tealbook – A Look at the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Previous Article Link – tealbook Global Launch
As much as I’d love to say everything went off without a hitch during the launch, reality just isn’t that. Far from it. As with any project, there were highs and there were hurdles. But as Stephany says, it helps me to become an “indispensable partner.” So here’s my retrospective look on the implementation of tealbook. and how I have become indispensable and the lessons learned.
Phase 1 – Upload supplier/vendor master data. Once this was finalized, we had a “go-live” date where all the suppliers that were added/emailed. Training with our internal teams followed.
- The Good: Training was well received by both direct/indirect sourcing organizations. In updating Executive Management, they gave us the push to “go big” and roll-out globally. Had the best click-through rate of supplier sign-ups and outreach. Lots of questions from internal customers/suppliers who immediately saw the value.
- The Bad: I still can’t get a consistent vendor master data pull from IT. You would think this would be simple, but it gave me a migraine. More than once.
- The Ugly: Those immediate questions from internal staff turned out to be a nightmare. Even had us working late the Friday before Christmas Eve. Turns out, there were huge sensitivities around contacting suppliers without internal notification first.
Phase 2 – Form pilot groups to solicit feedback on the tool. Review data with the internal team including tags and categorization. Upload contract information.
- The Good: Pilot teams gave great feedback and positive support of the tool. Suggestions included additional data fields such as payment terms/locations.
- The Bad: I forgot to lock excel when having a larger team tag and categorize suppliers. I forgot to lock excel. God help me. Took me 9-12 months to figure out the issue and correct it.
- The Ugly: Only about 40% of contract data could be accurately mapped. This took lots of time and lots of reviews.
Phase 3 – Global/Company-Wide tealbook implementation. Review and gained executive management approval. Leverage internal training system for set-up and Corporate Communications for Company communication.
- The Good: For an optional training we had 10% sign up globally, with a 70% attendance rate. We had tons of people giving us positive feedback during the sessions and in our post-survey.
- The Bad: We didn’t get as many people to show up in person as we’d like with the offer of free food. The majority>60% were via Skype.
- The Ugly: We still had issues with logging in/sign-ups during the first meeting. Additionally, we had to have the training be internally lead vs. externally (by tealbook) after gauging the level of engagement during the meeting. ALWAYS have the person presenting in person.
So what were my lessons learned from the launch? Annoyingly enough, they were things I had thought I had a good grip on. Somehow though, they slipped through the cracks.
- Always pre-sell your ideas
- Know your audience
- Always. Always. Lock. Excel.
- Review your data. Review it again.
- Always present in person. Always.
These are things I would suppose I should have learned 10 years ago. And I thought I had! Somehow, when it came to implementation of a tool vs. Category Management I had let it slip. Don’t let the same happen to you! Make sure your global launch is a successful one. And if you want any advice on what NOT to do, feel free to contact me!