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June 21, 2023

Technology Adoption Drives Return on Investment

Getting team-member buy-in for new technology is the number one driver of success for manufacturing companies seeking a return on their software investment. Learn the 3 steps to technology adoption.
Rick Hyde from aPriori shares his executive insight on this podcast about digital technology adoption.
Rick Hyde, VP Customer Success, aPriori


Technology Adoption is Manufacturing’s Biggest Challenge

One of the biggest challenges of change management is getting team member buy-in for new technology. This has been even more true since the pandemic sent workers remote and workforces are no longer in person to rally around new technology onboarding or celebrate the wins of early adopters. In this moment of technological change, how can you ensure a return on investment from new technology? How can you ensure adoption of your digital transformation initiatives and drive organizational change towards success? To answer these questions, I talk to someone who spends his life getting end users return on investment from technological change, aPriori’s Vice President of Customer Success, Rick Hyde. Before diving deep into new tech and the topic of user adoption, I asked him to tell me a little bit about his job and some of the biggest challenges he helps customers address.

Is Technology Adoption the Answer for Your Business Needs?

Rick Hyde: My name’s Rick Hyde, I’m the Vice President of Customer Success Management with aPriori. My job is to make our customer successful.

Leah Archibald: That sounds easy when you say it like that, but I bet it’s a bit more tricky. How do you start to map out what your goals are and how aPriori can help you solve them?

Rick Hyde: It starts with understanding your challenge. Every business has a challenge. It may be a cost challenge, maybe a sustainability challenge, or maybe it’s a quality challenge. Understanding what that challenge is can be the first step to determining whether your current technology supports your business needs, or whether adoption of new technology is the answer.

You need to match the functionality of your digital technology with the outcomes you’re trying to reach. At aPriori, we discuss this upfront, from the first onboarding conversation. That’s the only way we’ll reach customer satisfaction with the new system. We want to identify the biggest problem, attack that first, solve that problem with the right technology, and then move on to the next one.

Leah Archibald: Can you give me an example of a customer who had a specific problem and how you went about solving that?

Rick Hyde: We have a customer that’s in the home products business. One of the things that they were looking at was competitiveness. They were not priced competitively in relation to their competition, so they needed to lower their cost to come in at a lower price point. This is a perfect example of a business need that could be solved by adopting digital technology. For this customer, they used aPriori to evaluate all of their current products, understand where they were overpaying, and streamline conversations their suppliers. As a result of these initiatives, they were able to pull two and a half million dollars out of their business in a year.

Leah Archibald: When you’ve determined a customer’s biggest challenge what is the next step? How do you go help them go from their pain point to the point of ultimate success?

Business Process Steps to Get to End User Success with Digital Technology

Rick Hyde: The first step is quantifying that problem. How big is it? What are we trying to do?

The next step is breaking it down. Where is that problem present? Is it a particular commodity? Is it a particular region? Identifyi where the largest opportunity is and attack that first. Then work your way down the list.

Leah Archibald: When there is a disconnect, when someone isn’t getting the full Return on Investment from their digital technology solution, why is that? Where do end users fall down?

Rick Hyde: Ooh, there are lot of reasons. The biggest one I see is technology adoption — not using the application, waiting for it to be done, or waiting for the information to match their suppliers. You don’t need to wait for the technology adoption lifecycle to complete before you start to get value from your new technology. There’s a lot of value in just initiating the conversation with the data that aPriori provides. It doesn’t have to match your supplier — you don’t want it to match your supplier. What you’re looking for are the gaps between what your supplier says and what the application says, and finding the value there.

Leah Archibald: How do you increase technology adoption throughout the organization? How can you get an early majority so that early adopters pull the laggards towards buy-in?

Rick Hyde: The biggest thing is through little successes. You create these little successes that solve business needs, and you celebrate those throughout the company. Little successes snowball into big successes and you get that bottom-up effect of technology adoption where everybody starts to use the application.

Leah Archibald: What does the bell curve of success look like for when new technology is adopted by everyone?

Rick Hyde: I had a customer last week tell me they saved $80 million.

Leah Archibald: Okay, I’ll take that. $80 million is not bad.

Rick Hyde: It’s not just the return on investment — it’s the organizational change that sets a company up for future successes.

Leah Archibald: What are the key bullet points that organizations need to follow to get to that return on investment through the adoption of new technology?

3 Steps to Return on Investment with Adoption of New Technology

Rick Hyde: I’d give three bullet points for success when it comes to technology adoption:

  1. Executive sponsorship. It starts at the top. You’ve got to identify the big problem to get a big success.
  2. Make sure that your people are using the application. It’s not going to use itself. You need to put the fuel in to get the results out.
  3. Measure your successes. You don’t know where you are if you’re not measuring things. There’s no way to know whether or not you’re on track or off track or what adjustments you need to make. So set measurements for your digital transformation to make sure that you’re on the track to return on investment.

Leah Archibald: Fantastic. Thank you for sharing your experience with digital adoption. We want to see adoption rates go up everywhere, so that all users experience the same return on investment as you’ve seen with your early adopters.

Rick Hyde: Yes, we do. That’s my job.

Leah Archibald: Thank you so much for talking to us today.

Rick Hyde: Thank you.

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