Supply chain operations from carriers and freight brokers to factors and shippers are all subject to friction occurring within the transportation industry. To address concerns such as labor shortages, slowed growth, and lack of freight visibility, professionals are turning to hyperautomation technology like Transflo Workflow AI to counteract these pain points.
However, if businesses don’t partner with the right providers and plan for a successful implementation, they can end up with even more challenges than they initially planned to address with the new technology.
Transflo technology implementation experts identified six major reasons why implementation of new technology often fails and put together some tips to ensure success when considering adding new solutions to your tech stack.
1. Don’t skip discovery
Many companies expect a simplistic process when adopting and implementing new technology. They may even avoid many operations details and fail to identify and communicate specific processes within their business that may be affected by the addition of new technology.
“You can’t fully understand our business so let’s just skip that part.” Skipping discovery is one of the first mistakes that can be made to ensure a disconnected implementation process.
Communicating details early on is paramount. When a broker, carrier, or factor trusts the discovery process with a new provider, they create an opportunity for themselves to find not only the right solution for their business but ensure the best possible outcomes once the implementation process is complete. Companies that go through a deep and unfettered discovery phase ensure maximum feature functionality throughout all corners of their organization.
Take the time to explain your business and workflows, even when they are complex. Don’t skip or speed up discovery conversations.
2. Ask the difficult questions
Often, organizations fail to ask questions about the steps to “go live,” and other critical timelines. Technology providers sometimes do a poor job of explaining and documenting a clear path to the usability of their products. In any implementation, there will be responsibilities and steps needed to be taken by the organization. Understanding how heavy a lift this project will be for your team is imperative before you sign a contract.
Customers should make sure to know the role that both the provider and they will play during the entire implementation process. One way to ensure this happens is by bringing up the tough conversations early in the demo process.
Don’t shy away from asking questions like:
–What is a typical timeline for implementation?
–Do you foresee any complications based on our discovery that would keep us from a standard timeline for implementation?
–How heavy of a lift will this implementation be for my team?
3. Be realistic and know the impact
Decision makers for new technology projects often fail to understand the ripple effect of new technology and the different stakeholders outside of their departments that may be affected. Many organizations are siloed and as a result, lack a big-picture view of how much training will be required. This can lead to unplanned delays in usage, poor morale, and inefficient implementation.
Explain the benefits of new technology to your organization. Ask for feedback and include key stakeholders and departments in the implementation and training timelines.
4. Trust the process
You may want to be very hands-on through each step of the implementation process – and while being detailed and thorough is important, knowing when to trust the experts is critical.
If you’re digitizing your back office lean heavily on professionals who have executed similar projects for companies exactly like your organization, thousands of times over. If your discovery is done thoroughly, you’ve asked the critical questions, and you understand the responsibilities of your team in advance of starting the project. It is much easier to trust the technology provider to do their part in ensuring a smooth transition to product utilization.
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but many professionals have become too forgiving of providers that exemplify poor communication. Slow response times are a red flag and should be treated accordingly.
Set expectations for communications and response times prior to the implementation process and hold your vendor accountable if they fail to stick to the plan.
Tip: Clearly setting expectations for response time, capacity, ROI, and future cost can prevent delays and hurdles as both parties work toward the end goal together.
6. Know the players
Companies can ensure they have a great adoption and engagement program by getting to know the individuals who will be involved during the implementation phases.
When implementing new software like Transflo Workflow AI, multiple phases and teams are involved before reaching launch day. Organizations who familiarize themselves with their vendor’s solutions architects, implementation team members, and customer success reps, prior to phase one of implementation, can expect smoother adoption and better overall outcomes.
Freight professionals should work with providers who will set clear expectations, offer a track-record of expertise, and are willing to address all concerns before the signing of a contract. Remember that during the discovery process it’s okay to say, “We are really messed up over here,” because the right provider will inquire about the details as to why and be honest about whether their team can offer helpful solutions for your business.
For more information on industry-leading software solutions for carriers, brokers, factors, and shippers, please reach out to us today.