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Best Employee Experience Finalists

Blackwoods

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What business problem(s) did your organization / project face, and why did you choose a digital adoption strategy to help you solve it?

With operations dispersed over a very large geographic area, ensuring staff training is
consistent and regularly carried out can be challenging. Effective training is critical to ensure that high levels of customer service are achieved and the company’s reputation for responsiveness is maintained.

As part of this project, more than 2000 staff needed to quickly become competent with Microsoft Dynamics to ensure they were able to undertake their roles and seamlessly take advantage of the new features that the software offered.

Easy adoption was key to this project to ensure staff were able to quickly become productive with this new software and seamlessly continue to complete their sales orders and provide a great customer experience. The usual approach of on-the-job training was made more difficult when COVID restrictions meant many staff were forced to work from home and many Australian states were closed to Blackwoods training teams. This meant that traditional face-to-face onboarding and enablement sessions were not possible.

Our digital adoption strategy became critically important to the success of a scalable national onboarding and enablement program and ensuring our employees were not just enabled leading into Day – but had the confidence in the ongoing support and operational excellence in day-to-day activities.

How did you use WalkMe, in conjunction with other strategies and technologies, to address your challenges?

After considering a number of options for training, WalkMe was the ultimate vendor (now partner) selected.

The Blackwoods IT team worked closely with WalkMe to develop a tailored change management solution, which included training materials that would guide staff through the steps required to complete each process used within the company, including the migration of one of Microsoft APACs largest complex Microsoft CRM and F&O implementations. The team used WalkMe’s solution to automate tasks, thereby streamlining workflows, reducing risk, and saving staff time.

As a result of the WalkMe deployment, Blackwoods has been able to dispense with face-to-face training all together. Rather than needing around two weeks to learn the Dynamics platform, staff can now be up and running after around one-and-a-half days of self-guided lessons.

Change through process automation is helping to significantly streamline everything from order and sales processing to inventory management resulting in improved customer experience.

Blackwoods now has in place a scalable, adaptable user training facility that not only handles initial enablement but continues to provide ongoing support for staff.

Deployment of the WalkMe solution began in October 2020 and was completed in February 2021.

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your end-users?

Our digital adoption strategy with WalkMe has seen significant impact to our end users’ employee experience and ultimately has benefits to our customer experience.

By creating a digital adoption strategy that enables our less tech-savvy employees to overcome digital transformation anxiety and avoid embarrassing system roadblocks during service, we allow our staff to focus on creating meaningful interactions with our customers, letting WalkMe take care of system adoption.

By way of example, prior to WalkMe, issuing a new quote meant Blackwoods team members needed to complete between 30 and 40 different steps. Using WalkMe, Blackwoods has been able to automate 50%+ of those steps – and this change alone cuts 15% off the time taken to generate a quote and saves hundreds of hours of staff time every month. This helps reduce the admin within their roles, so they can be more productive and happier.

How does your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, impact or benefit your team and/or leadership team?

Our WalkMe deployment on top of Microsoft Dynamics was crucial in this project’s success and played a significant role in de-risking this important technology investment and accelerating the benefits realised in migrating from legacy software to cloud-enablement processes.

The Blackwoods leadership team have been very impressed with WalkMe and the clear ROI. The qualitative impact of WalkMe has been measured in the time saving for employees through:

  • Reduction in training time, which is now typically delivered in one-and-a-half days, rather than the previous two weeks
  • Automation of just a single workflow (Quotes) has delivered time savings of 15% in the time taken to generate a quote and saved the organisation hundreds of hours per month. (­This will be extended as additional processes are automated in the future.)

How has your digital adoption strategy, especially with regard to WalkMe, helped your organization better achieve its mission, goals, or values?

The rollout of a digital adoption is a significant step for the company, as it touches every area of operations. WalkMe’s change management solution was a critical part of the rollout, as it enabled staff to be onboarded in the use of Microsoft Dynamics despite being unable to participate in any face-to-face sessions.

WalkMe also fits into the company’s longer-term business strategy, as it will allow the automation of many other processes and empower employees to engage more seamlessly with customers. This in turn, will deliver further significant time savings for staff, derisk processes, and help the company scale faster to meet changing market dynamics.

How has the success of your digital adoption strategy helped to change the perceptions or attitudes of your stakeholders?

Blackwoods’ WalkMe project has two stakeholder groups: our Team Members, the 2000 plus everyday users of MS365, and our Executive Leadership Team.

Each has a different perspective:

Our Team Members from a Mackay facility were dreading the change of system to the extent that many were not sleeping at night. It looked like we would have up to a 50% attrition rate with many of these Team Members being 20+ year veterans. The loss of personal IP and Customer engagement would have severely affected Blackwood operations. By training the Team on WalkMe, each of the Team had a different perspective and stayed with Blackwoods. Quotes included “how good is WalkMe!”

Our principal decision maker was our CEO, who recommended WalkMe by way of referral from our parent company, Wesfarmers. The biggest compliment we can have from the Executive Leadership Team (not regular users of MS365 or WalkMe) is that no one has questioned the ROI or performance. “WalkMe just works”.

What about your implementation or success makes you most proud? Why?

What I am most proud of is the speed that the team could pick up the processes. One of the biggest risks with a new system going live in such a short time is being able to deliver the training consistently. The first hurdle is training the trainers and making sure they have the tools to deliver the training.

We did away with traditional training manuals, which generally become outdated the day that they are printed. WalkMe gave the trainers confidence that they could train on processes that they themselves had just seen within days rather than weeks.

My role in the process was the WalkMe flow developer and process trainer for Sales and Customer Service. What stood out for me about the WalkMe product was just how quickly I could develop detailed flows, without a background in coding, with the training and support of the WalkMe team, which I have to say absolutely stood out for me as world-class.

I have implemented a number of systems, and the WalkMe team went above and beyond with 24 hour service. As far as results, the WalkMe team commented that I had delivered more flows in three months than they had ever seen, which made me very proud given I didn’t have a background in this type of development – and I had a lot of fun doing it.

About your company

Blackwoods is a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, a global 2000 company, with a proud history of supporting Australian businesses for over 140 years and have played a vital part in Australia’s industrial and workplace landscape from our inception in 1878 as a specialist supplier to the shipping industry. Today, Blackwoods is Australia’s largest supplier of MRO, industrial and specialist safety products, offering a complete end-to-end solution.

Blackwoods has more than 200,000 customers across 77,000 sites with a product inventory of 300,000 items, making more than 2.5 million product deliveries each year.

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