to interview two CFOs today who both believe that sales is a critical component in their professional development. And I think that’s something that all CFOs need to learn. Communication is the key for being one of the keys to being an effective CFO. Remind everybody, this is Radio Entrepreneurs is always up to date on trends and stories. We’re going to take a break. We’ll be right back.

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