The CX Show – Device Technologies – Improving Efficiency with SAP Commerce Cloud
This show is all about saving lives. If this is not something to stick around for then I don't know what it is. Welcome to another episode of The CX Show. We're speaking today with Michelle Steward General Manager of Marketing and Digital at Device Technologies. Hello, Michelle, it's a pleasure to have you on the show.
Oh, thank you, Svetlana. It's wonderful to be here. And thanks to the CX show for having me. Michelle, I learned about Device Technologies when you were nominated for the SAP Best Run award. And the story had such a strong social aspect to that, that I immediately thought that we must invite you to speak here on the show. And yeah, cover this side of the story. And I suggest we start with that. And
then we move on to technology. Could you tell us a little bit more about business challenges that Device Technologies faced during the pandemic outbreak? Yes. So I think for those of your watches that may not know device technologies is medical technology company, so for us each day, and what we do is about trying to better patient outcomes, whether that be in a hospital, or some sort of health care facility. Obviously, what we've all been through in the last 18 months is has been quite intense. It's definitely been intense for Device Technologies. I guess it's been a bit of a
blessing that the prior four years, we've been very much on a CX and digital transformation journey that really allowed us to move through pace during this pay and during this time to really meet not only the expectations, but more the needs of what was happening in our world. Four years ago, why did Device Technologies decide to go for SAP Customer Experience products? What were some of the advantages, or maybe some particular capabilities of the products that stood out for you? Really good questions. So why SAP. And I think there's more than the technology itself, it goes back to, I guess, some of the business challenges we were facing. So for us, it was kind of a paradigm that we found ourselves in, we lead medical technology. But yet we weren't on the digital forefront of technology when it came to giving that experience to our customers. And I think that was really the start of where SAP
came in. We've had a long history with SAP, we're actually on ECC. We're starting a transformation to S4/HANA now. But when it came down to selecting that, I guess, experience platform, we were really looking for a partner that was going to help us answer our business challenges, first and foremost, and then offers that technology platform that wasn't only going to be agile, but allow us to scale. And I think realistically, that's what it came down to for SAP. You are using primarily from SAP Customer Experience products, SAP Commerce Cloud, correct? Correct.
What is some of the biggest use cases in terms of business for Device Technologies, where you're utilising SAP Customer Experience? So as we're talking about go back four years, and to what we're trying to achieve, and it really was to transform our current experience only for, I guess, their employees, but also for our customers. Device has come from a founder-led business, we're now private equity owned, very proud of the heritage we have and where we're going. But it was a really big shift to talk about investment in this area. So one of the things we actually started with four years ago, was influencing the employee experience. So what we did with the experience cloud, was create actually an online shop for our staff to show them the differences between removing some of the manual transactions that can happen in operations, but also, I guess, take away from the operational effectiveness. And by doing that enhance their own experience and see how their own behaviours changed by having this digital solution. That
success from doing that actually gave us the platform to start building our external facing digital solutions. And the transformation has really taken place over the last four years. So once we had that, I guess employee experience underway, we did start looking at what the big challenges were. And one of
them' Svetlana we were talking about previously was our operational efficiencies around how we get our goods to customers in an area that we have been for a very long time, so orthopaedics. So for us, this is about making sure we get what our customers need into their hands when they need it. We do far over 60,000 transactions per year in terms of what goes in and out of a building in one section of this business. It was done manually. So we're very much used to the cloud, you know, non traditional sense, away from commerce, but use it for its operational efficiencies. And I think the
technical flexibility that it offers to provide a solution that not only delighted our internal staff, but created such internal efficiencies, that we saw risk reduction reduced by 95% in the first six months. Our actual time efficiencies, were in excess of 40%. Now, you might go, Okay, that's not that much, but we're talking 1000s and 1000s of hours a year. So thinking about six months, we're talking about 27,000 hours saved. So when we talk about man hours, that we combine the reduced risk, realistically, the end point is that we delight our customer. The biggest thing for us is we live up to our values and answer a business challenge that previously had been quite difficult to really answer.
These are amazing KPIs. When we were talking, I was thinking, Okay, this is a point where we could actually end our interview. There's no point in talking about anything else, because this is this is beyond impressive, I should say. Some interesting points that you also mentioned. That, first of all,
totally agree this is a unique case that I know about of using SAP Commerce Cloud, right? Because normally, you would think about some online shop, right. And this is an operational infrastructure that it is supporting Device Technologies with. Another point is about some mind shift. First for for your stuff, right at Device Technologies to get used to these new mode of operating. And I'm thinking about your customers. Because, for me, I think I'm pretty digitally
savvy. So yeah, going more advanced in terms of technology is always green light. But what kind of feelings were your customers feeling towards this? Was it something because we're talking about B2B business, right? It's easier for for B2C. In terms of B2B business, is it something that your customers were asking for or expecting from you to go digital, to go more efficient, to have easier operations? Or it was also some challenge for you to present them with this new mode of working? Yeah, great question Svetlana. So I think one of the challenges
many industries face across digital transformation has not necessarily been about the change factor. I think it's been about having the right conversations, and the underpinning issues. And for us that really come down to trust. You know, as I mentioned, the company core values are so strong, we genuinely are here, our people are here to make a difference each day. And that means they take what they do very seriously, even if it's manual, and cost a lot of time and a lot of energy. So for us, leading with that employee
experience meant we built that trust that they may have already built in a B2C environment, into them in the B2B environment, and they could see how we're affect their customers moving forward. In terms of our customers' expectations, I think our customers' expectations will always change. They are digitally-led as an, you know, industries, company, country, world, we are very much digitally-led, we're looking for ways to add value and remove those manual interactions. And
many technologies and digital will give that to us. But most fail, because we don't even underpin that, with getting that trust of our people and our customers before implementation and into that transformation. I think that's one of the things that's made out, I guess, body of works or program of works so successful, is that once what we had what we call surgery booking portal, so our operations engine that we used SAP Hybris for, we did go down, I guess your traditional commerce route. So
that's where we've been the last four or five months. And that's been incredibly exciting. Something that we haven't seen in the Australian/ New Zealand market realistically ever is a comprehensive digital solution that covers, you know, B2B commerce that 24/7 access, plus product catalogue offering. So we were able to really transition and that meant that our customers were meeting us at the same energy levels. We were
so excited, and we had that trust that we could convey that they also then helped us build that solution. Our prior experiences with the platforms meant that we were able to really use those learnings to build something for our external customer base that was going to be, I guess, a delight from a customer experience point of view. But from that day to day, it was going to answer the needs that were going to make us a better partner as a company. Michelle, you mentioned earlier that you have a huge variety of different products and you also have a variety of customer types and I'm thinking with thousands and thousands of SKUs on, for example, surgery booking portal. How can you personalize experiences for different categories of customers? I love that question around personalization, and personalization, I think it's very hot topic in the digital world at the moment, whether it be from a technology standpoint, marketing standpoint, or even business interaction. Some of
the things that I like to think about when I think about personalization, and adapting it to Device Technologies, so you're very right. We are unusual in the med tech market, and the fact that we're a very successful independent distributor. But we rely on our partnerships with over 200 high quality medical technology brands, to serve us over 100 different customer types. So that personalization does become
very important, because otherwise you have the monotony of customers thinking they're being treated the same, but actually more than the actual feeling the personalization, you're not meeting their needs. And that's really what I think we've been able to develop with our what we call Device Online, which is our e-commerce products being built on Hybris by really focusing on what underlies or underpins that need for personalization. So if I think of a relevant example for us, so a purchasing officer is something that might be common across many industries, but their roles are often thankless. They have to coordinate with many, many different suppliers. They have different needs to say a surgeon or a healthcare professional, but that transparency and personalization can make a big difference to how sticky they are as a customer, but also their experience and feeling towards you as a brand.
So for us with Device Online utilising some of the Hybris, I guess inbuilt features, search is critical - makes the job easy, they can find what they need, that transparency to knowing what they've ordered with us and being able to track that, and also that independence. So the independence, they have access to their information and their relationship with us at whatever time they need, whether that be 11pm, at night, or 6am in the morning. And that's that 24/7 service and access that is hard to reproduce outside of the digital forum, but does connect them through us. So I think that's really one element of personalization, I think one that drives to the core of a lot of our business is being able to provide our healthcare professionals with the information at the times they needed, and high quality education. Now, you wouldn't tend to do that through an e-commerce platform. And this is where I say it's beyond
e-commerce. It's about looking at the customers that you have online and what they're going to drive out of their platform. So for us, and what we've built, we believe about 70% of our value will actually come from non-transacting customers, it's going to come from that solution as being built that's personalized to their needs and adds value to them. And instead of having, you know, one or two interactions with the business, you know, a week or a month, they have the choice to have interactions with us when they choose supported by our face-to-face interactions. So actually brings them deeper into
our business, which you know, if you go back might be a decade or five years, you know, even a year ago, we haven't always done this well. But it's definitely something that investing in is investing in customer. Yeah, this is a brilliant example, I think and it's something that comes up in every second interview that I'm having that this idea of providing the same level of support and care to B2B customers, as companies would traditionally provide to B2C customers, right. And I think it's a really nice
tendency of having more personalized relationship to your customers and really building this trust and support and yeah, putting customer first not only in slogans, but doing this in reality. Let's look at the same example but from a perspective of a sales rep. Because I think with the introduction of Device Online, and yeah, in a situation when customers can place their orders themselves, how does the role of sales rep changed because some of their tasks I would imagine are a bit redundant right now, they don't need to come back after a day in the field and manually enter all the orders into the system. What's the main focus right now with this
technological change? Oh, this is my favourite question so far Svetlana. And so I think many people and many sales leaders get incredibly nervous when we're implementing digital solutions, particularly when they're customer-facing because you know, whether you're a sales-led organization or marketing-led organization, sales takes pride and often a lot of equity out of owning that relationship with the customer. Implementing technologies that may reduce that or change how that works can often cause change management issues, insecurities at the start as you bring them in. One of the really exciting things that we've seen is a real shift. So at the beginning there was nervousness, what are you going to be doing with my customers, what it's going to change to, you know, fast forward five months, it's, I can add so much more value to my customers, because if they have a problem, and they don't understand where, for example, deliveries, they can look it up and find it. They don't need to
call three people to get that answer. So we're giving them the information, we're giving you them that value to do that. On the other side of it, it means that their sales rep can go focus on meaningful conversations with customers, they can, they can focus on creating new value opportunities, they can concentrate on sales. So one of
my favourite, I think it was Harvard Business Review, articles of the last 18 months was they talked about how much time do salespeople actually spend on sales, and it was less than eight, I think was 8% of their day, which when you think about the job is incredible, because a lot of the time they are spending their time trying to fix or alter the customer experience that might be happening due to deficiencies in and whether it be operational efficiency, or education or some sort of offering from the company. What we're doing is removing some of those challenges that our customers face, and that our sales reps have to deal with. And we're allowing them to elevate the time they spend dedicated purely on their customers and sales. So realistically, I would say that we've had a massive transition where they love it. We're bringing some aboard, as we said, we're a very wide organization we're only five months in. But I would say that
it's improved the relationships between our reps and our customers, and they often take it out now and say, we have something else to show you. We have something else to offer you. Maybe you could tell us some of your future plans for digital transformation, because you're going full steam into transforming I think not only Device Technologies, but probably the industry as well. Because this is for me something
unusual what you do right on such a huge B2B scale. What is in future for Device Technologies? What are you planning? If you could share something with us? Yeah, no, thanks. So the future, I think the future is pretty exciting. And so I have a great relationship with my CIO. So
we'd like to map our technology roadmaps, which are usually more obviously platform based with our digital roadmaps, which tend to answer business and customer opportunities and problems. And both of these align, obviously, to our business strategy, some of the things that we're looking forward to driving through is obviously evolving some of the platforms that we have. So if BP or surgery booking portal was talking about before, we definitely want to scale this to other areas of our business and see what operational efficiencies we can drive. So we're very excited to be implementing and looking further into that, and potentially even putting that into our customers hands in the future. From an e-commerce or e-commerce
perspective, we will be scaling beyond Australia, which is going to be a big thing for us in what we call FY 22, or financial year. And we'll also be using the high risk platforms to scale our digital presence, starting off with our websites, and information, and education centers, through Southeast Asia. And that will obviously hopefully scale in the future as well. And so we have quite a few pieces going on across we've definitely got a couple busy years ahead of us. But it's a
really exciting feature. Michelle, you mentioned that you have a really good working relationship with your CIO. And I know from the experience of some other companies that getting this buy in from the stakeholders from the executives is crucial for the success of any customer experience project. Could you share some of your personal experience on this journey? How did you succeed? Yeah, it's a really interesting question, I think, the topic of senior stakeholder integration and I guess, belief around a CX and digital journey has been somewhat widely publicized, and my relationship with the CIO is incredibly strong. So I think it's one of the reasons we couldn't be further apart in terms of our differences but by working together simultaneously, we've really been able to bring that CX transformation journey to light at Device Technologies. So I think some of the things that we've definitely done, bring the CFO along as well. So
for anyone who is looking to invest in digital transformation, technology that goes behind it, you're going to know it takes time. I always recommend being as agile as possible, but it does take continuous investment. And I think that's probably one of the shifts that both the CIO and I needed to change our minds and our own organization was that continuous investment was not one or two years, you treat it as you would one of your businesses, it is something you're going to have to continually invest in year on year. And again, you would expect the the ROI and the KPIs come from that, but you do have to allow it to build. So in terms of getting our CX journey up and going, I think the real impact has been getting our relationship to a synergistic point of view that we can go and tackle at our executive and board levels, what is needed from an investment point of view and how it is going to affect the bottom line, and getting the time to do that. Michelle, thank you for these a lesson in business economy for me. And I think we can, at this note, wrap up our conversation.
Thanks so much for joining on the show and sharing your valuable experience from Device Technologies with us. Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. Hope to speak soon. For additional information on what we've covered today. Please
check out the description below the video and stay tuned for the next episode, we'll be talking to our partner DXC, who have been supporting Device Technologies on their transformation journey. Be sure to subscribe to the channel so that you don't miss anything. Spead the word and let us know what you think using the hashtag #TheCXShow. Thanks for watching. Stay safe. Bye-bye.