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Through proper planning, managers can avoid many of the concerns that come with change. Learn the steps you can take and the questions you should consider when preparing to change or update an existing process.
The Fleet Code

Change Management and Implementation

Jul 13, 2021

Through proper planning, managers can avoid many of the concerns that come with change. Learn the steps you can take and the questions you should consider when preparing to change or update an existing process.

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Podcast Ep.9 — Change Management and Implementation

Matthew Dziak: Welcome to the Fleet Code. A podcast brought to you by Fleetio. Where we'll dive into the latest fleet trends, technology, and best practices. Get the inside scoop, as we decode the challenges of fleet management.

Dominique Leupi: Change management is such a big topic. So I think there's a three-pronged approach. Understand what type of resources that you need to invest to get the most out of a new system. Executive buy-in is something that's critical and having a plan. Really the third component is, does everybody understand why we are moving to a new system? Does everybody understand the benefits?

Celia Ballou: What might seem as a scary change? They create a lot of anxiety for their team members at the end of the day is going to make their life and their job easier.

Matthew Dziak: [00:00:00] In this episode of the fleet code, we welcome fluvial customer success managers, Dominique and cilia. Dominique and Celia, I have an extensive background in onboarding and implementation processes. With new software, we'll discuss the three stages of change management, how to get team buy-in and configuring solutions to fit your fleet's needs. Celia and Dominic. Nice to see you today.

Dominique Leupi: [00:00:08] Hey nice to see you as well. Thanks for having us.

Celia Ballou: [00:00:10] It's a pleasure to be here.

Matthew Dziak: [00:00:12] Fantastic. This episode, we definitely want to make sure that we're giving everybody a little bit of information about change management and just what that implies, trying to implement a new system when we're talking about fleet management. Maybe Dominique, you could start off with, why make a change in the first place? What are you trying to accomplish?

Dominique Leupi: [00:00:30] Yeah. Gosh, change management is such a big topic. And why make a change in the first place is the best question. I think for a lot of customers certainly that we work with, but just companies in general, you're thinking about how can I improve processes? How can I do my work more efficiently? Maybe it's a reporting thing. There's a variety of reasons why companies make changes and specifically, trying to find new software, for example. And so I think just understanding what the change is , why you want to make it and communicating that, socializing that with others to make sure that everybody's aligned in that change, especially if it's a big change will help when everybody needs to get together to actually make that change.

Matthew Dziak: [00:01:10] Yeah, spot on. And changes Obviously never easy. And it's a process it's ongoing, right? You slowly are working at evolving, the steps that you're taking to make sure that you can get to that end goal that you've set. What would be maybe those stages when it comes to may be implementing a new fleet management software, just change management in general?

Dominique Leupi: [00:01:29] So I think there's a three-pronged approach and maybe not necessarily, consecutive phases, so to speak because some of them run concurrently. But once you've made a purchase I think the three main stages would be understanding the investment that you need to make on the front end. Make sure you're getting the most out of this new system. Understand what type of resources that you need to invest to get the most out of a new system. So that front end investment is critical. When you are rolling out a new system, executive buy-in is something that's critical and having a plan. So when you're going to do a rollout, make sure that you have a plan and make that plan manageable so that you're not trying to roll out a new system to everybody at once. And there's a lot of confusion, and people are reaching out with questions. If you can get some of those early adopters on board, help them ,help you, let out the new system, make sure it's achieving your goals and then rolling it out phase by phase to external users is really a good approach. And then I think really the third component is making sure that you have alignment within your company. Does everybody understand why we are moving to a new system? Does everybody understand the benefits of moving to this new system again, that executive buy-in and also knowing what my goals and objectives are. And are we all on the same page with what we need to achieve those goals and objectives? So I think if everybody is rowing in the same direction, it really helps you with, again, making that change and making it a successful one at that.

Matthew Dziak: [00:03:05] So depending on your organization, when it comes to new technology and software, sometimes the change is being sourced from the C level, from the decision-makers who feel that there's an opportunity to benefit from it. And then other times it's the fleet maintenance supervisor or the fleet manager, who's vouching for the benefits that they can reap from this sort of software. So how does buy-in from either side really differ and how can you get that critical buy-in? We'll start with the C level down.

Celia Ballou: [00:03:32] Yeah, absolutely. So with the C level down, I think it's important to remember that a lot of times these members of the team are not out in the field day-to-day like an operator would be they have a very different experience with the fleet then someone on the ground might have. So in that sense, it's easier for them to perhaps imagine the change management because there's less that would change from their day-to-day work routine. But keeping that in mind, when they're making these decisions, it probably has to do with something from a broader strategy standpoint. Maybe they are trying to integrate with several different solutions that they have and this new system that they're implementing is really gonna help tie all those things together. So their goals are probably going to look different than. Perhaps a fleet manager's goals or the end users goals when they are using this new system day to day. But what they can do to really help with that change management is help illustrate how this change is going to make the work easier and the workflow more streamlined for their end users. What might seem like a scary change. It can create a lot of anxiety for their team members. At the end of the day it is going to make their life and their job easier.

Dominique Leupi: [00:04:44] I would just add to that. I think that's a great point. And we sometimes see changes or new accounts that come in where the C-suite has made the purchase or somebody in an executive level. And then in other cases that might be a fleet manager or an operations manager who they just really want to build efficiencies into their day-to-day processes. So I think you can . Align those, whatever variation there is in those goals, from the executive level that they might be looking more in terms of. Safety, compliance PNL, whereas end users, people in the field, they're like, how do I just make my life easier? How do I make it easier for my field teams to report on what they're doing? So that I can adhere to safety directions and can be compliant with my PM schedules.

Matthew Dziak: [00:05:30] Yeah, the benefits can really range throughout the organization. And you have, like you said, the end users who are going to be more productive and just be more accurate and accountable and have that visibility into the operation, which is only going to lend itself to that potential ROI that you can get out of your initial investment from a productivity standpoint. But then also just having that insight and leverage that data and those metrics so that you can make decisions to empower your fleet, to just optimize it that much more.

Dominique Leupi: [00:05:59] 100%. I think you summed it up perfectly right there.

Celia Ballou: [00:06:01] I just wanted to add that sometimes figuring out those goals from the beginning of this three pronged approach can help build that alignment. The C-suite or the more operated side of your fleet, when it comes to . Rolling something out, if you can all agree on two or three goals to get on the same page that can help improve that adoption and acceptance of a new system.

Dominique Leupi: [00:06:26] I do think that's a really important point that it's going back to biting off what you can chew. So let's just align on a few things so that everybody can see that quick success and gain that positive forward moment.

Matthew Dziak: [00:06:39] And once you have that buy in, now's the time to shine. The time to get started and to really dive in. So how do you get started and where do you even begin to help, your team on the onboarding process and also yourself, if you're the fleet manager or fleet maintenance supervisor.

Dominique Leupi: [00:06:54] Well, It probably varies a lot depending on the size of the company and the resources that you have available. But I think, again, it all starts with goals and objectives. So are we on the same page with our goals and objectives? What are we trying to achieve? And then configuring your system, whatever that system is to accommodate your workflows. And when you're looking at different solutions, to what degree can I configure the settings or the system to accommodate my workflows, or maybe my workflows are not optimal and that's really why I'm looking for a new solution. And can I configure my system to accommodate new workflows, to optimize the way I'm doing things today? And then, From there. It's the rolling out and the rollout, as I mentioned before, I think just really making sure that you have a plan in place. Who am I going to roll out to? And when what are my expected results? Am I able to communicate the benefits? And do I have a training plan? What is the best way to train my end? Are they all in the field in different locations, in remote locations that I need to do remote training? Did they come in once a month where it makes sense for us to have a training session together? So identifying what those different pieces look like and putting them together in a plan, always starting with a beta set. I would say some beta users, those early adopters who are going to jump in and give you that feedback of, Hey, this isn't working the way that I would want it to work or whatever it is, you can refine what you need to make sure that you have a solid solution that you're then going to roll out to all of your other divisions or across, different areas of the company. And every customer is different, but some customers like to just start with bits of it, pieces of functionality and not overwhelm people with the sweeping change. So it really depends on the customers because some customers are more of the rip off bandaid type and really know your people better than anybody. And then, what I've seen successful with customers is leveraging the group dynamic of, okay, we're rolling out this new system, everybody's using it and then let's compare how each other is doing, so people can see, oh, maybe I need to step up my game a little bit, or wow, they're doing great

Matthew Dziak: [00:09:12] it's all about the strategy, but the execution of that set strategy. So when you set forth your goals and benchmarks, and you're starting to implement things, you have this strategy in mind of how can we get full adoption? Easiest, simplest way that your end users, let's say, it's your drivers using the app for inspections. Or the fleet manager trying to configure PM reminders so that they can be ahead of any maintenance that might need to occur. It's really aligning all of those together so that you're able to actually execute on that plan.

Celia Ballou: [00:09:43] Absolutely. And one of the things that Dominique already touched on this a little bit, finding a couple champions or ambassadors of the product within your organization can really help drive that adoption of your users. It's a top-down approach where if you see leadership really embracing this new system and new workflow, that's going to trickle down to your end users. So you can bring in those champions to really drive up excitement and demonstrate that, this is gonna make your job and your life easier. And I'm going to show you how easy it is to do that. And when you're thinking about that onboarding strategy, maybe setting some different timeframes, training's going to happen in this many weeks, this is the person who's going to conduct those training sessions. These are the materials I've gotten together that are going to support that for them. How are those materials going to be accessed? Are they in some kind of internet server for your organization or will they be available in paper form? Those are all kinds of things to think about when you're building that strategy.

Dominique Leupi: [00:10:43] I would just like to add to that once again, depending on the solution that you're using, find out what resources are available to you for end user training, because you don't want to necessarily reinvent the wheel and. Find out what works for other companies like yours, so that you can take advantage of what others have done to be successful.

Matthew Dziak: [00:11:03] And every fleet is different. You've both mentioned that. There are some industries, whether trucking or perhaps a landscape company, where it might be a little bit easier for one to roll out those changes because maybe they're just doing inspections for their drivers, but they're only inspected. Maybe a light duty truck and some equipment that they use as opposed to a pre-trip DLT inspection that anyone operating a class eight or semi-truck would need. So how important is it to be able to configure those sorts of solutions to your fleet?

Dominique Leupi: [00:11:36] I think from our experience and what we see with the customers we work with, configurability is paramount, because everybody seems to work differently, at least in some nuanced way. If not really completely differently. So some people might have approvals for different preventive maintenance that their drivers are taking vehicles in for others may not. Some people do daily pre-trip inspections , others may not, others may have different DOD regulations. Being able to configure a system to accommodate your needs based on whatever regulations are in place for your industry is really important. And, just being able to configure things for. How you want to manage, the reporting that you want to get out of a system, that's going to help determine what your inputs look like. And so if you can configure a system to accommodate those inputs and meet your end users where they are, you're going to get a leg up. People are going to adopt it more easily. Everyone's just always really busy. So if they have to learn a lot. They have to spend a lot of time learning a new system while they are operating or they're driving all day, that's not their job. Just give them something that's simple. And if you can configure it to be really simple for that end user I think that's gold. Really?

Celia Ballou: [00:12:51] Yeah. Sometimes you're not going to be able to configure the product exactly to your specific workflow. And that is an opportunity to go back and re-examine. Maybe there's a way to rethink how we're doing things. Re-examine this really important information that we're capturing? Or are we just doing this? Because we've always done it this way and that's what's the habit. there can be times where. It may seem like you cannot customize the system exactly to your needs, but looking at those more as an opportunity to improve your own workflow and your own process is a great way to head on those issues. Just seeing them as an opportunity rather than as a barrier.

Dominique Leupi: [00:13:32] I think you make such an excellent point Celia. And the one thing I would tag . Onto that is when you're looking at solutions. Finding somebody that's innovative and that is willing to grow within your space is also really helpful because like Celia said, you might need to make some adjustments to your workflows and how you do things today, but finding solutions that are always innovating and growing with the industry and adding new functionality to allow you to build on what you're doing today is also really important.

Matthew Dziak: [00:14:02] And that really just comes down to the role of software, right? That we have software and technology that we're utilizing to increase efficiencies, to make our life a little bit easier to allow us to focus on more important things than data entry and other tedious tasks we can hopefully automate to focus on the bigger picture. And you're only going to get out what you put in, as you've mentioned. So being able to uncover some of those issues that you didn't even know occurred because you didn't have the visibility into it. That's one of the great benefits of software and technology. Now, when you're partnering with the software provider, we've talked a lot about ROI but, it's more than just dollars and cents. So what are some of those other considerations that maybe a fleet manager organization should consider?

Celia Ballou: [00:14:45] Yeah, that's a great question. Some of those things to think about how accessible is the help center? Is there a help center at all? What kinds of guides are available when it comes to training resources? Are you going to have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to rolling this out and just training all of your end users? Are the videos offered in multiple languages? Do you have a diverse workforce where you're going to need guides and videos and help documentation in multiple languages that are accessible to everybody. Do they offer webinars? Are they free? Is that going to be another cost for your company to continue to learn on the product? Will you have to invest more money to continue that training? And then depending on the size of your organization, you might actually have a dedicated account manager that you can go to . Leverage that, they will email you because they want to hear from you. They love getting emails from customers. They love getting calls. Use that to your advantage, be that annoying customer. Who's calling them all the time, giving them feedback you know, telling them your grievances. Those are things that they want to hear because at the end of the day, it's going to make a better user experience for both you and all the other users and the software. So those are all things to consider. What types of resources are going to be available to you that are included in that subscription.

Matthew Dziak: [00:16:00] Now, let's say that you have an issue that maybe isn't something that you can take the time to work through, that it's a fire drill and it needs to be resolved immediately. Or it's going to break other processes that you have in place . What is it that would be your best option for that solution?

Dominique Leupi: [00:16:16] Well, I think in most cases, just understanding what the help options are. So is there a staff support center and will they be responsive? What are their response times? Most software solutions have metrics on that and they can tell you, can I chat with them? Can I call them, can I email them? Just depending on what your preferred method is, but just being able to reach out to a person is usually when there's a fire drill, that's kinda what you want. Making sure that you understand what your options are and leveraging those options is probably going to really help you when you do get into any sort of scenario where you consider it a fire drill.

Matthew Dziak: [00:16:53] And Celia. What about maybe something that is self-serving if you will, and how that might factor into someone's decision that maybe they don't want to interact with someone and wait for that back and forth? What are their options there?

Celia Ballou: [00:17:06] a lot of solutions are going to have some type of help center or. In app chat that they can start with a support agent. They don't have time to really get into a whole conversation with somebody, a health center that you can navigate easily through. Either finding videos or articles based on topic or even within the software itself, what kinds of tool tips are there? Different guides that are easily accessible. And one other thing that they might want to think about is there some kind of community support center where they can actually post a question to other users, other fleets of how they might solve a problem, just to get that perspective of. How is another customer handling this issue and does it apply to my process?

Matthew Dziak: [00:17:48] Yeah, absolutely. And with the help center like you said, you'll be able to find those resources that might be a fully detailed article that walks you through every step. And it might be something that you'll be able to quickly glance at as a guide that will allow you to solve that problem right away. And then you have that resource there. Maybe you bookmark it or anything like that. You print it out. However you want to store it. You'll have that information to always access.

Celia Ballou: [00:18:13] Yeah. And one thing to think about is you could actually build a library of frequently asked questions from your own users or guides that have been accessed frequently by people on your team. And maybe even link those to a place within your platform or maybe on some kind of internal training centers so that they are just easily accessible by everyone. That these ones are the common guides that people need. So I'm just going to go ahead and pull those out for everybody and just make them readily agreed.

Dominique Leupi: [00:18:42] I think you make a really good point there cilia. The key is to link them, because if you're dealing with a software solution that gets updated, you want to be able to link to an article that may get updated rather than download something as a word document or a PDF that becomes a static piece of information that may expire or may evolve. And if you're linking to an article. Is staying current because a company is regularly updating their software and therefore their help center articles. That'll help you when you do run into an issue.

Celia Ballou: [00:19:14] Yeah. And, you could even build out like a certification program within your own company. Like when you roll out the product your users need to complete these three steps and read these three articles before they're considered onboarded and ready to start using the product. And so that kind of creates a benchmark for your users of how ready they are. To really start using that product and maybe can help field some of those frequently asked questions because they've already taken the steps to brief themselves on how the product works

Dominique Leupi: [00:19:44] Yeah, absolutely. And in addition to the help center and support teams, if you are with a company or you are using a software solution where you have an account manager, make sure that you're leveraging that relationship so that you can reach out to them, they can help you with constructing materials or of what Celia was talking about, putting together cheat sheets or frequently asked . Questions. Just leveraging all of those resources that you have available so that you don't have to do something, create things from scratch and feel like you're on your own island. Just using all of the resources and the help that you have. That's what those people are there for. So definitely take advantage of that.

Matthew Dziak: [00:20:21] I want to circle back on feedback. It's a topic that we talked a little bit about, but I think there was more to uncover there . Feedback is just so important for everyone involved for both the organizations. That's utilizing the software technology, as well as the actual provider. Maybe we can talk a little bit about those opportunities.

Dominique Leupi: [00:20:39] I think that's a really good point because a lot of times feedback is really welcomed by organizations because if you were thinking it probably somebody else's too. If for companies that are building software solutions in an industry, they want to know what the industry wants, what's going to make our solution, the best solution and customer feedback and input is the best way to help with that. When you're a new customer, if you think about it, you're only new once. so giving that feedback as you mentioned with onboarding or trialing, you know, what it was like to be new and to go through that process. So giving your feedback if something was confusing or it was too much information or not enough information, that's really helpful for people on the other end who they've written these materials they may have lived with them for a while. And so getting that feedback from people who are new and seeing something for the first time can be very insightful and really promote positive change.

Matthew Dziak: [00:21:33] And really one of the other things that is sometimes overlooked with software is the ease of use. And not just maybe . For the fleet manager, who's going to be looking at some of the metrics and integrations, but really the end user and how important that functionality is for them.

Celia Ballou: [00:21:47] Yeah. Those product engineers are really thinking about how quickly someone can pick up their device and start using it to get insights or input the data that they need to. They're building out this product, they really think about the end user in mind and how they're going to interact With the software in the fields and what that operator looks can be very different depending on the fleet, they could be someone. Who really doesn't interact with software or technology. Very often, maybe they. Speak a different language. There could be a generational gap. All these kinds of things come into play. Thinking about the design of the software.

Dominique Leupi: [00:22:18] I think you summed it up so perfectly Celia. I don't even know if I could add anything except I would also say, sometimes Products we'll have like beta solutions. Hey, we're looking for people to beta test something. If you're one of those people that's willing to do that, you should absolutely do that because you can get your feedback and it will be heard. And just, jumping in wherever possible to provide that feedback is such a key and helpful way to help a product improve to meet your industry challenges.

Matthew Dziak: [00:22:47] Well, I think we covered a variety of topics that pertain to just implementing a new system and deciding to make that change. Maybe it's not as intimidating as some people might believe it could be, but something if you take the steps to implement and analyze, as you go along and then align and refine your stuff strategy you'll be well on your way to success.

So with that, Dominique Celia, thank you so much for joining us on the show.

Celia Ballou: [00:23:10] Thanks, it was a pleasure.

Dominique Leupi: [00:23:11] Yeah, thanks a lot, nice seeing you. Celia.

Matthew Dziak: [00:22:14] Thanks for listening to the Fleet Code. If you're looking for a modern software solution to effectively manage your fleet, be sure to check out to learn more. Join our monthly newsletter to stay up to date on all things, Fleetio. And don't forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn by following at Fleetio.

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