Complexity to Clarity With an Expert Team: Implementation
At the foundation of every smooth implementation is thorough, reliable communication. It’s crucial for understanding customer’s goals, promoting efficiency, and fostering success. In this series, we offer a glimpse into the day-to-day of our dedicated teams. In our newest interview, Erika Young, manager of implementation services, discusses the important first 60-90 days of implementation, outlining what customers can look forward to.
With more than a decade working in the facilities management industry, Erika’s extensive experience and commitment to streamlining the work for facility managers are key to our client onboarding success and satisfaction. Recently, Erika traveled from her home in Connecticut to New Hampshire, where we had an enlightening conversation about all things implementation.
The Importance of Relationships
What are the key steps involved in the service implementation process, and what can clients expect to accomplish in the first 90 days?
We first have an internal knowledge transfer before we even meet with the client and make sure that what’s been discussed during the sales process is transmitted to the folks who will be leading the implementation.
We then have what we call a kickoff where we meet with the client and make sure that we’re aligned in terms of expectations, target dates, and priorities for the software. Then the bulk of the time is spent on what we call design and configuration and testing — making sure that the system is set up to do what the client needs it to do.
If that all goes well, then we set a date for launch and we go live, which is when they begin creating work orders in the system. And then we go into a period of hyper-care to make any
tweaks that are needed, especially as we begin to get feedback from the people who are using the system.
In the first 90 days of implementing ServiceChannel, clients can expect to form relationships with their project team to set a goal of what they need to see in terms of system operation. What does success mean to them? At a minimum, that would be getting work orders up and running, people who will be using the platform trained and pushing work through the system, and often assets and preventative maintenance work as well.
The Onboarding Experience
What are some common challenges customers face during implementation, and how does ServiceChannel address them?
A couple of challenges that clients often face during the implementation phase is access to data. A lot of times they’re coming to ServiceChannel because they want to start centralizing information, which inherently means they don’t already have a central location for things like assets, locations of assets, and user information. So, we help by walking them through step-by-step what the best way is to collect that information, the order in which it will be most beneficial, and ensuring them that we have an iterative process, so they don’t have to feel overwhelmed by doing it all at once.
Another thing that can sometimes be a challenge is decision-making authority. So, clients would want to make sure when they start the implementation that people who have the power to decide on certain aspects of the setup have the bandwidth to attend the meetings and are ready to provide their input on the process.
Adopting New Processes
How do you address any reservations stakeholders might have in implementing ServiceChannel?
The way that we address any reservations or concerns that stakeholders may have about implementing ServiceChannel as a solution is to talk with them, really get in-depth, and communicate about why they’re having those concerns. So, let’s look at what is driving them, how they can be addressed, what different options are to address them, test out those solutions and make sure that everyone is feeling comfortable before the solution goes live.
Once we know what’s driving the concern or apprehension, we can deal with it head-on and talk
about potential solutions — which one would work the best for them and why — and make sure that they feel art of the development of the program.
The ServiceChannel Champion
What role do the managers and stakeholders of the process play during the implementation — and how do you keep them informed and involved in the process?
Facility Managers and stakeholders can play different roles during the process of implementation, depending on how closely tied they are to the way that the system will be used. Some people will be involved in weekly implementation meetings and training sessions. Some people might be brought in just as we’re discussing accounts payable or I.T. And areas of their particular concern or expertise.
The way that we ensure stakeholders are kept informed and involved throughout the 90 days of implementation is consistent communication. Upfront, we will work with them to talk about who the key stakeholders are, what ways they like to be communicated with, and how often. And typically, that looks something like a weekly meeting with notes and an updated project plan that is distributed via email to all the key stakeholders.
We bring anyone who might be affected to the table. We let them talk about anything they may have concerns about or resistance around, and then we use our best practices to walk through what we do to ensure those concerns don’t come to pass and they do see the benefit of using ServiceChannel.
Tell us about the training process for new customers.
Our training process is a true collaboration and typically falls into three areas: We want to train up the admins of the system, the end users of the system, and finally, the service providers who will be supporting the account.
Typically, there will be some system admins who will be meeting with the trainer weekly to learn about all the nuts and bolts of the system.
We’ll then bring in anyone who will be using the system but doesn’t necessarily need to know the back end. We also make sure that all the service providers are trained, so as the client brings over or adopts service providers, we make sure that they understand how ServiceChannel works and how the client operates so that when they start creating work orders, everyone is trained in the same manner and ready to go live.
Ensuring a Seamless Switch
Transforming facilities function is a big change. How do you help customers navigate and manage the change from their existing software — or from no software?
Switching software solutions is not that hard, and ServiceChannel helps clients every step of the way. We look at what’s working in the current system and what you would like to improve, and then we develop a step-by-step approach to getting all your data and all your people onboard with the brand-new software.
And the key piece to start with is always: What do they have in the current system that can be downloaded? We can configure and import almost any format into ServiceChannel. It’s typically just a matter of whether they own the data in their current agreement and they have a means to download the data as a starting point for bringing it into ServiceChannel. From there, we do a lot of the heavy lifting and help them format it in such a way that it can be uploaded into their new system.
We can even put clients in touch with other clients of a similar industry or similar goals and show them how they successfully implemented ServiceChannel. One client who successfully navigated the change management process with ServiceChannel’s guidance is a very large pharmacy client who had lots of folks involved in the implementation process, lots of different departments who all had their own needs and their own schedules and their own priorities.
And our implementation managers were able to lead that project in such a way that ServiceChannel won an award from the client for the yearly collaboration.
How do you support both new and existing service providers on the platform so they can deliver quality work for clients?
The way that ServiceChannel supports both new and existing service providers so that they can perform quality work for clients is with ongoing training and availability. From their initial engagement with ServiceChannel, we walk them through the platform and everything that they might need to fill out to begin performing work.
We have live training available in multiple languages, and we have dedicated agents who are available 24/7 for service providers to call and discuss live any questions or concerns they have about the process.
One way that ServiceChannel fosters collaboration between clients and service providers during the onboarding process is through a tool we have called Compliance Manager. This is a great
tool that allows clients to specify what requirements must be met by given service providers to perform work. The tool allows the clients to see if that information has been submitted, who signed it and when, and keep things up to date if they potentially expire, such as certificates of insurance.
Service Providers Drive Implementation Success
How does ServiceChannel ensure continuous refinement of the system post-implementation?
Some measures that are in place to ensure continuous refinement of the system post-implementation are ongoing optimization through analytics and meetings with a facility coordinator or customer success manager to guide you in what the data is saying as well as ServiceChannel’s continued investment in R&D.
ServiceChannel is the industry leader because of our data. We have years and years of data across multiple industries and sizes of clients and types of technology that we can draw upon to guide clients into what will produce the results they’re looking for.
Once the client goes live, we have a whole team of folks who are reviewing work orders, looking at data, conducting business reviews, reviewing analytics, and ensuring that as priorities change, we can all pivot with them.
We help you always optimize to get more and more value over time. And we keep investing in our new technology, so we have more to offer to our platforms.