Digging in with Josh Bartels

Digging In is a regular series of blog posts profiling UDig employees.  We hope this series helps you to get to know our team and understand why we dig what we do! 

UDig: Tell us a little bit about your background and your role at UDig. 

JB: I started out as a defense contractor supporting the smallest defense organization (The Marine Corps). I focused on helping them with an ERP system to replace their supply and maintenance systems. From there is when I officially jumped into consulting. I first started out working for a boutique consulting firm that focused on data management practices and from there I went to a traditional management and IT consulting firm before coming to UDig.  

As the Director of Client Services here at UDig, my main job functions will be managing the project management and business analysis functions and also help the practice leads interact and lead engagements with clients. I aim to be a key resource for clients to interact with and make sure that they are happy and all of our engagements are doing well. Part of my role is also to grow consulting work/projects and use my past experience to help in that process. Whether that’s with transitioning traditional staffing clients or helping with how we estimate our prospects and increase our win rate.  

UDig: Why is client services so important to a consulting business such as ours? 

JB: Clients are what allow the businesses to grow, so we need to make sure that we’re delivering effectively and working with clients on meeting their expectations, to the best of our abilities. With the addition of my client services role, we should increase retention with our existing clients as well as referrals, gaining new clients through word of mouth. Additionally, client services are also pivotal for problem resolution since it provides a key escalation point that allows UDig to make needed changes for the client. 

My goal is to make sure every client knows that I exist and that I’m a resource they can and should utilize. I try to create a trusted partnership early on so they see me as a resource to reach out to…maybe not with minute details but with problems, opportunities, or ideas that UDig can help with. 

UDig: Why UDig? What made us the right decision for you? 

JB: I think coming to UDig was an opportunity for me to challenge myself. As the organization grows, I can utilize my background in consulting to help in the growth plans. Also, one of my friends works here, Steve MacLauchlan, so that was another reason for me to join the team. Talking with Andy about the challenges that the organization is having made me feel like I could contribute in a larger way than with most organizations. Also, being a part of the management team ensured that I could contribute and actually be involved in solving problems and I really enjoy solving problems.  

UDig: What’s currently catching most of your attention in tech? 

JB: That can be a lot of things! Recently I’ve spent a lot of time on a project that was working with configuration drift using Puppet to manage server configuration of software packages. This project was in support of a DevOps environment that was also using containerization with Docker and Kubernetes.  These technologies are being used more and more by companies because they can make such an impact on their IT processes. The way I think about tech is how it can impact a business and DevOps/automation really has the power to make things more efficient and help with the evolving nature of a business.  

UDig: What is your preferred procrastination tool? 

JB: I’m always going to hit Reddit to look at something related to technology (r/DevOps) or about the community (r/rva) I live in. It’s usually a quick break from the workday. Engadget is also a go-to as a technology blog/website that has a lot of reviews on the latest technologies, so I will visit that frequently too when I have a bit of downtime.  

UDig: How would you spend your day if we told you to take the day off? 

JB: Normal life for me is busy with family, kids, and pets, so having a day for myself is usually catching up on something I want to read or watch on TV. If it happened to be a day that there was ice time I would go play hockey.  

Right now, I’m watching “Mind Hunter” which is interesting. It’s based on true life serial killers and the FBI behavioral sciences division coining the term “serial killer” before it was a known and utilized term. Reading wise, I recently re-read a book called “Drive” by Daniel Pink about motivation and about the 3 key things that motivate folks to be results oriented. It had interesting notes on a results-oriented work environment and how brands like Patagonia built it into their culture, it’s just a good reminder.  

UDig: What’s the most played song on your Spotify this week? 

JB: I’ve been listening to a lot of Ed Sheeran from his Divide album. “Galway Girl” is my favorite one from that CD. Recently I’ve been re-exploring Panic! at the Disco also.